Southwest Companion Pass Complete Guide 2022

The Southwest Companion pass is the most valuable companion ticket benefit of any airline program and it will be in 2022. This benefit is not subject to availability of any special fare class, and it is repeatable an unlimited number of times. If there is a seat available for sale on the plane, a Southwest Companion pass holder can add his/her companion to their reservation and pay only the taxes on domestic flights within the US. It is hard to ignore the value of this pass if you travel in a pair from an airport served by Southwest.

The Southwest Companion Pass can be earned.

Southwest Companion Pass requires a Rapid Rewards member to earn 125,000 points within a year. The companion pass will be valid for the remainder of the year in which it is earned and all of the following year if the member has earned 125,000 points. The Southwest Companion Pass will be valid until December 31st, 2022, if you earn your 125,000th point on July 1st.

All points must be posted in the same year. The timing of points earned is very important. Consider the two examples.

The first example is Morgan.

In January, Morgan earned 65,000 points.
In February, Morgan earned 60,000 points.
Morgan earned a Companion Pass in a single year.

Jamie is the second example.

In December, Jamie earned 65,000 points.
In January, Jamie earned 60,000 points.
While Jamie has earned 125,00 points, they were not earned in the same year.

Jamie wouldn't have a Companion Pass because his points didn't post in the same year as Morgan's.

Which points qualify for the Southwest Companion Pass?

There are many ways to get Companion Pass points. The points earned from flying and Southwest credit cards count towards the 125,000 points needed. Most points earned through the Southwest Rapid Rewards shopping portal are counted towards the companion pass.

We have found that the following things count.

There is paid flight activity.
Points are earned from credit card spending.
Seasonal bonuses from the portal do not count as points earned from the Southwest Rapid Rewards Shopping portal.
Most of the points are earned from partners.

There are things that don't count towards the Companion Pass.

Is there any way to get a Southwest Companion Pass? What is the easiest way to get a companion pass? There are several main ways to do things. You don't need to earn all of the points from a single source if you mix and match the points from each of the shortcuts.

Credit card bonuses.

Chase offers welcome bonus points for signing up for their Southwest cards. The Southwest credit cards have several versions. There are three credit cards for consumer and personal use. It is possible to earn enough points for a companion pass, or very close to it, by opening one or two credit cards and meeting the minimum spending requirements, as the welcome bonuses on these cards have historically ranged from 40,000 points to 100,000 points. The Southwest credit cards have current offer information.

Chase added new rules to the Southwest credit cards in recent years. The Southwest credit cards now have a language of 24 months. In a nutshell.

If you've earned a new cardmember bonus on any Southwest personal credit card in the past 24 months, you're ineligible for the welcome bonus.
If you have earned a new cardmember bonus on a specific Southwest business credit card in the past 24 months, you are ineligible for the welcome bonus. The application page does not preclude you from earning the welcome bonus on a second business credit card, it just needs to be the other product.

The easiest way to earn the Companion Pass is via credit card welcome offers, but you need at least one business card.

Applying for business credit cards.

You must have a business in order to sign up for a business credit card. It's common for people to have businesses. If you sell items at a yard sale or on eBay, you have a business. In any of these cases, your business is considered a Sole Proprietorship.

If you are a sole proprietor, you can use your own name, address, and phone as the business' phone number, and your social security number as the business' tax ID. You can get a Tax ID from the IRS for free through this website.

Is it okay to use business cards for personal expenses? Almost everyone I know uses business cards for personal expenses. Most business card applications state that you should only use the card for business purposes. Some credit card protections do not apply to business cards. If you're not comfortable using the card for personal expenses, don't use it.

If you could time the sign-ups and spend so that the points were earned early in the year, you would have a better chance of success. The Companion Pass is for nearly two years.

Your Southwest Airlines account will be credited with Southwest Rapid Rewards points after the statement closes. It is relatively easy to timing out purchases in order to earn points from welcome bonuses. If you want to earn the welcome bonus on a card in January, you should wait to meet the minimum spending requirements until after the December statement closes, since purchase activity after the December statement has closed should post to your Southwest account upon the close of your January statement. If you wait until January to meet the minimum spending requirement, you'll avoid the risk of points posting early.

