Southwest Companion Pass Changes and Other Tweaks to Rapid Rewards
Southwest Airlines surprised Rapid Rewards members today with an email detailing upcoming changes to the loyalty program. One of the main changes involves the Companion Pass is getting harder to obtain starting next year. But, Rapid Rewards Credit Cardmembers will get a boost of 10,000 Companion Pass qualifying points every year to make up for it. Let’s see the full details of the announcement.
Rapid Rewards Changes
Here are the changes that were announced in the email:
- Companion Pass holders can now board together with their Companions (unless the Companion Pass holder purchased a Business Select® fare, purchased Upgraded Boarding, or added the Companion after they had been assigned a boarding position).
- We’re increasing the points required to earn Companion Pass benefits from 125,000 to 135,000 qualifying points in a calendar year. As a new benefit, Rapid Rewards Credit Cardmembers will receive a boost of 10,000 Companion Pass qualifying points every year.
- To requalify for your Companion Pass® you’ll need to fly 100 qualifying one-way flights or earn 125,000 qualifying points in a calendar year. And beginning January 1, 2023, you’ll need to earn 135,000 Companion Pass qualifying points or fly 100 qualifying one-way flights in a calendar year to requalify.
- When a Member opens a Rapid Rewards Credit Card after the first business day of the calendar year, they will receive one boost of 10,000 Companion Pass qualifying points up to 30 days after opening the Rapid Rewards Credit Card. Only one boost of 10,000 Companion Pass qualifying points can be earned each calendar year by each Rapid Rewards account no matter how many Rapid Rewards Credit Cards are open for the Rapid Rewards account. Eligible Members will see the boost added to their Rapid Rewards account by logging in to their account on Southwest.com®. The Companion Pass Qualifying Points boost cannot be used for redemption.
- When you book Wanna Get Away® or Wanna Get Away Plus™ travel with your Rapid Rewards points, if your plans change and you want a points refund, you must cancel the reservation at least 10 minutes before the flight’s original scheduled departure time. Failure to cancel the trip 10 minutes before scheduled departure will result in forfeited points, starting summer 2023.
Read more details about how you can earn the Companion Pass and how it all works.
The main change that was announced today is the requirement to earn the Southwest Companion Pass. This is another increase just three years after it was upped from 110,000 to 125,000 on January 1, 2020.
Now the requirement will be 135,000 starting from January 1, 2023. If you earn your Companion Pass through credit cards however, that shouldn’t be much of an issue as cardmembers will receive a boost of 10,000 Companion Pass qualifying points every year. The other option of 100 qualifying one-way flights is not changing.
Another change about the Companion Pass is that Companion Pass holders can now board together with their companions.