Southwest extending status, companion pass and travel vouchers


Since most travelers are grounded, fingers crossed the Southwest Companion Pass is extended.
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The time has finally come where Southwest has announced their customer-friendly extensions in regards to status, the Southwest Companion Pass and travel vouchers. My assumption is we will still see some more extensions as time goes along, but for now, here you go…

Companion Pass extension

A few weeks back I speculated on what I thought Southwest would do in regards to the companion pass. Unfortunately, I wasn’t 100% correct as I assumed we’d see a full year extension. Instead, we are only seeing a six-month extension and that is only for those whose pass is set to expire at the end of 2020.

Related: Will Southwest Companion Pass be Extended?

For companion pass holders where the pass is set to expire December 31, 2020, the pass will be extended through June 30, 2021. Getting another six-months is great and could definitely make up for the current lack of travel. It might mean you forgo earning the pass next year and instead wait to earn it for the 2022/2023 year.

For those who earned the pass this year, there is currently no extension set. While most Southwest travelers probably have yet to earn the pass, this is not great news for those who have. I personally earned my pass within the first week of January of this year and am not able to fly the same amount as those pass holders who have their pass expiring this year. This is unfortunate for those that earned the pass early, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Southwest eventually extends some good-will gesture.

Also, if you are looking to earn the pass this year, the requirements got easier. This I did speculate, although I assumed you’d have to earn 110,000 qualifying points to earn the post (instead of the new 125,000 point requirement). For just this year, you’ll only need to earn 100,000 qualifying points or fly 75 flights in 2020 to earn the pass. This will then give you the pass for all of 2020 and 2021. If you are already pass the 100,000 point mark, but have yet to hit 125,000 points — congrats, you just earned the pass!

Status extension

If you have A-List and A-List status that is set to expire at the end of this year, your status will be extended another year. Also, if you enrolled in a promotion to earn Southwest status, the deadline to meet the requirements has been extended to October 30, 2020.

If you are still looking to earn status this year, Southwest has lowered the requirements as well. To earn A-List status you’ll only need to earn 20,000 qualifying points or fly 15 times. To earn A-List preferred status, you’ll need to earn 55,000 qualifying points or fly 40 times.

Travel fund extension

Although Southwest already extended travel funds, they are making another extension. For all funds that have expired between March 1 and Sept. 7, 2020 or funds newly created due to a cancelation between the same time period, will have a new expiration date of Sept. 7, 2022. This is an extremely generous extension!

You can easily see all your travel funds in your account, but it will take some time for them to be updated on the backend.

Exchange travel funds to points!

This is an amazing option and a new tactic Southwest is trying. If you have travel funds that you will no longer be able to use, i.e., you are typically not a Southwest flyer, you can exchange your funds to Southwest points. If you have funds that are expiring or new creating funds between March 1 and Sept. 7, 2020, you can covert those funds into points. The conversion ratio is still be created, but they are staying that they’ll be worth the same rate. Southwest points are typically worth around 1.4 cents per point, although there is sometimes a few cents difference one way or the other depending on the time you are flying (peak vs. off-peak) and if you are flying international or domestic.

Overall…

I am glad to see Southwest finally putting something together. I am quite pleased with most of the extensions, but wish they took more considerations for 2020/2021 Southwest Companion Pass members.

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