Rapid Rewards 2.0 begins March 1, 2011

Old Jan 12, 11, 5:12 pm
  #736  
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Originally Posted by pshuang View Post
  • IHG Priority Club (extra caveat that PC/WN conversions are discontinued as of February 24 semi-independent of RR 2.0): 10,000 PC points = 2 RR 1.0 credits. One night at a 25K/night Holiday Inn is equivalent to 5 RR 1.0 credits.

Loosely speaking, amongst these four programs, PC and GP are good conversion values in my view, whereas HH and MR are poor conversion values.
Not that it matters going forward much, but one night at the 15k Candlewood Suites Jersey City (1 PATH train stop from lower Manhattan) which is routinely at least $200ai a night (and what name brand hotel closer to or in NYC is less?) is therefore equilvalent to 3 RR 1.0/RR 1.5 credits. 16/3 = 5+, and no way that an RR 1.5 credit is worth 5*$200 = $1000. (Gosh, even an RR 1.0 credit* wasn't worth quite that much, even if indeed used for the "last seat".)

This week I'm not getting quite as good a value. I'm using 15k/night for a $145ai Holiday Inn. But 5*145 is still $725, which is still nowhere near the value of 16 RR 1.5 credits!

*By RR 1.0 vs RR 1.5, I mean the era when all 16-credit awards were "Freedom" type was 1.0, and the era when 16 credits only gets you a Standard award and it takes 32 credits to get a Freedom award was RR 1.5.

You can't do the same math on RR 1.0 as RR 1.5, which is why find it misleading to do math on the current program and then refer to it as RR 1.0.
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Old Jan 12, 11, 5:29 pm
  #737  
 
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While I dont' agree that A-list preferrd make out like bandits, they ARE making it a big incentive to reach the highest tier, and use the points to redeem at the cheapest multiplier option.(WGA). As NSX said, remember that BS are the most profitable trips, and they are EASILY making a extra 40-80% above what some passengers on that same plane paid to fly, during WGA fares, fare sales, etc.

What happens next? I assume we'll see (and WN will cancel) Ebay auctons, craigslist ads for southwest travel 90 cents on the dollar. I can think of some great ways WN can minimize/prevent award points bookings from being sold, but I don't want to ruin the work of their consultants....
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Old Jan 12, 11, 6:08 pm
  #738  
 
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SWABrian??

I've been trying to stay on top of this thread - I haven't seen this answered.....the last few posts have me wondering whether there has been any word on WN's progress toward announcing "grandfathered" A-list & A+-list status prior to 3/1?

Is SWABrian back from the big football weekend?
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Old Jan 12, 11, 8:41 pm
  #739  
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Originally Posted by pshuang View Post
I love the shortcut abbreviations we've adopted for A-List and A-List Preferred...)
I'm surprised nobody has used "ALPs" yet!
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Old Jan 12, 11, 8:55 pm
  #740  
 
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Originally Posted by toomanybooks View Post
"The rest of this calendar year and all of next calendar year" is my rephrase of the policy. Same as airline elite programs in general, I think.
OK, got it now. Sorry if I'm a little slow - all this newness is hurting my head. I agree that if that's the way it works (and I guess it can't work any other way if WN is going with calendar year qualifications), banking points is the way to go.
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Old Jan 12, 11, 8:56 pm
  #741  
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Originally Posted by expert7700 View Post
While I dont' agree that A-list preferrd make out like bandits...
I'm not qualified to figure it out, but my hunch is ALPs flying on a corporate expense account may make out better than legacy elites, perhaps by a healthy margin. Here are a couple routes with BS fares in the $300 range:
  • LAX-PDX, 834 miles, $321
  • LAX-BOI, 674 miles, $293
Forty-eight of those flights would be in the 32,000 to 40,000 mile range, 48,000 if there is a connection and the 500 minimum applies. What ultimate multiplier would apply for an elite? Looking just at domestic round trips @ 25K miles each, the multiplier needs to be 10x, give or take an x or couple, for that flier to hit 450,000 miles (18 x 25,000).
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Old Jan 12, 11, 9:31 pm
  #742  
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Originally Posted by jrpaguia View Post
Gee, thanks...I think.
No problemo! Everybody knows I'm not one of the fanboys, but it seems to me there has been some flawed perception of the new program.

Here's something else to put in your pipe and smoke: for the self-employed the combination of the new program and the tax laws can make BS fares roughly equivalent to, or even cheaper than, WGA fares. Consider the fares for the LAX-BOI example mentioned above. BS is $293, the lowest WGA in the next few months is $122, and that's not on a huge number of travel days. Between income tax and FICA, a self-employed person may have a marginal tax rate of 40%. So paying $293 instead of $122 means Uncle Sam is picking up $68 of the difference in the fare. The owner realizes a non-taxable benefit of $117 (more when segment fees and PFCs are considered). So the net cost of the $293 fare is $108. Compare that to a $122 WGA fare with a rebate of 10% (net = $110), or the more common $142 WGA fare (net $128 vs. $116 net for BS).

