Southwest Extends Companion Pass, Status, And Qualification Period Due To Meltdown; One Day Left To Lock Into Grandfathered Companion Pass Requirements

en:user:DonFB [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons
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Southwest Airlines had the worst week in its 56 year history last week, cancelling some 16,000 flights during the busy holiday travel period.

Their crew scheduling system and phone lines crashed, leaving employees manually scheduling crew for flights, a process that took several days to fix.

Facing DOT pressure, the airline agreed to pay for all “reasonable” expenses due to the meltdown and created a form to request reimbursement.

Many travelers were unable to utilize their status and companion pass benefits at the end of the year, and were unable to take flight to qualify for benefits in 2023.

The airline tells DansDeals that,

“For our AList, AList Preferred, and Companion Pass Members that had not yet requalified for their status for 2023, we have extended the date in which they must requalify from the end of December (as is typical every year) to the end of January.  This gives anyone the chance who may have planned to requalify by flying over the last couple of weeks and couldn’t because of the disruptions an additional month to complete that requalification travel.  They were notified of this extension via email last week.”

The airline also confirms that all status and companion passes that were set to expire on 12/31/22 will now expire 1/31/23.

In the meantime, the requirements for picking up a 2023 Companion Pass will go up from 125K points to 135K points, unless you hold a Southwest card by the first business day of the year, which is 1/3/23 this year. If you want to go for a Companion Pass and don’t have a card, you can still try to get approved for one now to lock in the 125K policy and earn a Companion pass good through 12/31/24.

Southwest cards include:

HT: Gary Leff

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11 Comments On "Southwest Extends Companion Pass, Status, And Qualification Period Due To Meltdown; One Day Left To Lock Into Grandfathered Companion Pass Requirements"

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I have A-list and companion pass that expired 12/31. I do not see it as active on my account…


I have one SW card but plan to open a second card eventually to help get enough points for companion pass. Will I still be locked in to the 125k?


If i submitted my receipts using the regular complaint form on southwest, should i resubmit using the special Expense Reimbursement Request form? What would you do?


I love Southwest! Nevertheless they missed the boat here by just extending to January 31. I’m retired , lucky wasn’t affected by the cancelations. Why not give those affected a 1 time offer for 1 year.. . I’m sure most of those who were affected will have to go back to work… and difficult to to take leave. So in return next Christmas they can travel without having a major expense if they so desire.. Come on Southwest.


I would suggest to Southwest refund the customers and to give a 1 time free offer for up to a year using the same booking offer to those effective by the cancelations. Match the offer that the customer was using…

I love Southwet. Luckily I wasn’t affected by the cancelations. Retired also, so free to travel unlike many of the customers that have to plan around work to take leave..


Some reps at Southwest are telling me they are only extending companion pass for those affected by the cancellations. Has anyone who was not affected had their companion pass extended?


Has anyone been able to see the extension of the qualification period or received conformation that it exists? No one is acknowledging this when I call Southwest. I would have qualified if this is the case.