If you open more than one Southwest credit card in close proximity to each other, you should time the spend so that you can earn both bonuses in the same year. If you choose to pursue this strategy late in the year, be careful not to meet the spending threshold early, as you may be able to earn welcome bonuses in January.

If you have opened 5 or more cards with any bank in the past 24 months, you will not be approved by Chase.

If you have opened 5 or more Chase credit cards in the past 24 months, Chase will not approve your application.

3 easy ways to count your 5/24 status are shown. Travel Freely can be used to track all of your cards for free.

Credit card spending.

One way to get the Companion Pass is to simply charge $125,000 worth of expenses on a Southwest credit card during a single year.

This isn't the fastest way to earn the Companion Pass since the cards only award 1 point per dollar on most spend. It might be worth it if you know you will use the Companion Pass a lot.


You can earn 1,000 Companion Pass points with a promo code. Only one promo code can be used per order, and orders must be more than $30. You can only receive these points a maximum of 12 times per year, according to the updated terms of the deal.

You can no longer stack a Celebrations Passport membership for free shipping on these orders, so it's likely that the deal is over. 1800Flowers has promo codes, portals, gift cards, and more.

Online shopping.

You can earn points for shopping through the Southwest Rapid Rewards shopping portal if you do a lot of online shopping. Different point bonuses are offered for different stores. You can earn points for shopping at popular merchants.

The Companion Pass does not count points from seasonal portal bonuses.

If you shop through the portal to buy a gift card, earn miles on the purchase, and then use the gift card to purchase merchandise again, you may be able to take advantage of a double dip. There may be exceptions to this type of double dip.

The hotel partners.

Southwest Rapid rewards points can be earned in the bedroom of a standard room at Delano Las Vegas.

Southwest Airlines has several hotel partners. Southwest points can be earned for your stays at some hotel partners. Companion Pass-qualifiers are these points.

Southwest has a partnership with MGM Mlife that will allow you to earn 600 Rapid Rewards points per stay at most of the MGM hotels in Las Vegas. These points count towards the Companion Pass. If you want to earn points with both Southwest Airlines and the World of Hyatt at the same time, you can double dip and attach your World of Hyatt and Southwest Airlines numbers to your MGM Mlife profile.

If you want to earn airline miles instead of hotel points, you can use Rocketmiles to book a hotel.

Companion Pass points are not used for promotional bonuses. The number 5000 was crossed out and replaced with 8000 Rapid Rewards Points. You would probably earn 5,000 Companion Pass points, and the other 3,000 bonus are most likely a bonus. You won't earn hotel points or elite credit for booking through RocketMiles. If you have elite status with the hotel chain, you won't get the benefits of your status like free breakfast.

There are cars for rent.

Southwest Airlines offers points for renting through a number of rental car companies. Use any associated rate codes to compare the cost. Base points earned from car rentals do count towards the Southwest Companion Pass, but be aware that additional bonuses beyond base points may not.

Refer friends.

Chase offers bonuses for referring friends to apply for a card. You can check to see if you have any referrals by entering your last name, billing zip code, and Southwest card number here. The referral bonus has increased to 20,000 points per referral up to 100,000 points per calendar year from each card, though you can earn 10,000 Rapid Rewards points per referral up to a maximum of 50,000 points per year. Refer someone to a Southwest credit card with your Southwest credit card referral link. Refer someone to the Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Performance Business credit card if you have the Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards premier credit card. This opens up more possibilities for earning referral points.

