Southwest compensating passengers with 25K points each as a goodwill gesture (check your email!)

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Southwest Airlines is compensating at least some passengers who caught caught up in the crazy Southwest Airlines meltdown over the holidays by sending out apology points. If you were scheduled to fly during that fiasco, check your email for the subject line “A message from Southwest CEO Bob Jordan”: I just received such an email and I’m seeing similar reports from readers in our Frequent Miler Insiders Facebook group. It appears that Southwest is compensating passengers with codes for 25,000 Rapid Rewards points per passenger as a goodwill gesture, but the subject line doesn’t indicate that’s what’s inside, so I wanted to send out this alert for readers ASAP. This is on top of their efforts at reimbursements announced last week, not in place of it. That amounts to more than $300 worth of points per passenger and at least in my case it’s more than quadruple the original cost of my flight. I’m sure that this won’t be enough for everyone, but it is yet another step in the right direction.

Note that if you haven’t yet received the email, don’t panic. I saw reports coming in our Facebook group a little while before the email arrived in my inbox, so it seems the emails are going out on some sort of a rolling basis.

Not quite the last row, but close.

As noted at the top, the subject line of the email Southwest is sending says “A message from Southwest CEO Bob Jordan”. I know that’s the kind of email I’ll usually skip over in my inbox — and truth be told, if I hadn’t seen Facebook group members posting about this, I probably would have skipped over that email too. I wanted to publish a quick post about this because rather than just credit your account with points, Southwest is providing codes that you must redeem to get the points.

Here’s the email in its entirety:

In my case, we had four passengers on a reservation that Southwest cancelled on 12/24, so I got 4 codes. One group member posted that they received 9 codes for 9 passengers on an itinerary and another posted that she received the codes for a flight that she proactively cancelled before Southwest cancelled it. That data point is interesting as I wouldn’t have expected to receive something if you proactively cancelled your flight.

As you can see in the details, it looks like you can deposit the points in anyone’s Rapid Rewards account, which makes the gesture as flexible as possible.

My initial reaction was that it was a shame to offer codes that customers need to redeem since passengers must take action to redeem the points — at first glance, this seems set up to intentionally cause breakage because some passengers won’t see the email or will delete it or just forget to redeem the codes. However, upon further consideration, I realize that not all passengers have or enter a Rapid Rewards number and some passengers may prefer to have all of the points in one account or another (I’d certainly rather have 100K points in one account than have 25K in each of my kids’ accounts since I have no reasonable way to top up their accounts for an award).

Note that the email is clear that this is a goodwill gesture and that reimbursement efforts are continuing (for more on how to submit for reimbursements, see: Southwest offering reimbursement for “reasonable” expenses). I do not expect that this will replace getting reimbursed for reasonable expenses as a result of the meltdown. Furthermore, I have read some reports of passengers having issues getting refunded for Southwest-cancelled travel. I did not proactively cancel our 12/24 flight and we did not receive an immediate refund of the points used to book, but I noticed that overnight last night Southwest refunded our points for our 12/24 flights. We had paid about 8,000 points per passenger, but my reservation was free as a companion, so that works out to an initial cost of about 6K points per passenger. They’ve already refunded that and now given us 25K points per passenger on top of the refund. If Southwest also reimburses me for gas and hotel to drive to my destination and back home, I’ll forgive them as much as one could since these points more than make me whole along with those reimbursements.

But I’m sure that those who were stranded in more extenuating circumstances probably still won’t be satisfied that Southwest has done enough. That’s certainly understandable and surely fair in many instances. That said, it certainly seems like Southwest is continuing to be proactive in making up for their missteps, so I’m hopeful that those who incurred far more expense will be made whole in the end. Like the extension to Companion Passes and the extra month to finish earning elite status, this is another step in the right direction. Hopefully they really start to hit their stride on reimbursements in short order and fix the issues that caused the meltdown in the first place.

Speaking of those reimbursements, I haven’t yet seen any update about when to expect them, but Southwest’s email confirming receipt of a submitted claim indicated that they were intending to respond within 10 days. That seemed to me like an ambitious turnaround time given the volume of requests they must have to process, but we’ll see when we reach the end of that window whether or not people have begun receiving reimbursements in addition to this goodwill gesture.

