Today’s post comes from Ross Loehr, a traveling father of two.
“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” Besides being a quote from the famous Charles Dickens novel, it often sums up the travel experience with children in tow. When flying with kids you hope to use JUST the first half of the quote to describe your experience. Southwest Airlines does this for families in multiple ways and I’ll share my top 7.
Companion Pass and Earning Points
This awesome benefit allows you to book Buy One, Get One flights with a travel partner for 2 calendar years. Once you earn the pass, you can book a flight with points (plus taxes and fees starting at $5.60 each way) and then add your companion at no charge besides the taxes and fees. The companion pass can be achieved by earning 110,000 Rapid Rewards points in a calendar year.
Once you reach this goal, you are eligible for BOGO flights for the remainder of the calendar year in which you earned the pass, as well as the entire following year. The quickest way for most people is to apply for both a Southwest Business and Personal credit card when the sign-up bonus for each is at least 50k miles since these sign-up bonuses will count towards the 110k milestone. The bonus generally reaches 60k points a few times a year, so it pays to keep an eye out for this offer as well. If you hit the 110k threshold, you are looking at a travel credit of approximately $1,650 (Rapid Rewards points are worth about 1.5 cents each). Using these points in conjunction with the companion pass will equate to approximately $3300 in fare savings. If you don’t qualify for a Southwest business card, it is still worth signing up for a personal version of the Chase Southwest credit card to earn $700 or more in Southwest credit. This will cut down on the cost of family flying in a big way.