It’s nice when big corporations realize they didn’t handle something well, and then do the right thing. That’s exactly what’s happening here. On January 1, 2017, Southwest changed their policy on Companion Pass qualification without notice, which caught a lot of people off guard.
While the change as such was reasonable, they should have done better than to provide no notice of the change, and it seems they agree. Southwest has backtracked on their no-notice change.
While hotel and car rental points transfers won’t count towards Companion Pass, that policy will only kick in as of April 1, 2017. Per Southwest’s statement:
As we began the New Year on January 1, we took the opportunity to close a loophole in our Rapid Rewards Companion Pass terms and conditions related to transferred points from our Partners. This was an effort intended to clarify qualification requirements for Companion Pass, one of the best benefits in travel, as well as to protect the integrity and value of the Rapid Rewards program.
In doing so, we updated our terms and conditions which now clearly state that points transferred from hotel and car loyalty programs, and e-Rewards, e-Miles, Valued Opinions and Diners Club will no longer count toward qualification for a Companion Pass. Members will continue to earn toward Companion Pass benefits through paid flights flown on Southwest, Points earned through spend with Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards credit cards, and base points earned through transactions with Rapid Rewards partners.
Many of you have reached out to us since then, and we greatly appreciate your honest and candid feedback. Because we are a Company that values our Customers and believes in doing the right thing, we are offering a limited window for Customers to earn toward Companion Pass by transferring their loyalty points from these Partners.
To that end, points converted from the above mentioned programs will count towards a Companion Pass until March 31, 2017. This is a hard deadline and we will not be able to make any exceptions beyond March 31. If you have points with these Partners that you wanted to transfer, please do not wait. Make the transfer before the deadline.
We appreciate all of our Customers and look forward to seeing you onboard very soon!
Well done, Southwest!
(Tip of the hat to The Points Guy)