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Companion Fare FAQ - Bank of America Mileage Plan Visa

Old May 14, 2013, 10:30 am
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Last edit by: rrgg
Based on an original post by flyer206

I summarized a few posts on the companion fare. I initially had some questions and went through some of the posts as well as asked Missydarlin. So I thought I would post it for future people. If there is something incorrect or perhaps is useful for the next person please add or let me know.

Extending a companion fare
Tickets must be booked by the expiry date but can be for travel up to 330 days in advance. So book 2 full-fare tickets (coach fare only with new certificates issued after Aug. 1, 2012) for travel 11 months in advance to any destination on AS. When you have decided when and where you want to go, call AS to change the tickets. Since the tickets are full-fare or first class the changes will be no charge. The tickets can be changed to a lower level ticket including hot fare and the destination can be changed as well. If the tickets are cheaper then the amount will be refunded to the same credit card.

However, the ticket can not be extended for another 330 days. Meaning, you can not keep on extending the companion certificate. Hence travel must be completed within the initial 330 day window of when you booked your initial ticket.

The current terms show the personal and business card are treated the same regarding booking dates and expiration dates. If you have a counterexample since 2024, please share. (At one time the business companion fare required travel completed by expiry date.)

One of the travelers can not go
If the revenue passenger can not go then the companion passenger can not go. The T&C of the companion fare is that the companion must travel with the revenue passenger. Changes can be made by calling AS but change fees apply. Changes can now be done on-line. If the companion passenger can not go, the revenue passenger can still go. If you want to use the companion certificate another time, a call has to be made to AS.
Name changes are allowed but must be called in for change and is subject to change fee($125 --exempt if the name change involves a passenger who has status).

Should status flyer be the revenue or companion ticket.
Since the companion ticket is dependent on the revenue ticket, the status flyer should be the companion fare unless the tickets are in full fare or first class. Why? If the companion traveler can not fly the companion coupon can be saved for future use. The status passenger is allowed to make changes at no charge. THERE IS DEBATE ABOUT THIS ANSWER
 
Do I have to be one of the passengers flying?
No, the T&C states that you must either be one of the passengers or the credit card booking the tickets be in your name. One poster mentioned that he did not travel or use his credit card when he let his father use it. However it that case I believe they shared the same last name.
 
Do you have to use the AS airline credit card when booking the companion fare?
Through September 30, 2019, no. "For companion fares issued on or after October 1, 2019, both the primary fare and the companion fare must be purchased using your Alaska Airlines credit card." Exceptions: Fare can also be paid with your Wallet funds or AS Gift cards.
 
Does the companion fare accrue points.
YES, both tickets accrue points on any frequent flyer plan that gives out points on AS flights ie AS, AA, DL, CX, BA etc

Is the companion fare upgradeable?
YES, depending on first class upgrade (U) inventory and by priority based on the status of the traveler. There has to be 2 upgradeable seats available. If using paper certificates there has to be 2 certificates. Both travelers must upgrade or none at all. At T-24, you will be added to the flight upgrade list upon checkin per normal procedure and upgrades will process in the usual order of priority.
companion fare and upgrade question

When will I get my Companion certificate? 
As soon as you get approved for the credit card the certificate will appear in your Alaska airline online account. As of June 2016, the initial companion fare will post shortly after the statement where you reach the minimum spend (currently $1000) closes. Another will appear around the 1 year anniversary of your credit card. JULY 2020 UPDATE: spend is now $2,000 within 90 days.

Cancelling a companion fare
Rebook=kept in system however change fees may apply based on fare purchased.
Refund=gone

What class of fares can be booked?
All fares can be booked from "hot fares" to "first class" but only on Alaska/Horizon operated flights. It is not eligible for AA, DL etc operated flights. (coach fare only with new certificates issued after Aug. 1, 2012). You cannot purchase F but you can upgrade to F after purchase or try your luck at free upgrades if you have status.

Can the companion fare be used on a one-way, round trip, open jaw, OR multi-city?
Any of the above. Also, if you purchase RT, you can subsequently call to change to a one-way ticket and potentially get a credit for the fare that applies to the cancelled segments.

I don't want to change my travel now, is there a way to cancel & reissue the code?

It's not technically "reissued." It's basically encased in amber for reuse.