Referrals collected late in the year can be an interesting way to earn the pass. We found out that if you earn referrals after December 31st, they will count towards the current year's Chase referral cap, but will not post to your Southwest Rapid rewards account until January. Companion Pass-eligible points can be doubled up by doing the following:

Make sure your Southwest credit card statement cut date is in December. On December 10th, let's say your December statement posts.
Refer 5 friends between December 11th and December 31st for the usual 50,000 point cap.
Refer 5 more friends between January 1 and January 9th.
When your statement cuts again on January 10th, your Southwest account would be credited with 100,000 referral points from a single credit card, but all of them would be posted to your Southwest account.

Again, the trick is to make sure you don't refer people to apply until after the December statement cut date. This method has an unexpected path to the Companion Pass.

Stuff that doesn't count towards the Southwest Companion Pass.

Transferred from hotel partners and from Chase Ultimate rewards are the most notable sources of non-qualifying points. Southwest Companion Pass will not count towards these points.

Southwest states that.

Points earned from program membership, tier bonus points, flight bonus points, and partner bonus points are not included.

Bonus points at many partners do not count. An extra bonus may not count if base points are earned from partners. To verify which transactions count towards your current total, you can go to your Southwest Airlines Rapid rewards account and click on Recent Activity, then click on "Companion Pass qualifying points."

Bonus points offered by SWABIZ, such as the bonus for referring your company, do not count towards the Companion Pass.

Changing your Southwest Companion is a choice.

Once a member has earned over a million points, he or she can give a companion to fly with the pass holder for free. The companion can be changed 3 times a year. If you want to make any changes to your companion, you need to call Southwest Rapid Rewards at 1-800- 435-9792. It takes less than 5 minutes to change companions on the phone. You should allow 21 business days for processing after you call to change your companion, according to the terms on I have been able to add my new companion to my reservations the same day I made the call to change companions. You will need to cancel any existing reservations before changing your companion.

Can I add a companion to my reservation?

The companion pass holder can add his/her companion to almost any reservation in the pass holder's name.

If your company bought the ticket, can you add your Southwest companion?

You can.

If you bought your ticket using Rapid rewards, can you add your Southwest companion?

You can. You can add your companion and pay the taxes if you book your ticket with a credit card.

If someone else bought your ticket with their rapid rewards points, can you join them?

You can. It doesn't matter who uses their Rapid Rewards points to book the primary traveler's ticket. It is possible for the designated companion to use their points to book a single ticket for the primary traveler and then the primary traveler can add the companion to the reservation and pay the taxes.

You can. If there is a seat available for sale on the flight you want to book, you can add your companion. It doesn't need to be the same class as the one you purchased.

Do you have any situations in which you can't add a Southwest companion?

Yes, but not many.

One example of a situation in which it would not be possible to add a companion is this. Bob earned 125,000 Rapid Rewards points and a companion pass. He designates his companion as well. In a year, she earns 125,000 Rapid Rewards points and she also gets a companion pass. Billy Jean is her companion. Bob buys something. He added his friend, Shelly. Billy Jean cannot be added to the reservation.

Adding a companion.

The process of adding a companion is very easy and can be done at any time. The companion pass holder can simply log in to to view My Reservations. He or she will see a link that says "add companion" from the reservation view.

It is straight forward from here. The system will not charge taxes for the companion. There are taxes to international destinations.

This can be done until Southwest stops selling tickets. If there is a seat available for purchase, you can add your companion.

If you add a companion and later want to cancel your flight, you must first cancel the companion's itinerary.

There are a lot of questions about the Southwest Companion Pass.

People ask a lot of questions about the Southwest Companion Pass.

Can I change my flight on a companion booking?

A: Yes. You need to cancel the companion's reservation. You can change the primary traveler's flight.

Can I cancel the companion's reservation if he/she can't travel with me?

A: Yes. You can either cancel their reservation or get a refund of the taxes if you keep them as a credit on a future flight. If you prefer, you need to choose the option of refunds to your credit card or travel funds.

Can my companion travel without me?

A: No! Southwest will likely take away your companion pass if you fly without the primary traveler. It's possible to do both travelers check in and only the companion shows up, but it will get you in trouble with Southwest. The companion might have his/her return flight canceled if the itinerary is round trip. Don't do this.

