(CTN News) – A serious system failure caused widespread disruptions for Southwest Airlines (LUV) – Get Free Report passengers last December.
One of the busiest travel times of the year, the airline ended up cancelling a large number of flights.
It is believed that Southwest Airlines flight management was affected by outdated computer systems that were unable to deal with an increase in bookings.
Passengers were stranded nationwide and separated from their luggage as a result of the cancellations.
While several steps have been taken to prevent a repeat of these incidents, the airline now appears to be facing a labor issue right before the holiday season in 2023.
Southwest’s pilots are preparing to strike. A Regional Strike Center will be opened in Dallas as part of those preparations, the Southwest Airlines Pilot Association announced.
This carrier is undergoing another change that will affect its passengers.
Southwest Airlines devalues its points by approximately 4%
Southwest’s Rapid Rewards program offers members the opportunity to redeem points earned by flying and spending with its partners.
Southwest offers flights, hotels, and rental cars, while participating credit cards offer gift cards, merchandise, and other items.
Airlines are now devaluing their points, negatively affecting members.
It is possible to book flights before the change takes effect on Jan. 1, 2024.
Danny the Deal Guru, a travel influencer, has written on his website that Southwest award tickets are priced according to their cash value. Rapid Rewards members may use 10,000 Rapid Rewards points to book a flight that costs $140. Routes may affect the amount.
It is expected that the carrier will increase the number of points required per dollar of base fare by approximately 4% as of the beginning of the new year.
According to the website, the same $140 flight we used as an example above will cost 10,400 Rapid Rewards points starting next year. In spite of the fact that it is not a large devaluation, it is still a devaluation nonetheless. That translates into an approximate value of one cent for Rapid Rewards points.”
Southwest Airlines devalued its points during the pandemic two years ago following the conversion of travel credits to points by passengers.
According to Gary Leff in View From the Wing, a year ago, the airline awarded points to passengers after a historic operational meltdown. “Those who saved points this year will have their points worth 4% less because of the apology.”
The move was also contextualized by Leff in some historical terms.
Southwest Airlines will have devalued its Rapid Rewards 2.0 program by about 43% since launching it 12 years ago. Only greed can justify the devaluation of their points. As of now, each point is worth about 1.2 cents towards base airfare, or closer to 1.4 cents once taxes are taken into account.
Southwest travelers have still time to book their award travel.
You may be able to make a profit by redeeming Southwest points before the devaluation on January 1.