Changing your Companion with the Southwest Airlines Companion Pass

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This is post #8 of my blog series on the Southwest Airlines Companion Pass.

Series includes:

  1. What is a Southwest Airlines Companion Pass?
  2. How to Earn a Southwest Airlines Companion Pass
  3. Getting Two Southwest Credit Cards to Count Towards the Companion Pass
  4. Earning Partner Points to Count Towards the Companion Pass
  5. Transferring Chase Ultimate Reward Points to Southwest for Companion Pass Status
  6. Getting the Southwest Airlines Companion Pass for 2014 and 2015 Calendar Year
  7. Using the Southwest Airlines Companion Pass on Southwest and AirTran flights
  8. Changing your Companion with the Southwest Airlines Companion Pass
  9. Top 20 Questions for the Southwest Airlines Companion Pass

The companion pass can be changed three times during the life of the companion pass. Right when you earn the companion pass you will need to designate your companion. After that you can then change it THREE more times.

Let’s say you start with companion A. You can then change it to companion B, then C, and then D. You can also go from A to B back to A and back to B again. So you can go back and forth between your companions, but each time counts as a change even if they were your companion already.

While there is a formal way to change your companion, the quick and easy way is to call Southwest’s customer service number and tell them you want to change your companion. They are able to do this for you immediately. On the Southwest website it states that you need to send in the companion pass card and wait a few weeks and what not. You DO NOT need to go through this process and wait any amount of days for your companion to be changed. This helps for last minute flights!

Also, when you designate your companion you’ll receive a blue companion pass in the mail. I guess you are supposed to have this pass, but I’ve NEVER been asked. I really don’t even know who would ask to see the pass. This means you do not need to wait to receive the pass for your companion to fly with you.

Now let’s say your pass is currently designated to companion A and you have a flight for them in October. But in September you need companion B to fly with you. When you call to change your companion pass, they will cancel any future companion itinerary you have booked . This means companion A will no longer have a reservation for the intended flight in October. If this is an off-peak time then chances are the flight will not sell out and immediately after you complete the flight with companion B, you can change your companion again and immediately re-book the flight for companion A. However, if it is a sold out flight you are risking it by not being able to re-book a ticket with your companion. What I suggest is once you change the companion, book that future flight with the currently designated companion even if they are not the one flying. This means you are reserving a seat and when you go to change your companion again there should be a seat available since you will need to cancel their reservation and then you can immediately rebook with your new companion. While there are no guarantees, this is a way to at least keep a seat on reserve so it can’t be booked by another passenger. Southwest, however, does overbook their flights so even if you cancel a seat that doesn’t necessarily mean it will reopen for another passenger to book.

Last winter, for example, I did this for a vacation where I had my mom designated as my companion on the flight to Florida and my husband as my companion on the way home. The flights were about 7 days apart and all worked out well!

Southwest Credit Card to Help Earn the Companion Pass: You can apply for the Southwest card here and navigate through the page to apply for the specific offer you are interested in. Just remember, the cards have different annual fees and bonus points after each year. ALL of them have the same bonus offer and minimum spend requirement. You can read more about along with the differences of the four different cards in this prior blog post.

Disclosure: These post contains affiliate links. While my goal for you is to travel on a deal, this is one I highly support as I’ve had the companion pass for many years!

Comments

  1. Have you ever seen a companion ticket booked for a later date cancelled when you change your companion? I have always changed companions while having existing reservations for my prior companion and have never had a companion ticket canceled. I have flown many times with someone on a companion ticket that is not registered as my companion on the day of the flight. Canceling the ticket for a prior companion may be the policy but I have never seen it in practice.

  2. My current companion is my girlfriend and we are traveling during the first week of November. I am planning to take my parents 2 weeks later, to Florida. I paid for my parents and my flights for the 2nd trip in cash so that we will all have seats. If I change my companion to one of my parents during the 2 weeks, will I be able to get a refund on the designated parent’s ticket?

    Thanks

    • @Eric – You can absolutely cancel one of your parents tickets for no fee, but it will be given back in the form of a credit and only the person who the ticket was originally booked for can use the credits.

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