Does my companion earn Southwest Rapid Rewards points?

They do not. The primary traveler can earn points on a paid reservation.

Do I need to carry the Companion Pass card with me?

You don't need the card. Nobody has ever asked to see my card, even though the terms state that you should have it with you.

Cancel your companion's reservations first before changing companions.

Can I book a round trip flight before my Companion Pass expires on December 31st, but return after it has expired?

This is not possible. Southwest won't allow you to add a companion to a reservation that extends past the validity period. You would have to book a one-way in December and then a one-way in the new year where you pay for both seats.

Is there an advantage to booking one-way flights with the Southwest Companion Pass?

It makes sense to book one-way flights with Southwest. The round trip price on domestic flights within the US is usually simply the cumulative total of the two one-way flights. If you book one-way flights, you will be able to make changes to one segment or the other.

What are some of the best uses of the Southwest Companion Pass?

This is completely subjective. You can take some cheap trips around the US. Southwest flies to a number of international destinations.

Cabo San Lucas/Los Cabos, Mexico, is one of the places that includes: Cuba, Grand Cayman Island, Costa Rica, Mexico City, Montego Bay, Jamaica, Nassau, and the Dominican Republic.

Southwest can be used to position for an award flight or cheap flight deal. When saver-level awards on American/United/Delta are not available from your city, this can be a great option.

Southwest check in process.

Southwest's check in and boarding process is one of the most controversial features. Southwest assigns boarding positions based on a number of factors, most notably when a customer checks in, but they don't assign seats. If you want a favorable boarding position so you can choose the aisle/window seat you want, you need to check in as early as possible. Southwest also offers Early Bird Check In, but online check in begins 24 hours prior to departure.

Southwest will automatically check you in 36 hours before your flight, 12 hours before general check in opens. You will be asked to add Early Bird Check-in on the booking confirmation page.

Clicking on a reservation in your account will add early bird check-in to your account.

If you cancel your reservation, you will lose the money you paid for early bird check in, which is a big problem. If you cancel a Southwest reservation, you will receive a credit that is good for a year from the date you first booked travel. If you booked your ticket on points, you can have the taxes returned to your original payment method. The Early Bird Check-in fee is non-refundable, so if you choose to cancel your ticket, you won't get a refund. You keep Early Bird Check-in if you change your flight. I only add Early Bird Check-in to my ticket if I am the primary traveler. There are several reasons for this strategy.

Southwest will allow you to change/re-book at the lower fare if you paid the cash price, and will give you a refund of the difference in points or credit if you paid the cash price. The companion ticket must be canceled in order to change your flight. If you paid for early bird check in on the companion's reservation, you will lose that fee if you add it to the new reservation.
I have never been told I couldn't do it if I saved a seat for my companion. Southwest does not have a policy either way on this. I always board the plane with a $50 bill in my pocket, thinking that $50 would be enough to get someone to switch with me in the worst case scenario. We have saved a lot of money this way and I will still be well ahead of the game when I have to pay out. This strategy has worked for us.
If you are bumped from your flight, you will lose early bird check in and not get a refund of the fee.
Depending on your origination point, early bird check in can be useful.

The usefulness of Early Bird Check-in varies.

The usefulness of Early Bird Check-in depends on two factors: whether or not you have a seat preference and your point of origin.

Southwest only flies the Boeing plane, and they have different versions of it. The smallest version has 23 rows. Assuming aisle seats and window seats are equally desirable, that means there are about 92 "preferred" seats on the smallest planes, including aisle seats and window seats on each side of the aisle. 60 people are in each boarding group. Everyone in Boarding Group A will get a preferred seat if they want it. I think it's true that almost everyone in Group B will have access to a preferred seat, since at least some of the people in Groups A and B will be traveling together. Group B boarding passes can be obtained if you check in exactly 24 hours before the flight.

The second factor is your point of origin. Southwest will allow you to check in 24 hours before your departure. You are checked in for all of your segments when you check in for your first segment. The passengers who are not based in Southwest hubs will have an advantage.

