How to Use Your Southwest Companion Pass

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How to Use Your Southwest Companion Pass

Million Mile SecretsHow to Use Your Southwest Companion PassMillion Mile Secrets Team

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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.

Southwest Companion Pass Booking
Click “Add a Companion”

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).

Southwest Companion Pass Booking 3-001
Confirm Companion Details

Then scroll down and complete the other information and click “Purchase

Southwest Companion Pass Booking 4
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.

Southwest Companion Pass Booking 5

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.

Southwest Companion Pass Booking 6
Check for Companion Ticket Number

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.

Bottom Line

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.

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My wife and I have the companion pass already. It’s valid through Dec 2017. We have LOTS of planned destinations and are now picking dates for those trips. Our question is: Will we be able to book a companion pass flight next November, for example, that is not scheduled to fly until January, 2018 (after the Companion Pass expires)?

Hello – question. we earned our companion pass in july 2014, which means that we fly 2014 and 2015. By June 2015 we will have another 110k points on the credit card. so do I have 2015 (which I already have) and 2016 or do I get 2016 and 2017? I do not want to lapse the companion pass as we travel a lot- but once achieved I want to start using my AA card to accumulate points for travel where SW does not go.

Got my companion pass yesterday. I used the shopping portal for $X times the point and some dining point add ons. I booked my first companion yesterday. My one concern is that if I book a flight and then try to book my companion is it possible that the flight is all sold out such that my companion is out of luck. I wish you could do both at the same time. Also if that is the case is it easy to just cancel my flight and rebook without any penalty. I have not flown a ton on southwest but will be.

Hi Daraius,

We got the companion status yesterday, thanks. Follow your instructions, I booked the companion pass smoothly. I also found out you can use points from someone else to book a flight and save our points for later.

Hoang

I received my Companion Pass a couple of weeks ago. I got a congratulatory email from SouthWest telling me to designate a companion. So I clicked the email. I plan to take 3 people this year with me to different destinations. My understanding was that I could put in 3 names in my SW account and choose the person i’m taking from that list. 1st friend sent me his info first so I entered his info first as my designated companion. I booked the flight for May to Vegas but I have not added him as my companion. Then I booked a flight to Dallas for March but i’m taking 2nd friend with me. I called SW agent and asked how I could enter my 2nd friend’s info so I can choose him for my March itinerary.

Long story short, SW agent said I didn’t do it right. I should have entered 2nd friend as my designated companion then booked the March flight first. Then book the May flight and make the companion change to my 1st friend after I’ve used the March flight. She said that she could do the change but it will count as 1 change and I will only have 2 changes left. This really sucks. She gave me CS number to call and tell them what happened and perhaps they can do something about it. I hope they can.

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