Monday, July 20, 2009


Last week, I began (again) to make my way out the door for (another) Southwest Airlines trip. Step one of the process is to go to Southwest's website, type my confirmation number, and print my boarding pass. This is just one of the ways Southwest stands out among its competitors - you can print the passes at home and avoid lines at the airport, especially if you do not plan to check any bags. However, this time, I noted a spot to enter a "Rapid Rewards" number and had time to do a little research on the topic.

Me: "Dude! I could have been earning free flights AND free drinks with all these trips I am taking!"
He: "You mean you've been flying sober all this time?"

Me: (Thinking of that chocolatini incident) "Well...mostly. But even when a little tipsy, I've had to pay for my drinks." (Freakin' 10 bucks per -tini! But so worth it.)

I promptly began entering information for registration on my very own Rapid Rewards account. Unfortunately, Southwest claimed I had already done this. I do vaguely remember such a thing. So, I went to the "forgot password" link, entered my email address , and left "account number" blank. I do not even remember signing up for this, so determining an account number was definitely outside my capabilities. cannot get your account number without a password, and you cannot get a password without an account number. I hastily emailed Southwest, fearing my drink credit would be lost for yet another trip.

Today, I got a reply. I cannot get my account number via email. I have to call 1800-I-FLY-SWA and presumably (grrrr) click through a bazillion automated menu items before I can finally wait 15-20 minutes to speak to a representative. It is amazing what I will do to earn free stuff. But I was also informed that even my past flights are eligible towards earning aforementioned free stuff, so I was highly motivated.

I called the number, totally prepared to work at my computer screen with my head cocked to one side as I listen to Celine Dion, interrupted occasionally by assurances that my call is important.

Not so.

I was pleasantly surprised to find very few menu options, AND an automated voice asking me if I would like to be called back when it is my turn to speak to a person in (automated voice is replaced by even more automated voice) four.teen. to. twenty. two. min-utes. I hastily pressed one for this option, entered my phone number, and said my name when prompted.

About 14 to 22 minutes later (I wasn't really watching), the Southwest people called back. I answered the phone to a seemingly human voice which said, "This is Southwest Airlines return call service. When (switch to my voice) NICOLE (and back to SW voice) is on the line, please press one." How cool is that? I got my Rewards number, and then I was asked if I would like a new card mailed to me. "I have a card?" I said, knowing exactly where I would put such a thing. "I'm sorry. I didn't realize I had a card."

They mailed me one anyway. After hanging up, I checked my purse for the card. Ummm...yeah. It's right there. I really don't remember signing up for this...yet I do remember a is like de ja vu. Like I had a dream wherein I signed up for Rapid Rewards. I guess I should be happy that my dreams are not so dull. Or sad that my life is.

But I digress, because I am only three more trips from receiving a free flight...AND a free drink! Sadly, I checked out the menu - they do not offer chocolatinis.


Babe in Babeland said...

Hi! I'm a first-time commenter. I like your blog! Found you by way of Land of Bean.

That's awesome you're only three more trips away from a free flight. Gotta love a free flight AND drink!

Tiffany said...

Maybe you had one too many chocotini's when you signed up for that reward card!!! Even so it seems you make wise choices when over-served. When I'm drunk, instead of signing up for flight reward points, I usually spend my time talking to strangers...not as useful of an activity...unless of course they offer more free drinks...then I guess really the outcome is the same either way!