Complete guide to the Southwest Companion Pass

Updated 1/9/2018

Southwest plane

The Southwest Companion pass is undoubtedly the most valuable companion ticket benefit of any airline program. The key value lies in the fact that this benefit is repeatable an unlimited number of times and it is not subject to availability of any special fare class. As long as there is a seat available for sale on the plane, a Southwest Companion pass holder can add his/her companion to their reservation and pay only the taxes ($5.60 one-way on domestic flights within the US).


Earning the pass

January 2017 Month in Review

In order to earn the Southwest Companion Pass, a Rapid Rewards member must earn 110,000 qualifying Southwest Rapid Rewards points within a single year. Once the member has earned 110,000 points, the companion pass will be valid for the remainder of the calendar year in which it is earned and all of the following year. For example, if you earn your 110,000th point on February 1st, 2018, your Companion pass will be valid until December 31st, 2019.  Therefore, earning the pass as early in the calendar year as possible will enable a member to maximize the length of validity of the Southwest Companion Pass.


Shortcuts to a Southwest Companion Pass: Which points qualify

There are many ways to earn Companion Pass qualifying points. Rapid Rewards points earned from flying and those earned from the Southwest credit cards (including from signup bonuses) count towards the 110,000 points necessary. Most points earned through the Southwest Rapid Rewards shopping portal count towards the companion pass as do those from partners like rental car agencies.

In practice, we have found that the following things do count:

  • Paid flight activity
  • Points earned from credit card spend, including the signup bonus
  • Points earned from the Southwest Rapid Rewards Shopping portal (however, seasonal bonuses from the portal do not count)
  • Most (but not all) points earned from partners

You may wonder: Are there any shortcuts to earning a Southwest Companion Pass? What is the easiest way to earn a companion pass? The answer is that there sure are. As of January 2018, there are five main shortcuts that work:

1) Credit card bonuses

Chase frequently offers 50,000 bonus points for signing up for their Southwest cards and meeting the minimum spend. There are three versions of the card: Premier, Premier Business, and Plus. The Plus card costs $69 per year. The Premier cards cost $99. The 50,000 point bonuses (found here, when available) currently require $2K spend in three months. An easy way to get 110,000 points in a hurry is to sign up for two of these cards and spend a combined $10,000 across the two cards.

Card 1: Spend $2,000: Get 52,000 points (50,000 signup bonus + 2,000 from spend)
Card 2: Spend $2,000: Get 52,000 points (50,000 signup bonus + 2,000 from spend)
Spend an additional $6,000 to earn 6,000 points more for a total of 110,000 points

Note: As of January 2018, the business version of the card is actually offering a 60,000 point sign up bonus for spending $3,000 — meaning that if you signed up for both a business and personal card, it would only require a combined $5,000 in spending to earn a total of 115,000 points – more than enough for a Companion Pass. 

Ideally, you would time the sign-ups and spend so that the points would be earned as early in a calendar year as possible. That way, you’ll have the Companion Pass for nearly two years.

 

Unfortunately, Chase does apply its 5/24 rule to these cards.  That means that you most likely won’t get approved if you’ve opened 5 or more cards (with any bank) in the past 24 months.

2) Credit card spend

If you’re a big spender, then another way to get the Companion Pass is to simply charge $110,000 worth of expenses on a Southwest credit card (or cards). Done.

Since the cards only award 1 point per dollar spend, this wouldn’t be the fastest way to earn the Companion Pass, nor the cheapest in terms of opportunity cost. However, if you know you’ll use the Companion Pass a ton, it might be worth it to you.

 

3) 1-800-Flowers

1-800-Flowers lets you earn 1,000 Companion Pass qualifying Southwest points per order with promo code RR22. To qualify, orders must be $29.99 or more and only one promo code can be used per order. The trick, then, is to place 110 separate $30 orders to get 110,000 points and the Companion Pass. First, though, you’ll need to sign up for the Celebration Passport program (for $29.99, but often less with a promo code) in order to get free shipping and handling on all of these orders.

