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The Best WN Benefit Ever: Fly as Your Own Companion!

The Best WN Benefit Ever: Fly as Your Own Companion!

Old Aug 8, 11, 9:05 pm
  #1  
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The Best WN Benefit Ever: Fly as Your Own Companion!

Yes, you can now fly as your own companion! But, there are two very important qualifications:
  1. You must earn companion pass.
  2. You must be a COS.

Pass those two unbendable qualifications and you are now eligible to fly as your own companion.

Here is how it works:
  1. Have yourself designated as your companion and have XS placed in the place of your middle initial.
  2. When you buy your ticket, obtain a companion pass in your name and pay the facility fee.
  3. Call customer service and make sure your ticket and companion pass are properly linked in the computer. If you fail to do this, it can take a long time to check in.
  4. As a COS you must check in at the airport.
  5. You will get a boarding pass and a “Seat Reserved” card.
  6. Present both to the GA and get a blue preboard sleeve.
  7. Board first, no exit rows as you are preboarding, choose your seat, place the “Reserved” card in the empty middle.
  8. For whomever joins you in the row, congratulate them on choosing wisely as the middle is yours.
  9. Enjoy your flight. This is the closest thing to first class you are going to get on WN.

I am writing this on the 6th flight taken as my own companion. The 7th will be after I connect in LAS. Three were sell outs and my reserved seat is the only empty seat on the flight The first four were totally messed up in the computer and it took a loooooong time to check in. (More on that in a later post if anyone asks.) Today’s flight was a breeze.

Most of the ticket agents have never heard of this and you will get odd looks at check in.

I have survived this with the help of some great CS help.

First, Whitney on this forum set it up for me by changing my CP name to me, and getting me started.

Second, J. in BNA and M. in SMF were real troopers getting everything straightened out when I checked in. There was a GA in ONT for my second flight that I did not get her name. All of them went to great lengths to make this work.

Also, kudos to C. in ABQ and L. in SAT, that spent almost two hours on the phone fixing the initial messes with the reservations systems.

If you have questions, I will try to respond in this thread.

A final note or maybe two. If your are walking down the aisle looking for a seat and you see the "Seat Reserved" card in the middle, you have just hit the open middle jackpot. If you see me at the window, say Hi!

Finally, after the aisle seat has been chosen, and my row partner for the flight has settled in, I lean over and tap them on the shoulder and say "You have chosen wisely." I point to the card and tell them it is my seat and that we will have an open middle. They smile and thank me. On my last flight, LAS-ONT there was a sweet young woman that sat in the aisle end of the row. Every time someone would ask about the seat, she would say "It's reserved" and look at me and smile. She was having way too much fun.

Last edited by InkUnderNails; Aug 9, 11 at 8:04 am
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Old Aug 8, 11, 10:37 pm
  #2  
 
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Can you post a picture of that seat reserved card?

Are you entitled to a refund of the 9/11 security fee if the flight is not full? (on that note, are extra seats technically subject to that fee anyway?)
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Old Aug 8, 11, 11:02 pm
  #3  
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Originally Posted by sigma1104 View Post
Can you post a picture of that seat reserved card?

Are you entitled to a refund of the 9/11 security fee if the flight is not full? (on that note, are extra seats technically subject to that fee anyway?)
I do not know if the security fee is refundable. I do know the fee is required. It does not seem right but it is required.

A sample document is here.
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Old Aug 8, 11, 11:13 pm
  #4  
 
Join Date: May 2011
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I have flown with my cousin who is a COS. If the flight is not full
you call Cust Svc in Dallas and they refund the price of your 2nd tkt.
You don't have to use Comp. Status, the flight just has to be not
full.
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Old Aug 8, 11, 11:22 pm
  #5  
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But as my own companion, I do not have to pay up front or at all, even if the flight is full.

If the flight has a connection or more than one leg as a direct flight, you do not get a refund if any segment is oversold. Refund advice slip is here.

I do not have to pay up front nor do I have to wait for a refund.

So far, 3 of 7 flights have been oversells and asking for volunteers. Two of those included non-oversold connections for which I would not have gotten a connection.

Out of the four flights, directs, NS and connections, two did not have sell outs on at least one leg. I have been doing a lot of Sunday and Friday travel, so mid week travel may be different.

