4 Ways to Maximize the Southwest Companion Pass Promo (Extended: Ends TONIGHT!)
southwest companion pass promo

4 Ways to Maximize the Southwest Companion Pass Promo (Extended: Ends TONIGHT!)

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Southwest blew our minds this week with what might be their most popular promo yet: a chance to earn nearly two months of BOGO flights just for purchasing and taking one single flight!

In case you missed the huge news, here’s how the Southwest Companion Pass promotion works:

  1. Register for this promo and purchase a Southwest flight by 11:59 pm tonight, Friday, Sept. 25!
  2. Travel on that flight by Nov. 15
  3. Earn a Companion Pass and bring a friend for free from Jan. 6 through Feb. 28, 2021.
  4. You can use the pass an unlimited amount of times during the period and only pay taxes/fees (avg. $11).

Yes, it’s really that easy! And the promotion is good on every Southwest flight you book from Jan. 6 through Feb. 28, 2021. There is no limit to the number of times you can use it, the you can’t use Southwest Rapid Rewards points. It does need to be paid for in cash.

Additionally, Southwest will allow you to change your companion up to three times during the promotional period, which means you could get BOGO flights for yourself and up to three buddies from January through February.

You can read the full terms and conditions of this Southwest Companion Pass Promo for more details.

And Read our full guide to earning and using the Southwest Companion Pass. In normal times, it takes a lot of work — or a lot of points — to earn this coveted pass. But with this promo, it’s never been easier, albeit you’ll only earn the pass for two months instead of two full years.

Alright, now let’s get down to business. In this post, we’ll walk through 4 great ways you can take advantage of this promotion.


1. Unlimited BOGOs on Domestic Flights

One great way to use this crazy promotion? Fly domestic with a travel buddy to anywhere Southwest takes you! If you’re already dreaming of a warm-weather getaway this winter within the U.S., here are a few examples.

Get from Minneapolis-St. Paul (MSP) to the desert of Phoenix (PHX) for $137 — for two:


sw msp-pdx


Chicagoans: what about an $89 roundtrip flight from Chicago Midway (MDW) to San Diego (SAN) in the middle of winter? That would even out to less than $45 per person if split with your free Companion.


sw mdw-san


These are just a few examples of the hundreds of cheap flights to and from cities across the U.S. that you can take advantage of with this promotion. Cheap flight + the Companion Pass = even cheaper flights for two!

Thrifty Tip: Don’t know where you can fly on Southwest? Use this handy Route Search Tool to see all the places you can fly from your home airport!


2. $128 Roundtrip Flights to Hawaii Per Person?!

Need we say more? You could book cheap BOGO flights to Hawaii, which is set to reopen Oct. 15!

There are plenty of $250 nonstop and roundtrip flights from the West Coast to all of the Hawaiian islands! How about $250 for two to fly from the Bay Area to Honolulu nonstop this winter?

Use the Low Price Calendar to search for the cheapest dates. And with your Companion along for the ride, that shakes out to $128 roundtrip flights to Hawaii for each of you.


sw oak-hnl


The cheapest fares to Hawaii on Southwest tend to be from the West Coast (and the Bay Area in particular). Not from Oakland, San Francisco, or Sacramento? Book a cheap positioning flight from your home airport to the West Coast for you and your companion!


3. Bring a Buddy to Mexico and the Caribbean for Free

Southwest also flies to Mexico, Central America, and throughout the Caribbean. Mexico is open to travelers right now, and so are many of the Caribbean islands. This makes putting your Southwest Companion Pass to use during the peak winter season a breeze!

Southwest flies to the following tropical destinations:

  • Cancun, Mexico (CUN)
  • Cozumel, Mexico (CZM)
  • Havana, Cuba (HAV)
  • Liberia, Costa Rica (LIR)
  • Montego Bay, Jamaica (MBJ)
  • Nassau, Bahamas (NAS)
  • Punta Cana, Dominican Republic (PUJ)
  • Puerto Vallarta, Mexico (PVR)
  • Los Cabos, Mexico (SJD)
  • San Juan, Puerto Rico (SJU)
  • and more!

Some of the cheapest fares we’re seeing for international destinations are in the $250s nonstop and roundtrip from Chicago Midway (MDW) to Cancun.


sw mdw-cun


As you’ll see above, taxes and fees on flights to Mexico and the Caribbean will be higher than flights within the U.S., typically around $80 per person. And remember: you’ll pay taxes and fees for your Companion, as well.

Not every departure city will have flights this cheap to these tropical international destinations. But even a $400 Southwest flight to paradise is essentially cut in half with a free Companion in tow!


4. Transfer Chase Points to Southwest For Free Flights

Once you’ve taken your qualifying cash flight by November 15th to earn this Southwest Companion Pass promo, you can use your points to make those January and February flights free AND you can add a companion. It’s bonkers the Companion Pass works on cash flights as well as bookings made with Southwest Rapid Rewards.