For full details on 1800Flowers, please see: 1800Flowers Extreme Stacking promo codes, portals, gift cards, and more.

4) Online Shopping

If you do a lot of online shopping, you can earn points that qualify for the Companion Pass by shopping through the Southwest Rapid Rewards shopping portal. The portal offers different point bonuses for different stores. It’s often possible to earn 5 or more points per dollar for shopping at popular merchants.  Note that points from seasonal portal bonuses (such as “Spend $300, get 500 bonus points”) do not count towards the Companion Pass. With some retailers, you may be able to take advantage of a double dip — whereby you shop through the portal to buy a gift card, earning miles on the gift card purchase, and later go through the portal again and use the gift card to buy merchandise and earn points once again. Check our Frequent Miler Laboratory for results with your retailer of choice.

5) Book hotels through RocketMiles

Rocketmiles is a hotel booking site that rewards you with airline miles in lieu of earning hotel points, elite credit, etc.  You choose the type of miles you want to earn and then the search results show the price of the hotel per night and the number of miles you can earn.  If you pick Southwest Rapid Rewards, then it’s possible to earn Companion Pass qualifying points for your stay.

Unfortunately, RocketMiles promotional bonuses are not Companion Pass qualifying points. In the above example, it shows the number “5,000” crossed out and replaced with “8,000 Rapid Rewards Points”. In this case, you would probably earn 5,000 qualifying points — the other 3,000 bonus are most likely a bonus. Also keep in mind that you will not earn hotel points or elite credit. If you have elite status with the hotel chain, it will probably not be recognized, so you will not receive benefits of your status like free breakfast.

5.5) Mix and match and referring friends

You do not have to earn all of the 110,000 points with a single method. You could earn some points with a single credit card bonus, other points with credit card spend, more points via online shopping, etc.

Additionally, Chase sometimes offers bonuses for referring friends to apply for a card you have. You can check to see if you have any referral offers by entering your last name, billing zip code, and the last four digits of your Southwest card here. Typically, you can earn 5,000 Rapid Rewards points per referral up to a maximum of 50,000 points per year. Charlie at Running with Miles reports that these points count towards a companion pass — meaning that you could get almost halfway there through referrals on a single card.

Stuff that doesn’t count towards a Companion Pass

The most notable sources of non-qualifying points include: transfers from hotel partners (as of March 31, 2017) and those transferred from Chase Ultimate Rewards. These points will NOT count towards earning a Southwest Companion Pass.

Southwest states that:

 

Purchased points, transferred points transferred between members, points converted from hotel and car loyalty programs, and e-Rewards, e-Miles, Valued Opinions and Diners Club, points earned from program enrollment, tier bonus points, flight bonus points, and partner bonus points (with the exception of the Rapid Rewards Credit Cards from Chase) do not qualify as Companion Pass Qualifying Points.

It’s important to note that bonus points at many partners do not count. Base points earned from partners do count in many instances — such as the 1,000 points with the 1800Flowers coupon code above, base RocketMiles points, etc.


Choosing and changing your Southwest Companion

Enter Companion Info

Once a member has earned 110,000 Rapid Rewards points, he or she can designate a companion to fly with the pass holder for free. Note that this companion can be changed 3 times per calendar year. While initial companion selection is done online, any subsequent changes to your companion require a phone call to Southwest Rapid Rewards at 1-800-435-9792. The phone process is simple: in my experience, it has taken less than 5 minutes to change my companion. The terms on Southwest.com state that you should “allow 21 business days for processing”. In my experience, it didn’t take any time at all — I was able to add my new companion to my reservations the same day I made the call to change. Note that you will need to cancel any existing companion reservations before changing your companion.


Can I add a companion to my reservation if….?

The companion pass holder can add his/her companion to nearly any reservation in the pass holder’s name.

Can you add your Southwest companion if your company bought the ticket? Yes.
Can you add your Southwest companion if you bought your ticket using Rapid Rewards points? Yes.
Can you add your companion if someone else bought your ticket with their rapid rewards points? Yes.
Can you add your Southwest companion if you bought a Wanna Get Away fare and now there is only Business Select available? Yes.
Are there any situations in which you can not add your Southwest companion? Yes, but not many.

