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Single Woman Woes: Companion Pass status

erbain
New Arrival

Dear Southwest, you know how much I love you.

 

For the first time ever (or at least that I can recall!) I have earned Companion Pass status. Hooray for me! The problem is, I don't have a regular companion--I'm not married, I don't have a steady, I don't have a kid. I do have a cat but at age 19 he's tired of flying, and I kinda doubt you'd let me use my companion pass on a cat (though really, you should--cats are less trouble than most passengers!).

 

I understand that I can designate anyone and then change that designation twice during a calendar year, but that's not particularly useful. Have you considered adjusting this perk for those of us who are unlikely to find ourselves companion-ed?

9 REPLIES 9

Re: Single Woman Woes: Companion Pass status

LindseyD
Retired Community Manager
Solution

Hi @erbain,

 

They don't call us the Love Airline for nothing, you know! Over on the blog side of the Community, we've got quite a few stories of people who jumped on a plane and met the love of their life in the seat next to them. 

 

Congratulations on earning your Companion Pass! At this time, there isn't an alternative to the CP, but I feel confident that you'll find someone to share those adventures with - and I hope you'll come back and give us the details when you do! 

 

 

Re: Single Woman Woes: Companion Pass status

erbain
New Arrival

Yes, I understand. What I was trying to point out, with some humor, was that Southwest is making outdated assumptions about who their A Listers are, and what they might want.

 

From the advent of flying until the late 1970s, it was perfectly reasonable to assume that the majority of your frequent fliers were male, likely businessmen flying for work, and that they would enjoy the ability to take their wives along with them from time to time. It was fairly unusual for a single anyone to be a frequent flier.

 

The world has changed, and both men and women now get married later in life (if at all), and both men and women are equally likely to be flying frequently for both work and pleasure.

 

My suggestion is that Southwest take a look at the demographic information available and consider whether an alternative to Companion Pass might be a good idea. Right now it would be far more valuable to me to have an automatic upgrade to business select and free wifi, for example, or have the ability to select a different companion for each of my trips (as then I could travel with friends).

Re: Single Woman Woes: Companion Pass status

DancingDavidE
Top Contributor

@erbain wrote:

 

My suggestion is that Southwest take a look at the demographic information available and consider whether an alternative to Companion Pass might be a good idea. Right now it would be far more valuable to me to have an automatic upgrade to business select and free wifi, for example, or have the ability to select a different companion for each of my trips (as then I could travel with friends).


Based on my own survey of the CP holders that I know personally, the demographics may have changed somewhat from the old days based on what I see on these boards, but I'd need to see the actual numbers before deciding that it wasn't still a great fit for most CP holders. I'm not sure how much it will have shifted in percentage terms.

 

To offer a devil's advocate argument - the CP is a benefit to customers that let's say historically flew with a spouse - the spouse enjoys flying (mind did the past several years!) and that locks you in to Southwest! 

 

The customer retention argument wouldn't be as strong if you can change the companion at will, there is some balance between making it a benefit to the CP holder and also enhancing customer retention to the airline. A program that favors spouses, domestic partners, children, parents, or BFF's makes much more sense for Southwest than one that allowed a new person every time.

 

I'll make a counter proposal for this thread though: what if the CP allowed nomination of a primary and an alternate person at one time so that you didn't have to switch back and forth and had flexibility of either/or companions. I think a policy like this would help drive the CP holder to take as many or more flights on Southwest which seems to be one of the goals.

 

 

 

 

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

Re: Single Woman Woes: Companion Pass status

KristiKeel
New Arrival

You can actually change your designated companion 3 times per calendar year. So that gives you one more opportunity, for a total of 4 possible travel partners per year. I'm also currently enjoying my first year of companion pass.  🙂

Re: Single Woman Woes: Companion Pass status

khaz
New Arrival

I'm right there with you, sistah, except that my Companion Pass status is within my grasp.  Thanks for making SWA aware of the rules not fitting our marital status - gotta believe there are many many more of us among SWA's loyal passenger base.   Glad to learn from the other blogger that we can change companion names 4 x per year, so that helps. Hopefully SWA will show their awesomeness once more by changing their policy to not discriminate against us single people who don't have a consistent companion.  

Re: Single Woman Woes: Companion Pass status

Angielovesfood
New Arrival

Thank you for sharing your dilemma, as I am also single. This is the first time I received the Companion Pass too. Yay! It's definitely harder to enjoy this pass with the limited amount of changes for the pass. I also love Southwest as I've always flown with them. Southwest would be amazing if they considered the growing population of single women who have no kids and love to travel!

Re: Single Woman Woes: Companion Pass status

SerenaAmos
New Arrival

I found this post hoping it would ACTUALLY address the continued problem of single people and the companion pass, but sadly, it didn't....at all 😞

 

I'm not only single, but have 2 kids.  Why on Earth can I not make my children my companions and actually be able to plan in the future?  From what I can see now I have to cancel any existing reservations with 1 companion to make reservations for a 2nd companion.  


For instance, if I have a trip to take my son somewhere, but also want to take my daughter elsewhere I can't have 2 reservations pending simutaneously.  Please correct me if I'm understanding this incorrectly, because as is I don't understand how ANY single person could make travel arrangements? 

Re: Single Woman Woes: Companion Pass status

dfwskier
Top Contributor

Let's see if i can help sort this out.

 

Companion pass allows you to designate one person who will be your companion. It can be anyone you choose. You are allowed to change the companion to another person, and you can make the change up to three times during the year.

 

So it seems that you can designate one of your children to be your companion, but if you are travelling with both kids then the second would have to be on a paid ticket.

Re: Single Woman Woes: Companion Pass status

DancingDavidE
Top Contributor

@SerenaAmos wrote:

I found this post hoping it would ACTUALLY address the continued problem of single people and the companion pass, but sadly, it didn't....at all 😞

 

I'm not only single, but have 2 kids.  Why on Earth can I not make my children my companions and actually be able to plan in the future?  From what I can see now I have to cancel any existing reservations with 1 companion to make reservations for a 2nd companion.  


For instance, if I have a trip to take my son somewhere, but also want to take my daughter elsewhere I can't have 2 reservations pending simutaneously.  Please correct me if I'm understanding this incorrectly, because as is I don't understand how ANY single person could make travel arrangements? 


That's correct - the idea would be to take your best guess at it to nominate the one that would use CP the most throughout the year to maximize your total ticket $ that is comped.

 

Then depending if you were traveling with one or the other you could change it periodically to get the extra free ticket strategically - knowing that under the current rules you wouldn't be able to swap them while you have reservations in place.

 

In that situation where you see a few times per year to change it, I'd recommend to book the non-CP child on points to hold a spot. If the flight becomes sold out, you have a backup plan to change CP prior to the flight and call to have the points flight canceled (which you get returned to your account without the restrictions of a travel fund) and re-issued as a companion.

 

Depending how far out you are looking, you'd need to do this for both the CP and non-CP child to hold the spots for any flights after the switch and switch-back. 

 

Several of us on here are happy to help, if you want to throw out some scenarios we can try to help you maximize the benefit.

 

 

 

 

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