I’ve done this a handful of times but I always manage to forget how to do it so in an effort to remember and perhaps help other people, I’m going to write it all down. It’s so simple too that it’s ridiculous I keep forgetting how to reach the special Rapid Rewards booking system.
1. First, Click on Rapid Rewards in the topmost navigation pane.
2. Look to the left, click on MYSOUTHWEST LOGIN, then login.
3. Then click on Reservations in the topmost navigation pane.
4. Right underneath the tabs that say AIR, CAR, etc. you will see Standard Reservation in bold, right underneath that will be Additional Options: Rapid Rewards Awards Reservations, click that.
5. Enter your itinerary information.
6. Now you will be presented with seat availability for Rapid Rewards with Blackout Dates and Rapid Rewards Award. If your award was issued after April 2006, you have a Rapid Rewards Award that has no blackout dates but is subject to capacity controls (there are a limited number of seats per flight designated as freebies). If your award was issued before April 2006, you have a Rapid Rewards Award with Blackout Dates which are subject to blackout dates but not capacity controls (if there is a seat available, it’s yours). Select at your own discretion.
7. You should now see the familiar cost summary page. Click next through it.
8. Finally you’ve reached the payment page. Some important things to note are the Passenger Information (Who is Traveling?) and Rapid Rewards Awards. Remember to change the Passenger Information if you’re booking for someone else, otherwise you’re fine there. It defaults to whoever owns the Rapid Rewards Award and is logged in at the time (now, it’s you). Underneath the Award information, Southwest has put the award that will expire first. If you are in one of those situations where you have both types of awards (blackout and non-blackout, capacity control) you may want to select a different one. Click on Select Alternate Awards and you’ll be presented with eligible awards you can apply.
That’s it, once you hit the “I Want To Purchase This Air Travel” button you’ll have booked.