2019’s motto was Southwest Companions Pass or bust!!! Seriously, our goal for the year was to earn the Southwest Companion Pass so that we could fly two for the price of one on Southwest. We got the companion pass in 2019 and have kept it for the last 5 years essentially flying 2 for 1 (or free)!
Why I Love Flying Southwest
- It’s cheap – I mean significantly cheaper than any other airline flying out of Denver. Within the US it’s almost always the cheapest flight for us.
- Points Go Along Way – On other airlines, it can be north of 20,000 points for a round trip flight, it’s super easy to find round trip flights under 20,000 points on Southwest.
- Bags Fly Free – Always! Yes, always. Checked or carried, you get two bags free.
- Free Cancelation – If you need to move or cancel your flight, there are no fees. Pay the difference for the next flight or cancel and get a Southwest Credit to use towards a future flight.
- Excellent Service – You see all those commercials about Southwest being so fun, well it is. The flight attendants always make funny jokes when doing the announcements and everyone is friendly and helpful. That’s one of the reasons why Southwest is constantly named one of the best places to work!
- But what about the seating? Okay, so Southwest does seating a little differently. When you check-in you get assigned a line number. So everyone boards according to their position in line and then you can sit wherever you want on the plane. Clay and I usually get in the B group or C group and still find a way to sit next to each other. If you fly Southwest a lot you can become an A-List Preferred Member and get an A group boarding number. Or you can also pay for Early Bird Check-In to get a better boarding number.
How The Companion Pass Works
So what’s the big deal with the Companion Pass? It means that you can fly with a partner for free for a year! Anytime Clay and I want to travel somewhere, we can fly 2 for the price of 1, and because we have 110,000 points, we can basically fly for free on Southwest for a year.
- Fly with a companion for free for a year
- You can switch your partner 4x during the year
- Your Companion Pass starts as soon as you earn it and last until the next calendar year. So if you were to earn it today, you would have the pass till the end of 2024.
Ways to Earn The Southwest Companion Pass
You can either fly 100 one-way flights or earn 135,000 points in a calendar year to get the Southwest Companion Pass. But there are some stipulations in how you earn qualifying points towards the companion pass.
“Companion Pass Qualifying Points are earned from your revenue flights booked through Southwest Airlines, your points earned by making purchases with a Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Credit Card, and your base points earned from Rapid Rewards partners.”
This means you can’t transfer points from another account such as a Chase Saphire Card. But what about Rapid Rewards Partners? That means you can earn qualifying companion pass points by booking hotels, cars via southwest.com or using Rapid Rewards Dining and Rapids Rewards Shopping.
Southwest Hotels & Rental Cars – Need a hotel or rental car? Book via Southwest.com to maximize your points! We have done this to put us over the line for points at the end of the year – like extending our trip in Vegas an extra night for 10,000 points or booking a room in Denver for 8,000 points!
Rapid Rewards Dining – Create an account and link any of your credit cards to the account and you will earn points every time you dine at one of the Rapid Rewards Dining Partners.
Rapid Rewards Shopping – Here is a really great secret for all you shopaholics. You can earn up to 10x points when you shop online at certain retailers using Rapid Rewards Shopping. Airline shopping malls work like rebates or any other cashback program but instead of cash back, you get miles. Essentially it’s all about the data. When using use the SW Sephora link to shop the anniversary sale you’re giving Southwest & Sephora access to that data that in return SW will give you points for. Easy!
How We Earned The Companion Pass
In 2019, I got the Southwest business card for Blue Mountain Belle – I applied when the signup bonus was 60,000 points which really helped. 2019 was a big year, we bought a house and got married, so there was a lot of traveling and a lot of extra expenses that we put all on my Southwest Card.
Anytime we shopped online we used the Rapid Rewards Shopping widget to maximize our points. Right after our wedding in July, we found out we had earned the companion pass – woot!
Each year we book a points trip. Using the Southwest Hotels tool we book a weekend where we can earn 20k+ points. In the past we have done an extra night in Vegas, a weekend in Vail or even just a staycation in Denver to earn major points and get us over the line for the companion pass.