Southwest A-Record standing: What it’s and find out how to earn it

Southwest Airways is, for higher and for worse, considered one of a form. It is typically regarded as a funds airline, recognized for its open seating and free checked baggage — and folks are likely to both love or hate it.

On the subject of elite standing with Southwest, there aren’t the identical perks obtainable for loyal members that many different airways provide. As an illustration, most airline elite standing applications embrace free checked baggage and an opportunity at complimentary seat upgrades. Nevertheless, Southwest already affords free checked baggage for all passengers and would not provide business- or first-class seating choices; subsequently, you will not discover these on the perks listing for Southwest’s elite standing tiers.

Nonetheless, Southwest does provide some perks to its loyal passengers. This is what you could learn about A-Record, A-Record Most well-liked and the Companion Cross to determine whether or not they’re value going after.

What’s Southwest A-Record standing?

Southwest makes use of the time period “A-Record” when referring to its Speedy Rewards prospects with elite standing. This system has two standing tiers: A-Record and A-Record Most well-liked.

And whereas it is not technically an elite standing tier, the airline additionally has the ultravaluable Companion Cross. This profit means that you can convey a delegated companion with you free of charge (plus relevant taxes and charges) on a limiteless variety of Southwest Airways flights during the go.


Associated: The entire information to Southwest Speedy Rewards

Learn how to qualify for Southwest elite standing

Southwest has made it simpler to earn A-Record and A-Record Most well-liked in 2024. This is find out how to qualify for every stage:

  • A-Record: 20 one-way qualifying flight segments or 35,000 tier qualifying factors
  • A-Record Most well-liked: 40 one-way qualifying flight segments or 70,000 tier qualifying factors
  • Companion Cross: 100 one-way qualifying flights or 135,000 Companion Cross qualifying factors

You possibly can earn A-Record and A-Record Most well-liked standing by finishing the required variety of qualifying flight segments or by incomes tier qualifying factors. The latter might be earned on flights or by way of spending on choose cobranded Southwest bank cards.

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To qualify for the Companion Cross, you possibly can full 100 one-way qualifying flights in a calendar yr, that are counted identically as these for incomes standing. When you hit 70, you’d attain A-Record Most well-liked — after which hitting 100 earns you the Companion Cross.

Nevertheless, you may as well obtain it by incomes Companion Cross qualifying factors, which features a wider vary of actions than those who earn TQPs. You possibly can view full particulars of what does (and would not) depend towards these tiers on Southwest’s web site, however they embrace welcome bonuses on Southwest bank cards, purchases via the Speedy Rewards procuring portal, and lodge stays and rental automobiles booked with Southwest companions.

Word that transfers from Chase Final Rewards and bought factors do not depend towards any qualification.

Moreover, Southwest typically runs promotions that will let you fast-track elite standing or maintain it for a shorter time frame — like final fall’s promotion to earn a two-month Companion Cross after a single qualifying flight.

Associated: Why I select Southwest Airways each time

Southwest standing advantages

For a lot of, Southwest’s open seating coverage is considered one of its greatest advantages. Nevertheless, the seating is first come, first served, so you may be extra more likely to get the seat you need when you have an early boarding place. To get boarding place, you may have to examine in as early as potential (24 hours earlier than your flight). You too can skip this stress by paying for EarlyBird Examine-In for an upgraded boarding place.

Or, when you have elite standing, you may get automated early check-in as a part of your standing advantages.


Moreover, each standing tiers earn extra Speedy Rewards factors on paid Southwest Airways flights. Usually, you may earn between 6 and 12 factors per greenback, relying on the kind of fare you buy. However with A-Record and A-Record Most well-liked, you may earn much more factors on these flights.

This is a breakdown of the important thing perks you may obtain with every tier of Southwest elite standing.


