Southwest’s merger with AirTran has been a decidedly slow-motion affair. Although there has been some integration of the two airlines’ operations, they continue to do business as separate companies. The latest from Southwest management: AirTran should be fully integrated into Southwest by the end of 2014.
When Southwest acquired AirTran in 2011, the official word was that AirTran’s A+ Rewards program would be absorbed into Southwest’s Rapid Rewards “over time.” That rather vague promise was brought into sharp focus this week with the announcement of an official end date for the AirTran program.
November 1 is the last day to earn or redeem credits in the A+ Rewards program. On November 2, all A+ Rewards accounts will be closed and either converted to new Rapid Rewards accounts or absorbed into existing Rapid Rewards accounts.
A+ Rewards credits will be converted to Rapid Rewards points at a ratio of one A+ Rewards credit to 1,200 Rapid Rewards points.
Members of both programs have been able to transfer points between their accounts since 2012, and may continue to do so until the conversion takes place.
Such program consolidations are rarely seamless. Members of AirTran’s program should closely monitor the process to confirm that their credits have been transferred properly. Sometime later this year, A+ Rewards members will be given the opportunity to link their AirTran and Southwest accounts. Doing so should go a long way toward ensuring that credits transfer as intended.
This article originally appeared on FrequentFlier.com.
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