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Old Sep 15, 11, 5:54 pm   #1
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 4
AMEX/DELTA "Free" companion ticket worthless

I have used the annual companion ticket that comes with my AMEX Delta platinum card fairly successfully in past years. However, this year, it is worthless. I have pled my case to both AMEX and Delta with no luck. Recent example: A round-trip first-class ticket, class "A," from SLC to BOS costs about $1,150. However, when you use the "Free" companion ticket, the cost skyrockets to $2,250. I fly mainly out of Salt Lake and no matter where I have tried to use it, it has been absolutely worthless for first-class fare - at least out of SLC.

So if you are purchasing the AMEX/DELTA platinum credit card with the idea of re-couping some of the card's annual fee by using the "free" companion first-class fare, you may want to only sign up for the card for other reasons.
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Old Sep 15, 11, 6:02 pm   #2
 
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FYI, Delta "A" fares are technically coach fares that are automatically upgraded for first. The reason for the price increase that you're seeing is probably due to the fact that a true F seat on Delta is a lot more expensive than an A fare.

For more info on this, see the dozen plus threads in the Delta forum.
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Old Sep 15, 11, 6:26 pm   #3
 
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The AMEX Platinum Skymiles card does not offer a free First Class companion ticket. You have to have the Delta Reserve card for that.

I have never had a problem using my coach companion ticket I get each year with my Platinum Skymiles card.
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Old Sep 15, 11, 6:39 pm   #4
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
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I've had very good luck using the Reserve card first class companion certificate. It's very easy to use - online and it works. It's flexible - it's transferable for someone else to use (family members). It's a HUGE bargain - I've saved a ton of money using them over the years. I'm still trying to figure out any negative about this credit card perk. I don't see any other than it does limit you to the lower fares, but those are readily available.
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Old Sep 15, 11, 6:41 pm   #5
 
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BTW, Welcome to Flyertalk since this was your first post
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Old Sep 15, 11, 7:07 pm   #6
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: New Orleans (for now)
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Some of it depends on where and when you are flying from/to. Years past I was never able to use mine. I could always find 2 sale fares cheaper than the required base fare for the cert.

This year I was determined to use it to fly my daughter & husband over Labor Day weekend to our family reunion. I kept checking back for weeks on end and finally the flights I wanted popped up in the usable fare bucket about 4-5 weeks out.

I have had better luck using the Reserve card certs for F travel. But still, you have to just keep checking back, just like we all do for award travel.
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Old Sep 15, 11, 7:58 pm   #7
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
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Thanks

Yes, first timer poster, so thanks for the replies.

And yes, I should have clarified, I do have the Delta Platinum "reserve" card.

However, there just never seems to be a first class ticket which makes sense to use the "free" companion fare on. I have used them in the past and they have been great, but this year, I have yet to see a round trip first-class ticket out of SLC that it really gives you any kind of savings on - that's all I am saying - so for me, it is worthless.
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Old Sep 15, 11, 8:04 pm   #8
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
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There is not a Delta Platinum Reserve Card.. There is a Delta Skymiles Platinum Card, and a Delta Skymiles Reserve Card. Two separate cards.
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Old Sep 15, 11, 10:51 pm   #9
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Tampa, Florida
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cottonpatch View Post
I've had very good luck using the Reserve card first class companion certificate. It's very easy to use - online and it works. It's flexible - it's transferable for someone else to use (family members). It's a HUGE bargain - I've saved a ton of money using them over the years. I'm still trying to figure out any negative about this credit card perk. I don't see any other than it does limit you to the lower fares, but those are readily available.
Same here! I've never had an issue using my comp certificate from the Reserve card.
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Old Sep 17, 11, 11:11 am   #10
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
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Card types

Sorry, should have looked closer at which card was attached to the certificate. I have several AMEX for personal and business. The "free" companion fare comes with each year's renewal on my Delta Reserve AMEX I believe.
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Old Sep 17, 11, 9:23 pm   #11
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
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Well, I feel the concern of the OP, but I can't think of a single "companion certificate" that is truly easy to redeem. Are there other airlines or credit card companies that have have a seamless process for redeeming? And I'm not talking about the AMEX Platinum and the stupid business/first class restriction.

But I will say that if you get a credit card simply for the companion certificate, you should rethink your cc decision.
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Old Sep 17, 11, 9:27 pm   #12
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
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I use the companion certificate for coach fares. Great deal, and definitely not "worthless."

Open question - why do so many posters use hyperbole and gross exaggeration in thread titles?
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Old Sep 17, 11, 10:12 pm   #13
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
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I will stick up for the OP in saying that the Reserve companion cert has recently significantly lost its value for me. In the past, as long as there was an A fare -- any A fare -- I have been able to book it using the cert.

Now that it is all through the system, you can go to book the A fare, yet when you indicate you are using the cert, the fare (still in A bucket) skyrockets and it no longer is worth trying to use the cert at all. I have tried it in numerous markets. Eventually you are able to find one where the A fare without the cert is not much lower than with, but that is rare.

I agree that the cert has very little value to me whatsoever. FWIW, I have never tried to use it to fly in Y, and wouldn't.
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Old Sep 17, 11, 10:28 pm   #14
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mtflyr View Post
Recent example: A round-trip first-class ticket, class "A," from SLC to BOS costs about $1,150. However, when you use the "Free" companion ticket, the cost skyrockets to $2,250.
As otherís have said, I donít think your getting a true ďA fareĒ to ďA fareĒ comparison. The certificate is good for A, D, L, U, T fares Ė period. If in your search you have pulled up an A fare + Others Ė odds are you got 2 legs with an A + an I or S fare in the mix. This is a big no can do with the reserve certificate. Be flexible and youíll find a fare that works for your certificate - itís just not easy to find sometimes.

FWIW, I find the best deals for the certificate are on the L, U or Ts to high cost destinations.
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Old Sep 18, 11, 12:41 am   #15
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rionio77 View Post
Well, I feel the concern of the OP, but I can't think of a single "companion certificate" that is truly easy to redeem. Are there other airlines or credit card companies that have have a seamless process for redeeming? And I'm not talking about the AMEX Platinum and the stupid business/first class restriction.

But I will say that if you get a credit card simply for the companion certificate, you should rethink your cc decision.
You should try out the B of A Visa / Alaska Airlines $99 Companion Ticket. It's good for basically any fare (Y or F) on AS metal that you can book on the AS web site. It's extremely easy to redeem and both tickets get RDMs and EQMs as well as upgrades, if the pax/fare qualifies.

A few years ago when it was "free" or even $50, it was well worth the $75 annual credit card fee by itself. At $99 it may not be worth getting the credit card only for that unless you're using it for F tix, although you could make a pretty good case for getting it to use on a trans con SEA/PDX-EWR/BOS in Y.

Last edited by flymonthly; Sep 18, 11 at 10:31 am. Reason: corrected annual cc fee
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