UPDATE: Credit card offers in this post have expired.
Southwest is really hitting it out of the park right now. They’ve always been my #1 airline for years, but you can see that they are now putting in a huge effort to grab some newbie passengers as well. They are supposed to launch flights to Hawaii this year (although who knows with the government shut down), so they are definitely preparing themselves to grab as many travelers as possible for this very popular vacation destination. For starters, for the first time ever, the are running a credit card offer that includes earning the Southwest Companion Pass. This means 2-for-1 flying for all of 2019! Then, to add onto an already lucrative offer, they just launched a promotion where if you have status with another airline, you can status match to receive their own A-List status. Having the companion pass with A-List status perks is a big win in my book. There is nothing more that I love than flying for free with perks I didn’t even have to earn the hard way!
Check list complete: Southwest points for a free flight ✓ Friend or family member flies free with the Companion Pass ✓ Board the plane early ✓ Bonus points on revenue tickets ✓ Faster security lane at the airport ✓
Earning Your A-List Status
With this promotion, you will receive complimentary A-List status for 90 days from when you are enrolled. During this 90 day period, if you fly three roundtrips (or 6 one-ways) on eligible paid fares, you’ll status will be extended another 12 months. You’ll need to send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and include your First Name, Last Name, Rapid Rewards number, and a screenshot of your current elite status with a U.S. based carrier.
The terms state that you should hear back within 12 business days confirming your status match, but when I took advantage of this offer last year, it took just 5 days. And I even heard back on a Sunday, so they are definitely working around the clock to give out the status! Unfortunately, if you already took advantage of this promotion in 2018 and are an A-List customer, you will not be eligible.
Things to Know
Although this is a great promotion and even better for those that are taking advantage of the companion pass promotion, there are a few things to know:
- Only flights booked AFTER you receive confirmation of your A-List status match will qualify towards the three one-way/six roundtrip requirements. Since Southwest has an incredibly flexible cancelation policy, if you’ve already booked a flight with Southwest previously, once your status is confirmed, you can cancel your flight and rebook. Do not just change your flight as you’ll need an entirely new confirmation number. Also, if you Southwest flight went up in price, you’ll have to make the decision on whether or not paying more is worth it.
- To earn the status for 12 more months, only revenue flights will qualify. This means flights using points or the companion pass will not count towards maintaining status post the 90 day mark.
- One of the benefits of having A-List status is that you can go standby on an earlier flight. Unfortunately though, if you are traveling with a companion using the pass, you will not be able to use this perk unless your companion also has A-List status. Even though your companions reservation is tied to your flight, your companion will not inherit your A-List status. And since your companion needs to fly with you, you cannot go standby on an earlier flight and have your companion fly on the original flight.
A-List Status Benefits
Southwest offers two status levels: A-List and A-List Preferred. While A-List is the lower of the two levels, there are definitely some decent benefits that will help you while flying:
- Priority boarding
- 25% earning bonus
- Free same day standby
- Priority check-in and security lane
- Dedicated A-List member phone line
When I am traveling with my family and having another family member fly with me for free with the Southwest Companion Pass, by far my favorite perk thus far has been the Priority Boarding option. Of course my family can board with family boarding, but that is in between the “A” and “B” groups. During my last Southwest flights with A-List status I ended getting an A19 boarding number and my husband received B25, even though we checking in at the same time! I boarded early and took my daughter with me and my husband boarded during family boarding with my son. Although my daughters boarding number was similar to my husbands, no one gave my 5-year old boarding with me. This allowed me to at least get half my family onto the plane early and scout out desirable seats before 95% of the plane boarded.
This is great that Southwest is making so many promotions available to their passengers. While I know it can sometimes dilute benefits, having more Companion Pass members and A-Listers out there doesn’t take away from anyone else’s benefits. I am happy to share the wealth with everyone and happy to see more folks trying out Southwest!