Southwest to count some 2022 award travel toward tier status

Southwest frequent flyers, you may have just gotten a huge boost toward elite status qualification.

Southwest is counting award flights flown between Jan. 1, 2022, and Sept. 19, 2022, toward tier status requirements. Many Southwest Rapid Rewards members were notified of this promotion on their account page, but no public announcement has been made. The news was first reported by Max Miles Points on Instagram.


According to the airline, award flights taken during this time period will count toward the tier status segment requirements. You earn A-List status by flying 25 segments in a single calendar year, and A-List Preferred when you fly 50 segments. You can also qualify by earning a set number of tier points.

Related: What is Southwest Airlines elite status worth in 2022?

Typically, only paid flights count toward the segment requirement.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like award flights will count toward Companion Pass qualification, as the notification only mentions tier status. Likewise, Southwest award flights flown after Sept. 19, 2022, do not count as tier-qualifying segments.

This is great news for Southwest frequent flyers who are short on elite status qualification requirements. However, it’s puzzling why only flights flown by Sept. 19 count as tier segments. Retroactively crediting flights is unlikely to change consumer behavior to earn and redeem more Rapid Rewards points through the end of the year.

Regardless, we hope other airlines follow suit with similar promotions. With pandemic-era extensions and requalification promotions ending, it’s crunch time for many airline elites to keep their status through 2023.

Featured photo by Steve Pfost/Newsday Rm/Getty Images.