Tue. Jan 31st, 2023

Southwest Airlines is offering an awesome Companion Pass deal if you sign up by September 8, 2022. Simply register for the deal, then buy two one-way tickets or one roundtrip ticket for flights between now and November. Your reward? A Companion Pass to take your favorite companion with you free when you buy a flight for yourself, in January, February and Mach 2023.

This offer is for a promotional three-month Companion Pass. A full-year Companion Pass typically requires earning 125,000 Companion Pass qualifying points or flying 100 qualifying flights. But that’s road warrior territory, and business travel is still lagging leisure travel in terms of pandemic recovery.

As business travel started to come back, “it was skewed toward smaller businesses and government and education,” said Andrew Watterson, chief commercial officer of Southwest Airlines. He added, “our largest corporate [customers] are the ones that are lagging, particularly banking, consulting and technology.”

(Full disclosure: I own stock in Southwest Airlines, American Airlines and Jet Blue.)

So, the promotional Companion Pass is a way to kick-start demand from travelers of all kinds during the slower “shoulder season” months. The deal is for members of the popular Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards program. (If you’re not a member now, it’s a simple matter to sign up here.)

The Rapid Rewards program is popular because there are no blackout dates like most other airlines. Also, points never expire, and there are no cancellation fees. If you cancel an account booked with Rapid Rewards points, they just go back into your account.

So how do you get your Companion Pass? As a Rapid Rewards member, you’ll need to purchase a Southwest revenue flight (one round trip or two one-ways) by Sept. 8, 2022, then travel on the booked reservations from Sept. 6 through Nov. 17, 2022. Rapid Rewards Members who qualify can travel with a Companion valid for unlimited usage from Jan. 4 through March 4, 2023.

As Southwest puts it, the Companion Pass is a unique benefit among U.S. airlines. It allows qualifying customers to designate one person to fly with them, free of airline charges (does not include taxes and fees from $5.60 one-way) every time the customer purchases or redeems points for a flight.

I’ve been a Southwest Airlines flyer and Rapid Rewards member for more than 25 years, and I’ve never had a Companion Pass. If you’re interested, start by signing up here. But hurry—you only have through 11:59 Central Time on September 8, 2022.

“We know that flexibility and ease have become even more important for our customers, and this offer is a way to remind our members about the unique benefits of our award-winning Rapid Rewards program,” said Jonathan Clarkson, Vice President of Marketing Loyalty & Products at Southwest Airlines. “We’re thrilled to bring back this popular offer, making it easier for new and loyal customers to travel with their special someone.”

As Southwest puts it in legalese, “register for this promotion, then book one round trip or two one-way qualifying Southwest® flights between 8:00 a.m. CT on Sept. 6, 2022, and 11:59 p.m. CT on Sept. 8, 2022, for travel from Sept. 6 to Nov. 17, 2022, (the “promotion period”), and fly during the promotion period to earn a promotional Companion Pass valid for use between Jan. 4 and March 4, 2023.

If you hurry, two can fly as cheaply as one for a winter’s worth of fun.

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