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Lorry Krone

Nope, no email. Yes, I checked SPAM and ALL my folders. I did not get this email but my friend who DID NOT TRAVEL AT ALL during this time did get one. I can not tell you how ANNOYED I am by this process. If it s a true “goodwill gesture” just put the points in my RR account! Don’t make me get the email, find the code, do the hokey pokey, etc.

Jennifer

I got the email but when I tried to enter the rewards codes they say they are invalid. Help!

Deborah Hill

Looked in my Spam just now and no email. How long should I wait to receive one.

Raelene

I changed my flight before it could be canceled to save on the anxiety of possibly being stranded and they still sent me the 25K points! This helped me with my next flight. I love SW and am sorry for those who had a horrible experience.

Lana Riley

Yep…got the email. Still don’t trust them and won’t fly Southwest again. They’ve got problems that need fixing before I’ll trust them again!

Brian G.

Can I get 25k points for the displaced WN pax that my boarded my AA flight and tried to steal my seat? 🙂 Based off the logic that 9C was my boarding group position not my seat on the airplane. Took two FAs to explain to her that she was incorrect.

Norman Trujillo

My daughter transferred her 25K reward points to me and they charged her $250.00

What the heck??

Phil

Transfer? Or used the reimbursement code?

Colleen

Were you able to get the $250 back? We made the same mistake depositing into one acct and now can’t move them to each persons acct

Jimmie

Yeah they say goodwill but instead will treat this as your “compensation”. What we need are broader passenger rights bills passed that forces airlines to refund any money lost in connection with cancelled flights and makes it illegal to lock people in with credit or vouchers.

Cavedweller

Like the EU does I got 5K points from AA could have been $600. Change the rules FM u Have the Power..ALOHA

Joe

Received mine and got the confirmation e-mail but got a second one in the middle of the night that it failed. Confirmed no typos and tried again, we’ll see.

For those who were taking advantage of the promotional companion pass, for which yesterday was the day where it became active, it was also a bit of a debacle designating a companion (the time it went live was pushed around a few times), followed by issues adding said companion to flights for a few hours thereafter.

All in all not the best day yesterday for Southwest IT.

Last edited 22 days ago by Joe
Linda

Mine failed too, but I called them and I stayed on the telephone and did it again, the next day I got my 25,000 point. So try it again.

Tom

Yeah, except that the four codes they sent me all failed. Got the confirmation email saying pending, then a few minutes later, four individual emails- one for each code- saying they had failed.

Marcy Frick

Are people still receiving the email. My husband received his points for 2 cancelled flights, but I haven’t received anything for my cancelled points. They were separate reservations.

Cameron

I did a search in my email just now and found it was sent Tues. My code worked perfectly

Suzanne Richardson

What if one would prefer CASH instead of reward points because they will NEVER fly Southwest Airlines ever again?

Connie D

The are required by law to give you a cash refund. Fight for it!

Tia

The points can be redeemed for gift cards. That’s close to cash. ‍♀️

Suzanne Richardson

Good idea, thanks.

Cameron

Every airline has had these issues one time or another. The previous time I flew southwest, that same day American was cancelling all theirs. Don’t swear them off I love them,,shit happens and SW can’t change the horrible weather. They did the best they could and are going above and beyond to make it right.

Phil

SWA has deficiencies in their crew and equipment scheduling processes and systems not experienced by other airlines. I wonder if they continue as the lower cost carrier whether they will pull the trigger to correct and replace the processes and systems.

Pure ROI may indicate not.

Connie D

By law airlines have to give you a cash refund!

Andi

I am having trouble redeeming the code. Looked like it worked but then I got a follow-up email that there was an issue depositing the 25kpts into my account. Wondering if it has to do with this…I booked the travel for my sister in law using my points, so I was not the traveler. But I received the email because it was my account and points which I booked with, and because I got the email it seems to suggest that I would redeem the points using my info rather than hers. Any thoughts on that?

T G

I got the same error and it was booked under my account (unless the email I got is for my companion). Gary left also posted he had same issue on Twitter. I reattempted depositing to me. Any luck?

