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History of the Companion Pass

MaxLipman
New Arrival

I’m curious the history of the companion pass.  I’ve had mine for 5 years and it’s one of the many reasons why I love Southwest, but I’m so curious of it’s origin story.  There’s so much info about Southwest’s history but nothing about the companion pass that I can find, and when I search companion pass history I get tons of articles about the pass, but not its past.  Hoping someone can enlighten me a bit regarding its age, how it came to be, and other interesting tidbits.  
Thanks,

 Max

6 REPLIES 6

Re: History of the Companion Pass

TheMiddleSeat
Top Contributor

Strange, I don't see any mention of it in any of their 50th anniversary history info. 

 

--TheMiddleSeat

Re: History of the Companion Pass

MaxLipman
New Arrival
Solution

For anyone else curious I found the following article in the archives of the WSJ, doesn’t completely answer my question but it’s a start.

 

Southwest Air to Start A Frequent-Flier Club

Wall Street Journal, Eastern edition; New York, N.Y. [New York, N.Y]. 19 June 1987: 1.

DALLAS -- Southwest Airlines, one of the only major airlines without a frequent-flier club, said it will join the rest of the industry in establishing a program, starting Monday.
Southwest said its program, called the Company Club, will be targeted at business travelers by rewarding fliers on the basis of total trips flown. Most airlines base their awards on mileage flown.
But unlike most carriers, which allow anybody to enroll in their programs, Southwest said it will limit membership in its club to travelers who complete 10 round-trip or 20 one-way flights within a 12-month period.
Upon enrollment, club members will receive a free round-trip ticket for travel anywhere Southwest flies and will be eligible to qualify for additional free round-trip tickets for every eight round-trip or 16 one-way trips flown during a 12-month period. For 50 or more round trips a year, members will get a companion pass that will let the person of their choice fly free for a year when traveling with the frequent flier. Club members also will be eligible for discounts on rental cars and hotels, Southwest said.

Re: History of the Companion Pass

dfwskier
Top Contributor

Well, from that article it seems that you know the initiation date for the program:19 June 1987

Re: History of the Companion Pass

TheMiddleSeat
Top Contributor

There's lots of info out there about the frequent flyer program starting, but I haven't seen any mention of when Companion Pass started, which I think was the OP's original question.

 

--TheMiddleSeat

Re: History of the Companion Pass

dfwskier
Top Contributor

@TheMiddleSeat wrote:

There's lots of info out there about the frequent flyer program starting, but I haven't seen any mention of when Companion Pass started, which I think was the OP's original question.

 

--TheMiddleSeat


I believe the last paragraph says it started with the advent of the FF program - which would have been the date the WSJ ran the story about SW's press release: 19 June 1987

 

edit add:

 

"Upon enrollment, club members will   

 

...

 

 

For 50 or more round trips a year, members will get a companion pass that will let the person of their choice fly free for a year when traveling with the frequent flier. Club members also will be eligible for discounts on rental cars and hotels, Southwest said."

Re: History of the Companion Pass

TheMiddleSeat
Top Contributor

Doh, I missed that. Thanks for pointing it out.

 

--TheMiddleSeat