One example of a situation in which it would not be possible to add a companion is this: You can not daisy-chain companions. That is to say this: Let’s imagine Bob earned 110,000 Rapid Rewards points and earns a companion pass. He designates Shelly as his companion. Shelly also earns 110,000 Rapid Rewards points in a year and she earns a companion pass of her own. She designates Billy Jean as her companion. Bob buys a ticket. He adds his companion, Shelly. Shelly can not add Billy Jean to the reservation.


Adding a companion

The process of adding a companion is quite easy and can be done at any time until tickets are no longer sold for the flight in question. The companion pass holder simply needs to log in to Southwest.com and view My Reservations. From the reservation view, he or she will see a link that says “add companion”.

Add companion

From here, it is straight-forward. The system will just charge taxes for the companion ($5.60 one-way for domestic flights within the US. Taxes to international destinations vary.

Again, this can be done up until Southwest stops selling tickets. It doesn’t matter if you paid $59 for your ticket and the only seats left are selling for $590 — if there is a seat available for purchase, you can add your companion.


Some other common questions

Here are a few other common questions that people ask about the Southwest Companion Pass:

Q: Can I change my flight on a companion booking?
A: Yes. You will first need to cancel the companion’s reservation. You can then change the primary traveler’s flight.
Q: Can I just cancel the companion’s reservation if he/she cannot travel with me?
A: Yes. You can cancel their reservation and either receive a refund of the taxes or keep them as a credit to use on a future flight. 
Q: Can my companion travel without me?
A: NO! The terms of the program explicitly forbid the companion from flying without the primary traveler and Southwest will likely revoke your companion pass if you do this. It is theoretically possible to do — both travelers check in and only the companion shows up — but will almost certainly get you in trouble with Southwest. Furthermore, if the itinerary is round trip, the companion might have his/her return flight cancelled. Don’t do this.
Q: Does my companion earn Southwest Rapid Rewards points?
A: No, they do not. The primary traveler does earn points on a paid reservation (not a reservation made on points).
Q: Do I need to carry the Companion Pass card with me?
A: No, you do not need the card. The terms may state that you should have the card with you, but nobody has ever asked to see mine (or anyone’s else’s as far as I know).
Q: What happens to my companion’s reservations if I change my companion?
A: You must first cancel your companion’s reservations before changing companions. 
Q: Can I book a round trip flight that begins before my Companion Pass expires on December 31st, but returns after the pass has expired?
A: This isn’t possible. Southwest won’t let you add a companion to a reservation that extends beyond the pass validity period. You would have to book a one-way in December (you could add your companion to this reservation) and then a one-way returning in the new year where you pay for both seats.
Q: Is there an advantage to booking one-way flights or round trip flights with the Southwest Companion Pass?
A: It makes more sense to book one-way flights with Southwest in general. In the vast majority of cases, the round trip price (at least on domestic flights within the US) is simply the cumulative total of the two one-way flights. You will enjoy greater flexibility in making changes to one segment or the other if you book one-way flights.
Q: What are some of the best uses of the Southwest Companion Pass?
A: This is obviously completely subjective. Obviously, you can enjoy some cheaper trips around the US. Southwest also flies to a growing number of international destinations, including:

Aruba
Belize
Cabo San Lucas/Los Cabos, Mexico
Cancun, Mexico
Cuba
Grand Cayman Island
Liberia, Costa Rica
Mexico City
Montego Bay, Jamaica
Nassau, Bahamas
Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
San Jose, Costa Rica

Additionally, you can use Southwest to position for an award flight or cheap flight deal out of a different city. This can be a great option when saver-level awards on American/United/Delta are not available from your city.

Southwest route map


Southwest Check in process

One of the most polarizing features of Southwest is the check in and boarding process. Love it or hate it, Southwest does not assign seats and instead assigns boarding positions based on a number of factors, most notably when a customer checks in. This means that if you want a favorable boarding position so you can choose the aisle/window seat you want, you’ll need to check in as early as possible. Online check in begins 24 hours prior to departure, but Southwest also offers Early Bird Check In.

