By Lisa Whitlaw
Oh the visions that danced through my head when I realized that I could finally obtain the Southwest Companion Pass, a pass that would let me bring someone free whereever I’d travel on Southwest.
I’d go to New York City, San Antonio, Aruba, San Juan, San Diego, the Bahamas and Grand Cayman… I was dizzy just thinking about it!
Then I had to calm down and get real. Who would I take? My husband and I do have an anniversary coming up; maybe a romantic destination? I also want to take the kids to new places; what do they like? But, with the kids, I have to work around school breaks. I needed a plan and fast!
Getting the Southwest Companion Pass
I’ve never had the Southwest Companion Pass, but always wanted one, so I was thrilled when I saw Southwest’s new offer that grants flyers a Companion Pass after signing up for one personal card and meeting a $4,000 minimum spend.
As the child of an airline pilot, I grew up taking travel for granted, because we were able to fly free to so many places with my dad’s employee perks. Now, I try to do whatever I can to travel often, but for as little money as possible. Knowing I could fly one person in my family FREE (minus the taxes and fees) is a game changer!
I knew I was within the limits of the 5/24 rule with Chase (this rule states that you won’t be approved for any new cards with Chase if you have opened 5 or more cards in the last 24 months), so I should be able to be approved for a Southwest personal card easily. I was approved, and I’ve already met the minimum spend!
I knew I had some big expenses coming, like kids’ sports fees, car insurance, driving school (for my 15-year-old, not me!) and all my regular utility bills, that would cover the $4,000 minimum spend. Now I’m just awaiting the glorious pass and deciding where to use it…
Where to Travel on Southwest
After looking at the Southwest Route Map, I’m considering Louisville as an option for my family of four. My youngest is a baseball player and my oldest has recently gotten into caving. We could visit the Louisville Slugger Museum and Factory, and take a short drive to Mammoth Cave National Park.
Visiting San Antonio has been something I’ve wanted to do for years. Fresh guacamole by the River Walk just sounds amazing and delicious. This could be a good anniversary trip! Throw in a little history for the hubs by visiting the Alamo and BAM, happy anniversary ;-).
Next up is planning a summer trip. I would love to go somewhere tropical for some scuba, hiking and relaxation. This hits all the interests of everyone in my family. I’ve narrowed it down to Grand Cayman or Belize. Although Southwest flies to many other tropical destinations, Grand Cayman and Belize meet the needs of my family.
I’m still dreaming of throwing in some “extra” trips, but I’ll have to be a little more spontaneous with those. I do still want to get to ALL of the destinations I mentioned above, so I’ll have to figure out a way to earn all 110,000 Southwest points limit to extend my Companion Pass through the end of 2020. I’m currently enrolled in Lyn’s Southwest Companion Pass online course, which is a good option that walks you step by step EXACTLY how to earn all those points.
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