Andi

Yes I actually did have luck! I tried again with the link they provided on their email that was titled “certificate code failure”..and didn’t get another email saying that it actually worked after that, though the 25k miles were deposited a few hours later. So if you got that email (I received it a few hours after the email titled “deposit summary”, then I’d try again with the link they provided. Again, i was not the traveler but I booked it using points from my account. We even had her RR# in the record but since I booked and used my points and got the email, it still works..hope that helps

Jerry

Southwest has hundreds of unpaid volunteers who have come in on their own time to work on getting people their reimbursements as quickly as possible. There are folks starting class action suits or blowing up Southwest’s Facebook page. Why can’t people understand that tens of thousands of people were affected by this fiasco, and it’s going to take time to sort it all out. Try a little patience instead of all the hate!

Joey

Just got the email for our 3 one way flights offering a bonus of 25,000 points each. They had already refunded the amount of points I had originally booked the reservation with. Took me just 5 minutes to input the codes. Then immediately got another email stating my 75,000 points would be in my account with 24 hours.

[…] afternoon everyone.  Yesterday, Frequent Miler reported Southwest compensating passengers with 25K points each as a goodwill gesture (check your email!).  Since I read that post, I eagerly awaited my email since Laura and I were both affected by […]

Erick

FYI, I just now received the email. Registered and got confirmation no problem. 1 flight canceled on the 25th for companion and I and we both got the points. I previously got LUV vouchers for 3 of us on a separate flight on the 25th where we were stuck just prior to gate for 2 hours because no crew to move the previous flight from gate.

Don

My initial flight on the 23rd was canceled and I was rebooked on the 24th, which was also canceled. Will I get an email with a code for the flight on the 24th that was canceled.

lstron01

I haven’t received any points for a flight I booked during the timeframe they canceledy flight. Also, instead of refunding my ticket price they issued rapid rewards and! Haven’t received a refund for upgrading my ticket earlier. Very frustrated with the hoops I have to go through and cross check to see if I am getting compensated appropriately

DEBRA BROWELL

I got the email, but I cannot figure out how to put the code into the website?

Karen

Go to Rapid Rewards >> Buy or Tranfer Points >> Claim Partner Points

NotFlyingSWAgain

Flight was canceled a day prior. No refund yet, no points, absolutely nothing. Have filled out forms and spent probably 30 hours on the phone.

NoflyzonewSW

Same! Been a nightmare! Just got our luggage yesterday,1/3 delivered by Fed Ex yesterday w one bag busted open, who knows what’s missing out of our luggage. Our flight was cancelled on 12/25 w our 11yr old first time flyer in tow at ATL airport stranded on Christmas Day.
Hotel, car rental, travel, food and 10+ hour drive home , hours on the phone w no answers about getting home the next day or 5. Out several thousands just trying to get home.

GemGal

DP: Completed flight on 12/24, second leg was delayed 5 hours.
Two passengers: one points ticket plus a free companion, neither with status.
Received 25k points per person.

JTarbox

Hello All and Happy New Years,

I have attempted to submit the reimbursement request for multiple flight and multiple times only to fail getting my submission through. Not only that the page verification function doesn’t work, but the entered information doesn’t save therefore required to be entered, reentered each time. Has anyone experienced the same difficulty?
Also how do I get the 25000 miles email and CODE resent? Have been on hold with Southwest for hours.

ChefHo

After filling out the form the next button is not highlighted for me to click next. Also did not receive an email for the good gesture. My flights was cancel three times before i finally booked thru Delta.

Richard

Haven’t received any email yet. I’m really disappointed with the expiration date as I have no plans to fly anywhere by 3/31.

Peter

I haven’t been able to make sense of how they are saying who does and doesn’t get the code. We flew in this timeframe but our flights didn’t have any issues (lucky I know). I did book a cash flight backup for the day after our return that we canceled but operations were mostly alright by then as it was for the 31st.

The odd thing is I received the code and she did not. However, due to status and credit card maneuvering, we are in the unusual position where I have A-list, but she has the companion pass without status. So I was her companion on all these flights and received the code but she hasn’t gotten one.

I checked all her spam and deleted and don’t think she missed it so I’m not certain what their criteria are for getting a code. Near as I can tell I got it for status even though I didn’t have a delay or cancellation.

