Southwest’s Companion Pass is one of the most extensive airline rewards available. In addition, the Companion Pass is one of the most affordable travel options for your next flying. With this benefit, you can bring a partner for free on any Southwest journey, including ticketed and point-based flights. They will solely be responsible for taxes and fees.
Though it may not suit everyone’s travel preferences, if it does, the value you may derive from a Companion Pass is only limited by your vacation time. Southwest launched an excellent promotion in early 2019 that gave new credit cardholders a year’s worth of Companion Passes after they reached a minimum spending criterion.
Regrettably, that deal is no longer available; however, you can still earn the pass by traveling, achieving qualifying points, or combining both.
You’ll want to make sure you’re getting the most out of your Companion Pass once you’ve earned it, stretching the worth of your dollars and points used to book Southwest travel. Everything you need to know can be found right here. So let’s dive into it, what this incredible offer is, how to receive one, and what you should do with it once you get it.
What Is the Southwest Companion Pass, and How Does It Work?
The Southwest Airlines Companion Pass is the highest level or the award that a Rapid Rewards loyalty program member can earn. It’s easy to grasp and one of the top elite-level bonuses offered by any hotel or airline loyalty program.
Until the Companion Pass expires, the holder is entitled to reserve an extra ticket (their Companion) for each flight they book with Southwest. You only need to pay taxes for the second ticket.
In actuality, the member can use their pass to acquire 2-for-1 flights on Southwest Airlines at any time. In addition, the Companion Pass has no limits on how many flights you can use it on.
A pass holder can purchase their flight with cash or points. And then, they can add a second person for the same journey via Southwest.com or over the phone. So it’s time to discover everything there is to know about the Southwest Airlines Companion Pass.
How can you get a Companion Pass?
To get a Companion Pass, you must earn 125,000 Southwest qualifying points or fly 100 one-way trips in a calendar year. If you don’t fly regularly, the good news is that sign-up bonuses for Southwest credit cards count as qualifying points toward the pass.
You can get a significant portion of the way there by opening one of the three personal Southwest credit cards.
If you meet a company credit card requirement, you might apply for one of the two Southwest business credit cards and receive a second sign-up bonus. You may be able to qualify for the Companion Pass without having to earn any additional points if you take advantage of two sign-up bonuses.
After spending $1,000 on purchases in the first three months, you can earn 40,000 points with the following three cards. For the first year, earn 3X points on meals, including takeout and qualified delivery services.
- Annual fee $69 for the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card
- Annual fee of $149 for the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card
- Annual fee of $99 for the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card
Southwest also offers two business credit cards:
- Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card
60,000 points after spending $3,000 in the first three months. The card has a $99 annual fee.
- Southwest Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit Card
$199 annual fee; gain 80,000 points after spending $5,000 in the first three months.
Why Do You Need a Companion Pass?
Consider this: every time you travel, and someone flies with you for free! You only have to pay Southwest’s taxes. Within the United States, each flight segment costs only $5.60. This means your Companion can fly throughout the country with you for just $11.20, even if you have a connection.
When you book your flights during one of Southwest Airlines’ many fare specials year-round, your journeys become even more affordable. During a sale, flights can be as little as $59, and points redemptions can be as low as 3,000 points (or less).
Who can I choose as my travel companion?
While the Companion Pass is only valid for one Companion, you can replace it up to 3 times per year.
Please note that you won’t be able to change your travel partner each month, so choose someone you travel with often, like your spouse, a friend, or a family member.
You also can’t plan future tickets with one partner, switch to another companion, and book additional flights with the new Companion.
When you change your partner, the companion ticket for all future flights scheduled with the first Companion will be canceled.
The Southwest Companion Pass: Getting Started
You can book your flight to your selected location using cash or points as a Companion Pass holder. After your flight is booked, you can create a second passenger (your Companion) online or over the phone for the same flight.
Choose a friend to accompany you.
However, before you start looking for flights on the website, you must first decide on your traveling partner. Log into your Southwest Rapid Rewards account to do so. Then, choose Your Companion from the Snapshot tab.
Then, enter your Companion’s details and follow the on-screen directions until the process is finished. Call 1-800-435-9792 if you want to speak with a representative. A Companion Pass member kit and membership card will come in 7-10 business days after you finish the companion-designation procedure.
Book a reservation for you and your friend.
After you’ve booked your flight, go to your account’s My Trips section. Find your flight in the “Upcoming” section and click the “Add Companion” button.
Select “Continue” to purchase your companion fare and review the information to advance to the next stage. You’re done after you click the “Purchase” button to confirm your booking reservation.
You can also call a Customer Service Representative (1-800-248-4377) and tell them you’ll be utilizing a Companion Pass when making your reservation.
This is a lesser-known option that may be more helpful because adding your partner online can take up to 24 hours in some cases (though in my experience, it has never taken this long).