Southwest’s bad news for Companion Pass, how to visit Disney World on a budget and more

Oct 19, 2019

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Each Saturday, we round up the top miles, points and travel news that you might have missed on TPG this week. Here’s what you need to know.

Southwest raises Companion Pass requirements, eliminates points expiration

A Southwest Airlines Co. Boeing 737 on the tarmac at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) on Friday, March 29, 2019 in Los Angeles, Calif. © 2019 Patrick T. Fallon for The Points Guy
A Southwest Airlines Co. Boeing 737 on the tarmac at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) on Friday, March 29, 2019 in Los Angeles, Calif. © 2019 Patrick T. Fallon for The Points Guy

The bad news: You’ll now need to earn 125,000 Rapid Rewards points in a calendar year to earn the Companion Pass.

The good news: Your Rapid Rewards no longer expire.

Our thoughts: The change took place mere hours after Southwest’s latest card bonuses expired; it all seems a little shady.

United probably won’t extend elite upgrade expiration dates this year

United
United’s Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner Polaris cabin shot on the Pixel 3. (Image by Zach Honig / The Points Guy)

Southwest isn’t the only airline that delivered bad news for loyalists this week. After United’s unexpected elite status requirements were released last week, we got even more disappointing news from United. Lots of experts — including TPG’s own Summer Hull — are of the mind that the end is near for airline loyalty programs as we know them.

More airlines say farewell to the Queen of the Skies

El Al is retiring the last of its Boeing 747s in early November, while TPG’s JT Genter waxes eloquent on his experience on the last Qantas 747 flight.

TPG launches a community for small-business owners

(Photo by OwenPrice/Getty Images)
(Photo by OwenPrice/Getty Images)

Small-business owners have a unique set of challenges, from booking travel for employees out of a personal budget, to earning and burning points and miles on specific categories of spend.

If this sounds like you, and you could use a dedicated place to ask, share and learn insights, join us over here.

SFO just renumbered all of its gates

The San Francisco International airport or SFO at dusk
The San Francisco International Airport or SFO at dusk

Question everything you know.

Priority Pass loses another partner, this time in Portland

The Priority Pass network is losing the Alaska Lounge at PDX, but Portland Priority Pass visitors can still eat for free at two participating Priority Pass restaurants: The Capers Cafe Le Bar and Westward Whiskey.

This is the man who won TPG’s trip of a lifetime

Josh will get to plan the ultimate honeymoon, using up to one million Chase Ultimate Rewards points. And to kick things off, Brian Kelly himself will personally fly Josh to New York for a planning session.

How much does it cost to visit Walt Disney World?

“Villains Unite the Night” is a new stage show at Magic Kingdom Park, part of the new, limited-access Disney Villains After Hours event held on select nights this summer at Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. The show features appearances by Disney Villains as they set the castle stage ablaze. (David Roark, photographer)
Photo by David Roark.

Have you ever wondered just how much it would cost to take the family on this iconic vacation? We break down the numbers for you. (Psst: You can do it for several Benjamins under a grand.)

6 steps to picking the perfect airline seat

It isn’t an exact science, but here are your best tips for hacking the system.

Clear can save you time even outside of the airport

Fans excited lifting hands and pumping fists at a baseball game. Image by adamkatz / Getty Images
Image by adamkatz / Getty Images

You can even sign up for free Clear membership for stadium access. (Unfortunately, the free membership doesn’t work for airports!)

Sign up for the free daily TPG newsletter for more travel tips!

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