Disclosure: We get a commission for links on the blog. You don’t have to use our links, but we’re very grateful when you do. American Express, Barclaycard, Capital One, Chase, Citibank and US Bank are Million Mile Secrets advertising partners. Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or endorsed by our partners. Here’s our Advertiser Disclosure.
Million Mile Secrets reader Carter emailed:
Interesting article about the Southwest Companion Pass: http://aviationblog.dallasnews.com/2015/02/unhappy-rapid-rewards-member-sues-southwest-airlines-over-the-companion-pass-he-didnt-get.html/
An angry traveler by the name of Cory Couch is suing Southwest Airlines because he didn’t get the Southwest Companion Pass despite earning more than the required 110,000 Southwest points.
But 10,800 of those points were earned after his December 2014 statement closed. So they did NOT count towards his 2014 Companion Pass earnings.
Here’s how you can prevent this from happening to you.
Earn 110,000 Companion Pass Points Between January & December
Link: Southwest Companion Pass
Link: Southwest Premier (Personal) Card
Many folks quickly earn the Companion Pass by applying for 2 cards when they have a 50,000 Southwest point sign-up bonus, meeting the minimum spending requirement, and then earning an additional 6,000 Southwest points.
Note: All 3 Southwest cards currently have a 25,000 point sign-up bonus. But the 50,000 point bonus usually returns every few months.
But Cory didn’t do that. Instead he earned 100,000 points by December and then spent ~$11,000 after his December 2014 statement closed on the 8th of the month. For that reason, he didn’t earn points on that spending until his January 2015 statement.
So the 11,000 Southwest points did NOT count towards his 2014 Companion Pass earnings, and counted towards his 2015 Companion Pass earnings.
So Cory did not earn the Southwest Companion Pass and filed a lawsuit against Southwest Airlines!
If Southwest ever does modify the Companion Pass, it will be because of cases like this. And not because of blogs that help you get the most out of it!
Here’s how to avoid Cory’s mistake.
Southwest Companion Pass Timing
Link: Timing Your Spending
Cory should have been careful with the timing of when his Southwest points posted. If he had earned his points before his December 2014 statement closed, they would have counted towards his 2014 Southwest Companion Pass.
But he waited until after his December 2014 statement closed, so they posted in 2015.
Remember, you must earn the POINTS in the calendar year, NOT spend the money in the calendar year!
This is very clearly stated in the Southwest Companion Pass FAQ:
A Member who earns 110,000 Qualifying Points or who flies 100 qualifying one-way flights booked through Southwest Airlines per calendar year will qualify for Companion Pass status, which entitles a designated traveling Companion to fly with the Member for one year on flights booked through Southwest Airlines.
So Cory’s lawsuit is without merit!
And you should make sure you don’t make these 3 mistakes.
Cory Couch earned 110,800 Southwest points, but he did NOT get a Southwest Companion Pass.
That’s because Cory didn’t follow my advice about when to complete spending so the points will all count towards the 2014 Southwest Companion Pass. So 11,000 of his Southwest points posted in January 2015 and did NOT count towards his 2014 Companion Pass earnings. Now Cory is suing Southwest Airlines.
What do you think of the lawsuit?