Incredible Southwest Companion Pass Promo

Filed Under: Southwest

At the beginning of the week Southwest Airlines launched an extremely generous promotion for anyone who books an upcoming flight. I’d argue this is the most lucrative promotion offered by any US airline since the pandemic started.

This promotion was supposed to expire yesterday, but has been extended by a day, so you can still make a booking today and qualify.

Southwest Companion Pass promo with one flight

Southwest Airlines is offering a limited time Companion Pass. In order to take advantage of this promotion:

  • Register for the promotion and then purchase a flight, all by today (Friday, September 25, 2020)
  • Complete travel by November 15, 2020; even a one-way Southwest Airlines flight will qualify
  • Receive a promotional Companion Pass that’s valid between January 6 and February 28, 2021

There are a few more terms to be aware of:

  • Charter flights, group travel, Southwest Vacations Packages, and Rapid Rewards award tickets, don’t count towards this promotion
  • Changes made to itineraries after purchase may eliminate qualification for this promotion

What is Southwest Companion Pass?

For those of you not familiar with Companion Pass, it’s one of the best deals in travel. Those with Companion Pass can have a companion fly with them for just the cost of taxes, regardless of whether paying cash or redeeming points. With this promotional Companion Pass you can even change your companion three times during the promotional period.

Ordinarily this requires 100 flights or 125,000 qualifying points in a year, but this year those requirements are being lowered to 75 flights or 100,000 qualifying points.

To put this promotion into context, if you book a one-way flight for travel by November 15, you’ll be able to take companion with you for nearly eight weeks in early 2021. That’s a heck of a deal.

This is how you do promotions!

There will be differing opinions as to whether or not airlines should be encouraging flying, in the form of offering frequent flyer promotions, low fares, etc. The reality is that most airlines in “open” countries are encouraging flying, since they’re fighting for survival.

If an airline is going to leverage its frequent flyer program to generate business, this is how you go about it now:

  • It encourages people to fly with Southwest Airlines now
  • Those who qualify for the promotion will be likely to fly Southwest (and choose Southwest over other airlines) again during the Companion Pass period early next year
  • The promotional Companion Pass is valid during a historically low travel period, and with the pandemic it’s unlikely flights would otherwise be full, and that the companion would be displacing a paying customer
  • This gives people a taste of Companion Pass, and may make them want to qualify for it in the future

Contrast this promotion to American Airlines’ promotion for 250 AAdvantage miles for every award flight you take over a very limited period, which would be the equivalent of 2% back on a standard 12,500 mile one-way economy award.

“I wasn’t going to travel to Grand Forks, but now that I can get 2% back, maybe I will…”

Bottom line

Southwest has an incredibly lucrative Companion Pass offer. If you book and complete just one flight, you’ll receive Companion Pass for nearly eight weeks in early 2021, allowing you to take a companion with you.

If you’re planning any travel in the coming weeks and may also be traveling next year, then this promotion is definitely worth considering. Add in the fact that Southwest is capping flights at two-thirds of capacity through November 30, and it’s all the more reason to book the airline in the coming weeks.

Do you plan on taking advantage of this Southwest promo?

  1. Very cool promotion.

    I earned companion pass right at the onset of the pandemic in April 2020.

    I am really hoping southwest will do the right thing and extend it through 2022. Airlines and hotels have been extending status, nights, expiration etc.. I am hoping they do the same.

  2. How many flights are allowed on the Companion Pass? One or many? If a one-way ticket is purchased, is the Companion Pass still good for a round trip, or multiple round trips? This post assumes we are all experts on Companion Pass, traditional or promotional.

  3. It also looks like they are blocking the middle seat through Nov. 30th so that’s another reason to fly Southwest during this promo.

  4. Just rebooked a trip for two weeks from now to qualify. The lost $25 in early bird fees was well worth having it available.

  5. Jumped on this already this morning. I had a flight booked in Oct with AS that I’ll cancel and bank and fly SW for a few more $ to earn this.

  6. Nice promo, just doesn’t work for me. IAD-DEN in Oct is over $570 for 1 passenger. Flying UA for $130 RT nonstop per passenger…

  7. Note that qualifying flight must be a revenue flight according to the fine print. So using points shouldn’t work.

  8. This will not move the needle much for most travelers. The Companion Pass is basically good for less than 2 months in the winter months, and qualifying flight is in the near term when there’s still a lot of concern over air travel (not to mention whether it’ll be any better in Jan/Feb).

