If you live at an airport served by Southwest, the Southwest Companion Pass is one of the best deals in travel. Every time you fly Southwest–whether on a cash or award ticket–your designated companion flies for free plus taxes: $5.60 one way in the United States and a little more internationally.

Here’s how to open two credit cards and get the Southwest Companion Pass for almost all of 2016 and 2017.

The Southwest Companion Pass previously allowed three changes to your designation of the companion. Now you get three changes per calendar year. That means you can designate seven companions during the life of the pass.

  1. Original companion
  2. Change #1 in first year
  3. Change #2 in first year
  4. Change #3 in first year
  5. Change #1 in second year
  6. Change #2 in second year
  7. Change #3 in second year

That could be seven different people or it could be two people that you alternate or any number in between. I could see getting a lot of value by having one main companion, but making a different friend be your companion three times for three trips.

  1. Original companion
  2. Friend #1
  3. Original companion
  4. Friend #2
  5. Original companion
  6. Friend #3
  7. Original companion

Keep in mind that “[a]ny reservation with the current Companion Pass would need to be cancelled before changing his/her designated Companion.  Requests may be made by calling 1-800-435-9792.  Allow 21 business days for processing and issuance of the Companion Pass card.”

I have updated the “Southwest Companion Pass Master Thread” with this change.

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