We devote thousands of hours of research to help you get Big Travel with Small Money. You support us by signing-up for credit cards through partner links which earn us a commission. Here’s our full Advertising Policy.
Update: One or more card offers in this post are no longer available. Check our Hot Deals for the latest offers.
In yesterday’s post I wrote about activating your Southwest Companion Pass Status, and today we’ll see how to add a companion and tips for using your Companion Pass. Emily and I have used our companion pass for way more travel than we had originally planned!
I wrote about the Southwest Companion Pass in November and explained what a terrific deal it is because you can book a flight on Southwest using points or cash and then add your companion for free (up to $5 security fee per 1-way).
You need to earn 110,000 Companion Pass qualifying points within 1 calendar year (January 1 to December 31st). However, the 50,000 point bonus from the Chase Southwest credit cards are currently counting towards the companion pass (though this could change at any time).
Southwest Companion Pass Booking
Step 1 – View Your Existing Southwest Reservations
Log into your Southwest account using this link to view your existing reservations. Select the trip for which you’d like to add a companion.
Step 2 – Add a Companion
Click on the “Add a Companion” link under your flight information.
And then click “Continue“
Step 3 – Confirm Details
Make sure that your companion’s name, date of birth and gender are correct and pay the security fee (up to $5 per 1-way award).
Then scroll down and complete the other information and click “Purchase”
Step 4 – Check That Companion was Added Successfully
Note that your companion won’t appear on the reservation immediately, but it will appear in up to ~1 day. It used to take a few hours to see my companion added to the reservatoin, but now it usually takes only a few minutes). Just go to your upcoming Southwest flights, and check for your Companion Confirmation number.
Check for “Companion Confirmation Number”
You will also receive a confirmation in your email. Check to make sure that your companion has a ticket number assigned.
So it may be better to call Southwest to add your companion if you booked a last minute flight or are traveling in less than a few days.
Tips on Adding a Companion
1. Can Use Points. One of the big advantages of the Southwest Companion Pass is that you CAN book your flight with Southwest points, and then add a companion. And of course, you can add a companion when you buy a flight using cash.
This means that each Southwest point, which is usually worth ~1.67 cents towards Wanna Get Away (the lowest) fares, is now worth double or 3.34 cents when used with your Southwest Companion pass. So it can make sense to transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points to Southwest to use with your Companion pass.
2. Any Seat for Sale. You can add your companion to your Southwest flight, as long as Southwest is still selling a seat – ANY seat – on your flight.
It doesn’t matter if your ticket was the cheapest “Wanna Get Away” fare and the only seats being sold on the flight (when you add your companion) are the most expensive “Business Select” seats. You can still add your companion.
However, your companion doesn’t get the benefit of the Business Select ticket (or your Southwest elite status).
3. Can Add Companion Later. If you haven’t yet earned the Southwest Companion Pass, you can always book YOUR seat now to lock in a lower price using either points or cash.
And you can always add your companion once you earn the Companion Pass.
4. Check in Separately. Southwest assigns a different confirmation number to your companion which means that you need to check in separately for yourself and for your companion (unless you pay for EarlyBird Check-In).
You get a better boarding position (so you’re on the plane earlier) the earlier you check-in. Online check-in starts 24 hours before your flight.
5. Carry Your Companion Pass. The terms say that you have to carry your Southwest companion pass with you, but we’ve never been asked to show our Companion Pass while flying.
The Southwest Companion Pass is one of my favorite airline perks and I’ve been surprised at how often Emily and I have used our Southwest Companion Pass!
PS: I’m traveling so I won’t be able to get to the comments today.