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.
Lyn writes about Southwest for her blog, GotoTravelGal.com. And I’ve asked her to share with y’all the latest news from the airline this quarter.
Lyn: Southwest never fails to produce positive changes each quarter of the year. And they continue to add new destinations, which is great news for those of us who LOVE to fly Southwest.
I’ll fill you in on the Southwest scoop over the last few months and how you can benefit!
Best Opportunity EVER to Get the Southwest Companion Pass
Link: Southwest Companion Pass
Southwest recently increased the sign-up bonus for all three Chase Southwest cards to 60,000 Southwest points after meeting minimum spending requirements.
That means by signing-up for 2 of them, you can earn the Southwest Companion Pass, which requires 110,000 qualifying points in a calendar year. We believe the Southwest Companion Pass is the BEST DEAL IN TRAVEL, because it lets 1 person fly nearly FREE with you for up to 2 years. It’s truly never been EASIER to earn the Southwest Companion Pass!
The increased offers are good through June 29, 2017, (today!) so if applying for these cards is part of your plan, do it now.
Be sure to download my free step-by-step guide on how to earn the Southwest Companion Pass, which also shows you how to stretch the pass – and your Southwest points – as far as possible to get the most free flights.
Already Have These Cards?
The Chase Southwest cards also increased their referral bonus points for referring friends to the card from 5,000 Southwest points per referral to 10,000 points per referral. There is still a maximum of 50,000 referral points across all cards in 1 calendar year, but these points DO qualify for the Southwest Companion Pass. That’s a win-win for you and your friends!
New Way to Earn Southwest Points
Surprisingly, Southwest introduced a new way to earn Southwest points, but only for a limited time!
If you use the Southwest Rapid Rewards Shopping Portal and received a targeted email from the airline, you can earn up to 500 Southwest points per person you refer to the shopping portal (they must be new to the portal) by July 4, 2017. The person you refer needs to spend at least $125. Plus, they get 250 points free!
Southwest states no limit to the number of people you can refer. Also, the points you earn are “bonus points,” which means they do NOT qualify for the Southwest Companion Pass, but can be used for award travel on Southwest.
If you have kids who don’t have Rapid Rewards Shopping Portal accounts, I see no reason why you can’t use your referral link to sign them up, spend $125 on something you need (like back-to-school items) and earn yourself 500 points. Of course, send it along to anyone else you know who does not yet have a Rapid Reward Shopping Portal account!
If you did not get this email, first check your spam and other email filters. If you don’t find it, I’d suggest contacting the Rapid Rewards Shopping Portal folks by logging into the portal and clicking on “Contact Us“ at the bottom left.
Southwest Airlines New Routes July 2017
In addition to its first flights to Grand Cayman Island in June, Southwest announced plans to fly to Turks and Caicos from Ft. Lauderdale starting November 5, 2017. They have certainly added lots of warm weather destinations to their itineraries! Will Hawaii be next?
Southwest also began operations out of Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport (CVG) to Chicago Midway and Baltimore/Washington this quarter. Plus, the Southwest flight schedule is currently open through March 7, 2018.
They plan to release flights through April 6, 2018, on July 27, 2017, so stay tuned!
Other Southwest News
1. New Uniforms
Southwest employees starting wearing new uniforms on June 18, 2017, the airline’s 46th birthday.
The airline gave the staff look a revamp and is rolling out the new outfits. According to Dallas Morning News, employees can choose from some 70 different pieces, including “pants, shirts, polos, shorts, skirts, and dresses in shades of charcoal with highlights of Southwest’s signature red, blue and silver.”
2. No More Overbooking
Southwest also stopped its policy of overbooking in Quarter 2 after several high-profile incidents on other airlines, as well as implemented their new reservations system on May 9, 2017.
According to a Southwest spokesperson, “Capabilities for schedule optimization, variation, increased days of inventory and improved connection times will begin to be turned on in the second half of 2017.” Yay!
Finally, Southwest was named Airline Loyalty Program of the Year by voters in the Freddie Awards. I agree! 🙂
Be sure to take advantage of additional opportunities to earn Southwest points this quarter from increased credit card bonuses and referral points to the Rapid Rewards Shopping Portal.
All those points can take you to their new destination this fall: Turks & Caicos!