Dallas-based Southwest Airlines launched a new loyalty program called Rapid Rewards Business that caters to companies whose employees travel for work.
The program allows customers to earn Rapid Rewards Business points while traveling on their company’s behalf while also accumulating points on their personal accounts as Rapid Rewards members.
“Previously, if a business booked a business trip, the traveler would be the only one receiving Rapid Rewards points,” said Dan Landson, a Southwest Airlines spokesperson. “Now, the traveler and their company can receive Rapid Rewards points which can be redeemed for future flights on Southwest.”
Qualified companies that apply for the Rapid Rewards Business program before Dec. 31, 2021, have a traveler book, and fly two round trips within 90 days of enrollment will be awarded 25,000 points.
“This program complements our existing Rapid Rewards program and just adds a new layer of earning for the companies that chose Southwest for their business travel needs,” Landson told Dallas Express.
Southwest’s Rapid Rewards program is one of the best available among airlines, according to media reports.
“Throughout the pandemic, we never stopped investing in our people and products,” Landson said in an interview. “This year, we completed our goal of getting Southwest business-relevant fare information within the three major global distribution systems companies use for business travel, continuing to add more Employees in strategic positions at our Headquarters and in the field, and we continue our work to win more business travel business as we emerge from the pandemic.”
One requirement of the Rapid Rewards Business program is that travel must be booked through a corporate travel booking tool such as SWABIZ®, the official Southwest Airlines website for business travel.
“We expanded the entire department and product offerings to make Southwest an attractive offering for businesses who never viewed Southwest as a business travel-focused airline or felt like we had too many roadblocks that made booking business travel on Southwest hard for them,” Landson said.
An advantage of the Rapid Rewards Business program is that points do not expire, and there are no blackout dates when earning or redeeming Rapid Rewards Business points.
“This program had been in a beta format for a few years as we worked to refine it so that we were ready for today’s launch,” Ladson added.
The airline has been under fire in recent weeks because of its employee COVID-19 vaccination mandate with a set deadline of Dec. 8.
As previously reported in Dallas Express, the Southwest Airlines Pilot Association sued Southwest Airlines, alleging its vaccine mandate violates U.S. labor law.
The pilot’s union, representing 9,000 members, wants the Dec. 8 deadline abated until the litigation is completed. It has been widely reported that the carrier moved a federal court to reject abeyance because it would allegedly cause substantial harm to the company’s business, employees, and customers.
This week a federal judge rejected the pilot’s union request for a temporary restraining order that would have blocked the employee vaccine mandate for a limited amount of time.