Status Match to Southwest for A-List Elite Status

Jan 25, 2019

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Elite status makes travel easier (and sometimes cheaper), and we love when an airline makes it easy to match your status from one program to another.

Status Match for Southwest Elite Status

Southwest is offering a status match opportunity for A-List elite status. This means if you have elite status will another airline, you can receive complimentary Southwest A-List elite status. This status match will be valid for 90 days, and during that timeframe if you fly three paid round-trips (or six one-ways), your status will be extended another 12 months. This promotion is not open to those who have utilized a promotional Southwest A-List match or offer in the last 12 months.

Combining both the easy-to-earn Companion Pass and elite status match promotions will give you everything you’ve ever wanted with Southwest, even if you’ve never really flown them before now. You can use your Rapid Rewards points to fly basically for free (or even transfer more in from Chase Ultimate Rewards), use your Companion Pass to fly a friend or family member with you for just the cost of taxes/fees, board the plane early, scoot through airport security faster, earn bonus points, plus a lot more by stacking these opportunities.

A-List Status Benefits

Typically, you need to fly 25 qualifying flights or earn 35,000 tier qualifying points to earn Southwest A-List status. Being handed the status without having to fulfill any requirements other than matching from another airline is a good offer. Sure, Southwest elite status won’t get you an upgraded business class seat or lounge access, but it still carries very real perks.

Southwest A-List Status Benefits

Southwest A-List benefits include:

  • Priority boarding
  • 25% point earning bonus
  • Free same-day standby for an earlier flight
  • Priority check-in and security lane access
  • Dedicated A-List member phone line

My favorite benefits are the priority boarding and free same-day standby. Southwest has an open seating policy and you board the plane based on your boarding number. Of course, you can always pay for early-bird check-in or an upgraded boarding position, but the extra cost can add up. Having priority boarding means you’ll receive a boarding number 36 hours prior to your flight, instead of the 24-hour mark with general check-in. It will almost guarantee you an A boarding group number, which means you have your pick of most seats on the plane. Southwest’s no assigned seats policy gives some fliers anxiety, but knowing that you have first dibs at seats is bound to help.

Southwest usually has a pretty strict policy when it comes to hoping to take an earlier flight on the day of travel. Whereas United would charge a flat $75 for a same-day flight change, going standby on Southwest essentially means you have to pay the difference in your fare and the going rate, which is likely much higher on the day of travel. Since same-day fares can be quite expensive, being able to fly standby with no added cost by having A-List status is very valuable. Just keep in mind though that your traveling companion(s) will not inherit your A-List status benefits and they will not be able to go standby with you for free. They will need to request their own A-List status matches to access these benefits.

(Photo by Robert Alexander/Getty Images)
Board your Southwest flight before the A group. (Photo by Robert Alexander/Getty Images)

Requesting Southwest A-List Status

Southwest makes it incredibly easy to get your status match. To status match, send them an email to and include the following information:

  • First and last name
  • Rapid Rewards number
  • Screen shot of current elite status with a US-based carrier, other than Southwest Airlines

When I took advantage of a similar promotion last summer, my account was updated within five days of sending the email, though the terms state it can take 12 business days. Since this promotion is set to run through Dec. 9, 2019, be strategic regarding when you request the status. Find a time period where you actually have three round-trip flights within a 90-day period and match your status before that timeframe. Or, if you are just looking to try the status for 90 days, wait until a week or two before your upcoming Southwest flights to submit the status match.

The one caveat to this promotion is that your qualifying flights (if you are looking to maintain status for an additional 12 months) must be booked after you are registered for this promotion. If you already have flights booked and they have not increased in price, you can always cancel and rebook after you receive the confirmation email back from Southwest.

Bottom Line

Southwest is making it really easy for travelers to go all-in with them in advance of launching flights to Hawaii in 2019. I flew as an A-Lister for the first time last year and enjoyed boarding the plane before most other passengers. If you have any elite status with Delta, American, United, JetBlue, Alaska, Hawaiian or Frontier Airlines, jump on this offer if you have Southwest flights in your travel plans.

Jennifer Yellin covers family travel deals for TPG and blogs at Deals We Like. Follow her family’s adventures on Twitter and Instagram.

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