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Southwest to Offer Standby Flights for Frequent Flyers

The carrier has announced that the new option is available as of this Tuesday for A-List members.

Southwest Airlines has a new perk for their A-List passengers. Effective Tuesday, A-List and A-List Preferred members can now fly standby, USA Today reports. The new feature will allow members of Southwest’s Rapid Rewards frequent flyer program to fly standby for same-day flights — but those will have to be within two hours of the scheduled departure time of their original flight.

The change comes as the airline has increasingly offered fares and services geared toward geared toward corporate travelers. Business passengers often like the flexibility to change their flights in case a meeting runs a little earlier or later than expected.

Passengers wishing to fly standby will need to see to a customer service agent at the airport on the day of travel in order to be placed on the space-available standby list. The new feature isn’t yet being offered via Southwest’s automated check-in kiosks. However, the new option only extends to those who are A-List members, which means that other passengers traveling with those Rapid Rewards members won’t have the same courtesy.

In order to become an A-List member, one must fly 25 one-way flights or earn 35,000 Rapid Rewards points in a calendar year. A-List Preferred status comes after 50 one-way flights or 70,000 points during the same time period.

The new feature also puts Southwest in line with its major airline rivals, that all offer some type of same-day change option on domestic flights.

[Photo: Southwest]

Comments are Closed.
diver858 September 16, 2016

Woefully inadequate - only applies to a 2 hour window, while all full service US carriers offer same day standby to elites at no charge. Typical Southwest marketing ploy - sounds great, until you read the fine print.

abaheti September 16, 2016

Two hour rule seems to make this not really useful or even possible except in a few shuttle-ish markets like LA to Bay Area. Wish it were even just stand by on the flight closest in time to original

pdsales September 15, 2016

Uh, no. So I have to fly Southwest 25 times with no flexibility to change my travel plans in order to then finally have flexibility to leave a couple of hours early? Southwest has completely missed the point. People who are willing to put up with Southwest's essentially no change (sure you can fly 2 hours early for $450, may I have your credit card?) policy are already flying Southwest. They are offering this to their best customers who have already decided to live with Southwest's no-change policy a perk already flew Southwest without. They may say thank you but they won't fly any more as a result. The people who NEVER fly Southwest (me) because of this policy are not going to fly 25 times to get this privilege we already enjoy with other mainline carriers. They have given this away to the people who won't give them any more business, and the Southwest for whom this policy is a deal breaker (me) will continue to stay away.