AirTran Airways A+ Rewards Program to End in November

Two airplanes operated by AirTran Airways rest at the gates at the international airport which serves Atlanta. Photograph by FlyerTalk member LPDAL. Click on the photograph for a trip report written by LPDAL.

If you are a member of the AirTran Airways A+ Rewards frequent flier loyalty program, get ready to bid farewell to it, as your account will be closed on Sunday, November 2, 2014.

This should come as no surprise to you, as Gary C. Kelly — the chief executive officer and chairman of Southwest Airlines — announced during a “webcast” on December 20, 2013 that the operations of AirTran Airways will be 100 percent Southwest Airlines by the end of 2014, with Rapid Rewards being the surviving frequent flier loyalty program.

I received the following e-mail message from AirTran Airways yesterday pertaining to its integration into Southwest Airlines:

Dear Brian,

The next few months are going to be exciting as we work toward completing the integration of Southwest Airlines® and AirTran® Airways. As I shared in my last update, Rapid Rewards® will be the loyalty program of the combined airline, so you will enjoy benefits including unlimited reward seats, no blackout dates, and points that don’t expire*. Let me take a moment to share some additional details on what the integration means to you as an A+ Rewards® Member.We are nearing the final stages of integration, including the complete transition of all A+ Rewards accounts to Rapid Rewards. This process will begin on November 2, 2014. Rest assured your A+ Rewards Credits are safe and we are committed to making this a smooth transition. Here are a few key dates to know for this transition:

  • The last day to earn A+ Rewards Flight Credits will be November 1, 2014.
  • The last day to redeem A+ Rewards Credits will be November 1, 2014.
  • Existing A+ Rewards Chase Cardmembers will begin earning Rapid Rewards Points in late October. More details about receipt of a replacement for your A+ Rewards Credit Card with a new Southwest Airlines branded credit card will be forthcoming from Chase prior to the end of October.
  • The last day to earn credits with Hertz®, e-Miles®, and e-Rewards® will be September 30, 2014.

 

Your A+ Rewards account will be closed on November 2, 2014. We will convert your active A+ Rewards Credits to Rapid Rewards Points at a ratio of one A+ Rewards Credit = 1,200 Rapid Rewards Points. We plan to complete this process as quickly as possible.

If you have not already joined Rapid Rewards, you can take advantage of an exclusive, limited time promotion to earn up to 2,500 Rapid Rewards Points**. Simply enroll and enter your A+ Rewards number xxxxxxxxxx in the Promotion Code field to earn 2,000 points just for enrolling. Then opt in to receive Rapid Rewards e-mails for an extra 250 points each.

Please note that your credits will not automatically convert to Rapid Rewards Points prior to November 2, 2014. However, as a Rapid Rewards Member, you may use Rewards Conversion to transfer your credits between programs. With this option, you can enjoy all 90+ destinations served by Southwest Airlines and AirTran Airways.

We are excited to bring the industry-leading benefits of the Rapid Rewards Program to you. To keep you informed of progress and next steps, we will continue to send e-mail communications leading up to the close of the A+ Rewards Program. Additionally, you can always visit rewardsfarther.com for the latest information and news.

Sincerely,
Signature
Kevin Krone
Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer
Southwest Airlines

Here are the asterisks:

*Points don’t expire as long as you have flight or Partner earning activity every 24 months. Benefits apply to points transactions. All Rapid Rewards Rules and Regulations apply. All A+ Rewards rules and regulations apply.

In order to use your A+ Rewards Credits for Southwest Airlines flights, Members must have both a Rapid Rewards account and an A+ Rewards account and both accounts must be in the same Member name.

**Rapid Rewards® Offer Terms and Conditions: Only the A+ Rewards Member (Brian Cohen, xxxxxxxxxx) who received this e-mail is eligible for this promotion. Offer is nontransferrable. Offer is only valid for new-Rapid Rewards Member enrollment completed between April 23, 2014 and May 7, 2014. Member must provide A+ Rewards account number in the Promotion Code field during enrollment to receive 2,000 bonus points. Opt in to receive both Rapid Rewards e-mail communications, stay subscribed for at least three months, and then 500 bonus points will be deposited automatically into your account.

FlyerTalk members are now offering suggestions and devising ways to take full advantage of the conversion of their AirTran Airways A+ Rewards frequent flier loyalty program miles and converting them to Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards frequent flier loyalty program points. For example, FlyerTalk member nsx offers the following advice:

  1. Transfer your existing credits to AirTran Airways A+ Rewards if they are not there already
  2. Transfer enough Rapid Rewards points to AirTran Airways A+ Rewards to reach a total of 16 AirTran credits. Buy points as necessary — at a 25 percent discount during April and May of 2014 — to get enough for this operation
  3. Move 16 AirTran Airways A+ Rewards points to Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards to reset expiration
  4. Move 16 Rapid Rewards credits back to AirTran and leave them there
  5. On November 2, 2014 — or shortly thereafter — you will have 19,200 Rapid Rewards points

 

Once the integration officially occurs, expect the Airtran Airways | A+ Rewards forum to be a sub-forum of the Southwest Airlines | Rapid Rewards forum on FlyerTalk, as has similarly happened with the American Airlines | AAdvantage (Consolidated) forum, which was created shortly after the official announcement was released on December 9, 2013 that American Airlines and US Airways had officially legally merged and dethroned United Airlines as the largest commercial airline in the world.

The only reason I ever signed up to become a member of the AirTran Airways A+ Rewards frequent flier loyalty program is because I was originally booked on a flight operated by Northwest Airlines which was eventually cancelled. I was then booked on a flight operated by AirTran Airways by an employee of Northwest Airlines to get to my destination. I then requested that the appropriate amount of AirTran Airways A+ Rewards frequent flier loyalty program miles be credited to my account; but alas, that never happened…

…and I never had the opportunity to fly as a passenger on flights operated by AirTran Airways again, so I just let it go — no real loss to me.

Do not misunderstand me — the flight operated by AirTran Airways was fine. The aircraft was clean; the seat was fairly comfortable — for an airplane seat, that is; I had a small snack and a drink; and the service was fine. I had no complaints about AirTran Airways.

The completion of the absorption of AirTran Airways by Southwest Airlines will have been greater than four years since an announcement was first released from Southwest Airlines pertaining to the purchase of AirTran Airways in a $1.4 billion cash-and-stock deal.

Comments (Showing 2 of 2)

  • UncleDude at 1:44am May 01, 2014

    To use the phrase “Points don’t expire” is a blatant lie. Of course they do, after 24 months, very much like many other airlines. Only the time frame is slightly different.

    • Brian Cohen at 2:37am May 01, 2014

      Asterisk they take with their marketing, UncleDude.

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