How to Fly the Entire Family for Nearly Free!
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Million Mile Secrets reader Samir commented:
Let me twist this a bit. So both my wife and I secure a Companion Pass. I add my wife and she adds our son. Is the family free?
Your companion flies for nearly free when you have a Southwest Companion Pass. But what if your COMPANION also has their own Companion Pass?
Can Samir’s wife use her Companion Pass to bring their son too? That would be crazy! Because the 3 of them would fly for the price of ~1 ticket!
The good news is that it IS possible! I’ll show you how.
How Does This Work?
Link: Southwest Companion Pass
And now is a good time to think about earning the Companion Pass, because all 4 versions of the Chase Southwest cards currently have a 50,000 point sign-up bonus. Just make sure that the points from the credit card sign-up bonus post to your account in 2015 and NOT in 2014. That way you get the Companion Pass for almost 2 years!
Suppose Mom and Dad each have a Southwest Companion Pass.
The scenario could go like this:
- Mom adds Dad as her designated companion
- Dad adds Child as his designated companion
The terms and conditions of Southwest’s frequent flyer program say:
An individual may not travel as both a Member and a Companion on the same flight, except in Customer size instances.
A Member who is a Customer of size and earns a Companion Pass can use his/her Companion declaration for an extra seat as a seat. To declare the extra seat as the Companion, the Member must contact Customer Relations.
This could be interpreted in a couple of ways.
Southwest might be saying that you can’t add a companion to a companion ticket, but given the context, I think this rule actually refers to getting an extra seat for yourself if you have a Companion Pass.
So you can’t reserve an empty seat next to you as your companion. And you can’t designate a carry-on item like a cello.
Note that you can get an extra seat if you’re a “customer of size”, but the ticket must be booked through Southwest’s Customer Relations department.
How to Daisy Chain Companions Step-by-Step
Step 1: Book an Award Ticket
Let’s start by booking an award ticket for Mom using points. For example, a round-trip ticket between Rochester and Orlando costs 14,456 points and ~$11.
Step 2: Add a Companion to Award Ticket
Once her itinerary is confirmed, she’ll have the option to add a companion to her ticket.
Sometimes it can take a while (~1 hour) for a companion ticket to appear in your account.
After the companion ticket is processed, the reservation numbers for both tickets will appear in Mom’s account.
Step 3: Sign-In to Companion Account and Add 2nd Companion
Next, Dad signs-in to his Southwest account and finds his reservation. He repeats the process to add a companion, except in this case he’s adding his child.
And…SUCCESS! Dad now has another companion reservation attached to his itinerary!
So you CAN add a companion ticket to a companion ticket! In this case, you’ll get 3 round-trip tickets for 14,456 points and ~$33!
Because Southwest points are worth ~1.43 cents per point, 14,456 points are worth ~$207. So you’re getting 3 round-trip tickets from snowy Rochester to sunny Orlando for a total of ~$270 (~$207 ticket value + ~$33 in fees).
Plus, you get up to 2 pieces of free checked luggage per person (worth up to $50 each on other airlines). This is a fantastic deal.
I haven’t gone further than this, but if the child had a Companion Pass, presumably they could add another companion to their reservation, and so on.
What a great deal for a family or a group of friends, because you only need the points (or cash) for 1 ticket to fly all 3 folks for almost free!
Bottom LineThree folks can fly for the price of 1 on paid and award tickets if 2 of them have the Southwest Companion Pass.
One Companion Pass holder adds the other Companion Pass holder as their companion and books a paid or award ticket. Then the 2nd Companion Pass holder adds a 3rd person as their companion.
I tried it and can confirm it works. This is a great deal for families or groups of friends who fly together often!
Thanks for the question, Samir!
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