DALLAS, Aug. 5, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Southwest Airlines' (NYSE: LUV) frequent flyer program, Rapid Rewards, has been named one of the top airline rewards programs in U.S. News & World Report's 2014 rankings of the Best Airline Rewards Programs. This is Southwest's second consecutive award from U.S. News & World Report. "It's exciting that U.S. News & World Report has recognized our frequent flier program for its unique combination of Customer Service, reward availability, and value offered by Rapid Rewards," said Jonathan Clarkson, Southwest Airlines' Director of Rapid Rewards. "Our nearly 45,000 Southwest Airlines Employees--as well as the millions of loyal Customers who fly us every year--are the reasons we've been honored with this award." The Airline Rewards Programs rankings identify the top frequent flier programs using a methodology that weighs six components: airline quality ratings, flight volume, geographic coverage, free flight options, added benefits, and ease of earning a free round-trip flight. In total, 10 of the most prominent airline rewards programs were evaluated for the 2014 rankings. "The U.S. News Best Airline Rewards Programs offer benefits that travelers value, such as easy-to-earn free flights and complimentary upgrades," stated Liz Weiss, Travel Editor, U.S. News & World Report. Southwest Rapid Rewards has also received a Best Airline Rewards Program badge. For a full report on the win, refer to the article on U.S. News & World Report.About Rapid Rewards Originally launched in 1987, Rapid Rewards Members earn credits by flying or using the frequent flyer program's Preferred Partners. Members can redeem their points for every seat, every day, on every flight with absolutely no blackout dates or seat restrictions, and points won't expire with any earning activity in a 24-month time period. Points are earned for every dollar spent on Southwest flights. The amount of points earned is based on the fare and fare product purchased, and the same is true for redeeming points. Rapid Rewards Credit Cardmembers can redeem their points for flights to more than 800 international destinations, stays at more than 70,000 hotels worldwide, and gift cards at more than 45 major retailers. Learn more about the program by visiting the Rapid Rewards web site. ABOUT SOUTHWEST AIRLINES CO. In its 44th year of service, Dallas-based Southwest Airlines (NYSE: LUV) continues to differentiate itself from other carriers with exemplary Customer Service delivered by more than 45,000 Employees to more than 100 million Customers annually. Based on the most recent data available from the U.S. Department of Transportation, Southwest is the nation's largest carrier in terms of originating domestic passengers boarded. The airline also operates the largest fleet of Boeing aircraft in the world to serve 93 destinations in 40 states, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and five near-international countries. Some flights are operated by wholly owned subsidiary AirTran Airways. Southwest is one of the most honored airlines in the world, known for its triple bottom line approach that takes into account the carrier's performance and productivity, the importance of its People and the communities it serves, and its commitment to efficiency and the planet. The 2013 Southwest Airlines One Report™ can be found at southwest.com/citizenship. From its first flights on June 18, 1971, Southwest Airlines launched an era of unprecedented affordability in air travel described by the U.S. Department of Transportation as "The Southwest Effect," a lowering of fares and increase in passenger traffic wherever the carrier serves. With Southwest Airlines, Bags Fly Free ® (first and second checked pieces of luggage, size and weight limits apply), and there are no change fees (fare difference may apply) when you need to change your flight. Southwest's fleet offers leather seating and the comfort of full-size cabins, a majority of which are equipped with satellite-based WiFi connectivity over the United States, which enables live and video-on-demand TV currently FREE compliments of DISH, and a new, sustainable cabin interior. Southwest acquired AirTran Airways in May 2011 and by the end of 2014 intends to complete the full integration of the AirTran network into Southwest. With 41 consecutive years of profitability, the People of Southwest and AirTran operate more than 3,600 flights a day. Southwest Airlines' frequent flights and low fares are available online at southwest.com or by phone at 800-I-FLY-SWA. SOURCE Southwest Airlines
Microsoft released upgrades and products Wednesday including "Surface Studio" for artists. Bill Gates, Microsoft's Co-Founder, appears below with an early computer running the Paint program, the first of its kind.