Southwest Frequent Flyer Earned Enough Points For Free Companion Ticket; Or So He Thought

With only a few weeks to go in the year, one Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards member says he was right on the cusp of earning a free companion pass. After allegedly being told that any points accrued before the end of the year would count toward that goal, he spent more on his Rapid Rewards credit card to rack up those points — only to later be told the deadline for earning points via the credit card was not Dec. 31.

This is the basis of a proposed class-action suit filed last week against Southwest Airlines by a Rapid Rewards member from Arizona.

According to the complaint [PDF] filed on Friday in a U.S. District Court in Dallas, the plaintiff had earned more than 100,000 Rapid Rewards points by the time Dec. 2014 rolled around. He needed to reach 110,000 by the end of the year to earn a free companion pass.

He says he called the airline’s customer service to ask how credit card rewards points would be credited to his account, as his billing cycle ended Dec. 8. A rep allegedly confirmed that the credit card points earned after that date would still count toward his companion pass goal.

The plaintiff says he then made $10,800 in purchases using his Rapid Rewards credit card during those last weeks of the year because he believed the points would help him earn that free companion ticket.

As you’ve probably guessed, the airline did not credit those points toward his goal of 110,000 points. If it had, we wouldn’t be telling you his story.

“As a result of Southwest’s dishonoring of its terms promising to credit points earned during the calendar year, [the plaintiff] and other members of the Class… were denied Companion Passes as they were promised,” reads the complaint, which claims the plaintiff “made purchases he wouldn’t have otherwise made, enriching Southwest under conditions indicating it should not be allowed to keep such monies, which it receives as a revenue share in accordance with its contract(s) with Chase or Visa that govern Southwest Rapid Reward Credit Cards.”

The lawsuit, which seeks to represent “hundreds if not thousands” or Rapid Rewards members, alleges breach of contract, and unjust enrichment and seeks unspecified damages.

[via Dallas Morning News]