Early Bird Check-In

For a fee of $15, Southwest will automatically check you in beginning 36 hours before your flight — 12 hours before general check in opens. They will prompt you to add Early Bird Check-in on the booking confirmation page:

Add early bird confirmation page

Alternatively, you can always add it later on by clicking on a reservation in your account and then clicking the button to add early bird check-in.

Add early bird later

However, there is one notable problem with early bird check in: If you cancel your reservation, you will lose the money you paid for early bird check in. Normally, if you cancel a paid reservation with Southwest, you receive a credit that is good for a year from the date you first booked travel. If you booked your ticket on points, you can choose to have the taxes refunded to your original payment method. However, if you paid for early bird check in and you cancel your ticket, you get neither a refund nor a credit for the $15 Early Bird Check-in fee. If you simply change your flight, you keep Early Bird Check-in. For this reason, I never add Early Bird Check-in until I’m sure that plans are firm. Also, I typically only add Early Bird Check-in to my ticket (the primary traveler, not the companion). There are a few reasons for this strategy:

  1. If ticket prices drop, Southwest will allow you to change/re-book at the lower fare and receive a refund of the difference in points or a credit if you paid the cash price. However, in order to change your flight, you must first cancel the companion ticket. This means that if you have paid for early bird check in on the companion’s reservation, you will lose that $15 (and have to pay it anew if you want to add it to the new reservation).
  2. While some fellow passengers might not like it if you save a seat for your companion, I’ve never been told I couldn’t do it. Southwest’s “official” policy on this, which you can read about here, is to not have a policy either way. I always board the plane with a $50 bill in my pocket figuring that, in the worse case scenario of a passenger or flight attendant raising a complaint about me saving a seat, $50 would probably be enough to get someone to switch with me if need be. We’ve saved $15 this way plenty of times that I’ll still be well ahead of the game the day that I have to pay out. This strategy might not work for you, but it has worked for us.
  3. If you get bumped from your flight, you will lose early bird check in and will not get a refund of that fee.
  4. The utility of early bird check in can depend on your origination point.

Usefulness of Early Bird Check-in varies

The usefulness of Early Bird Check-in will likely depend on two main factors: whether or not you have a seat preference and your point of origin.

Southwest only flies the Boeing 737, though they fly several different variants of that plane. The smallest version they fly has 23 rows. Assuming that aisle seats and window seats are equally desirable, that means that there are about 92 “preferred” seats on even the smallest planes (23 aisle seats and 23 window seats on each side of the aisle). Each Boarding group has 60 people. Therefore, everyone in Boarding Group A will get a preferred seat if they want it. Since at least some of the people in Groups A and B will be traveling together (and therefore someone in the party will take a middle seat next to their companion), I think it’s generally true that nearly everyone in Group B will have access to a preferred seat as well.  By the time Group C gets on board, it is much more likely that only middle seats are left. In my experience, checking in exactly 24 hours before the flight often (though not always) produces a Group B boarding pass.

However, that may vary a bit depending on the second factor: your point of origin. Southwest normally allows you to check in 24 hours before your scheduled departure. When you check in for your first segment, you are automatically checked in for all of your segments that day. This results in an advantage for those passengers who are not based in Southwest hubs.

Let’s consider that you are based somewhere in the Northeast — like Albany, NY. Southwest only flies a couple of direct routes out of Albany. Most itineraries from Albany connect in Baltimore, Chicago, or Orlando. So let’s take this Albany, NY to Los Angeles, CA itinerary as an example:

ALB-LAX Southwest

The initial flight (Southwest Flight #6542) leaves Albany at 5:40am on Friday morning. There is a connection in Baltimore to Southwest Flight #1951 — that flight leaves Baltimore at 8:05am.  Since passengers can check in 24 hours before their initial flight, a passenger starting in Albany can check in for both flights together at 5:40am on Thursday. This means the Albany passenger will be checked in for that second flight from Baltimore to Los Angeles 2 hours and 20 minutes before someone originating in Baltimore is able to check in online. Of course, it’s not only passengers from Albany that have an advantage. Passengers originating in Boston get a 10-mintue head start on Albany — their first flight is at 5:30am. Those folks starting in Manchester, NH are going to beat Boston and Albany with their 5:15am departure:

MHT-LAX Southwest

Those originating in Manchester connect to the same Southwest Flight #1951 in Baltimore, but they get to check in before everyone else.

