World’s Easiest Southwest Companion Pass

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Southwest is offering a Companion Pass for the rest of 2015 to Atlanta residents who register for the promotion and fly three roundtrips that originate in Atlanta by May 17, and you can get in on it too.

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If you have a regular companion and want to fly within the continental United States, Caribbean, and Mexico, the Southwest Companion Pass is the best deal in travel. The Southwest Companion Pass allows you to designate a companion who flies for government taxes ($5.60 domestically) every time you fly Southwest–whether your ticket is a paid ticket or award ticket. (More info on Companion Pass. How to earn the Companion Pass for up to 23 months from opening two credit cards.)

If you’re so inclined, it seems trivially easy to be an Atlanta resident for this promotion.

How It Works

If you are not a Rapid Rewards member, go to the promo page and click “Enroll Now!” You’ll sign up for a Rapid Rewards account that will be enrolled in the promotion. To qualify as an Atlanta resident, you must have one of the zip codes on this page.

If you have an existing Rapid Rewards account, your address on file needed to be in one of those zip codes as of February 5, 2015 to be eligible. So if you didn’t have that address last week, you might want to start a new Rapid Rewards account. I am not sure how to enroll an existing account. Maybe sign in to your existing Southwest account and go to the promo page.

Now you have to fly three paid roundtrip tickets that originate in Atlanta. These must be purchased and flown between now and May 17, 2015. Currently the cheapest roundtrips I see are $217 to all of Southwest’s Florida destinations; Richmond, VA; and more. Frankly that seems a bit high to me for a lot of 1-2 hour flights, but you can lock those prices in, and if prices fall, you can rebook and get Southwest credit in the amount of the price difference.

If you have no trips you want to take, you can do three roundtrips in a day or two for $651 and have a Companion Pass for the rest of the year. For many, that would be fun and worth it. If you don’t live in Atlanta, your positioning flights to Atlanta would add to the cost.

If you can take three fun weekend trips and get some value out of the flights, your “cost”–the price of the tickets minus their value to you–goes down quite a bit.

Be Smart with Positioning

If I lived in Tampa, here’s what I’d do: I’d open a new Southwest Rapid Rewards account with an Atlanta zip code. I’d book myself the cheapest Tampa-to-Atlanta flight one way (possibly on Southwest), and then three roundtrips from Atlanta to Tampa, and then the cheapest Atlanta-to-Tampa one way flight. This would cut down on positioning costs by making sure I only positioned once, and then I’d have a Companion Pass in Tampa, which has a lot of daily Southwest flights.

Third Southwest Post of the Day

This post is a record third post about Southwest today. Also check out your chance to win a $51 gift card and Southwest’s massive devaluation that takes effect in April.

Bottom Line

Southwest is offering Atlanta residents a super easy route to a Companion Pass, just three roundtrip paid tickets originating in Atlanta. And for the purposes of this promo, you might be an Atlanta resident.

Hat Tip MJ on Travel

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Meeting the minimum spending requirement on the Arrival Plus give you about $500 worth of free flights on any airline with no blackouts. Use the $500 in free flights to book three roundtrips from Atlanta and get a free companion pass.

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9 COMMENTS

  1. I am an Atlanta resident so this is an incredible deal. You do go to the promo page when logged in. I’m curious though how people who are not residents would be eligible though. The terms state you need to have a valid Atlanta address so would a made up address? Wouldn’t Southwest need to validate this somehow with billing address?

    • I’ve never had my airline loyalty program address validated. Maybe Southwest will, but I’d be surprised. You don’t need to give a billing address on tickets IIRC. Just use PayPal.

  2. Any idea what would happen if someone were to earn the regular companion pass for earning 110k southwest points in a calendar year and also earn a companion pass with this new promotion? Would it be redundant or would you have 2 companion passes for at least the rest of 2015?

    • I found the answer to my own question for anyone wondering the same thing:

      If Member earns regular Companion Pass status by flying 100 qualifying one-way flights or earning 110,000 Qualifying Points in the calendar year while qualified for promotional Companion Pass status, the regular Companion Pass status will supersede the promotional Companion Pass status rendering the promotional Companion Pass void, entitling the Member to Companion Pass status through December 31, 2016.

  3. […] Program to Start with For Beginners: If Southwest serves routes you want to fly, join the program and get one of the Southwest credit cards when the bonuses go to 50,000 points every few months. If you usually fly with the same companion, get the Southwest Companion Pass–possibly the best deal in travel. […]

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