New to Southwest A-List? Check your Reservations

Last year I came very close to achieving A-List status on Southwest, missing it by a couple flights. In January, Southwest offered me A-List status for the rest of the year because I was so close. I’m sure they hope that I like the perks enough to work on earning enough points to keep it for another year. It took a few weeks, but I received my card and saw that beautiful letter “A” show up on my online account.

One of the perks of A-List is they automatically assign a boarding position 36 hours before the flight. Previously I was buying their Early Bird Check-In add-on for $12.50 per flight for that privilege. I already had a couple of trips booked, so I was looking forward to checking in online for the first time.

Yesterday I checked in for my flight to Austin for the Microsoft Exchange Conference. Expecting to see a great boarding position, I was shocked to see B30 on my boarding pass? B30? And it didn’t say A-List anywhere on the pass. What the?

I checked my account online and A-List was there. So I checked my reservation. No A-List. I checked my TechEd reservation. No A-List. I checked my 24 Hours of Disney World trip., A-List was there. I kept checking, and determined that all of my flights booked after I was awarded A-List reflected my status. The reservations made before did not.

I called Southwest (using the dedicated A-List number… still had to wait), and what they had to do was remove my Rapid Rewards number from the reservation, then add it back. Once they did that, everything showed up as expected. The saving grace is I’ll be able to board ahead of B30, but it will be after the A group boards.

I would have expected that a change in status would have automatically updated my existing reservations, but Southwest’s systems either don’t work that way or there was a bug. The moral of this story? If you’ve recently earned a status upgrade on Southwest, check your existing reservations to make sure they reflect the change. If not, call customer service and get it fixed.