The point here is that if you live in Manchester, NH, you probably don’t need Early Bird Check-in. If you can check in right at 5:15am 24 hours in advance, you only have to contend with folks originating in Manchester on your first flight and you will be among the first checking in on the Baltimore segment. You have a nice head start on the people who live in Baltimore.

Of course, on the flip side, this means that people who live in Baltimore may need to pay for Early Bird Check-in to have any chance at a decent boarding position. The people in Manchester, Boston, and Albany who also paid for Early Bird Check-in will continue to have a head start. However, those originating in Baltimore can put themselves ahead of the 24-hour check ins from Albany, Boston, Manchester, etc by paying for Early Bird Check-in. Therefore, if you live in a Southwest hub city, you may want to consider paying the premium.


Business select

Southwest sells Business Select fares that include priority security and A1-A15 boarding. While these tickets are generally much more expensive than Wanna Get Away fares, they are sometimes not much more than “Anytime” fares – so if you’re booking close to departure, they can be a better value in terms of securing a good boarding position and priority security in some airports. These fares also include a free premium drink and earn more miles per dollar. They are furthermore refundable.

At only $22 more than an Anytime fare, this fare includes priority A1-A15 boarding, priority security in select airports, a free premium drink, and it’s refundable.

However, note that if you book business select, your companion will not (yet) share your favorable boarding position. He or she will still need to check in as usual (or purchase Early Bird Boarding or an upgraded boarding position at the gate). That said, as of 10/19/17, Southwest has been targeting some Companion Pass holders at select airports to pilot a program where the companion will board with the Companion Pass holder in the Companion Pass holder’s boarding position. This program could be expanded in the future, keep your eye out for details.


Voluntary bump on a companion ticket

Occasionally, Southwest overbooks a flight and offers travel vouchers in the gate area to volunteers who agree to switch to a later flight (known as “voluntary denied boarding compensation” — or, more colloquially, as a “bump voucher”). If you agree to take a “bump” to a later flight, this is Southwest’s official voluntary denied boarding compensation policy:

If you volunteer to give up your seat in an oversale situation and we can rebook you on a Southwest Airlines flight that will arrive within two hours of your originally scheduled arrival time, we will give you a travel voucher in the amount of $100 plus an amount equal to the face value of your one-way flight coupon(s).

If we cannot confirm your travel within two hours of your originally scheduled arrival time, you will be placed on a priority standby list, and your compensation will increase to a travel voucher in the amount of $300 plus an amount equal to the face value of your one-way flight coupon(s). If you are not accommodated as a standby Customer, we will confirm you on a later Southwest Airlines flight(s) with seats available to your destination. You will not incur an increase in fare.

To summarize/simplify:

  • If your new flight gets you to your destination within 2 hours of your original arrival time, you get $100 + the price of your original one-way ticket
  • If your new flight gets you to your destination more than 2 hours later than your original arrival time, you get $300 + price of your original one-way ticket.

How does that work if you paid with points? What about for your Companion?

If you paid with Rapid Rewards points, Southwest has a formula whereby they figure the cash value of the points. In my experience, this was roughly similar to the cash price of the ticket had I paid in cash instead of points — meaning that my voucher was worth $300 + the rough value of my one-way ticket.

Reports of the compensation for the companion varies. Your companion should receive a $300 voucher at minimum. In my experience, I was offered an additional $100 for the companion’s ticket — meaning that my companion received a voucher for $400 total. Reports online vary from no additional money for the companion’s ticket up to the $100 I was offered. YMMV here — and your friendliness/charm may play a role here.


What else?

