It has now been 1 year since I have earned my Southwest Companion Pass. I have used it numerous times for weekend trips around the US!
We have traveled to thus far:
- New York, NY (2 times!)
- New Orleans, LA (2 times!)
- Jacksonville, FL
I have saved a lot of money/points in airfare and we used points for all of the flights thus far. We have used half of the 110,000 we earned for the companion pass and are halfway through it’s lifespan. Even if we run out of points before then end of 2015 I can still buy one get one free on cash fares. It is one of the best deals currently available for 2 people traveling together often.
Conservatively the companion pass has saved me $1200 in cash (or points) fares for the flying companion alone. Since the companion only has to pay taxes on the flight ($5.60 each way for domestic US flights) it has allowed us to travel a lot more than normal. Weekend trips are great for us to not miss too much time at work and still get to visit places without budget worries.
Now that Southwest is adding international destinations the companion pass is worth even more! We are looking at using it to go to Mexico, Belize, the Caribbean, and Costa Rica as options for buy one get one free in our future travels.
Outside of flying with my companion I have also used some of my Southwest points on solo trips where I needed to position to another domestic airport to start an overseas award ticket. This has also saved some cash and otherwise more valuable points that I use for international business class flights. I have flown to New York, Los Angeles, and Dallas to connect to a much bigger flight itinerary for $5.60 out of pocket.
The companion pass is also great for holiday travel when fares can be expensive. Since the companion is flying for free you cut that cost (whether in points or cash) in half!
Bottom line: I will be attempting to renew the companion pass in 2016. There is just too much value for my travel patterns. Flying for nearly free is great. Bringing someone with you for $5.60 extra is even better!