Josh

Ya awesome, those points expire this March. This doesn’t even come close to replacing 68hrs of travel 13 by car, a night in a hotel, and a $400 car rental

Robert

I am really learning to hate Southwest Airlines. The fact that it takes them this kind of meltdown to proactively offer even just points is pitiful. I’ve had legitimate problems and, when I asked outright about crediting points for the problems, was told that they don’t do that. Just 3 weeks ago I was checked into a flight by my A List status and my companion pass companion was checked into the C boarding group. I tried to then buy A1-15 boarding for the companion but the system wouldn’t let me. I called and the agents (plural) and they couldn’t do it either. By the time we got to the gate all the early boarding was gone The phone agents and the Twitter agents refused to throw any points my way for the problem. This was just the most recent one, there are more egregious incidents but customer service doesn’t care… Until the entire system melts down and masses of people are pissed.

I’m glad y’all are getting points for this mess, 25k is hardly enough for a messed up Christmas holiday. If not for companion pass I’d have moved on by now

Neal

Re: “another posted that she received the codes for a flight that she proactively cancelled before Southwest cancelled”.

Is it possible they just gave a credit to everyone who had a reservation in a certain date range? Whether flight was canceled or not.

I had a speculative DC-FLL flight booked for Friday December 30, a few days after the restart date. Decided to do New Years in Philly rather than in Florida and canceled the flight on Dec 28 or 29. Pretty sure flight went off as scheduled. I got the email and coupon code too.

Mike C

I recieved the email and code about 10am Pac Time and entered in the SWA link without issue. 25K posted to my SWA account within 3 hours. BUT I have Companion Pass and wife was with me as companion. Did not see any email for her nor a 2nd code in my email.
Does anyone know if the Companion gets a 25K bonus for cancellation as well?

Mike C

Thanks. Will pursue in a day or two if no emails received

Mat

We were like the above comment, one paying (points) and one companion, and only received one code. Did your 4 codes all come in the same email? Wondering if that’s all we’ll get, or if we should be watching for a second email. Thanks!

Randy

Nick, u think these compensation points will count towards a companion pass?

Mike A

Similar case for me. Only recieved one code even though there was a companion on my itinerary.

Karen

I recieved only 1 code, even though I had a companion and was A-list status. My flight was not cancelled though, so not sure if they took that into consideration.

Chris

We were two paying and one companion, and only received one code. Have checked spam, etc and no other emails found.

Crys

SW reimbursed me for the canceled flights, base fare for flights on another airline but would not cover taxes, fees nor baggage. That is disappointing. I’d simply like to be made whole.

Kimberly

Did you request the reimbursement via email? I sent mine via email on 12/28 and received acknowledgment but never received a case number like the email acknowledgement said I would.

Crys

I actually responded to someones tweet about the 3 hour hold time. They proactively reached out to me. They were very responsive

Patrick

I’ll believe it when I see it… (and I’m an A-lister)

Robert

The problem is WN cares about business, not customers. And they especially don’t care about loyal A List customers

Kyle

I wonder if these points can be used to qualify someone for companion pass?

Craig Ludwig

Well good luck with their web site..I tried 4 times and at the very end after hitting submit button I got a Failed to apply message.

Mary

well – bummer – we only got one code for a cash ticket with a companion. Maybe they’ll send another code.

Sean

Challenge is the website is down and will not reload. Free points for canceled flight but cannot redeem. Tried three different devices for this. Southwest is the new Spirit of 2023.

Justin

I got the email, got my two codes (one was for a companion pass user so that’s cool!)
The problem is I cannot login to the southwest dot points dot com site to properly login. Weird system here lol.

Robert

You’re cute for thinking their IT infrastructure can handle this already. It’ll be years before they’re caught up, and by then they’ll be behind again.

buhse

Got 4 Codes. Only 3 were flying. 2 plus 1 companion. Southwest also originally gave us 3x$250 Southwest vouchers for future flights plus the refund of our points. I additionally submitted for reimbursement for driving from STL to DEN, so we will see what we get there.

Ravi

Are these points counting towards CP? That would be pretty sweet!

Tim

No

Anoosh Hazari

My wife and I still havent received any emails from Southwest apart from the Case id after submitting expense. I doubt they will do full justice but lets give them benefit for now and hope things get squared away.