Travel News

Book Southwest Awards Now Before Their Vague Changes On April 17th

Written by Charlie

Changes Coming


About two months ago, Southwest sent out an e-mail and part of it informed Rapid Reward members of changes that would take place beginning April 17th. Here is the text from their website and e-mail (bolding mine):

We created Rapid Rewards® because we think you deserve to actually feel rewarded. And, from time to time we must make some updates to our program. Beginning April 17, 2015, the number of Rapid Rewards Points needed to redeem for certain flights will vary based on destination, time, day of travel, demand, fare class, and other factors. However, there are still many flights which will stay at the current redemption rate. And don’t forget that when fares go on sale, so do the points needed for redeeming for a reward flight on those fares.

A vague reference to changing rates is never a good thing. Southwest did not notify anyone as to which flights will see these newer award prices but it is most likely to be some of the most popular routes/times of year. Another area may be the increase of award pricing for international flights. Southwest used to be domestic based but they have quickly been increasing the number of flights they have throughout the Caribbean and Central America.

Making A Move

One of the beautiful things about Southwest is that you can cancel and award reservation whenever you want (up to 10 minutes before departure) and you will get all of the points redeposited without a fee! That is a fantastic way to lock in trips and then change things based on newer pricing.

Many Months Of Booking Available

Because of that great feature, now is the time to book awards on Southwest that you may have been considering. Flights can currently be booked through October 30 so you have several months from which to choose your flights.

Fare Sale

Another thing that works in your favor is that Southwest is currently running a fare sale that expires tomorrow. Some of the flights you have been thinking about may just have seen the last price drop before whatever changes go into affect next week.

Getting Points

If you do not currently have enough points in your Southwest account, you can easily transfer them from your Ultimate Rewards account. They transfer at 1:1 and the transfer is instant – just logout and back in on your Southwest account to see the points there. Once transferred, they cannot be transferred back to Ultimate Rewards.


Changes come all the time with airlines and their redemption methods. At the very least, it was good that Southwest gave a heads-up that there will be a change, if not telling what the change will detail. Personally, the fact that they felt it worth an announcement while holding back details make it seem like the change will not be a very good one. At least the Companion Pass will still guarantee that one person will be free!

Some of the links on Running with Miles are affiliate links that pay a commission if a purchase is made. Running with Miles is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to

About the author


Charlie has been an avid traveler and runner for many years. He has run in marathons around the world for less than it would cost to travel to the next town - all as a result of collecting and using miles and points. Over the years, he has flown hundreds of thousands of miles and collected millions of miles and points.
Now he uses this experience and knowledge to help others through Running with Miles.


  • I have a feeling there will be a change in how you earn the CP. It’s very simple now and with more people earning it. I can see them making adjustments so it’s not earned with a CC or needing more points to earn it.

    • I do think that will happen at some point, but, thankfully, the wording that they have published does not seem to indicate that the CP is in danger. However, maybe they will limit its use on some routes?