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Old Jul 3, 12, 6:46 am   #1
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Austin
Programs: SPG Platnium, SWA A+, CP
Posts: 111
Flying with a companion and YOU miss the flight

Was on a business trip and running late to catch the flight home. Companion was already on board. I barely made the flight. What would have happened if I didn't make the flight? Would they pull the companion off that flight?
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Old Jul 3, 12, 8:58 am   #2
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Nashville, TN
Programs: WN A+ w/CP, Hilton Diamond, Hyatt Platinum
Posts: 7,214
Quote:
Originally Posted by Toan View Post
Was on a business trip and running late to catch the flight home. Companion was already on board. I barely made the flight. What would have happened if I didn't make the flight? Would they pull the companion off that flight?
By policy, yes. The companion can not fly without the Member.

Quote:
The Member and the Companion must checkin together and present the Companion Pass card at the Southwest Airlines' Ticket Counter, Skycap podium, or Departure Gate in order for the Companion to travel. The Member and his/her Companion must travel on the same flight(s). Valid photo identification for both Member and Companion is required. The Member and his/her Companion must board with their assigned group(s). For A-List and A-List Preferred Members who are also Companion Pass Holders, reserved boarding privileges will not be provided for the Memberís designated Companion unless he/she is also an A-List or A-List Preferred Member.
While a bit out of date, the card presentation is handled by the computer boarding system, the remainder is still applicable. From here.
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Old Jul 3, 12, 9:23 am   #3
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Austin
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While I concur with what the policy states, in practice, the companion has their own boarding pass. On the boarding pass, I do not recall a designation of a companion. Thus the TSA doesn't know, and the gate agent also doesnt know. Obviously the computer knows...but if I had missed my flight I wonder if they would have pulled the companion off the flight?

Not trying to game the system, was a real situation that could happen if you and your companion get to the airport at different times.
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Old Jul 3, 12, 9:38 am   #4
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Programs: SWA RR, CO One Pass, TAM Fidelidade, HA Miles, DL Skymiles, KLM Flying Blue
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Toan View Post
While I concur with what the policy states, in practice, the companion has their own boarding pass. On the boarding pass, I do not recall a designation of a companion. Thus the TSA doesn't know, and the gate agent also doesnt know. Obviously the computer knows...but if I had missed my flight I wonder if they would have pulled the companion off the flight?

Not trying to game the system, was a real situation that could happen if you and your companion get to the airport at different times.
Best way is to have your companion WAIT and board with you. So if you miss the flight, you both miss it.

Years ago, SWA had a "Friends fly free" program. A passenger was pulled off the plane because his "Friend" did not show up. He used the "free" part of the program trying to scam SWA saying he doesn't know where his "friend"(who was the paying passenger) was and didn't board with him.
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Old Jul 3, 12, 9:51 am   #5
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Austin
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Posts: 111
Yes but in my experience, the companion can check in online just like everybody else. There is nothing on the boarding pass that designates them as being a companion. So nobody would know. And honestly, if its on a busy day, it may make sense to for them to fly on the original flight while the late party flies standby later.
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Old Jul 3, 12, 10:27 am   #6
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Nashville, TN
Programs: WN A+ w/CP, Hilton Diamond, Hyatt Platinum
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The Companion is linked to the Member in the computer. While they may board and check in separately, WN has become very diligent enforcing CP infractions. When the boarding is done, and the linked reservations do not have linked passengers on board, expect them to look for the Companion and remove them. I would not want to be the one testing this system as the penalty can be harsh including cancellation of the RR account including, of course, revocation of the CP.

I have CP and fly as my own companion. In the early days when I was still trying to figure out the system and all of the steps to make it work, there were a couple of times when the computer did not register that both me and my companion had boarded. The OA came on, asked for me to raise my hand, and walked back to my seat to make sure that both of us were on the flight. I asked what happened and he said that the boarding scan showed that only the companion portion had boarded.
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Old Jul 3, 12, 10:33 am   #7
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Toan View Post
Yes but in my experience, the companion can check in online just like everybody else. There is nothing on the boarding pass that designates them as being a companion. So nobody would know. And honestly, if its on a busy day, it may make sense to for them to fly on the original flight while the late party flies standby later.
I think some where on your boarding pass, the gate agent can look up and see what type of fares you have. I have stand behind others in line over hearing the agent said you have a discounted fare and so and so when they hand them their boarding pass for flying standby and such.

Maybe when they scan the boarding pass, some type of information about your boarding pass/companion pass/fares will be displayed on the boarding agent's screen.
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Old Jul 3, 12, 11:56 am   #8
 
Join Date: May 2000
Location: SAN
Programs: AA Gold, Fairmont Plat, HH Diamond
Posts: 256
Just flew with a companion this weekend. I'm pretty sure the fare code for the companion was "X" on the boarding pass.
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Old Jul 3, 12, 2:43 pm   #9
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: SE USA
Programs: HHonors Diamond, WN A-List Preferred & CP, Marriott Gold, Avis First
Posts: 217
I have personally flown as a companion and the CP holder did not board the flight. Nothing happened. I was worried at the time, but nothing. In this particular case the CP holder booked a RT ticket with a layover on the return flight knowing that they had a meeting in the city with the layover. The CP holder left on the return flight at the layover to attend a meeting and I boarded the flight. I flew the return flight without any issue. This was years ago, not sure it would be the same today though...
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Old Jul 3, 12, 4:38 pm   #10
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Programs: WN Rapid Rewards, Hertz 5*
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The WN software flags this when they close out a flight (when the agent is done scanning all tickets in).

I have seen WN charge someone in this situation for a last minute walk up ticket. The alternatives was to wait for the next flight if the companion
would make it to the airport in time. They paid.

If a situation arises that the companion and earner gets split up BY WN for WN's benefit, and they have the reservations noted accordingly, then nothing happens. I volunteer when overbooked often and sometimes they only need one seat, not two.
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