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Companion Pass - a bad experience

yxucolo
New Arrival

When you travel with a Companion Pass, you must travel with the Primary through all legs of the whole trip, or it'll cost you big time.  I got bit by this rigid rule and wish that I had never earned the Companion Pass.

 

I have earned Companion Pass for a few years, but never had a chance to use it until recently.  So, I went on a trip with my wife.  Unfortunately, I had to change my travel plan to let my wife fly alone on the last leg to return home.  I did not have any problem changing my return flight, and my wife did not have problem to check-in online and receive a boarding pass, either.  However, she was stopped at the gate when she was boarding the plane.  I had to buy her another ticket for this last leg and pay the last-minute fare that is almost double the cost of the whole trip.  It is unfair that we are forced to buy an expensive ticket for a seat already assigned to the Companion Pass, but that is the risk of using the Companion Pass.

10 REPLIES 10

Re: Companion Pass - a bad experience

chgoflyer
Top Contributor

Understanding the rules of the Companion Pass could have saved you an expensive lesson. It's pretty obvious that the companion cannot fly without the member who earned the pass.

Re: Companion Pass - a bad experience

yxucolo
New Arrival

Of course, I was overly excited by the perk and did not read the fine-print of the rules.  But things happen, and flight plan changes.  This rule should be more flexible so travelers would not have to pay such a penalty at the gate.  Or at least the traveler should be notified when the reward owner changes his/her flight, so I could re-book the flight for companion a few days earlier, which would be much cheaper.

Re: Companion Pass - a bad experience

chgoflyer
Top Contributor

With all due respect... it's called a Companion Pass. It allows a companion to fly with you for free, as your companion. What would ever make you think that the companion could fly for free alone?

 

Even without getting into the complete terms and conditions, it's pretty clearly stated on the website how it works.

 

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Re: Companion Pass - a bad experience

yxucolo
New Arrival

@chgoflyer: It is funny that you sound so protective for Southwest, and so disrespectful to a customer.

Re: Companion Pass - a bad experience

chgoflyer
Top Contributor

I literally began my comment with the phrase "with all due respect." 😉

 

I have to laugh. If you read some of my other posts here, it will become clear that I'm not at all "protective for Southwest." While they're a great carrier, they do some things very wrong, and increasingly have implemented more and more customer-unfriendly policies that I've called out frequently.

 

That said, the Companion Pass is one of the things they do absolutely right.

 

There's no other carrier that offers a benefit anything like it. And, as I said, I do think it's pretty clear how it's supposed to work. It's hard to imagine that someone wouldn't understand what a "Companion Pass" means.

 

I'm sorry that you didn't fully understand it before using it, and that you learned an expensive lesson. To avoid issues like this in the future, I'd suggest carefully reading the terms and conditions of any financial transaction ahead of time.

Re: Companion Pass - a bad experience

Cmpred
New Arrival

I'm absolutely in the same boat as you. When my work plans change, I suck it up and accompany my companion to our final destination and book the earliest flight the next day to go to my work destination. It sucks sometimes to land at midnight and get on a 6 am flight, but free is free and I'm very very happy with the benefit!

Re: Companion Pass - a bad experience

FrontRowFlyer
New Arrival

They don't fly free. They pay the tax on the flight only. A super cool deal if you ask me. 

Re: Companion Pass - a bad experience

philmcollins51
New Arrival

Rules are rules. Didn't you have enough points to have paid for the flight with points instead of money? I understand you being upset but all of us with companion passes should know the rules. No other airline that I know of has this perk. My wife flies with me ofter. My only complaint is having to save a seat for her. She should be able to board with me or at lease after the A group. I have to buy an early bird ticket so I won't have to save her seat as long. Flying free is not problem free.

Re: Companion Pass - a bad experience

FrontRowFlyer
New Arrival

It's not a risk. The rule is clear- companion must travel with primary flyer the entire trip. This is a gift Southwest is offering to you. It is not a bad thing.