Real Life Savings with the Southwest Companion Pass

My daughter has been fly for free for the past few years because of the Southwest Companion Pass! Before we had kids, it was typically my husband flying for free!
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I’ve talked about the Southwest Companion Pass a bunch recently and there is a good reason why — the bonus points you receive with all four of their credit cards count towards the 110,000 points needed! This is probably the easiest way to earn qualifying points. Everyone says it will save you a boatload of money (which I do not disagree), but many of you probably have the same question “How much is the pass actually worth?” Unlike many other travel perks, the companion pass really has a variable value. If you use the pass once during the year it will not provide you with as much value as those who you fly once a week. Or, if you typically fly on $49 fares, it will save you less than if you are looking to book $499 fares. This means, the value is really based on the individual. To see the value it will have for you and your family, I suggest looking at the calendar and really estimating how many times you think you’ll fly Southwest this calendar year and put an average price on the flight costs. Then add it up and that will give you a good estimate on what YOU will save. For my personal family, I value the pass at around $1,450 a year for MY family.

My daughter proudly displaying all of the Southwest Companion Passes we’ve accumulated over the years

The Southwest Companion Pass Saved My Family 96,762 Points in 2018

In just 2018, the Southwest Companion Pass saved my family 96,762 points. Since Southwest has a fixed point value, this equates to about $1,451 in savings!

  • Cancun in January — roundtrip flights cost 18,288 points
  • Tampa in February — roundtrip flights cost 23,897 points
  • Los Angeles in April — one way flights  cost 15,539 points (we flew JetBlue on the return as flying Southwest and using the companion pass was not actually going to save us money)
  • Aruba in October — roundtrip flights cost 20,708 points
  • Bahamas in December — roundtrip flights cost 18,330 points

During the year either my husband or my daughter flew with me on every single Southwest flight for just the cost of the taxes/fees—a total of 4.5 trips for my family on just Southwest. Of course some might use the pass more and some less, but I feel like I flew Southwest an average amount. And my flight costs were pretty low overall as I had a flexible schedule, booked far ahead of time, and constantly was able to get the price lowered by re-booking during fare sales. Let’s say you average $300 flights roundtrip and fly every other month, so 6 times, that can net you about $1,800 in savings. That is a lot of money back in your pocket for simply just having one pass in the travel world!

11 Years Worth of Savings

Now, if you are able to earn the companion pass every single year, like I have for the past 11 years, that is a ton of savings! My Southwest account doesn’t go back that far so I cannot easily see my savings, although I am sure I can calculate it manually by looking at every Southwest confirmation email I have (but I’ll save that for a rainy day!). I am going to assume a $1,450 savings per year. There were some years I flew a lot less and some years a lot more, but I am going to assume a $1,450 average. For my family, that has been a savings of around $16,000 across many many many flights. A huge value in my books!


As you can tell, I am a big fan of the Companion Pass, but you’ll have to see if the value really works for your family. How much have you saved over the past year or your lifetime with the Southwest Companion Pass? Or how much money to you anticipate saving this year if you are new to the pass?

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