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Southwest’s devaluation is quickly approaching and you have until March 30, 2014 to book your point reservations using the current awards chart. Come March 31, 2014, you will spend 15.7% more points when redeeming for a free flight.
As of today, the Rapid Rewards program requires 60 points per dollar for a “Wanna Get Away” fare. However, starting next week, that same fare will require you to use 70 points per dollar.
While I am not a fan of any devaluation, I am glad that Southwest has given us ample time to book future flights using the 60 points per dollar award chart. This devaluation was announced way back in September of 2013! I am a pretty loyal Southwest Airlines flier and unfortunately my current point balance will be worth a lot less. On the flip side though, I have my companion pass (which I’ve had for 6 years), so I still see a huge value in their loyalty program!
So as long as you book your reservation on March 30, 2014 or before, you will not be paying the increased point requirement. While Southwest hasn’t given any indication on how the program will work to changing a flight after this date, my assumption is you will have to pay the increased number of points. It will be interesting to see how this works with flights where the fare price has dropped.
Remember, as long as you cancel your flight 10 minutes prior to take off, all points will go back into your account and you will not be charged a cancelation fee!