This Complete Guide, like all of our resource pages, is a work in progress. We will add to it as necessary and adjust it as situations change and develop. If you have further questions or suggestions, please reach out in the comments and/or via our Contact Frequent Miler page.

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Loyd
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Loyd

As a longtime companion pass (CP) holder, I will share some recent experiences with SWA:

1. I have been successful in booking a flight with my CP, then changing my CP to another person and completing a trip with second CP prior to my trip with the original CP, while making no changes to original CP reservation.

2. Taking a voluntary bump got my Early Bird Check-in fee refunded with a call to SWA customer service.

3. Taking a voluntary bump and then deciding to cancel the entire trip because the new flight offered was the next day, resulted in $300 travel credit, plus travel credit for cost of one way ticket for bumped flight, PLUS 100% CASH refund of entire round trip ticket (after call to SWA customer service).

Miles
Guest
Miles

Do I recall correctly that you need to wait at least 24 months after receiving a 50K point bonus on a SWA card, before you can be awarded a bonus for the same type of card?

So, if you opened a SWA Plus card on January 1, 2015 and completed the required minimum on February 27, and assuming that the bonus was awarded March 27 and you later closed the card…then you would need to wait until at least April 1, 2017 to apply for a Plus again?

Jason
Guest
Jason

I’m curious about this as well, if someone’s already earned the pass and we’re aiming for it again.

Also, when do you cancel your SW cards before applying again for the CP? I’ve already cancelled the Plus, but have hung onto the Premier.

Thank you.

Loyd
Guest
Loyd

I have read on this blog or another that you can get the bonus once every 24 months but you cannot apply for a new card again until your old card has been canceled for 12 months. So the ideal timing would be to cancel the card after one year, then reapply one year after canceling.

Initiating this process in December each year, then completing the spend requirement every other Jan would keep you in a CP status for almost the entire two year period.

miz
Guest
miz

Can you add a companion if your reservation was made on southwestvacations.com, which is a separate company from southwest?

TJ
Guest

if you won’t be at a computer at the 24 hour mark and you don’t want to pay for automatic checkin – you could always run a script on your computer to check you in automatically. Very very easy to do, I put together a step by step guide that might be helpful to frequent SW fliers! http://www.theartoftravelhacking.com/automatic-check-southwest-flights/

trackback

[…] be free to fly around the country (and slightly beyond), with a friend, the best deal around is the Southwest Companion Pass. The deal is simple: earn 110,000 Southwest points in one calendar year and you’ll get a […]

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[…] 110,000 Rapid Rewards points in a calendar year. Not all kinds of points count — see our Complete Guide to the Southwest Companion Pass for more information on this valuable benefit. More information about each offer follows. Find […]

Chris
Guest
Chris

I currently have 1 companion until 12/31/17 and am 80% to making the 110,000 points for this year. Once I hit 110,000, am I able to designate a different companion for the newly achieved 110,00?

trackback

[…] are back with 60,000-point signup bonuses on each, meaning it is once again possible to earn a Southwest Companion Pass with just 2 credit card signups. This time of year is probably the least desirable time to earn a […]

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[…] travel. Getting that pass by signing up and making a single purchase would be fantastic. See our Complete Guide to the Southwest Companion Pass for more […]

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[…] been the best deal in domestic travel, and it only gets better with service to Hawaii. See our Complete Guide to the Southwest Companion Pass for more […]

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[…] The Complete Guide to the Southwest Companion Pass from The Frequent Miler […]

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[…] LUV vouchers, someone else’s money, etc. For more on the Southwest Companion Pass, see our Complete Guide to the Southwest Companion Pass. Note that the promotional companion pass earned through this offer will only be valid […]

Alayna Moore
Guest
Alayna Moore

Say it’s November and you have 63k points towards the companion pass, will those points carry on to the next year and count towards the companion pass total of 110k or do you have to start over at the beginning of the year?

