Southwest Is Giving Away Frequent Flier Miles Thanks To A Glitch

Photo: Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg/Getty Images.
Praise the travel gods. For once, there's some good customer service coming from airlines and, thankfully, no scorpions are involved.
According to Condé Nast Traveler, a computer glitch caused a boarding issue on Southwest Airlines flights. After fliers aired their grievances on Twitter, the budget airline decided to assuage them with bonus Rapid Rewards points.
Some passengers flying from August 11 to 15 experienced problems with their priority booking. For anyone unfamiliar with Southwest's unique first-come, first-serve seating policy, passengers check into their flights before takeoff and are assigned a seating group. But fliers can buy the chance to board first. That's where the problem originated: A computer glitch placed passengers who added the priority seating perk in not-so-great boarding groups. A-List and A-List Preferred, which is what Southwest calls its frequent flyer rewards program, usually offer its members the opportunity to get their seats first.
11Alive Atlanta explained that Southwest is still working to fix the issue and offered anyone who encountered the glitch 1,500 Rapid Rewards points for each seating snafu. To earn A-List Preferred status, passengers need to fly a minimum of 50 one-way flights on Southwest or rack up "70,000 points on the Southwest credit card." The lower-tier A-List status involves just 25 flights and 35,000 points. The only difference? While both get priority boarding, Preferred members get access to free wifi.
The 1,500 points certainly aren't enough to get a free flight out of the glitch, but it does give Southwest die-hards a major chunk towards a reward. To put things in perspective, a one-way flight from L.A. to Vegas is 4,392 points, so unlucky passengers would have to have encountered several glitches to even snag that flight for free.
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