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Companion Pass Question

soxfan82
Active Member

I was a little dismayed to see that people who earned their companion pass IN 2020 have continued to be left out of the companion pass extensions. I earned my companion pass in March, 2020. Thus, my companion pass was already good thru December 31, 2021. Only people who earned their pass in 2019 (so it was set to expire at the end of 2020) get a benefit from extending the pass thru 2021. Plus those folks got to use their pass in 2019. 

 

All companion pass members are losing access to their passes at the exact same time during the virus. It's not just the ones whose pass was expiring last year. Thus, all companion pass members should be offered the same extension time to use it later when the world is normal again. In my case (and anyone who earned their pass in 2020), that would be an extension thru December 21, 2022.

If people in my situation don't get an extension thru 2022, there's a real chance that I'll have earned CP in March 2020, held it for the entire period I earned thru 12/31/21 and literally never had a real chance to actually use it. Even in the best case scenario with vaccines, etc, it's 5-6 months out of nearly 2 years.

27 REPLIES 27

Re: Companion Pass Question

TheMiddleSeat
Top Contributor

There's no reason for Southwest to assume all of 2021 will be a bad year for travel and pre-emptively extend Companion Pass expiration from Dec 31, 2021 to 2022.  If any extension like this is going to take place it will most likely happen in December 2021 or January 2022.  I'm not saying it won't happen, it's just way too early to be making that decision now.

 

--TheMiddleSeat

Re: Companion Pass Question

soxfan82
Active Member

That's a good point and you're likely right. But for sake of argument, let's assume that 2021 ends up being a good year for travel starting in June (unlikely, but let's assume). And let's assume that because June-December 2021 was good for travel, they don't offer any more extensions to anyone.

Here's a comparison:

 

Scenario A (Me): Earned CP in March 2020 just before COVID - couldn't really use it until June 1, 2021 - pass expires December 31, 2021.  = Total of 7 months of realistic use, life of the pass.

 

Scenario B: (Someone who earned CP in March 2019): Used the pass no problem thru March 2020 before COVID got big, pass was supposed to expire 12/31/2020 but got extended to 12/31/2021. No travel March 2020 thru June 1, 2021, then used it again.  Total = 20 months of realistic use, life of the pass.

 

So the person in scenario B gets to actually use their pass for nearly 3 times longer, because of the extensions. So even if 2021 ends up being a good year for travel, an extension is still the only fair thing for those who earned CP in 2020.

Re: Companion Pass Question

TheMiddleSeat
Top Contributor

Understood that the changes benefit some people more than others.  Again, I think it's too early to speculate about 2021 and I wouldn't rule out another extension at some point.  If loads remain low there's no reason not to give out free companions like they did for anyone that purchased a single flight late last year.  All those people got free companions in January and February of this year as a way to encourage people to buy at least one ticket.  If loads are high in late 2021 it's less likely another extension will happen.  Why give away seats when you can sell them?

 

--TheMiddleSeat

Re: Companion Pass Question

Cybore
New Arrival

I agree that the way they handled cp extensions hasn't been the most equitable when it comes to cp 2019 and cp 2020 earners. 

Re: Companion Pass Question

soxfan82
Active Member

Re: Middleseat
I agree that's it's too early to speculate, but regarding "Why give away seats when you can sell them" - again all I'm asking for is an extension to use time I earned that I haven't been able to use. Meanwhile people who did not earn CP for 2021 (but did earn it for 2019-20) continue to be given more and more time they never earned. I get the planes are empty right now. But it's just not the fair thing to do.

 

I'm cautiously optimistic that they understand this and won't leave us flapping in the breeze as we get closer to the end of 2021.

Re: Companion Pass Question

soxfan82
Active Member

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Re: Companion Pass Question

DancingDavidE
Top Contributor

@soxfan82 wrote:

Re: Middleseat
I agree that's it's too early to speculate, but regarding "Why give away seats when you can sell them" - again all I'm asking for is an extension to use time I earned that I haven't been able to use. Meanwhile people who did not earn CP for 2021 (but did earn it for 2019-20) continue to be given more and more time they never earned. I get the planes are empty right now. But it's just not the fair thing to do.

 

I'm cautiously optimistic that they understand this and won't leave us flapping in the breeze as we get closer to the end of 2021.


The extended 2019/2020 people are in the same boat as yourself - either you'll all be able to use your passes this year 2021 or not. The prior extension doesn't mean anything yet until people are actually flying. If flying returns to somewhat normal this year then everyone gets the same chance to use it. There is certainly the chance for another extension as well, we'll have to see how the year goes. 

 

I'm sorry that you took advantage of a promotion or other deliberate action to get your pass in March 2020, that's really bad luck but who would have seen this whole situation coming. It was on the horizon but when you started the process I'm sure you weren't envisioning this scenario and neither was Southwest.

 

 

 

 

 

Home airport MDW, frequent visitor to MCO to see the mouse.

Re: Companion Pass Question

15grandkids
New Arrival

If SW chooses to extend the companion pass for those who's pass expired in 2020,

why not extend the pass for those who have earned it during 2020 for the 2021 calendar year, to the end of 2022. Giving each member equal benefits.

We traveled and earned points and spending credits throughout 2020 and believe that should mean something.

Re: Companion Pass Question

gsking
Active Member

@15grandkids wrote:

If SW chooses to extend the companion pass for those who's pass expired in 2020,

why not extend the pass for those who have earned it during 2020 for the 2021 calendar year, to the end of 2022. Giving each member equal benefits.

We traveled and earned points and spending credits throughout 2020 and believe that should mean something.


To thoroughly beat a dead horse...

 

1. The main goal for SW is to make money and stay profitable.   Giving CP benefits works best for them when it fills empty seats,  not when it displaces paying passengers.   So arguably, giving CP extensions for 2021 makes more sense than giving them away for 2022.

 

2.  Extending your logic out,  if I earn my pass for 2022, should I get a free pass for 2023?  At some point,  trying to give each member "equal benefits" no longer makes sense.   So,  you need to accept that people who have less than you to start with may end up with more benefits.   That's kinda the way the world works.  Do you expect to get a welfare check when you already have a job too?

 

3.  We have no idea what SW will do in 12 months.   No point in fretting over it now.