Companion Pass (SWA)

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What is a Companion Pass?

  • The Companion Pass (CP) allows you, the Companion Pass Holder, to bring your Designated Companion along with you for free, paying only the Security Fee. It doesn't matter what kind of ticket you are traveling on.

Do I need 100 flight credits to earn a Companion Pass?

  • You can earn a Companion Pass by accumulating 100 credits from any source (including Diners Club and Amex Membership Rewards transfers) within any one-year period (not calendar year). You can speed the issuance of your CP by not waiting until SWA mails you a notification postcard. As soon as you have the 100 credits, the web site will allow you to designate a companion after you log in to your Rapid Rewards account. You will then receive the CP within about a week.

Can use the Companion Pass in conjunction with a free ticket?

  • The Companion Pass allows you to bring the designated person along with you for free (paying only the Security Fee), even if you are traveling on a free ticket! For some people, this essentially doubles the value of their free tickets. Think of it as a 100% bonus for reaching this elite level.

Is the Companion Pass usable on ATA flights? Even if I bought the primary ticket at southwest.com?

  • No. Not even if you bought the ATA ticket on southwest.com. For code-share flights to Hawaii the Companion will likely have to book a paid ATA trip from the West Coast and a Companion Pass reservation for the Southwest portion.

Can I change my Designated Companion?

  • You may change your Designated Companion up to 3 times per year, a process that currently requires mailing in your old Companion Pass.
  • The reservation system will only permit you to make a Companion Pass reservation for the current Designated Companion, so if you are planning to change your Designated Companion from X to Y and back to X, you can make the advance reservation for X before you start this change process.
  • This might have you wondering whether you can book Companion Pass travel for X, change your Designated Companion to Y, and have X get a free trip without switching your Designated Companion Pass to X. The short answer is No, and it's unlikely that anyone would risk losing his Companion Pass by trying this scam.
  • You may be able to speed up changing your companion by faxing RR a copy of your cut-up CP along with a letter requesting a different companion name. Example from FT member ejmelton:
    • Two of the three most important ladies in my life (Mrs. And Ms.) wanted to go with me on two different trips during October. (I guess that I didn’t go anywhere that Mom wanted to go.) As a result, I had to change companions twice during the month.
      • Saturday September 10. Finished trip with Mrs.
      • Sunday September 11 Called SWA Rapid Rewards to get mailing address (not P.O.Box)
      • Monday September 12 Sent existing CP card and letter via UPS
      • Tuesday September 13 (10:29 am) SWA received Mrs.’ CP card
      • Wednesday I checked SWA web site each afternoon for CP name change
      • Friday September 16 CP name change on Internet. Made Ms’ Reservation
      • Friday September 23 New CP card arrived snail mail
      • Sunday October 2 Finished trip with Ms.
      • Monday October 3 Sent CP card and letter via UPS. Begged for speed (see below) and included return UPS label
      • Tuesday October 4 (10:29 am) SWA received Ms’ CP card (UPS is consistent!)
      • Wednesday I checked SWA web site each afternoon for CP name change
      • Friday October 7 CP name change on Internet
      • Tuesday October 11 New CP card arrived snail mail
      • Friday October 14 Left with my new CP, Mrs.
    • While I would not recommend this maneuver and will always try to give SWA the three weeks that is suggested, it’s great to know that they can turn these requests around so effectively. BTW, even though we changed the CP companion, reservations made under the original companion were not affected.

If I can't make good use of a Companion Pass, can I trade it for something else?

  • Prior to 2005, SWA would typically provide an alternative to the CP on request. (PM nsx for details if you are curious, but it's moot now.) Current SWA policy is not to provide an alternative to the CP. You can ask, but the answer is virtually guaranteed to be "no".