Will the Southwest Companion Pass continue to live?



I saw an interesting conversation on Twitter last night about the Southwest Companion Pass, which I think is the best deal going in North America Travel. You can read more about Southwest’s Rapid Rewards program as well.

FrequentMiler shared his 2018 Predictions (something I’ve yet to put pen to paper myself on) and one thing that the twittersphere felt was missing was a discussion on the Southwest Companion Pass. See below:

My Thoughts on the Southwest Companion Pass

Last year Southwest killed the “Marriott Hotel + Air Package” transfer miles/points as counting toward the Southwest Companion Pass. You can read more about that from FrequentMiler, I also shared my thoughts on Southwest’s change on the Marriott Hotel + Air package too. Needless to say, the deal worked until March of 2018. I personally jumped on it, and hopefully many of you did.

Every year there is discussion as to whether the Southwest Companion Pass will continue to persevere. I think the entire travel hacking community agrees – it is the single best value in travel hacking. Even I, who prefers to fly in international first class, agree that it is the best deal in travel hacking. Besides, Southwest isn’t that bad! The Southwest Companion Pass combined with being able to redeem points for the companion pass holder (who must “pay” for the flight), is about as good as it gets for North American travel that Southwest serves.

Southwest Companion Pass longevity

Much like the FrequentMiler team – I see this one as continuing on. I say this for a few reasons:

  • Chase has made it tougher to game the system for the Companion Pass via Credit Cards
  • Southwest is not always the cheapest, but because they’ve trained their customers to go directly to Southwest.com – that doesn’t impact them as much.
  • Using the Companion pass still means spending money–or points–with Southwest – which cultivates loyalty.

I’ll be the first to admit that Southwest is not the most fun to fly. Whether you have the new seat or the old seat, you are still flying economy. But to be fair, you can get an adult beverage, and if your laptop or tablet is small enough, you can still get work done:

As an added bonus, you can also watch all the live TV–based on NY stations–that you want for free as long as you’re on a wi-fi enabled aircraft.

Wrapping Up – the Southwest Companion Pass

Is the Southwest Companion Pass the best deal in travel? I would argue it is. However, Southwest in partnership with Chase has made it just hard enough to get, that I suspect the best deal in travel is safe, at least for another year. Don’t get me wrong, there are still a handful of ways to obtain the Southwest Companion Pass… heck, a few years ago, my wife and I obtained it from reselling. Shopping Portals continue to be your friend. But realize that it is a lot of spending in order to get there. At this point, if you’re unable to maximize points through Chase Credit Card signup bonuses, you may have to balance spending via shopping portals with actual Southwest Airlines flying.

Do you think the Southwest Companion Pass will live through 2018?

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