In the interest of full disclosure, OMAAT earns a referral bonus for anyone that’s approved through some of the below links. These are the best publicly available offers (terms apply) that we have found for each product or service. Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, not those of the bank, credit card issuer, airline, hotel chain, or product manufacturer/service provider, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. Please check out our advertiser policy for further details about our partners, and thanks for your support!

The Southwest Companion Pass is a great deal and I wanted to take a closer look at it. How do you get Companion Pass, and how can you use it?

What is the Southwest Airlines Companion Pass?

Rapid rewards members can take a travel companion with them on Southwest flights for an unlimited number of times if they pay just the taxes and fees.

If you book a ticket with cash or points, it doesn't matter. This could double the value of travel on Southwest Airlines.

Companion Pass lets you travel with a companion on Southwest

How to earn the Southwest Companion Pass

Southwest Companion Pass can be earned in a number of different ways.

  • By flying 100 qualifying one-way flights in a calendar year
  • By earning 125,000 qualifying points in a calendar year

Southwest is increasing the requirements for Companion Pass. Companion Pass will need 135,000 points in a year. If you have a co- branded Southwest credit card on the first business day of the year, you will get a boost of 10,000 Companion Pass points. The same amount of effort will be required for those with a co- branded credit card.

Companion Pass is valid for the remainder of the year in which it was earned and the following year.

What points count toward Companion Pass?

Companion Pass qualification points can be counted as Rapid rewards points.

  • Points earned through Southwest Airlines flights
  • Points earned with Southwest co-branded credit cards, including both the welcome bonuses and any rewards for spending
  • Base points earned when using the Southwest Airlines shopping portal
  • Base points earned with most Southwest online partners, including Rocketmiles, 1-800-Flowers, etc.

What points don’t count toward Companion Pass?

Companion Pass points are not counted as Rapid rewards points.

  • Points purchased directly from Southwest Rapid Rewards
  • Points transferred from partners, including Chase Ultimate Rewards, hotel and rental car partners, e-Rewards, Valued Opinions, and Diners Club
  • Points transferred between Southwest Rapid Rewards accounts
  • Promotional bonus points, like when an online shopping portal has an additional tiered bonus for a purchase

Earn Companion Pass with Southwest credit cards

Companion Pass can be earned with one of the Southwest Airlines co- branded credit cards. Three of Southwest's credit cards are personal and two are business cards. The cards all have huge welcome offers and both welcome bonuses and eligible spending count towards the points needed for Companion Pass.

Three Southwest Airlines personal credit cards are listed here.

There are two Southwest Airlines credit cards.

Earn Southwest Companion Pass with credit cards

How to use the Southwest Companion Pass

The process of booking travel with the Companion Pass is very simple. How you designate your Southwest Companion Pass companion and how you book travel with your companion will be covered in this article.

How do you designate your Southwest companion?

How do you make sure someone gets Southwest Companion Pass?

  • Log into your Rapid Rewards account at
  • If you’re eligible, on the Snapshot tab find the “Choose Your Companion” section, click “Enter Companion Info,” and follow the instructions
  • Once a companion has been designated, a Companion Pass member kit and membership card will arrive in 7-10 business days
  • In the event that you prefer to designate your companion by phone, you can call 800-435-9792

Only one companion can be designated at a time. You can have up to four companions over the course of a year if you change your companion up to three times. Two people are towards your limit if you designate the same person twice.

How do you book travel with the Southwest Companion Pass?

How do you book flights for your companion after you designate them?

  • Just book your Southwest Airlines flight as you usually would, whether you’re paying cash or redeeming points
  • Then visit the “My Trips” section of your account, and go to the “Upcoming Trips” section
  • Once you’ve found the flight you’re looking for, click the “Add Companion” button, which will take you to the page where you can add a companion
  • You’ll just have to pay the taxes & fees, and then you can complete your companion’s flight reservation
  • In the event that you prefer to book by phone, you can call 800-248-4377

If at least one seat is still available, you can add a companion later than you booked. It doesn't matter if the price increases or not, you can redeem points, pay cash, or both. There are very few rules here.

The companion doesn't earn any points for their travel. You earn points based on how much you spend in Rapid Rewards. There are no points to be earned since there is no fare.

If you cancel your ticket, your companion's ticket has to be canceled as well. You can't use the Companion Pass to have someone else fly with you.

You can have up to four companions throughout the year

Is the Southwest Companion Pass worth it?

There isn't going to be a single answer as to whether or not the Companion Pass is worth it.

  • Is it worth taking 100 flights on Southwest that you wouldn’t otherwise take in order to earn Companion Pass? No way
  • If you’re a frequent Southwest flyer and fall just short of earning Companion Pass, is it worth putting in the effort to earn it? Definitely
  • If you have a moderate amount of travel on Southwest planned, and there’s a great credit card bonus that gets you most of the way to Companion Pass, is it worth applying for a card to earn it? Almost certainly

Southwest is a great place to love. The airline doesn't nickel-and-dime, allows free ticket changes, has a no-expiration policy on vouchers, and offers complimentary drinks and snacks. The airline has a large network of regional routes in North America.

There are limits to the carrier's route network, there isn't first class, and there are cheaper airlines.

Southwest can be a great airline to fly

Southwest Companion Pass FAQs

Some of the most common questions about Southwest Companion Pass are addressed in the above primer. No specific order...

How many times can you use the Southwest Companion Pass?

The Southwest Companion Pass can be used for a long period of time. You can take a companion with you when you fly.

Can you use Southwest Companion Pass when you redeem points?

Companion Pass can be used when you redeem points or pay with cash.

How often can you change your Southwest Companion Pass companion?

You can change your Companion Pass companion up to three times a year.

Does your Southwest Companion Pass always have to be the same person?

One person can be designated as your Southwest Companion Pass companion. You can change that companion three times in a year, but only if you designate a companion.

Can your Southwest companion fly without you?

Companion Pass can only be used if you travel with your companion. If you could have a companion always fly for free, it would be great.

What’s the difference between Companion Pass and A-List status?

The equivalent of Southwest Airlines elite status, A-List requires you to fly 25 Southwest one-way flights per year or 35,000 tier qualification points. Companion Pass members who earn Companion Pass through a promotional offer will usually earn A- List, but that won't always be the case.

Do Southwest Companion Pass points expire?

Companion Pass is based on how many points you accumulate. You have to start over with Companion Pass every year.

When does Southwest Companion Pass expire?

The Companion Pass usually lasts at the end of the year after you earned it. It would be valid through December 31, 2024 if you earned it on June 1,23. The expired policy may be different if you earn Companion Pass with a promotion.

You have to qualify for Companion Pass every year

Bottom line

Southwest Companion Pass is an exceptional value as it allows you to have a companion travel with you while just paying taxes and fees. Southwest Airlines has credit cards that are easy to use to earn Southwest Companion Pass.

What do you think about the Southwest Companion Pass?