If you have Southwest points, great! Once you have your companion pass, you can use your Rapid Rewards points to book any flight – and have your Companion join you. Don’t have Southwest points? Don’t worry – there’s an easy way to get them.

Here’s how: Get the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card and transfer some of the staggering 60,000-point bonus for spending $4,000 in the first three months of card membership to Southwest Airlines. Your Chase points transfer to Southwest at a 1:1 ratio. That means one Chase point will equal one Southwest Rapid Rewards point since Southwest Airlines is a Chase transfer partner.


Chase Sapphire Preferred


Click Here to Learn More About the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card. 


This means you can get two flights anywhere Southwest flies for the points of only one ticket and just the taxes & fees of the second with your Chase points! And if you’re not sure how to transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points into your Southwest Rapid Rewards account, make sure to read our guide on how to transfer your Chase points to Southwest.

So, what does that look like? Several domestic routes are bookable for as low as 6,000 points roundtrip. Take this trip from Minneapolis (MSP) to Chicago Midway (MDW) for example. You could use just a fraction of your points (and a few bucks in taxes & fees), AND get a free companion!


sw msp-mdw


Hypothetically, this means you could use that 60,000-point bonus after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months from the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card to fly ten roundtrip domestic flights – for you AND a Companion – in January and February. That’s a ton of value!


Why We Love Southwest Airlines

Southwest just does things differently, and that’s a good thing. It the reason that we have a love affair with the budget airline.

Through at least November 30, Southwest is blocking middle seats with cleaning before every flight. There is no word yet on whether they will follow Delta’s lead and extend this date.

But perhaps our favorite thing about Southwest is that they do not charge for checked bags or for carry-on bags. Each and every Southwest passenger is allowed two free checked bags. And yes, this includes oversized bags like golf bags, skis, and even surfboards at no additional cost. You also won’t see Basic Economy at Southwest Airlines.


Southwest Thrifty Traveler


And better yet, Southwest has never charged change and cancelation fees. You can cancel any Southwest flight and be given a voucher for later use (no fee). If you book with points you can also cancel with no fee and the points are re-deposited.

Read: What Sets Southwest Airlines Apart: The Good and the Bad. 


Bottom Line

There is a ton of value in this Southwest Companion Pass promo. Simply book a cheap one-way (as low as $34) or round-trip (as low as $84) cash flight for this fall (can’t use points for the qualifying flight), and unlock hundreds in savings with the Companion Pass this winter.

But hurry – this Southwest Companion Pass promo ends tonight, so book that qualifying fall flight ASAP!

Whether you’re heading to your favorite U.S. destination with your bestie, treating mom to a trip to Hawaii, or getting away with your partner to the Caribbean this winter, getting BOGO flights is an insane deal. Change your Companion up to three times – and do all of the above!

And the best part? There’s no limit on the number of flights you use this on. So treat yourself – and a travel partner – to some warm weekend getaways this winter, all at half the price.


Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

7 Responses

    • Hi Uriel! Once you are qualified for a Promotional Companion Pass, meaning you registered, booked, and traveled on a qualifying flight during the applicable dates specified in the promotions terms and conditions, you will receive an email from Southwest that includes information on next steps and how to designate and utilize the Promotional Companion Pass. Southwest intends to send this email to all qualifying Members within 10 days after the Promotional travel period ends on November 15, 2020. All details in Southwest’s promo terms here: https://www.southwest.com/companionpasspromo/?irgwc=1&clickid=XMvT7ESiVxyOWjLwUx0Mo3bxUkiSTp1Ckwtt240

  • I think it’s a clever marketing promotion by Southwest but I have to chuckle when reading your writing about it as if it’s going to be a travel free for all this winter. Pandemic? What pandemic?

  • Quoting from the FAQ’s pertaining to this promotion:
    “If I book a reservation prior to January 6, 2021 for travel between January 6 and February 28, 2021, when can I book my Companion’s reservation?
    Once your Promotional Companion Pass has been awarded to your account (January 6, 2021), you can book your Companion’s reservation (subject to flight capacity and availability at the time of booking the Promotional Companion Pass).” https://www.southwest.com/companionpasspromo/
    I verified with Rapid Rewards Customer Service that you will not be able to book your Companion’s flight until January 6. This could be a problem if, for example, you want to take your Companion to Hawaii. You can make your own reservation after you have taken the qualifying flight, but will have to wait until January 6 to book your Companion’s flight. There’s a good chance most or all of the flights during the promotion dates will be filled with regular paying customers. Contact Customer Service if you want to verify this.

    • Good question, Gloria! No, because Southwest doesn’t assign seats. There would be nothing stopping somebody from sitting next to you on the flight.

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