A-Record is the decrease standing tier and the better one to earn. With it, you may get these advantages:

  • Precedence boarding
  • 25% incomes bonus
  • Free same-day change (taxes and charges could apply) and precedence same-day standby
  • Precedence Lane and Specific Lane at Southwest check-in
  • Devoted A-Record member cellphone line

A-Record Most well-liked

A-Record Most well-liked is the best tier of elite standing. With it, you may get elevated incomes charges and extra perks:

  • Free inflight Wi-Fi
  • As much as two complimentary premium drinks (on flights of 176 miles or extra)
  • Precedence boarding (boarding place robotically reserved 36 hours earlier than flight)
  • 100% incomes bonus
  • Free same-day standby and same-day change (taxes and charges could apply)

Companion Cross

The Companion Cross is not inherently an elite standing tier and would not include its personal set of advantages outdoors of the free designated companion you possibly can add to your Southwest Airways flight reservations for simply the price of taxes and charges. Nevertheless, for those who earn it via flying, you may robotically earn A-Record Most well-liked standing in your strategy to incomes the Companion Cross and can get all of these advantages on high of your Companion Cross.

Associated: Learn how to earn and use the Southwest Companion Cross

Can a bank card assist earn Southwest standing?

Southwest has three private and two enterprise bank cards. None of them include automated standing, however two of the non-public playing cards and each enterprise playing cards provide the choice to spend your strategy to standing. Plus, all 5 cobranded playing cards will let you earn a Companion Cross via spending.


The Southwest Speedy Rewards Premier Credit score Card and Southwest Speedy Rewards Precedence Credit score Card earn 1,500 TQPs towards A-Record standing for each $5,000 spent yearly.

Nevertheless, you may have to spend twice as a lot on a enterprise card to earn A-Record standing. The Southwest Speedy Rewards Efficiency Enterprise Credit score Card and Southwest Speedy Rewards Premier Enterprise Credit score Card every earn 1,500 TQPs for each $10,000 spent yearly.

In case you’re going after a Companion Cross, any of the cobranded bank cards will help you get there. All of the Speedy Rewards factors you earn via your Southwest bank card spending (together with the welcome bonus) will depend towards the 135,000 factors you could earn a Companion Cross. Plus, you may get a ten,000-point enhance towards incomes the Companion Cross every year, only for being a Southwest cardholder.

Associated: Present Southwest bank card welcome affords

Is Southwest standing value it?

Since all passengers get two free checked baggage and there isn’t any enterprise class to be upgraded to, Southwest’s standing has much less apparent worth than elite standing with most different airways.

Moreover, Southwest added the perk of free same-day standby for all fare varieties in 2023, and three of the 4 fare varieties embrace free same-day adjustments, so these perks most likely aren’t value chasing standing for.

Nevertheless, A-Record standing might be value it for somebody who pays for EarlyBird Examine-In or upgraded boardings on each flight, since these vary from $15 to $30 per one-way flight. And people who pay for Wi-Fi ($8 per flight) and premium drinks (as much as $9 per drink) could actually see worth in A-Record Most well-liked standing.


Nonetheless, you will get some A-Record advantages simply by holding a cobranded bank card. The Southwest Efficiency Enterprise card, for instance, comes with 365 inflight Wi-Fi credit and 4 upgraded boardings per yr.

The Companion Cross, alternatively, can present super worth to somebody who flies Southwest often with a associate or household. The flexibility so as to add a companion for simply the price of taxes and charges will successfully minimize the price of the flight in half for each folks, which might present profitable financial savings to those that can make the most of it. Nonetheless, those that sometimes journey alone will possible get little or no worth from the Companion Cross and never discover it value going after.

Backside line

Southwest Airways A-Record and A-Record Most well-liked standing do not provide as a lot extra worth as elite standing on different airways, since passengers already get free checked baggage and haven’t got hope of snagging a seat improve. Nonetheless, those that fly Southwest Airways often sufficient to earn standing organically will recognize the automated check-in and bonus factors they will earn with both standing. And for those who’re somebody who travels often with a associate, you may possible get super worth from incomes a Companion Cross.

Make sure you take a look at our guides to different airline loyalty applications for a full breakdown of their elite advantages:

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