Southwest Extends Elite Status for Frequent Flyers Due to Coronavirus

Southwest Extends Elite Status for Frequent Flyers Due to Coronavirus
Editorial Disclaimer: Brad's Deals has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Brad's Deals and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. This content is not provided or commissioned by the issuer. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the issuer. This site may be compensated through the issuer’s affiliate program. These user responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. User responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered. You can read our full advertiser disclosure: click here

On the heels of announcements from Delta, United, American, and Alaska, Southwest has updated its elite status policies due to the COVID-19 pandemic. If you’re curious how your A-List or Companion Pass status or qualification will be handled in 2020, read on!

Southwest Airlines A-List and Companion Pass Changes Due to Coronavirus

Flickr / Aero Icarus

Flickr / Aero Icarus

If you had a Companion Pass, my favorite elite perk from any airline, expiring on December 31st, 2020, your pass will now expire June 30th, 2021. That’s great news for fliers who worked incredibly hard to meet the requirements (125,000 qualifying points or 100 Southwest flights,) but didn’t have a chance to use them due to the pandemic.

If you don’t know what the Companion Pass is, you can check out our guide on it, but in brief, it allows the holder to select one companion to fly with them for the cost of the taxes of their ticket, on either paid or award reservations. It’s normally earned from flying 100 flights or earning 125,000 qualifying Rapid Rewards points. Qualifying Rapid Rewards points include sign-up bonuses and points earned from Southwest credit cards, making it easier to earn for those not flying every week.

Southwest Airlines A-List and A-List Preferred Status Extensions

southwest plane

If you have A-List or A-List Preferred currently, those status have now been extended until December 31st, 2021. New expiration dates should be reflected in your account soon.

Earning A-List Status and the Companion Pass in 2020

If you’re looking to earn either the Companion Pass or A-List status in 2020, Southwest has made it much easier to do so during the pandemic. For a Companion Pass, you’ll only need to earn 100,000 qualifying points or fly 75 flights to meet the requirements. For A-List, you’ll only need to fly 15 flights or earn 20,000 qualifying Rapid Rewards points. A-List Preferred will only require 40 flights or 55,000 qualifying points to meet the status.


This is great news for Southwest frequent fliers, who have their statuses rightfully extended until 2021. This matches the policies we’ve seen from the other American carriers affected by the coronavirus pandemic. Additionally, it’s now easier to earn status in 2020, which makes sense given travel is at a standstill. Hopefully, we’ll see safe travel begin again soon. Check our Coronavirus Travel Guide for more.