I predict that we'll soon see bodies in every one of those 15 BS boarding positions. Did somebody say "time to buy LUV?"...but for the wrong reason? That $100 million expenditure is going to pay itself back many times over, and it won't take all that long.

(Despite all the above, RR 2.0 is such a loser for me that it essentially forces me to start accumulating miles on legacies...but that's a topic for its own post.)
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Old Jan 12, 11, 9:55 pm
  #743  
 
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With the exception of close-in booking when WGA fare is not available, why would someone want to redeem points for an anytime of BS fare? It seems the main attraction of those tickets would be higher earning multiplier and refundability, neither of which apply to award tickets.

I would think WN could have simplified the redemptions and used a single redemption value. For last-minute awards you would still be paying the cost premium.
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Old Jan 12, 11, 9:57 pm
  #744  
 
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2.0...HELP!

Forgive the newbie tone of this post, but I am completely lost on how to proceed with 2.0.

I fly WN on short haul flights for work. (DAL Ė TUL/HOU/SAT/LIT) Needless to say, my average ticket rate is $60.00 on the WGA fares. I also book cars and hotels that will earn me credits to make up for the lack of credit segments for an award ticket. I have averaged an Award every 2 years.

Currently, I have 8 credits in my account. Before 3/1, I may be able to get 3 more. (2 segments, car and hotel) However, there is no way that I will be able to hit the 16 credit threshold before 2.0 goes into effect. As I cannot transfer my existing version 1.0 credits into points, I need a little direction about how I need to approach my future plans.

This year, I am planning on 3 trips where I would consider WN. The first is listed above, bringing me to 11 credits, but the other two will be severely devalued. With flights, car and hotel, Iím looking at an average of 1,540 points per trip on WGA fares. Thatís a total of 3,080 points, or 2.5 1.0 credits, bringing my credit total to 13.5 for 2011. My current credits are slated to expire in May of 2012.

Am I correct in understanding that I will need to earn enough points that I can transfer into credits before this May 2012 expiration date? I donít think that Iíll be able to hit this before that date because I just donít to fly WN that often. Most of my travel is to NYC and AA flies direct, is cheaper, and seems like it will be more beneficial.

So, is it smarter to work towards that 16th credit and pray that I can hit it or plan on eating the credits Iíve already accumulated? I have no status on WN, am not aspiring to and my company is more concerned about the cheapest route than giving me the option to book a higher class fare.

Thanks!
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Old Jan 12, 11, 10:03 pm
  #745  
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Do you have the RR Visa?
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Old Jan 12, 11, 10:18 pm
  #746  
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Originally Posted by ftnoob View Post
I predict that we'll soon see bodies in every one of those 15 BS boarding positions. Did somebody say "time to buy LUV?"...but for the wrong reason? That $100 million expenditure is going to pay itself back many times over, and it won't take all that long.
If that happens, WN will raise the BS fares as necessary to maximize revenues.
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Old Jan 12, 11, 10:20 pm
  #747  
 
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No. I was rejected a while back for opening too many cards
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Old Jan 12, 11, 10:21 pm
  #748  
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Originally Posted by spankytoes View Post
Am I correct in understanding that I will need to earn enough points that I can transfer into credits before this May 2012 expiration date?
Yes. If you get within a few credits, rental car and hotel points should get you where you want to go. Also don't forget the RR report and RR Email update subscription bonus. Sign up for both and you get 1 credit each 3 months later. That will certainly be credited at 2400 points.
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Old Jan 12, 11, 10:35 pm
  #749  
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Originally Posted by nsx View Post
...WN will raise the BS fares as necessary to maximize revenues.
Actually I'm holding out hope that there is something in this for the little guy. Due to RR 1.0/1.5, SWA has been operating at a severe handicap relative to the legacies. If RR 2.0 starts generating the sort of profits that AA and others generate from their FFPs, WN's WGA fares will have a ton of potential to fall to levels that embarrass the competition.

Unfortunately, though, I fear the reality: current SWA management may not be smart enough/bold enough to take this path.

Last edited by ftnoob; Jan 12, 11 at 11:39 pm
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Old Jan 12, 11, 11:10 pm
  #750  
 
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I think many of us will continue with WN for at least as long as our CP is valid. I would say 80% of the time I use my CP. So, in essence, each ticket is about 1/2 the price I pay -- or about $140 per RT from AZ to Midwest. And, of course, we will use WN when flying on an Award.

But any individual trips for rest of 2011 and 2012, I will look at other airlines closely -- especially since flights will not benefit me toward CP qualification.

I personaly see no value in flying other than the lowest fares. I have never been stuck in a middle seat and exit rows are nice, but not that much better. In fact, I wonder why people spend $10 to get automatic BPs as their seats are almost always same as what I get by checking in T-24. And I get (as most of us here) have tons of drink coupons.

Of course, people say they spend company money just like their own, but usually not true.
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