Road Warrior

More Destinations as Southwest, AirTran Blend Frequent Flyer Perks

Ben Mutzabaugh, USA Today

Southwest and AirTran frequent fliers can now put their flight credits toward travel on either carrier.

Southwest Airlines planes
Getty Images

The move, announced Monday by Southwest, allows customers to convert Southwest Rapid Rewards credits into AirTran A+ Rewards credits and vice versa.

It stops short of combining the two airlines' loyalty programs. But it does provide at least some reciprocal benefits between the carriers for the first time since they closed on their merger in 2011.

The new feature is especially noteworthy for Southwest customers, who can now convert Southwest frequent-flier credits into AirTran points that can be used for flights to AirTran's international destinations in Mexico, Bermuda and the Caribbean. And AirTran customers can now convert their frequent-flier credits into points that can be put toward free Southwest flights.

"While the two loyalty programs remain separate for now, the ability to redeem rewards for more destinations represents an enhancement to both programs," Southwest says in a press release announcing the change.

"We are thrilled to share this news today with members of both Rapid Rewards and A+ Rewards," says Kevin Krone, Southwest Airlines vice president of marketing, sales, and distribution, in the release. "Members of both programs have been asking for this ability, and we know they will enjoy using their loyalty rewards to travel to even more destinations."

Members of the carriers' loyalty programs can convert points at the following conversion rates:

Transferring Southwest's Rapid Rewards to AirTran's A+ Rewards
• 1,200 Rapid Rewards Points —> 1 A+ Rewards Credit.
• 1 Rapid Rewards Credit —> 1 A+ Rewards Credit.
• 1 Rapid Rewards Standard Award —> 16 A+ Rewards Credits.
• 1 Rapid Rewards Freedom Award —> 32 A+ Rewards Credits.

Note: 16 A+ Credits = one round trip Coach ticket on AirTran

Transferring AirTran's A+ Rewards to Southwest's Rapid Rewards
• 1 A+ Rewards Credit —> 1 Rapid Rewards Credit.

Note: 16 Rapid Rewards Credits = 1 Standard Award

For additional details on conversions, click here.