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The Atlanta-hubbed discount carrier, perennial thorn in Delta’s side, has been mostly quiet lately, as the gradual process of being folded into Southwest, the company’s owner, inches forward.
This new offer for flights to and from Atlanta could be its last hurrah.
Between March 1 and March 31, members of the AirTran A+ Rewards program can earn triple credits for each one-way flight booked and flown in coach, and quadruple credits for each one-way flight booked and flown in business class, to or from Atlanta.
Registration is required.
Deal or No Deal
With the bonus, program members will earn three credits for each one-way coach ticket, and six credits for business class. In the A+ Rewards program, a free one-way coach ticket can be had for eight credits, a free roundtrip coach ticket for 16 credits.
At least for now.
It’s worth remembering that eventually — and the timeline for this is far from clear — AirTran’s loyalty program will be folded into Southwest’s.
When the merger was announced, in late 2010, the Southwest and AirTran programs were very much alike. In fact, it was clear that AirTran had designed its program after Southwest’s. So combining the two schemes would have been a pretty straightforward matter.
However, Southwest launched an entirely new Rapid Rewards program in March 2011, with earning and redemption rates completely out of alignment with its old program, and with AirTran’s.
So the value of this offer has two distinct aspects.
First, in the short term, is how the bonus computes within AirTran’s current program. And triple or quadruple credits are certainly at the generous end of the scale.
Longer term, however, there’s the question of the rate at which AirTran credits will convert to Southwest points. And muddying the waters even more is the overall value of the new Rapid Rewards program, which has received decidedly mixed reviews.
For now, though, three cheers for triple credits.
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