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Today I’m giving away a free oneway award on Southwest Airlines that must be flown by April 20, 2013. Specifically, I am giving away half of a standard award–a capacity-controlled award on Southwest Airlines. Standard awards are a relic of the old Rapid Rewards program.

Eight months ago, I converted 19,200 Rapid Rewards points to a Southwest standard award. I explained how to do that in How to Exploit the Southwest-Airtran Merger.

I did this because Southwest currently effectively operates two loyalty programs, a revenue based program and a chart-based program. The revenue program is the normal one where 60 points are needed per dollar of a fare. That’s a great program because cheap flights cost very few points–way fewer than domestic awards on legacy carriers.

See Anatomy of an Award: How to Book an Award on Southwest for details on how to book through the normal revenue process.

Southwest’s other “chart-based” program is a relic of its old program and its merger with AirTran. Basically 19,200 points can be transferred to one standard award, which is good for two free oneways on Southwest. Here’s a video on how to do those transfers.

This program works out to be a way better deal if the price of your two oneways is above about $330 total–not a hard threshold to pass on two flights. The only drawback is that standard award seats are capacity controlled like awards on the legacy carriers whereas revenue redemptions are not capacity controlled.

I don’t find this to be a big deal in practice because Southwest has incredible availability on the capacity controlled awards.

So in April 2012 I redeemed 19,200 points for a standard award. That award gave me 12 months to fly two oneways. I used one from LAX-MDW for the Chicago Seminars, and I used the other to book a return from IAD-LAX on my Triangle Award for $10 Out of Pocket award.

But then I cancelled the IAD-LAX leg to book Bill a return from the LAX FTU. (Free cancellations are an awesome facet of the Southwest program.) Then we cancelled that for Bill when his plans changed. I reinstated my IAD-LAX. Then I cancelled again when AA offered a direct flight for $109.

That leaves me with a free oneway on Southwest that can be used on any flight with Standard space by anybody until April 20, 2013. I can’t use it since I am moving to Argentina. I’m giving it away as follows:

To enter, comment with the date, flight number(s), and price of the oneway award you would want. There could be more than one flight because this award has to be oneway but not one segment. For instance, here are three oneway award possibilities from LAX to Norfolk, VA on February 6, 2013.

So if you wanted the top one, you would comment February 6, 502/410, $207. If you wanted the second one, you would comment February 6, 2173, $198.

Also include your real email address where prompted; it’s not displayed, and I will only use the winner’s to contact him.

Comments must be made by 6:59 PM Hawaiian Time/ 11:59 PM ET on Monday December 10 to have a chance to win. One entry per person.

Picking the winner

I want an expensive award to win, but I also want everyone to have a chance, so here’s what I’ve devised.

I will use a random number generator to select three sub-$170 entries to enter round two. I will take all over-$170 entries to round two. I will then use a random number generator to pick a winner from the entries in round two.

I’ll check whether the winner from round two has award space. If it does, that’s the winner. If not, I’ll select until I find an entry with award space.

Good luck. I hope someone wins who can really use a free oneway trip somewhere Southwest flies.

I’m on vacation in Hawaii until Wednesday, so I may not answer email. If you are emailing about the Award Booking Service, email milevaluebooking (at) gmail (dot) com

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