Dave
Guest
Dave

I live in California and my wife and I were going to sign up for the CA CP offers. I have an existing award reservation for our family of four. If I were to designate my son as my companion and my wife were to assign my daughter as her companion, is it possible to modify my existing reservation to cancel my son and daughter tickets, and then I add my son as my companion and my wife add my daughter? I don’t see it an issue for my son as he is MY companion on MY reservation, but can my wife add my daughter as her companion on reservation?

Then going forward at CP holders, do my wife and I need to make separate bookings – one for me and my companion son and one for my wife and her companion daughter? Or is it possible to just book a single reservation for my wife and I, and then we individually add our companions to the single reservation?

Dana
Guest
Dana

I’m not certain about all of the other pieces of the question – but I know it can take up to 6-8 weeks for the companion pass to be granted on these California new cards. So if your upcoming reservation is soon, you may not be able to do this in time. My husband and I both got the cards with the same intent… to fly with our kids and one another throughout the year. I would probably book those companion passes before canceling the existing seat just to ensure there are enough seats available so the kids don’t end up having to stay home, lol. Good luck and fly lots in 2018!

Keith
Guest
Keith

My wife and I both have companion status. Can I designate her as my companion on a flight and they she designate someone else as HER companion on the same flight?

Dana
Guest
Dana

As mentioned in the article above… no daisy-chaining the passes…

“One example that comes to mind when it would not be possible to add a companion is this: You can not daisy-chain companions. That is to say this: Let’s imagine Bob earned 110,000 Rapid Rewards points and earns a companion pass. He designates Shelly as his companion. Shelly also earns 110,000 Rapid Rewards points in a year and she earns a companion pass of her own. She designates Billy Jean as her companion. Bob buys a ticket. He adds his companion, Shelly. Shelly can not add Billy Jean to the reservation.”

Moirty
Guest
Moirty

I’ve had this companion pass for years and think it is awesome. Best perk from any company in any industry.

In the above analysis, there is a discussion of a $2200 opportunity lost from not charging $110,000 on another credit card that gives 2% back. Don’t forget that the $110,000 not only provides the companion perk but it also yields 110,000 points for travel. The value of these points washes out most of that $2200.

Melissa
Guest
Melissa

Hi Moirty do you have any tricks to earning companion pass or do you really spend the full amount to get it?

Ken Morrow
Guest
Ken Morrow

Question:
My wife is a busy business flyer, and makes me her “companion” yearly.
I use my SW Visa for a ton of business purchases and have earned a companion pass status.
It makes no sense for us to “list each other” as companion pass assignee’s, right?
Is there anything else that I can do, to utilize my companion pass status with, that has value (for me) rather than assigning it to my wife?

Steve
Guest
Steve

Hello – I live in California and as of November 3, I was at 81,000 RR pts so I signed up for a Chase Visa Premier card to received the 40,000 bonus that would make me eligible for a companion pass in 2018. I charged $1000 to the new card on November 20. Just noticed that the bonus points have not show in my account as of 11/26. Is there any chance that my bonus points will post after Dec 31, putting the kabash on my companion pass?

Mendel
Guest
Mendel

Can I use my companion voucher for a flight booked with the More Rewards option.
I am trying to book a flight to Hawaii, it is giving me the option for a flight operated with Hawaiian Airlines using my points. But will I be able to use my companion voucher for this flight?

Thanks

Connie Tate
Guest
Connie Tate

We have received our companion pass (in November) for 2018. We have a $6000 charge that will post after 12/17 (our billing statement). Will this 6000 go towards 2019 companion points/pass? The statement won’t come due until 1/17/18, but the charge will be posted before 12/30/17.

Christine Tanner
Guest
Christine Tanner

I earned my last companion pass 1/22/2016 (that is when I see an email from SW saying “congrats, you have earned a companion pass”). I have no clue when I earned the points to achieve that (my “spent by date” was January 16, 2016).

At which date can I safely apply and start over again?

Shaina
Guest
Shaina

Can you book a flight prior to earning the companion pass (should earn by end of this statement) and then once you receive status add a companion to that reservation? Or do you need to have the companion pass issued first?

Abe
Guest
Abe

Anyway to know which of my earned points are CP qualified /a list qualified or I have to track them myself ?

