Using the Southwest Airlines Companion Pass on Southwest and AirTran

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This is post #7 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

UPDATE: AirTran is no longer an airline due to the merger in November 2014. You can no longer book AirTran flights.

Due to the Southwest Airlines and AirTran Airways merger, the Southwest Airlines Companion pass can be used on any flight that you can book through Southwest (either online or the phone) regardless of which airline it is operated by. So if book a flight on Southwest that is operated by AirTran than the companion pass can be applied. However, if you book a flight on AirTran, even if it is operated by Southwest, the companion pass cannot be applied.

To use the companion pass you must first book the primary persons reservation as normal. Remember, this can be a paid or points reservation, it doesn’t matter – one of the best perks of the companion pass is that ALL flights qualify to add on your companion’s free ticket.

Once your ticket is booked you can make your companions reservation. The easiest and simplest way is to call Southwest (1-800-I-FLY-SWA) and have them book the ticket. The reason I say this over doing it online is that your Southwest account will take about 5 minutes or so to update with your reservation. While this isn’t a problem, it is easy to simply forget to book the companion ticket since you cannot do it immediately – I’ve been guilty of this before!

But if you are an anti-phone person (which I totally understand as waiting on hold and speaking to a representative is anything but fun), the online process is extremely easy. To add your companion follow these steps:

In your Southwest online account, go to the My Travel tab and click the Add a Companion link.

southwest 1

The companions flight will automatically mimic that of the primary person’s reservation. The exact same flight will be pre-selected. You will be given the total cost of the flight, which is $2.50 per segment. In this particular example, the flight selected has one layover so is $5 total. At the bottom of the page you will need to select the Continue button (not shown in the screen shot below) to move to the purchase flight page.

southwest 2

Your companions information will already be pre-populated based on the information given when selecting your companion for the companion pass. You will NOT be able to change this persons information. From here you will purchase the flight as you would any other Southwest flight.

Confirmation of your companion’s reservation will take a few minutes. You can verify the reservation by going back into your account and going to the My Travel tab. The Add a Companion link will no longer be there and instead you will see a confirmation number for your companion. If the Add a Companion link is still present, click on it and you should see a message at the top of the next page saying, “We are currently adding a Companion Fare to your existing flight.” Just give it a few minutes for the system to update.

If you need to cancel your flight, you must cancel your companions flight first, then cancel the primary persons reservation. The system will not allow you to cancel any other way. When doing this, the system will take a few minutes to fully cancel the companions ticket so you’ll have to wait a few to then cancel the primary persons reservation.

Southwest Credit Card to Help Earn the Companion Pass: There are currently three different cards to apply for to help you earn the Southwest companion pass. You can learn more about them here.

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