You are based in the Northeast, like Albany, NY. Southwest only flies out of Albany. itineraries from Albany connect to other places. This itinerary from Albany, NY to Los Angeles, CA is an example.

The initial flight leaves Albany at 5:40am on Friday. A passenger starting in Albany can check in for both flights at the same time on Thursday. The passenger from Albany will be checked in for the second flight from Baltimore to Los Angeles 2 hours and 20 minutes before someone from Baltimore can check in online. Passengers from Albany have an advantage. The first flight from Boston to Albany is at 5:30am, based on the schedule when this post was originally written. The people starting in Manchester, NH would beat Boston and Albany in the morning.

Southwest Flight #1951 from Manchester to Baltimore is the same flight as everyone else, but those from Manchester get to check in before everyone else.

If you live in Manchester, NH, you probably don't need Early Bird Check-in. If you can check in right at 5:00am, you will be among the first to check in on the Baltimore segment, and you won't have to worry about people from Manchester on your first flight. You have a good idea of the people who live in Baltimore.

If you live in Baltimore, you may need to pay for Early Bird Check-in to have a chance at a decent boarding position. The people in Manchester, Boston, and Albany who paid for Early Bird Check-in will have a head start. If you pay for Early Bird Check-in, you will be ahead of the check ins from Albany, Boston, Manchester, etc. If you live in a Southwest hub city, you may want to pay the premium.

Southwest sells Business Select fares that include priority security. If you are booking close to departure, you can get a better value on these tickets, as they are usually not more expensive than the ones you would get on a flight. The fares include a free premium drink and earn more miles per dollar. They are non-repayable.

Business Select has priority boarding, priority security, a free premium drink, and it is a refundable fare.

If you book business select, your companion will not share your boarding position. He or she will still need to check in as usual, even if he or she purchases Early Bird Boarding or an upgraded boarding position at the gate. Southwest piloted a program a few years ago where the companion would board with the Companion Pass holder in the boarding position, but that feature has not been widely available.

Southwest Companion Pass ticket has a voluntary bumping on it.

Southwest no longer overbooks flights, but there are still times when they need to adjust for crew needs. We are keeping this section intact because of the old policy and what to expect should you find yourself in this situation.
If Southwest overbooks a flight, they may offer travel vouchers in the gate area to volunteers who agree to switch to a later flight. Southwest has denied voluntary boarding compensation in the past if you agree to take a "bump" to a later flight.

If you give up your seat in an oversale situation and we can rebook you on a Southwest Airlines flight that will arrive within two hours of your originally scheduled arrival time, we will give you a travel voucher in the amount of $100 plus an amount equal to the face value of the voucher
If we can't confirm your travel within two hours of your originally scheduled arrival time, you will be placed on a priority standby list, and your compensation will increase to a travel voucher in the amount of $300 plus an amount equal to the face value of your one-way flight coupon( We will confirm you on a later Southwest Airlines flight with seats available to your destination if you are not accommodated as a standby customer. You won't have to pay more in fare.

The old policy needs to be summarized.

If your new flight gets you to your destination within 2 hours of your original arrival time, you will get $100 and the price of your original one-way ticket.
If your new flight gets you to your destination more than two hours later than your original arrival time, you will get $300 and the price of your original one-way ticket.

If you paid with points, how does that work? What about your companion?

Southwest has a formula for figuring out the cash value of Rapid Rewards points. This was similar to the cash price of the ticket had I paid in cash instead of points, meaning that my voucher was worth $300 + the rough value of my one-way ticket.

The reports of compensation vary. Your companion should get a $300 voucher. I was offered an additional $100 for the companion's ticket, meaning that my companion received a voucher for $400 total. There was no additional money for the companion's ticket up to the $100 I was offered. Yourcharm may play a role here.

What else?

The Complete Guide is a work in progress. As situations change and develop, we will add it as necessary. If you have further questions or suggestions, please contact us via the Contact Frequent Miler page.