Can You Use Your Southwest Companion Pass When You Don’t Book Your Own Flight?

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Million Mile Secrets Reader, @Luhlnessities, tweeted:

Did Southwest change their Companion Pass rules?  It won’t let me add my companion for flights booked with points from another account.

Great question, @Luhlnessities!

Can You Use Your Southwest Companion Pass When You Don't Book Your Own Flight
With the Southwest Companion Pass Your Partner Flies With You for Nearly Free to Places Like New York City. But on Which Types of Flights Can You Add a Companion?

I did some digging and I’ll share what I found out!

You Don’t Have to Book Your Flight With Your Own Points or Cash to Use the Companion Pass!

Southwest’s current program terms and conditions suggest the Companion Pass holder must be the one to book the flights with either cash or points:

“The Member must first book and purchase his / her flight in cash or points through Southwest Airlines.”

However, I followed-up with a Southwest reservations agent and a customer service representative, and they both confirmed you CAN use your Companion Pass even when another party uses points or pays cash for your flight.

Can You Use Your Southwest Companion Pass When You Don't Book Your Own Flight
Even If Someone Else Pays for Your Flight Using Cash or Points, You Can Still Add Your Companion When You Have the Southwest Companion Pass

They also confirmed there have been no changes to the program rules, and this has always been the case.

As long as you have a Southwest ticket in your name with your frequent flyer number attached, you can add your companion to the flight.  It doesn’t matter who buys or uses points for that ticket.

The representatives suggested you call the Southwest customer service line at 800-445-5764 to determine what issues may be affecting your account.

How to Earn the Southwest Companion Pass

Link:   How to Fly (Almost) Free for Two Years on Southwest!

Link:   8 Easy Steps to Big Travel With the Southwest Companion Pass

The Southwest Companion Pass is my favorite deal in travel!  With the Companion Pass, a friend or family member can fly with you for almost free (just the cost of taxes and fees) on both paid and award tickets for up to ~2 years!

To earn a Companion Pass, you must earn 110,000 Southwest points or fly 100 one-way flights in a calendar year.  And once you qualify for the pass, it’s valid until the end of the following year!

A Great Time to Earn the Southwest Companion Pass

Link:   Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card

Link:   Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card

Link:   Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card

Link:   How to Fill Out a Chase Business Credit Card Application

Although 110,000 Southwest points may seem like a lot, you can quickly earn most of the points required for the Companion Pass from the sign-up bonuses on Chase Southwest cards.  And there are easy ways to earn the remaining points you need!

You’ll earn 50,000 Southwest points on the Chase Southwest Premier (Personal), Chase Southwest Premier (Small Business), and Chase Southwest Plus cards when you spend $2,000 on purchases within the first 3 months of opening your account.

And sign-up bonus points DO count towards the Companion Pass.   Just don’t make these 3 mistakes when you’re trying to earn it!

Chase has been tightening its application rules.  So if you’ve opened more than ~5 credit cards within the past 24 months from ANY bank (except certain business cards), it’s likely you won’t be approved for most Chase cards.

Bottom Line

If you have the Southwest Companion Pass, you can add a companion to your ticket – even if you didn’t spend your own points or money to buy it.

As long as your name and Southwest frequent flyer number are attached to the ticket, you can add your companion.  And if you have issues adding your companion online, call Southwest at 800-445-5764 for help.

Remember, it’s a terrific time to earn the Southwest Companion Pass, because all 3 Chase Southwest cards have 50,000 Southwest point sign-up bonuses after you meet the minimum spending requirement.  By applying for 2 cards, you’ll be most of the way to the 110,000 Southwest points in a calendar year required to qualify for the pass.

Thanks for your question, @Luhlnessities!

Editorial Note: We're the Million Mile Secrets team. And we're proud of our content, opinions and analysis, and of our reader's comments. These haven’t been reviewed, approved or endorsed by any of the airlines, hotels, or credit card issuers which we often write about. And that’s just how we like it! :)

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