A Southwest Companion Pass and free travel for kids sounds too good to be true. It’s not, thanks to a Southwest Companion Pass promotion, but you have to act fast, and there is a catch.
As a parent you know that having kids makes everything more expensive. A nice dinner out with you and the wife costs half of what the same dinner costs with the wife and both kids. (OK, a little more than half, but wine and cocktails don’t count.) So, saving money with kids is a constant battle. Southwest Airlines is rocking an interesting, but limited, deal to get a free Southwest Companion Pass for a short term.
Soutwest Companion Pass
For those of you who are new parents, or just new at flying with kids, allow me to regale you with a tale of the Southwest Airlines Companion Pass. The Southwest Companion pass allows another person to travel with you for free. Unlike all those scam offers where a companion can fly free, but only if you pay the much higher full fare, the Soutwest Companion Pass 2022 lets your companion fly free no matter what ticket you buy, even if you score a $49 Wanna Get Away fare.
Here is the best part. Although you have to designate who your pass companion will be, you are allowed to change it up to three times per year. If you’re a little savvy about how you use those changes, it should be plenty.
How To Get Southwest Companion Pass
Getting the Southwest Companion Pass with normal rules and procedures is a bit of an ordeal. You have to earn 125,000 qualifying points or fly 100 one-way flights during a single calendar year from January to December. As you may imagine, people that qualify aren’t families taking trips, it’s people traveling for business flying back and forth between Denver and Chicago, or whatever. You can continue to use Southwest gift cards to buy the paying fare, but Southwest Airlines gift cards cannot be used to pay for Early Bird Check In. (Complete list of gift card rules is below).
Fortunately, there are Companion Pass secret tricks that can get you one easier.
How To Get a Southwest Companion Pass Without Flying So Much
Every so often Southwest offers special ways to get a companion pass without the usual requirements. These Companion Pass special offers often involve getting a Southwest credit card. Earlier this year, we did just that and charged anything and everything to our Southwest Rapid Rewards Chase Visa and qualified for a companion pass without flying. For that offer, the pass was good for the year you are in, 2022 and the following year 2023. As you can imagine getting one free child airfare whenever we go somewhere saves us a ton of money.
Southwest Companion Pass Special Offer
The current Soutwest companion pass offer is smaller, both to qualify for, and to use.
To qualify you have to be a Southwest Rapid Rewards member, which is Southwest Airlines’ frequent flyer program.
- You must login into your Rapid Rewards account and register for the promotion.
- Then you have to buy any round trip or two one-way flights by 9/8/22 (act fast!)
- You must travel on the flight you buy by November 17, 2022.
- Then you get a companion pass for free!
Remember I told you there was a catch?
In exchange for such an easy qualification for a companion pass, it is limited to a shorter duration. This special companion pass offer is only good from January 4, 2023, to March 4, 2023. So, although the Soutwest Companion Pass saves big money for families if you use it throughout the year, but this is only four months, so it may not do what you would like.
If your school year calendar has loaded into your head, you may recognize that Soutwest has crafted this offers so that you have to travel before the holidays. Then, your companion pass only turns on after both Christmas and New Year’s. Then, your companion pass expires before Spring Break.
You want to think this through. If you need standard school holidays to travel, this offer won’t save you much. However, if you have a school that has a Fall Break in October, and you travel on Martin Luther King Day, and again if you get a President’s Day holiday break, then it might be worth it. You pay for everyone on the flight for Fall Break, and then you get a companion free for the January and February trips.
I know what you’re thinking. (maybe)
What if I have two kids and a spouse?
Ah yessss. That’s what I’m talking about.
If you are a member of Rapid Rewards, and your spouse is a member of Rapid Rewards, there is no reason that both of you can register for this promotion, and you buy one child’s ticket on your account, and your spouse buys one ticket on their account, and now you get two special offer companion passes, so you can fly two children for free on those January and February trips and that saves some serious money.
Free Southwest Companion Pass Offer Rules and Regulations
In addition to what is laid out above, Southwest has some rules to keep you from pulling a fast one on this deal. If you buy a flight with points, it does not count. However, you can use Southwest gift cards, LUV vouchers, and any travel funds you have on your account.
If you really want to take this to the limit, you could buy Southwest gift cards somewhere you get a reward or discount and then use them to buy the flight. If you can maximize some cash back on the cards that would save even more. Eventually, your reward isn’t worth the effort, but think it through. Maybe a school fundraiser or sports team benefits when you buy gift cards. That would be worth it.
Also, it only counts if you buy the fare after you register. So, if you already have a flight coming before November 11, it doesn’t count. However, if you looked at your current itinerary and it seems that you could cancel your original flight and then innocently rebook the same flight, then that may qualify. Ensure that the flight still has at least a few seats available and that the fare has not increased, or you may end up paying more than you can save.
More Southwest Rewards Specials
Southwest does not announce ahead of time any special offers, however, they do tend to have them every so often, so if this one doesn’t work for you, just wait for the next one. Other airlines offer various rewards as well, although none so generous. Either way, traveling makes great memories for you and your kids, so make it work whenever you can, even if you can’t get a free child airline ticket.
Another way to save on Southwest fares is with gift card specials that pop up. Costco, for example sells $500 gift cards for $450. On sale the same Southwest Airlines Costco gift certificate can be marked even lower. If you catch a Costco airlines gift card sale, you can get a $500 gift card for $440, $430, or maybe even less. Southwest gift cards never expire, but there are other Costco airlines gift card rules that apply as rules for Southwest gift cards as well.
Southwest Gift Card Rules for Traveling Families
- A SouthwestÂ® gift card is non-refundable.
- A Southwest gift card has no expiration date.
- A Southwest gift card is fully transferrable.
- A Southwest gift card is not replaceable if lost, stolen, or destroyed.
- A Southwest gift card is VOID if altered or obtained fraudulently.
- A Southwest gift card has no value until activated. It is activated after payment clears.
- A Southwest gift card is not a credit or debit card and has no implied warranties.
You can use gift cards on a Southwest child’s fares, although that might not save any money.