Southwest Airlines Adds Hotel Partners to Frequent Flyer Program
Rapid Rewards Members now Have new Ways to Earn Free Travel
Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV) has added hotel partners to its already popular Rapid Rewards frequent flyer program.
Beginning Oct. 1, 1999, members of Southwest's frequent flyer program can earn credit for hotel stays at Hilton and Marriott International, Inc. (NYSE:MAR) .
"The addition of hotel partners as a way for members to earn credit is an exciting new part of the Rapid Rewards program," said Joyce Rogge, Southwest's vice president of marketing. "Our members know Rapid Rewards is a generous program that's easy to use. Hotels help us round out the travel-related ways to earn credit toward free travel."
Southwest pledges to continue the simplicity of the program that rewards members with awards they can use (actually use and when they want to use them). Southwest limits its relationships to a tight band of quality travel partners to ensure that seats are actually available for Customers who have earned a ticket. This is not intended as a penalty. It allows Southwest to have seats available for members when they need them.
Rapid Rewards Freedom Reward members (those who have a plastic membership card) can earn a Rapid Rewards half credit for every eligible stay at any of the more than 450 Hilton and Conrad International hotels in 50 countries worldwide.
"We are delighted to be among the first hotel guest reward programs to add Southwest Airlines as an airline partner," said Jeffrey Diskin, president and chief operating officer of Hilton HHonors Worldwide. "Southwest always has been a unique and customer-focused company, and Hilton is pleased to be working with them as we provide benefits for our mutual customers. Travelers who want to get away will find the Hilton and Southwest partnership a doubly rewarding proposition, because now they can earn both Rapid Rewards credits and Hilton HHonors points for their Hilton stays."
At Marriott properties, Rapid Rewards members can earn one credit for every eligible stay at Marriott Hotels, Resorts and Suites and participating Renaissance Hotels and Resorts.
"Marriott welcomes Southwest Airlines to its portfolio of 28 quality domestic and international airline partners," said Ralph Giannola, Senior Vice President, Consumer Marketing, Marriott International, Inc. "Southwest is building a rich frequent flyer program and has an outstanding reputation for customer service," added Giannola.
The hotels join a list of preferred partners to help Rapid Rewards members earn free travel fast. Other partners include the Rapid Rewards VISA card, American Express Membership Rewards, Diner's Club Club Rewards, Alamo, Budget, Dollar, Hertz and MCI Worldcom. Other hotel partners for the Rapid Rewards program are being planned and will be announced later this fall.
Rapid Rewards members earn credit for each flight flown. A roundtrip equals two flight credits. Customers must fly eight roundtrips or earn 16 credits, which can be a combination of credits earned flying and from Southwest's preferred partners, within 12 consecutive months to receive an award ticket. Once an award ticket is earned, the ticket is automatically sent to the Customer. It's that easy!
Rapid Rewards members can even take advantage of earning double credit for flights booked via the Internet at Southwest's web site, http://www.southwest.com/ . That means fly four roundtrips (or less using our partners) and get one free!
Hilton HHonors is a guest reward program that gives frequent travelers a faster way to earn the rewards they want most. Enrolled members can earn HHonors points in addition to airline miles/credits -- a benefit called Double Dip earnings -- for every business-rate stay at more than 450 participating Hilton and Conrad International hotels around the world.
Membership in Hilton HHonors is free. Visitors to Hilton's Internet site at http://www.hilton.com/ can complete an online enrollment form by clicking HHonors on the home page.
Marriott International, Inc. is a leading worldwide hospitality company with over 1,900 operating units in the United States and 55 other countries and territories. Marriott Lodging operates and franchises hotels under the Marriott, Ritz-Carlton, Renaissance, Residence Inn, Courtyard, TownePlace Suites, Fairfield Inn, SpringHill Suites and Ramada International brand names; develops and operates vacation ownership (timeshare) resorts under the Marriott and Horizons brands, and provides furnished corporate housing through its ExecuStay by Marriott division. Other Marriott businesses include senior living communities and services, wholesale food distribution, and procurement services. The company is headquartered in Washington, D.C. and has approximately 140,000 employees. In fiscal year 1998, Marriott International reported total sales of $8 billion.
Southwest Airlines, the country's premier shorthaul, point-to-point carrier, is the dominant airline in 82 of its top 100 city-pair markets. For affordable travel, whether for business or leisure, call Southwest Airlines at (800) 435-9792, your professional travel agent or visit the airline's web site at http://www.southwest.com/
NOTES TO EDITORS:
-- Hotel contacts are: Jeanne Datz or Kendra Walker, Hilton,
310-205-4545; and Gordon Lambourne, Marriott, 301-380-1368.
-- Southwest Airlines' corporate logo, photos of Southwest aircraft, and
photos of CEO Herbert D. Kelleher are available free to media via
NewsCom by calling 213-237-5431 or at www.newscom.com
-- Southwest offers a password-protected website exclusively for news
media at www.swamedia.com. News media can obtain a password by
registering at www.southwest.com/media
Source: Southwest Airlines
Contact: Lauren Wiginton of Southwest Airlines, 214-792-5138