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Swapping to Companion Pass Booking on Sold Out Flight

New Arrival

So my wife and I have both just earned out companion passes.  We are already booked on a flight to Cancun on 3/24 with the two of us plus out 4 kids.  We want to use our CP for two of the 4 kids but while we have seats reserved, the flight is sold out.  Typically when not sold out we would just cancel the kids seats and rebook with our CP.  In this situation however we can't risk something going wrong as if we were to cancel the flight and the inventory didn't go back immediately we could lose the flight, and that would obviously be disasterous if only 5 out of the 6 of us had flights!  Talk about runing a vacation.  

 

Does anyone have any recommendations on what to do here?  Our flights are currently booked with points.  Does anyone have experience with SW comping you back the points to your account as an exception.  Obviously from where I sit I see this as a limitation of teh SW reservation system, as it could be designed to allow you to switch a normal reservation to a CP reservation if the name and DOB of the reservation and the registered Companion matched.  

 

Recommendations please?

12 REPLIES 12
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Re: Swapping to Companion Pass Booking on Sold Out Flight

Rising Star

I would call and make the change over the phone.  Explain exactly what you are trying to do and that you do not want to lose your seats.  1-800-435-9792

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Re: Swapping to Companion Pass Booking on Sold Out Flight

Active Member

This should not be a problem. I just rebooked 2 flights that I had booked previous to realizing my husband earned CP.  You will have to designate one person to be your companion. The companion will then have credit for cancelled tickets

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Re: Swapping to Companion Pass Booking on Sold Out Flight

Top Contributor

@kmlipinskiwrote:

This should not be a problem. I just rebooked 2 flights that I had booked previous to realizing my husband earned CP.  You will have to designate one person to be your companion. The companion will then have credit for cancelled tickets


 

In the OPs situation, the points for the children's flights would be redeposited into the account used to book them. 

 

Otherwise, the original passenger would have a credit in their name, good for one year from the date of purchase. If that passenger is now the named companion, the CP holder would need to change that to a different person at some point before the credit expires in order to not lose the flight credit.

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Re: Swapping to Companion Pass Booking on Sold Out Flight

Top Contributor

@chgoflyerwrote:
Otherwise, the original passenger would have a credit in their name, good for one year from the date of purchase. If that passenger is now the named companion, the CP holder would need to change that to a different person at some point before the credit expires in order to not lose the flight credit.

Or take a separate flight without the CP holder - I know it is rare for us to do that speaking from personal experience - but we had a credit to use for my wife so she ended up taking a trip that she was 50/50 on, but since the credit would expire anyway she went ahead and flew without me one time.

 

We also might use it for me to head off to business and then her to join me there using flight credit for a one-way, and then using the CP on the return flight.

Home airport MDW, frequent visitor to MCO to see the mouse.
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Re: Swapping to Companion Pass Booking on Sold Out Flight

Rising Star

Hello 

 

i would call the reservations line at 800-435-9792 and for the 2 people you want to make companions make them companions then tell the agent you want to only cancel the 2 non companions that way you don't lose the fare for the other 2 non companion kids and explain you want the companions booked with the tickets they have like swapping from a paid ticket to companion ticket if the tickets go back in to inventory they should be able to grab those seats as soon as it is canceled that way someone else doesn't book it. Since southwest does not overbook flights anymore after the United airlines incident the tickets should go back in to inventory unless they put some weight or flight restriction on that particular flight. This option would be risky for a sold out flight but they should be able to do it 

 

If you don't want to take the risk of seats not going back into inventory Another way to go about it is to watch and see if 1 or 2 seats become available on the flight at a later date since people cancel all the time and then make the change if you go this route I would go ahead and assign the companions now if you haven't already as that will save you time and you can then just book the companion on the website and pay the security fee then cancel the paid reservation for the 2 companion kids you would have to do that by phone though. If only 1 seat is available call and ask them to split one companion off on a separate reservation book that companion ticket and then cancel there paid ticket after doing that you can tell if the one ticket went back in to inventory if it did then you can book the other companion then cancel that paid ticket. That's a trick I learned when I had the same issue and didn't want to take inventory risk. 

 

the third way you could do it if you don't want to take to take the risk of inventory is show up to the airport early and tell them you would like to change the 2 companions from a paid ticket to companion tickets they should be able to do it no problem as long as the companion ticket is booked more than 1 hour before the flight. 

 

if you have any questions please feel free to let me know as I know this is a lot of information and I would be glad to help if any of this doesn't make sense

 

happy travels

Blake 

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Re: Swapping to Companion Pass Booking on Sold Out Flight

Retired Community Manager

@bec102896,

 

Thanks for chiming in! Your answer is right on and packed with great information.

 

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Re: Swapping to Companion Pass Booking on Sold Out Flight

New Arrival

thanks for the advice.  SW only has one NS from BNA to CANCUN daily so I really don't want to risk it.  I get that everything should work, but I'll feel like a you know what if I screw this up.  For reference, all flights were booked no points from my account.  If I proceed, I will cancel one at a time.  I have read that they aren't overbooking, but I am worried that International flights don't immediately go back into inventory?

 

Can anyone comment on this notion?  Do International flights "immediately" go back into inventory?

 

John

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Re: Swapping to Companion Pass Booking on Sold Out Flight

New Arrival

Blake - 

 

I just reread this part of your response.

 

the third way you could do it if you don't want to take to take the risk of inventory is show up to the airport early and tell them you would like to change the 2 companions from a paid ticket to companion tickets they should be able to do it no problem as long as the companion ticket is booked more than 1 hour before the flight. 

 

this in interesting.  do you have experience doing this?  Don't I run the same risk here or are you saying the agents at the airport have special powers that phone agents do not have?

 

I fly out next Saturday so I doubt a single ticket will open up this close in, but I hope I am wrong!  I'm checking daily!

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Re: Swapping to Companion Pass Booking on Sold Out Flight

Rising Star
Solution

@roburg

 

I have not personally had the issue with tickets not opening up where I can't book and I waited until I got to the airport. I do know from what I have been told by several phone reps that at the airport they do have more tools and maybe they could oversell the flight and cancel the 2 paid seats to even it out since it really wouldn't end up being over sold if the system lets them or maybe they could say hold 2 seats for weight or a reason they put on there and then you cancel and they release the seats. I know that may sound a little confusing but I know airports can do a lot more than phone agents with somethings one example being if your flight is delayed more than 15min the airport can waive the difference in fare of moving to a different flight while on the phone the delay has to be an hour or longer for them to not charge you. If your near the airport and have time maybe stop in as they could still help you evernif your not flying that day or just call the reservations line and see what they suggest 

 

now for seats opening up I do see at times they will open up at check in time as people know if they can or can't go and if they can't they cancel. I would also check every day a couple times a day as inventory changes all the time. On another note if you wanted me to watch for a seat or 2 to open up I could if you told me the flight (like LAX to HOU flight number 4) and date and I could let you know here if I notice a seat open up just an idea since i wouldn't need any of your personal info to do that.

 

hope this helps and I hope the seat opens up for you 

Blake