Over $4,500 In Value, How I Used My Southwest Companion Pass

a blue and red airplane with black textAs 2013 came to an end, it also meant the end to my Companion Pass status with Southwest Airlines.

It’s been a fun ride which we will get to continue since Kim now has the status. The big problem is that Lucas will need his own seat in 2014 making the pass a bit less valuable.

I earned the Companion Pass in late 2012 and Kim, Lucas & I enjoyed visiting lots of places around the U.S. thanks to it’s amazing value.

The Companion Pass allows you to designate one person that gets to fly with you just for the cost of tax ($2.50 per segment). When you book a flight with your points, they are essentially worth double if a companion flies with you. This is basically like earning double the amount of points from Southwest.

How did I earn Companion Pass status? To earn CP status, you must either have 100 one-way qualifying flights or earn 110,000 qualifying points in a calendar year. By getting both the Chase Southwest personal and business cards, (50,000 points sign up bonus from each) and then charging $10,000 on the cards, I had my 110,000 points needed for the companion pass status.

This gave me lots of points to use towards flights. When my credit card anniversaries came up I was given an additional 6,000 points from each card. I then went on to cancel the cards since I didn’t want to pay the annual fees but the points anniversary bonuses were not taken back!

Here is where we went:

  • Louisville and Nashville LGA-SDF: 9,120 points ($174) & BNA-LGA: 19,320 ($343)
  • Denver & New Orleans (flew back to NYC on JetBlue)- LGA-DEN: 6,240 points ($115) & DEN-MSY: 6,840 ($125)
  • Milwaukee– LGA-MKE: 11,880 ($209) & MKE-LGA: 6,540 ($120)
  • Minnesota– LGA-MSP: 12,660 ($233) & MSP-LGA: 12,660 ($226)
  • Fort Lauderdale– LGA-FLL: 14,880 ($270) & FLL-LGA: 15,480 ($280)
  • Dallas– LGA-DAL: 9,720 ($188) we flew home using Kim’s points/ Companion Pass

After cleaning out my Rapid Rewards account (on the flights listed above), I am now left with 468 points.

Once I finished using my Southwest points, I started to think about just how valuable this offer has been. With points and status earned thanks to two credit card offers, we got to take 5.5 domestic trips this year! Talk about an amazing deal!

Kim’s Companion Pass is good for all of 2014 but it’s going to be a bit harder to use. We are booked up until April thanks to the Wideroe mistake fare and we also have a trip planned for early June.

And as I mentioned before we now  have to take into account the need to now buy an extra ticket. When Lucas got to fly as a lap baby, flights booked with Rapid Rewards points were free (we only had to pay tax). Now those quick weekend trips will come with a significant increase in price.

I am not totally sure where we will travel using Kim’s Companion Pass but I’d definitely love to visit a few new states in 2014!

3 thoughts on “Over $4,500 In Value, How I Used My Southwest Companion Pass

  1. Shawn- I like your thinking! As long as you have a willing babysitter, a couples trip would be nice!

    Cogswell- We went to Florida over Thanksgiving which is why the flight was so pricey. There were no flights there for $250 per person during the dates we went. There may have been an option for around $450 each.

    Southwest flights are not always the most convenient or cheapest option but when using Rapid Rewards points + the Companion Pass= 2 people do fly for free.

    You could analyze the value in many ways but our points redemptions were valued at what I stated above.

  2. There’s definitely amazing value available with the SW companion pass but I don’t think it’s anywhere near to the $4,500 which you describe. Take for example your LGA-FLL trip – you have the costs as 2 * (270+280) = $1,100.

    However if you didn’t limit yourself to SW you could easily book that trip for $500 total (for 2 tickets) *and* fly non-stop *and* earn over 4,000 miles *and* earn rewards on the $500 spent on your credit card. So now the $1,100 is really under $440 with a more convenient, flexible and non-stop itinerary.

  3. We are sort of in the same boat. My wife just got a companion pass, but we still have to account for our son. I kind of look at it as a 33% discount when the three of us travel. Plus, it gives us some incentive to take some couple only trips as well!

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