Southwest Offers a Faster Way for Passengers to Get its Biggest Perk

Airline’s move comes as it struggles to regain credibility with customers after disastrous holiday season.

Southwest has been getting a lot of attention of late, but not for the reasons the brand would like. 

As you’ve doubtlessly heard, the company had the worst holiday ever, as it suffered a complete meltdown that left thousands of people stranded, as the carrier canceled or massively delayed thousands of flights in the days between Christmas and New Year’s due to a combinations of bad weather, alleged worker shortages (which the company denies) and outdated software.

Southwest executives are currently on a public apology tour and promising that it will spend money to update its infrastructure, while also insisting that there was nothing it could have done and it was all the weather’s fault. (Southwest’s Airline pilots feel differently, and are gearing up for a potential strike.) 

But in an effort to change the topic of conversation and win back customer affection, Southwest  (LUV) – Get Free Report seems willing to increase the amount of perks its gives members of its loyalty program, including a chance to one of the airline’s most popular gifts.

Flying Is More Fun With A Friend

One of Southwest’s most popular loyalty perks is the Companion Pass, which allows you to take a friend along with you for free on any flight. (Or at least, free minus fees and taxes and all that stuff, plus a charge of $5.60.)

A nice bonus is that you can use the Companion Pass whether you pay for the flight through points or a credit card, and you can use it multiple times. No wonder its so popular, then.

Previously, the way to earn this bonus was to rack up 135,000 qualifying Rapid Rewards points or take 100 qualifying one-way revenue flights in a calendar year. While that’s not undoable to seasoned fliers, it’s still a tall order. (100 flights in a year is a lot for anyone).

The hitch was that Rapid Rewards points that were purchased, transferred from other members, from co-branded hotel and car rental loyalty programs or that were not from Southwest’s own branded credit cards did not count towards the Companion Pass, which kept it out of reach of many people. 

But now Southwest has made a change that should make it easier for fliers to score the pass if they act fast.

Image source: Shutterstock

Southwest Has Made An Update To The Companion Pass

Now, you can earn a Compassion Pass by getting approved for one Southwest credit card, and then spending $4,000 within three months. In addition to the pass, you will earn 30,000 bonus points.

The deal goes until March 13, and the earned pass is valid until February of 2024.

The three eligible credit cards are Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card, the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card and Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card. A $69 annual fee is applied to your first billing statement.

The pass is good for both domestic and international flights, and you can use it as much as you want. You have the option to change your designated companion up to three times per calendar year, so you don’t need to bring the same friend along each time, but said friend cannot use the Companion Pass to travel without you.

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