Middle Age Miles

Southwest News – Companion Pass Card Offer Ends Soon (Mon 2/11); Fare Sales This Week; Schedule Extension; Hawaii Flights Getting Closer

We know that lots of Middle Age Miles readers are Southwest loyalists, especially in our hometown of Dallas and our original home states of Arkansas and New Mexico. For that reason, we like to be sure to share important Southwest-related information, even though we don’t tend to fly Southwest much ourselves.

Today, we have several bits of timely Southwest news, so we wanted to put together this article to get all Middle Age Miles readers up to speed.

Companion Pass Credit Card Offer Ends Monday, February 11

Last month, we wrote about Chase introducing a fascinating new sign-up bonus offers on its personal Southwest co-branded cards (the Priority card, the Premier card, and the Plus card). On each card, Chase is offering a bonus of 30,000 Southwest Rapid Rewards points plus a Companion Pass good through 12/31/2019, after $4,000 in spend within 3 months.

These offers now expire in six days, on Monday, February 11. You’ll need to act quickly to get this deal – and importantly, you’ll want to hit the minimum spend requirement very quickly so that you have as much time as possible to utilize your Companion Pass before it expires at the end of 2019.

Our previous article shares our thoughts on the Companion Pass sign-up bonuses – you can read it here, at Credit Card Updates and Our Take – Amex Gold, Chase Southwest, Chase Hyatt, Citi Rewards+, B of A Cash Rewards.

For more information on the Companion Pass, please see our previous article: Planning for a Southwest Companion Pass at the End of the Year (Case Study).

And finally, here’s a link to the Chase landing page for the Southwest Rapid Rewards Plus card with the Companion Pass offer (you can also access the offers for the Priority and Premier cards from this page).

Southwest Domestic Sale

For the next two days (through Thursday, February 7), Southwest has a nationwide domestic fare sale for flights from 2/26 through 5/22/2019. If you have flights coming up that you need to book, check out the sale and see if it works for you.

Here’s a link: Landing page for Southwest nationwide domestic fare sale

Fares start as low as $39 one-way on the Long Beach (LGB)-to-Las Vegas (LAS) route. Lowest one-way fares to/from Dallas Love Field (DAL) are $67 to Oklahoma City (OKC); $76 to Tulsa (TUL); $84 to Austin (AUS); $88 to Kansas City (MCI); and $93 to Denver (DEN). Numerous other routes are part of this sale.

Key details of this sale are:

  • Must purchase by Thursday, February 7, at 11:59 pm in the time zone of the originating city
  • 21-day advance purchase required for Continental U.S. travel
  • Domestic US travel dates: February 26, 2019, through May 22, 2019
    • Lowest sale fares available only on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Saturdays
    • Travel to Florida and Nevada is valid only on Sundays through Wednesdays
    • Travel from Florida and Nevada is valid only on Tuesdays through Fridays
  • Travel to/from San Juan, Puerto Rico (SJU) is valid only from April 23 through May 16, 2019.
    • Travel to/from Puerto Rico is valid only on Mondays through Thursdays
  • Sale fares may be available on other days of the week, but that’s not guaranteed
  • Other restrictions apply – see the full terms and conditions at the bottom of the landing page (linked above) for more details

Other Important Considerations for Southwest Sales

As always – In addition to booking new flights with this sale, remember to check any existing Southwest reservations to see if they have decreased in price.  If the price has dropped, you can either cancel and re-book at the new price, or select change your flight and then re-book to the same flights with the new lower price.

Under Southwest’s generous cancelation and change policies, if you cancel before your flight, you will receive Southwest credit for your previous fare, which you can then use to re-book.  Similarly, if you change and then re-book to the same flights, you will receive credit for the difference in price (whether in dollars or Rapid Rewards miles). Southwest does not impose any fees for canceling or changing future flights.  However, note that travel funds (such as the credit for canceling and re-booking at a lower fare) expire 12 months from the original ticket purchase date.

When you book your Southwest flights, be sure to use a credit card that maximizes your points earning for airfare, like the Amex Personal Platinum card (referral link) (5x Membership Rewards points on airfare) or the Citi Prestige (5x ThankYou Points on airfare.

Southwest International Sale

Southwest also has started a sale today to its international destinations. Like the domestic sale, the international sale is available through Thursday, February 7. Unfortunately, the range of dates for flights in the international sale is narrow – April 23 through May 16, 2019.

Here’s a link to the sale page: Landing page for Southwest international sale

One-way fares available from DAL include: Belize City $167; Puerto Vallarta $198; Cabo San Lucas/Los Cabos $203; Cancun $203; San Jose, Costa Rica $212; and Liberia, Costa Rica $213. It’s not clear to me whether some of these destinations, particularly the ones in Mexico, represent much of a discount compared to normal fares.

Key details of the international sale are:

  • Must purchase by Thursday, February 7, at 11:59 pm in the time zone of the originating city
  • Travel dates: April 23, 2019, through May 16, 2019
  • In general, lowest sale fares are available only on Mondays through Thursdays, with these exceptions
    • Sale fare for travel to Cabo San Lucas/Los Cabos, Cancun, and Puerto Vallarta is available only on Sundays through Wednesdays
    • Sale fare for travel from Cabo San Lucas/Los Cabos, Cancun, and Puerto Vallarta is available only on Tuesdays through Fridays
    • Sale fare for travel to/from Mexico City, San Jose, and Liberia is available all days of the week
  • Sale fares may be available on other days of the week, but that’s not guaranteed
  • Other restrictions apply – see the full terms and conditions at the bottom of the landing page (linked above) for more details

And finally, the same “Other Important Considerations” discussed above also apply to the international sale.

Flight Schedule Recently Extended

Last week, Southwest extended its flight schedule until October 1, 2019, so you can now book travel through that date.

The next Southwest flight schedule extension is expected to occur on March 13, when the schedule will be extended through November 2, 2019.

Southwest Flights to Hawaii Getting Closer

We’ve all been waiting for many months for Southwest to make good on its promise of flights from California destinations to Hawaii. According to Forbes (with a hat tip to Charlie from Running With Miles), Southwest is making a test flight today from Oakland to Kona, Hawaii, for purposes of achieving its ETOPS extended range certification for its fleet of narrowbody 737 aircraft.

If all goes well with the test flight, Southwest says that it expects to officially start selling flights to Hawaii later this month or in March, and begin carrying customers between California and Hawaii shortly thereafter.

Thoughts on the Southwest credit card offer, sales, or flights to Hawaii? Please let us know in the Comments!

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