How many times have you used CP this year?

Old Jul 31, 19, 3:46 pm
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2018
Posts: 116
How many times have you used CP this year?

I was thinking about the math behind Companion Pass. And it made me curious about what it really ďcostsĒ WN when someone qualifies.

I re-qualified for CP through 2020 back in June and it hit me: we have only used it twice this year, with no additional trips planned. Thatís about $800 in airfare. Itís nice, but not a game-changer.

If most people are like me, and I suspect a whole lot are, this is an insane profit center for WN given the amount of credit card spend to get to CP. But Iím sure there are some incredibly high-use people who up the average.
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Old Jul 31, 19, 4:00 pm
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 5,585
I don't have a CP. I could probably get one with a little effort but I don't think we'd use it enough justify the effort or to get the value out of it.

I figure most people who have one only use it a few times a year.
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Old Jul 31, 19, 4:10 pm
  #3  
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: SJC/SFO
Programs: WN A+ CP, UA 1MM/*A Gold, Mar LT Tit, IHG Plat, HH Dia
Posts: 5,832
I've used my CP more than you this year, argolfer, though not as heavily as I wish. So far this year I've brought my companion on 7 one-way trips. By EOY we'll probably reach 10 though nothing's firmly planned at the moment.

Nominally we've saved $1800-2000 so far this year with companion flights. I say nominally because with CP some of the trips we choose to take we otherwise would not take at all. Or we'd choose to drive rather than fly (e.g., a recent NorCal-SoCal trip). Or we'd book on a different airline that's cheaper than Southwest without CP. This also means that the cost to WN is not as simple as $1800-2000. They're getting extra revenue from me on flights I'd otherwise buy from a competitor or not buy at all.
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Old Jul 31, 19, 4:31 pm
  #4  
jmw
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Northern California
Posts: 841
When I had the CP, I used it 12 RT and I had to try really hard to do that. I think I lost money because I didn't save much (legacy carriers were usually cheaper) and I spent more money on car rentals and hotels rather than doing a staycation. I think the extra time off from work may have negatively hurt my career a little bit.

I won't be pursuing the CP again until maybe after retirement.
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Old Jul 31, 19, 5:18 pm
  #5  
ryw
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: OAK & SFO
Programs: WN A, DL GM, Marriott Titanium
Posts: 926
When I had it I only used it on 2 RT flights, so didn't get as big a value out of it as others might. One was a transcontinental flight, one was midcon, but it did represent a decent amount of savings. (Though I got it through a promotion, flying 3 round trips in a certain amount of time which I was going to do anyways to get A list, so my cost to obtain it wasn't too high in the first place).
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Old Jul 31, 19, 5:29 pm
  #6  
 
Join Date: May 2017
Posts: 64
So far this year, 7 round trips - 2 international & 5 domestic.

The domestic travel would have all been Southwest even without companion as they offer the most nonstop options from Vegas. It is extremely unlikely I would have booked a legacy carrier with a connection over a nonstop.

The international trips were about the same cost as the legacy carriers per person. Iím also an extreme over packer for long trips and the 2 checked bags is a big benefit for me.
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Old Jul 31, 19, 5:32 pm
  #7  
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 343
I am actually my wifeís companion and have taken 17 one ways as a companion so far this calendar year. Mostly MDW-LGA-MDW, but also an LAX, PDX, and BUF in there too. No idea how much money has been saved but I suspect it is pretty significant. One of the flights my wife booked last minute for work and only BS was available at more than $550, and I was added. Most of our trips this year have been on points though.
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Old Jul 31, 19, 5:34 pm
  #8  
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Nashville -Past DL Plat, FO, WN-CP, various hotel programs
Programs: DL-MM, AA, SW w/companion,HiltonDiamond, Hyatt PLat, IHF Plat, Miles and Points Seeker
Posts: 9,848
A few comments.

1 - I do not think CP and Credit card spend are totally linked. They make money off ALL credit card spending from the bank via their share of 2-3% service charge and interest (where it exists). Lots of folks make CP via real trips, etc. Yes, some do it via credit cards mostly.

2 - We will probably do 15 trips (30 flights) this year on our CP, so a fare value for us.

3 - Many of those trips would never had taken place if we were paying for both of us. So, we fly more because of it meaning they get revenue from one of us.
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Old Jul 31, 19, 8:18 pm
  #9  
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: SNA
Programs: Bonvoy LTTE/AMB, AmEx Plat, National EE, WN CP, CLEAR, AS MVPG75K, Covid-19
Posts: 4,313
I'm using it about as much as I'd expected; i.e., "not all that much", which is why haven't had it before, as I never bothered to make the extra segments to gain it. I happened to start December with ~92 segments and did a couple of segment runs on top of my normal travel to get it for the first time, but I totally get what @jmw was saying, especially since all my travel comes out of pocket (even if the business flights are deductible, it's still my money spent). Part of the issue is the companion can stay longer than I can sometimes, so what we end up doing is booking actual paid tickets, then if we're able to travel together cancel theirs after a successful CP add.

Thankfully my segment runs were ~$160, so I've gotten that value back, but I'm glad I didn't really go out of my way to get it.
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Old Jul 31, 19, 9:16 pm
  #10  
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Posts: 11
We plan to use ours for the first time this month. The CP was recently extended is good through 2020 so we hope to use it more next year too. Currently have around 220000 points so the goal is to burn points for tickets and use the CP for my wife. We will see if time away from work allows the plan to go through... But its nice to know we have it if the need comes up.
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Old Jul 31, 19, 10:48 pm
  #11  
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: IAH
Programs: UA Silver
Posts: 443
Roughly 24 one way flights per year.
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Old Jul 31, 19, 10:49 pm
  #12  
 
Join Date: Jul 2018
Posts: 39
Iíve used mine for 5 RTs with plans for 3 more. Wife has used hers for 3 RTs with plans for 2 more. Our kids are our companions. Itís been great for us but once the kids are out of the house Iím not sure how much we would use it. We take 2-3 vacations per year together...
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Old Aug 1, 19, 6:21 am
  #13  
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: HOU, IAH
Programs: WN A-List, CP, Marriott Gold
Posts: 63
My companion has and will have flown 21 flights by the end of the year, if all goes as planned. The value to us is a little more than 3.1 K.
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Old Aug 1, 19, 6:35 am
  #14  
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Join Date: Aug 2018
Posts: 116
Incredible to see some of you using yours so much. That's great.

We just have too many kids to make it work for us, I guess.
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Old Aug 1, 19, 7:24 am
  #15  
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Programs: LTP, PP
Posts: 8,036
Originally Posted by argolfer View Post
Incredible to see some of you using yours so much. That's great.

We just have too many kids to make it work for us, I guess.
Don't feel bad, I had one for 10 consecutive years earned the hard way (bi-weekly travel). Several years 0, most years 1 (taking a kid to Disney), the best was 4 different "date" outings in 2012. Raising kids and/or frequent business travel, its hard to find the time or energy to climb back on the plane during rare free time and I bet a ton of CP holders are in similar circumstances - its a sexy gold ring dangling out there but once you've got it...

Retirement, maybe.
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