A new Southwest promotion gives you two months of free Companion Pass in the new year if you fly before Nov. 15.
Fortunately, airlines have been introducing limited-time offers to help customers retain and enjoy travel benefits, even in the pandemic.
On Sept. 22, Southwest announced a new promotion offering a free two-month Companion Pass in early 2021 if you purchase any flight between Sept. 24 and Nov. 15, 2020. That means you can take a designated companion on any flight you book for just the cost of taxes and fees while the Companion Pass is valid.
Normally, you’d need to earn 125,000 qualifying points or take 100 qualifying one-way flights in a calendar year to earn a Companion Pass. A Companion Pass is typically good for the remainder of the year in which you earn it, and the year after that.
How to get two months of free Companion Pass
To earn this promotion from Southwest, you need to register for it with your Rapid Rewards account number first. After that, book a qualifying flight before Sept. 24 for travel that will be completed between Sept. 22 and Nov. 15.
Note that reward flights, charter flights, group travel and Southwest Vacations packages aren’t eligible for this promotion.
Once you’ve traveled on the flight, Southwest will send you an email with information on the next steps and how to designate and use the promotional Companion Pass. According to the airline, it intends to send this email to all qualifying members within 10 days after the promotional travel period ends on Nov. 15.
After your promotional Companion Pass has been awarded to your account, your companion will be able to fly for free with you between Jan. 6 and Feb. 28, 2021, excluding taxes and fees.
Should you get a free Companion Pass?
If you’re planning on traveling before Nov. 15, getting a free Companion Pass for two months is a no-brainer. All you have to do is register for the promotion before you book a flight. Even if you end up not traveling in the first two months of the new year, you’re still not losing anything.
That said, it’s understandable that many continue to avoid traveling. Until the pandemic situation is stabilized, don’t feel pressured to book a flight simply to take advantage of a good deal. Plus, many airlines have already taken measures to help consumers keep their travel benefits, even if they’re not traveling.
Namely, Southwest has given all Rapid Rewards members a “boost” of 25,000 Companion Pass qualifying points and 25 flight credits toward Companion Pass status, as well as extended earned A-List and A-List Preferred statuses through the end of the next year. Current Companion Pass holders will also retain their benefits until June 30, 2021.