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Southwest Companion Pass
I wrote about the Southwest Companion Pass in November and explained what a terrific deal it is because you can book flights on Southwest using points or cash and then add your companion for close to 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).
Using your companion pass
I wrote earlier on how to make a Southwest Companion Pass Booking. But now Southwest has completed linking their reservation networks with the Air Tran reservation networks. So you CAN book Air Tran flights from the Southwest website using either cash or Southwest points for travel after April 14, 2013.
The even better news is that you can use your Southwest Companion pass for flights on Air Tran, including those to San Juan, Puerto Rico. You also get 2 free checked bags on the Air Tran flights provided you booked them those Air Tran flights on the Southwest website.
Air Tran International Destinations
The bad news is that you can’t book Air Tran flights, on the Southwest website, to 8 international cities as yet.
- Mexico: Cancun, Mexico City, Cabo
- Dominican Republic: Punta Cana
- Jamaica: Montego Bay
- Others: Aruba, Bermuda, Nassau
And since you can’t book them on the Southwest website (but have to book them on the Air Tran website), you can’t use your Southwest Companion Pass for those flights.
This FlyerTalk thread speculates that you may be able to book international flights on the Southwest website in 2014.
How to Book Air Tran Flights on Southwest & Add a Companion
Step 1 – Search
Go to Southwest.com and search for a flight. Air Tran flights will automatically show up in the search results.
Step 2- Select Flight
Select the flights which you want.
Complete the booking online using either cash or points.
Step 3 – Add Companion
While you can book a flight with an Air Tran segment in it, the flight information will NOT appear under the “Upcoming Trip” section on the Southwest website.
Instead, log into your Southwest account using this link to view your existing reservations.
Or you can scroll down (on the Southwest website) and click the “Book Now” button next to the Companion Pass section towards the bottom on the right hand side of the page (once you are logged into your Southwest account).
Step 4 – Seat Assignments
Air Tran has assigned seating (unlike Southwest), and you will get your seat assignment only after checking in for your Air Tran flight.
It is nice to be able to book Air Tran flights using Southwest points directly on the Southwest website and to use your Southwest Companion Pass for these Air Tran flights.
And in 2014, we hopefully should be able to fly to Mexico and the Caribbean using our Companion Passes!