Home Travel I’m Tempted By Southwest’s Companion Pass Offer But This Is Holding Me Back

I’m Tempted By Southwest’s Companion Pass Offer But This Is Holding Me Back

by joeheg

Southwest Airlines offered a limited-time offer to earn a Companion Pass for most of January and February 2022. I usually don’t pay much attention to these offers because I plan our trips far in advance. However, with some time and money, I could make this one work.

Here are the details of the offer.

  • Registration is required on this website.
  • Book one round trip or two one-way flights by 9/9/2021 (Thursday)
  • Complete travel by 11/18/21
  • Receive a Companion Pass good from 1/6/2022 to 2/28/2022

Of course, the first week of January is excluded to eliminate you using the pass during the lucrative holiday travel season.

If you don’t know what a Companion Pass is, it’s possibly one of the most valuable frequent flyer perks and can save you thousands of dollars each year. The passholder can bring a companion on any Southwest flight for free (except for taxes and fees.) If you earn a full pass, it’s good for the rest of that year and the following year.

I had the pass in 2017. While we saved some money on airfare, flying still wasn’t free after adding in the price of early bird check-in. I decided that it didn’t make sense to spend the time and effort to keep the pass and I’ve stayed happy with that decision ever since.

However, I COULD have a specific use for the pass at the beginning of 2022, which made me look into how I could earn the 2-month pass with a single flight. Here’s my quick math on how much work I’d need to do and what I’d save if the plan worked.

How would I earn the pass?

We don’t have anywhere we really want to fly in the next two months. It would make more sense for me to do a Companion Pass run. I looked for the cheapest one-day trips on Southwest and came up with a decent option.

I could fly from Orlando to Atlanta and back for $181. For my work, I’d earn a Companion Pass. While there, I could grab lunch at One Flew South. There might be a better option but I couldn’t find one with decent pricing and non-stop flights with a limited layover.

While I’d love to use Southwest points to pay for the flights, Rapid Rewards point reservations don’t count to earn the pass. Instead, I’d use the $100 gift card I bought during the 50X promo earlier this year combined with the $75 statement from the Southwest Priority card.

This is really tempting because I’d have almost zero out-of-pocket spend to earn the pass.

Where would we fly with the Companion Pass in 2022?

We have a trip to Hawaii on the books for early next year and it would be great to save 50% on the tickets. I’d want to see how expensive flights on Southwest compare to my other options. Most importantly, I want to know the difference between the non-stop option I now have from Orlando to Honolulu.

The only problem is Southwest hasn’t released the schedule for 2022 yet.

In fact, Southwest is only accepting reservations up to January 5, 2022. That’s the day before you’re able to book a flight with the Companion Pass earned with this offer. They’re not going to open up flights on those dates until September 16th, after you’d have to book a flight to be eligible for the Companion Pass.

And to that, I have to say to Southwest.

Final Thoughts

I’m considering booking my flight to be eligible for the offer. After Southwest announces the pricing for the flights to Hawaii, I can see if it makes sense to go ahead and take the flight or if I should cancel it.

Unlike the offer, the Companion Pass works with award tickets. I could book a flight to Hawaii with points and once I get the pass, I could add Sharon to the reservation. As long as there’s one seat left for sale, you can grab it with the Companion Pass no matter how high the price.

Worst case scenario, I end up with a travel voucher I’d have to use by next September. The best case is that we get half-price flights to Hawaii in 2022. That’s a risk vs. reward scenario that I’m OK with.

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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary

1 comment

Patrick September 8, 2021 - 11:15 pm

Already booked… $67 each way. STL – MDW


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