Last edited by InkUnderNails; Aug 8, 11 at 11:27 pm
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Old Aug 8, 11, 11:33 pm
  #6  
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Originally Posted by sigma1104 View Post
Can you post a picture of that seat reserved card?

Are you entitled to a refund of the 9/11 security fee if the flight is not full? (on that note, are extra seats technically subject to that fee anyway?)
I saw oneof those cards several years ago on a WN flight. There was a larger gentleman sitting in the Window seat (but he didn't appear big enough to need 2 seats and I have seen bigger people on WN flights before and one of those cards in the middle seat. It was a full flight and my flight was delayed and I had a tight connection as it was so just wanted the first aisle seat which was that row. I thought the sign was weird but then when no one sat down and I noticed he had a seatbelt extender I figured he must have paid for the 2nd seat. Worked out great for me, full flight with no one in the middle seat.
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Old Aug 9, 11, 1:13 am
  #7  
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IUN, thank you for this awesome contribution to the community knowledge base!

Originally Posted by InkUnderNails View Post
If you see me at the window, say Hi!
Gladly!

So as to be prepared, I did a Google image search for InkUnderNails. Which of these lads might you be?



If none of the above, how about these folks:





Yes, all of the above (and more) did turn up as image search results for InkUnderNails!
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Old Aug 9, 11, 2:37 am
  #8  
 
Join Date: May 2011
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IUN,


You have made excellent points. We always try to "game" the system
by flying very early/late. Although the way the economy is going
there might be a lot more open seats for all of us.
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Old Aug 9, 11, 5:58 am
  #9  
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If you take a bump you should get two sets of compensation.
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Old Aug 9, 11, 7:51 am
  #10  
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Originally Posted by toomanybooks View Post
If you take a bump you should get two sets of compensation.
I have wondered about that.

I did not want to test the system that deeply just yet. It has been hard enough just getting past the cognitive dissonance of the phrase "I am my own companion."

Companion passes are common and familiar.

COS tickets are common as well.

The intersection of the two sets, no so much.
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Old Aug 9, 11, 8:01 am
  #11  
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Originally Posted by ftnoob View Post
IUN, thank you for this awesome contribution to the community knowledge base!



Gladly!

So as to be prepared, I did a Google image search for InkUnderNails. Which of these lads might you be?



If none of the above, how about these folks:





Yes, all of the above (and more) did turn up as image search results for InkUnderNails!
No to all. Especially the last two or three.

The phrase "Ink under his finger nails" is a fairly common descriptor of one who has worked around printing presses so long that his nails are semi-permanently stained by the inks. Another common one is "He has Magie oil for blood."

I did a search for my real name and did not find any photos one the web.
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Old Aug 9, 11, 9:23 am
  #12  
 
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Excuse if getting too personal. What heights / weights do you think is the threshold for a believable COS? Has me thinking of some sort of padded suit. This could be a very useful benefit for my CP that rarely gets used...
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Old Aug 9, 11, 10:40 am
  #13  
 
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If this regulation on the 9/11 security fee is current, the fee is charged per passenger -- I don't think it should apply to the extra seat. If it were me I'd push the issue.
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Old Aug 9, 11, 11:01 am
  #14  
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Originally Posted by joshua362 View Post
Excuse if getting too personal. What heights / weights do you think is the threshold for a believable COS? Has me thinking of some sort of padded suit. This could be a very useful benefit for my CP that rarely gets used...
Be nice if WN would allow you to use your companion pass for yourself Or at least allow you to have a-list status instead of the CP.

I was told that you had to buy a second seat if your arm rest wouldn't go down and/or you required a seat belt extender. So get enough padding for either of those and you should be fine
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Old Aug 9, 11, 11:31 am
  #15  
 
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Seat belt extenders

Originally Posted by jamesteroh View Post
Be nice if WN would allow you to use your companion pass for yourself Or at least allow you to have a-list status instead of the CP.

I was told that you had to buy a second seat if your arm rest wouldn't go down and/or you required a seat belt extender. So get enough padding for either of those and you should be fine
I noticed recently that the length of the seatbelts on at least some WN aircraft seems to have increased. Can any of the Southwest FT folks confirm this? I also haven't noticed any FAs carrying extenders lately.
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