Southwest Rapid Rewards started the year on a bad foot, when as of January 1 they changed the qualification criteria for Companion Pass without any advance notice. In order to earn Companion Pass (which lets you take a companion with you on all Southwest flights for free) you need to earn 110,000 qualifying points per year, though Southwest changed what type of points qualify towards that total.
Specifically, with this change, points transferred from hotel and car rental partners no longer qualify towards Companion Pass. The change as such was reasonable enough, though I think Southwest should do better than to make a change like this without notice, especially since some people had already transferred points in anticipation of earning Companion Pass in 2017.
Well, that hasn’t been the only Southwest Companion Pass drama this week. Earlier today Southwest sent out an email to Rapid Rewards members with the subject line “Congrats! You earned Companion Pass.”
The email congratulates members for qualifying for Companion Pass. The only problem is that the email was sent out to a lot of members who didn’t actually requalify for Companion Pass. Ouch.
@AndrewFBourgoin We regret that the email was sent in error. Please disregard. It would be our pleasure to welcome you onboard soon! ^NL
— Southwest Airlines (@SouthwestAir) January 4, 2017
Airlines make mistakes, though it’s especially unfortunate when it’s regarding something that’s already a sore topic.
This has to be especially awkward for those who transferred points in anticipation of Companion Pass, then after the fact found out that those points won’t count towards Companion Pass due to the rule change, and then still received an email saying they earned Companion Pass.
Southwest is apparently sending out emails to members apologizing for the mistake.