By Lisa Whitlaw
This is a common question we get at Go to Travel Gal for those who are in the process of earning their Southwest Companion Pass, which lets one person fly nearly free with them for up to two years.
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How do you “hold” a seat on a Southwest flight for a person you plan to add as your free Companion once you earn the pass?
This is an excellent question that CAN be confusing.
Most people think they should wait until they have earned their Companion Pass before they book flights for their Companion, which DOES make sense.
But we’ve got an alternate solution for you…
Here was one reader’s specific question about this topic:
“If I book a flight for my husband and myself and then later receive my Southwest Companion Pass, can I switch his fare to a Companion ticket and get a refund? Or should I wait until I receive my [Southwest] Companion Pass to make both reservations?”
We recommend that you go ahead and book both seats NOW with the plan to cancel one once you earn your pass.
Why should you do this? We’ll get into more detail further down, but essentially the flight could sell out and you may NOT be able to add your Companion once you earn the Southwest Companion Pass. Now, wouldn’t that be a huge bummer?? 🙁
What NOT to Do
Lyn NEVER considered that she wouldn’t be able to add her Companion to a flight, as it had never happened to her in three years … until IT DID finally happen :).
She waited until three weeks before a Spring Break flight to add her son as her Companion, and when she went to do it, was unable to, because the flight was completely booked! Aack!!
Lyn’s family had to completely change their plans from Florida beaches to Palm Springs, California, because the flights were now too expensive to book on a different flight where she COULD still add her Companion.
Luckily, with Southwest’s no-change-fee policy, they were able to completely change their destination to Palm Springs (by way of San Diego) and book new flights that DID fit within the number of Southwest points they wanted to spend.
What You SHOULD Do
We recommend booking that “holder” fare with Southwest points if you have them, because when you’re ready to cancel the booking to add them as your Companion, the points INSTANTLY go back into your account.
This is the BEST option.
It’s not an ideal scenario and travel funds can sometimes be tricky to use before they expire!
Either way (booking in points or paying for an Anytime fare) holds your seat for your companion so you don’t get stuck like Lyn :).
How Do I Cancel the Booked Ticket and Add My Companion FREE?
- How to Cancel a Southwest Flight
- The Definitive Guide to Earning Your Southwest Companion Pass
- Top 10 FAQs About the Southwest Companion Pass