Southwest Rapid Rewards is one of the most valuable airline loyalty programs out there — so don't let any missing Rapid Rewards points slip through the cracks. Perhaps you forgot to add your Rapid Rewards number to your reservation. Maybe there was just a rare, technical glitch. Or maybe, you took previous Southwest flights before being a Rapid Rewards member (which you should be always, as it's free to join) and want credit for those earlier flights.
Either way you should always try to claim missing Southwest miles for overall point accrual (so you can book more award flights in the future), as well as for your ability to earn Southwest elite status, whether it's A-List, A-List Preferred, or perhaps even better — earning the coveted Southwest Companion Pass.
You can request Rapid Rewards points for flights that were already taken up to 12 months after that flight occurred. Just remember to always save your boarding pass and ticket receipt until points posts to your account — and it’s always wise to check your account a week after any flight to be sure the points posted properly.
How to request missing Rapid Rewards credit
To claim points for a past flight, log into your account on the Southwest website. From there, select My Account, then navigate to the tab called "Manage" within "My Rapid Rewards." From there, choose "request past points" in the grey bar and enter your record locator, which is your confirmation number, from your reservation.
It can take as many as five days for the points to post. The record locator will be on your ticket receipt or boarding pass. Phone agents will not be able to easily find this information for a past reservation, so it’s best practice to keep track of these documents until points have posted.
The bottom line
If you’re not a member of Rapid Rewards, you can always sign up and request retroactive credit for past flights. Southwest is among the more generous airlines when it comes to requesting missing credit even before you joined, as you can accrue points for flights taken 12 months before joining.
How to Maximize Your Rewards
You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2021, including those best for:
Flexibility, point transfers and a large bonus: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
No annual fee: Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card
Flat-rate travel rewards: Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
Bonus travel rewards and high-end perks: Chase Sapphire Reserve®
Luxury perks: The Platinum Card® from American Express
Business travelers: Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card
Planning a trip? Check out these articles for more inspiration and advice: Find the best travel credit card for you Your guide to booking award flights on Southwest Airlines