I just got approved for 2 - 60,000 SW Chase cards. I am hoping to hit the minimum spend this month which would give me the Companion Pass.
I want to book flights for end of August. Should I book for all in our party now with points I already have? Then will SW refund those points after I earn the CP? Or should I book for part of the party and plan on just adding my companion ticket later? We are planning on flying home Labor Day so I'm worried about them selling out of tickets on our flight.
You can book flights for everyone except your companion now and add the companion once your CP is active. Booking a flight for your companion with points now is an option as it should hold a seat for them so that once your CP is active you'll cancel those placeholder reservations and add them as a companion. You should do the companion placeholder bookings separate from everyone else so you can easily adjust/cancel it online. You'll get a refund of the points when you cancel. No guarantee cancelling the placeholder seat on a sold out flight actually opens up a seat, but it should.
I would definitely save a spot with points now - especially if the fares are low, the points would be refunded. You never know how things will go and it may be stressful to wait and add the companion later without a contingency plan if hte flight sells out, you aren't spending as much as you thought, or the timing of the statement closing isn't favorable, etc.
Hey @TheMiddleSeat - I have had a couple of anxious moments trying to add a companion on a sold out flight over the two or three days leading up to the flight.
So far I was always able to catch a spot, but it was nervewracking! Including one time the morning of the flight.
At least one day when it doesn't work and I end up paying for it, I'll know how much money I have saved up until that point! But I definitely recommend to avoid being that position if you can help it,.
@DancingDavidE definitely agree, I tried to suggest booking the placeholder spot in my original response but I guess I should have emphasized "do it" more than just suggest it being optional. Thankfully I've not yet been in a sold out situation, but someday it's bound to happen.
Generally we're booking at least two weeks out, holiday travel is already booked, and we tend to book the companion ticket immediately and cancel later if the companion ticket is not needed after finalizing plans (work schedules never let us know for certain if we can travel together until the last minute). We get anxious when we see there's only 1 WGA fare left (at least at that particular price). CP adds a whole new level of strategy when booking trips.