Garrett
Guest
Garrett

What happens when I qualify for a 2nd Companion Pass?

On track to do this within 4 months from now!

Greg The Frequent Miler
Admin

Unfortunately, it won’t give you the ability to add a second companion. But if you first qualified last year and you’re about to qualify again this year, then you’ll have extended the validity through the end of 2019

evan
Guest
evan

Just received companion pass through credit card bonuses. Haven’t actually flown southwest in years so I did have a couple questions hopefully someone can assist me with.

1) I have just purchased four wanna get away fares with points and also reserved my wifes flights using the companion pass. If I keep checking these flights up until departure and notice that one of the flights sells out economy class can I cancel my wife’s flight and then rebook her in business class?

2) Flights are booked under 2 one way tickets each way (outbound LAX-FLL and then FLL-SJU). Since they are booked under different record locators will they still check my bags all the way through to my final destination? It is a tight connection so I want to be sure that I can book bags all the way through when I am at LAX

Thanks for your help

Janine
Guest
Janine

I am working at getting a companion pass. I should get it by April or May. We are planning a trip to Cancun in June. Can I book a flight for me and my companion with my rewards and then cancel my companions flight and switch it to the companion pass when I earn it?

trackback

[…] the 110K points are earned and the entire following calendar year. For more on the pass, see our Complete Guide to the Southwest Companion Pass. In my opinion, it’s the hands-down best deal in domestic […]

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[…] I would personally start out with both Southwest credit cards in order to earn the Companion Pass.  I believe that the Companion Pass is the most valuable perk in travel so I would get the Plus and Premier version which would net me 104,000 of the 110,000 points I needed to earn it.  Here are some options to earn the remaining 6,000 points needed. […]

Tiffany
Guest
Tiffany

when changing your companion, how long does it really take? They say expect up to 21 days for processing, but is it faster or is that accurate?

martha
Guest
martha

Fabulously written and detailed article. Having flown SW since their start and earning a companion pass for the last 10 years (some years also being a A+ flyer), I still had one unanswered question about the system that was answered here. I do love SW Airlines. Thanks for the article.

trackback

[…] Airlines Companion Pass is the best deal in domestic travel, and I previously wrote a Complete Guide to the Southwest Companion Pass, I realized that we were missing a good resource on the Alaska Airlines companion fare. While less […]

Liz
Guest
Liz

My husband had a booked flight on SWA with early bird check-in. He just earned his companion pass and added me as his companion. I have a separate confirmation number since I was booked separately. If we add early bird to me, and he wants to modify his flight because the cost goes down but stays on the same flight, do we still have to cancel my ticket which is a separate confirmation number thereby losing my early bird check-in before he can modify?

trackback

[…] Plus card and use points from both signup bonuses to qualify for the Southwest Companion Pass (See: Complete Guide to the Southwest Companion Pass). Note that the new language does not exclude business card holders, so it is still possible to […]

Jen
Guest
Jen

If my husband has a SW Chase visa, and I have a separate SW Chase visa, and we each have 55,000 points, can we earn a companion pass on one of the cards by paying to transfer the points all to one of the cards?

Chris Hartzell
Guest
Chris Hartzell

I travel for buisness. I would like to have my wife fly out at a seperate time and return with me. Is this possible with the companion pass?

Steve
Guest
Steve

Can I pay to have an companion upgraded to business select?

Guest
Guest
Guest

Do you lose the 50k Southwest Rapid Rewards points if you cancel your Southwest Rapids Repard Card if they have already been granted?

PRATIK SHAH
Guest
PRATIK SHAH

I am going to be charged for an annual fee for my Southwest Chase Card in Mid Oct-2018 and I want to avoid this by cancelling my credit card before that. But on the other hand I have booked a trip for Dec-2018 where I am taking an advantage of Companion Pass. So question is “Can I cancel my Southwest Chase Credit card and still be able to use companion pass advantage until the end of 2018?” I don’t want to find out on the day of my trip that my companion ticket is no longer valid as I cancelled my Credit Card.