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…”
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?