  9. I had already booked a flight from LAS to ATL on points, but was able to cancel and rebook using travel funds. Since these were from flights booked and cancelled in order to use amex airline credits, it’s win-win. I typically fly to BWI in January for a convention; if it’s not cancelled I can also fly to Philly, where my daughter goes often to visit friends. Otherwise a weekend in Atlantic City could work.

  10. Kind of sucks that you have to purchase a new flight. I already have flights purchased in October, but now they are over $600 RT, when I got them for $150!! Oh well.

  11. Its great to see WN doing something innovative! They could have extended the promo pass until end of March; I mean, come on, travel is not going to rebound in March!

    I hope other airlines will follow with all you can fly passes i.e. B6 past offers!

    I’ve been flying every month since May!

  12. “I wasn’t going to travel to Grand Forks, but now that I can get 2% back, maybe I will…”

    U betcha! But, why would you want to go to Grand Forks, when East Grand Forks is way, way more exciting?? don’t ya know?

  13. @Too Many

    “The Companion Pass is basically good for less than 2 months in the winter months”

    What does this mean? We’ve had the Southwest Card and Companion Pass benefit for the last three years. It’s good year-round.

  14. @AW – WN is rewarding you in this promo with a Companion Pass valid for travel between 1/6/21-2/28/21, not a full tear-long companion pass. If you don’t see yourself traveling in those two months and weren’t going to book a flight for travel between now and 11/15/20, this isn’t a valuable promo.

  15. @Ross – unlimited flights. But you have to fly with the companion. They go one way. You go one way.
    @AW – he means this special promo for a 2 month companion pass. It’s not the full blown 2 year one. Read the info more carefully.

  16. I was excited to see this email unit I read the details.
    We have a flight booked during the promo period but we used points to book it. According to the fine print, a revenue flight must be booked.

    The flight prices in dollars were $302 & $189 when I booked and are now $603 & $189.

    If SW wants anyone to take advantage of this offer, the really need to drop the prices down on last minute flights.

  17. I’m taking two r/t flights during the promotional period already, but canceling either of those and then rebooking is crazy expensive for the routes I’m taking.
    Any chance I can simply book the cheapest one way fare I can find and then simply no show the flight? SW still gets the cash for the flight…..will I get the credit that I “took” the flight?

  18. I jumped all over this already. My husband already has a companion pass, and I’m his companion. However, we also have twin boys! I had two flights booked with points already. I rebooked one flight for one son with dollars (after registering him for the promotion). He will earn the companion pass, and the other son will be his companion for Jan/Feb! We LUV to take ski trips during that time, so it will definitely be lucrative. The companion pass is truly amazing. It’s brilliant to give folks a taste of it with this promotion!

  19. @Ross said …How many flights are allowed on the Companion Pass? One or many? If a one-way ticket is purchased, is the Companion Pass still good for a round trip, or multiple round trips? This post assumes we are all experts on Companion Pass, traditional or promotional.

    You can use the CP for as many flights as you want. You can purchase 1 way tickets or roundtrip. You must fly with your companion.

    The best course offered by a mainstream blogger was Million Mile Secrets. He taught me everything I know about the CP.

    The best part of the CP is that 2 fly for the price of one. The CP is good on paid and award tickets. We really made out when we had it.


  20. This effectively extends keeping the middle seat open through February 28, 2021. Simply have your companion take the middle seat next to you, and assuming the flight isn’t sold out, ask your companion to move seats after takeoff.

  21. With 3 ski trips already booked in January & February, this is a no brainer for me. Found a cheap quick roundtrip flight (BWI-MDW) for less than a $100 in October.

  22. I’d like to know if I book a one way flight before 11/15, and then I don’t show up for the flight, will I still receive the companion pass ?

  23. @ Adriene

    Just cancel the $189 flight on points and rebook it for cash. If you booked it as a RT you may have to call to just cancel half of it.

    I always, always book everything with southwest as individual one way flights for each person to maximize flexibility.

    I don’t know if lucky mentioned it but you have to register for this one, but it is easy to find the spot to do that.

  24. I’m with @Rob. It’s a great promotion of you are NOT a solo traveler. I fly solo about 99% of the time, so this promo doesn’t move the needle for me.
    I certainly can see a married couple or someone who has a “travel partner” taking advantage of it, but I’m not in either category.
    I had a SW Companion pass about 10+ years ago – used it once (max twice) with a business colleague. I get annual $99 companion certs from Alaska and American that often are hyped by travel bloggers, but I have never used them.

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