Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Welcomes Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. Onboard Southwest Adds Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. as a New Preferred Partner to the Carrier's Frequent Flyer Program

DALLAS, Aug. 19 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Southwest Airlines (NYSE: LUV) announced today the addition of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. as a new Partner of the carrier's frequent flyer program, Rapid Rewards.  Rapid Rewards Members now have the option to earn a half (0.5) Rapid Rewards credit for each eligible stay at one of Starwood's global hotel brands including: St. Regis®, The Luxury Collection®, W®, Westin®, Le Meridien®, Sheraton®, Four Points by Sheraton®, Aloft®, and Element(SM).  In order to earn credits, Rapid Rewards Members must be enrolled in the Starwood Preferred Guest® (SPG®) program and select Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards as their earning preference.  Additionally, SPG members have the option to transfer Starpoints® to Rapid Rewards credits.  For every 1,500 Starpoints transferred, Members earn one credit—SPG members who transfer at least 20,000 Starpoints get a valuable bonus of an additional three and a half (3.5) credits.  To learn more about this new partnership, visit http://www.southwest.com/rapid_rewards/starwood.html.  To view a blog post talking about this partnership, visit: www.blogsouthwest.com.

In honor of the new partnership, Four Points by Sheraton has also launched a special limited time offer.  Between August 18 and September 30, Members who register for the promotion and book an eligible stay at over 150 hotels globally will earn one Rapid Rewards credit.  Full details on this Four Points offer will be announced to Rapid Rewards Members today.

"This new partnership with Starwood Hotels & Resorts is a major enhancement to our Rapid Rewards program and something that our Members have told us they wanted," said Ryan Green, Southwest's Senior Director of Loyalty & Partnerships.  "We're constantly looking for ways to bring more Partners onboard and give our loyal Members more options to earn Rapid Rewards credits."    

"SPG has worked hard to develop new ways to enhance our loyal guests' entire travel experience," said Chris Holdren, Senior Vice President of Starwood Preferred Guest.  "We are thrilled to partner with Southwest Airlines to give SPG members more opportunities to turn their hotel stays into travel rewards."

It is fast and easy to earn free travel through Rapid Rewards.  Rapid Rewards Members earn credits by flying or using the program's Partners.  It takes just eight roundtrips, or 16 credits, to qualify for an Award.  However, Members can accelerate their earnings by using the Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Credit Card from Chase, doing business with any of the airline's other Partners, or by purchasing Southwest's Business Select fares when flying.  Plus, once it's earned, Southwest Airlines allows the Member to transfer the Award to anyone.  The Award is free but subject to the U.S. government-imposed September 11th Security Fee of up to $10 roundtrip.

About Southwest Airlines

After 39 years of service, Southwest Airlines continues to differentiate itself from other low fare carriers—offering a reliable product with exemplary Customer Service.  Southwest Airlines is the nation's largest carrier in terms of originating domestic passengers boarded, now serving 69 cities in 35 states.  Southwest also is one of the most honored airlines in the world known for its commitment to the triple bottom line of Performance, People, and Planet.  To read more about how Southwest is doing its part to be a good citizen, visit southwest.com/cares to read the Southwest One Report.  Based in Dallas, Southwest currently operates more than 3,200 flights a day and has nearly 35,000 Employees systemwide.

About Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc.

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. is one of the leading hotel and leisure companies in the world with 1000 properties in nearly 100 countries and 145,000 employees at its owned and managed properties. Starwood Hotels is a fully integrated owner, operator and franchisor of hotels, resorts and residences with the following internationally renowned brands: St. Regis®, The Luxury Collection®, W®, Westin®, Le Meridien®, Sheraton®, Four Points® by Sheraton, and the recently launched Aloft®, and Element(SM).  Starwood Hotels also owns Starwood Vacation Ownership, Inc., one of the premier developers and operators of high quality vacation interval ownership resorts. For more information, please visit www.starwoodhotels.com.

About Starwood Preferred Guest

The SPG program's breakthrough policy of No Blackout Dates at the world's most sought after collection of hotels, reinvented the hospitality loyalty program when it launched in 1999.  By creating a program centered on its members, SPG has developed the most passionate and knowledgeable membership base in the hotel loyalty space. Through its use of new technologies and innovative channels such as SPG.com, SPG.com/stayconnected, SPG.com/flights, thelobby.com and others, SPG continues to innovate and lead the industry. By offering No Blackouts on standard rooms at 940 participating properties, No Blackouts on hundreds of airlines, and once in a lifetime experiences available through SPG Moments at spg.com/moments, the program has proven to be a big draw for the world's most frequent travelers, and a significant competitive advantage for Starwood.   For more information about Starwood Preferred Guest please visit SPG.com or call (877) – STARWOOD.  

SOURCE Southwest Airlines



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