If you change more than 60 days from the date of travel, AND the companion has no status (sorry, spouse), you can reuse the companion cert by calling in, having the reservation split, and then re-deposting the primary traveler's airfare into My Wallet and keeping a record of the companion traveler's ticket number separately.

Then, to reuse the companion cert for the same companion on a different itinerary, you need to phone in and make the primary traveler's reservation, and pay with a credit card for the primary traveler's ticket. No My Wallet funds can be used. Then the companion's cert and fees are reattached and any difference in fees and taxes are collected/refunded.

If the primary traveler decides that he/she does not want to reuse the companion cert after canceling the original reservation (as long as it's done before the value of the companion cert/fees/taxes expires), the value of the fees/taxes of the companion cert can be redeposited into the primary traveler's My Wallet. But the cert itself is forfeited.
(from Seattlenerd. Thank you!)

What are the Terms and Conditions as issued by Alaska Air
Discount: Valid for one $99 USD Companion Ticket when traveling with another passenger on a paid airfare. Both passengers must be booked in the same itinerary, at the same fare, traveling together, and ticketed at the same time. Valid for round-trip or one-way travel. Valid on published fares. Not applicable to Mileage Plan Award Reservations, Alaska Airlines Vacation packages, tour or contract fares.

Reservations & Ticketing: Valid for new ticket purchases through alaskaair.com, Alaska Airlines Reservations, or Horizon Air Reservations. The Companion Ticket Discount Code is redeemed at time of ticketing and is void for future changes or purchases. Traveler and/or Purchaser name must match the name issued on the Discount Code. Credit card required for purchase.

Passengers: Valid for one $99 USD Companion Ticket when traveling with a second passenger on a paid fare, traveling together, and booked and ticketed at the same time in the same reservation.

Routes: Valid systemwide on flights operated by Alaska Airlines or Horizon Air.

Advance Purchase: Per applicable fare rule.

Purchase By: Expiration date on Discount Code.

Blackout Dates: Per applicable fare rule.

Minimum & Maximum Stay: Per applicable fare rules.

Flights: Valid only on flights operated by Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air and on PenAir between Anchorage and Dutch Harbor. Not valid on codeshare flights.

Taxes, Fees and Surcharges: Passenger is responsible for all applicable taxes, fees, and surcharges, including checked baggage fees.

Combinability: Not valid with any other discounts, including Discount Codes, coupons, discount programs, MyAccount online discount, or other arrangements.

Changes and Refunds: Changes and refunds are allowed per the applicable fare rule and may result in the forfeiture of the Discount Code.

Mileage Plan: Mileage Plan credit applies and upgrades are allowed.

Transferability: Discount Codes and tickets are not transferable. They may not be given to another individual, and may not be sold, bought, bartered, auctioned or collected in bulk. Any deemed by Alaska Airlines/Horizon Air to have been distributed or acquired improperly will not be honored and traveler will be liable for payment of full fare.

Additional Terms: All rules of Alaska Airlines, Horizon Air, alaskaair.com, and the applicable fare rules not mentioned within these terms and conditions apply.

Other: Lost or stolen Discount Codes or tickets cannot be replaced. Alaska/Horizon has the final authority regarding redemption. Travel is subject to Alaska and Horizon contract of carriage. Terms and conditions as written herein are final and cannot be changed by any statement or representation of any unauthorized person, including employees of Alaska/Horizon or issuing organization. Other restrictions may apply and Alaska/Horizon reserves the right to suspend or change this offer without notice.






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Companion Fare FAQ - Bank of America Mileage Plan Visa

Old Dec 31, 2011, 3:57 pm
  #106  
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
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Companion Certs and Vacation packages

Hi all, great thread. I've read through and haven't seen anything related to vacation packages.

Can I use a companion certificate for the airfare portion of the vacation packages? I am hoping to book using the companion cert for 1st class for 2 of the flights, and then coach and mileage upgrades for the other 2 fares, but not sure if this will work?

Has anyone done this before?
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Old Dec 31, 2011, 9:50 pm
  #107  
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Originally Posted by finnster
Hi all, great thread. I've read through and haven't seen anything related to vacation packages.

Can I use a companion certificate for the airfare portion of the vacation packages? I am hoping to book using the companion cert for 1st class for 2 of the flights, and then coach and mileage upgrades for the other 2 fares, but not sure if this will work?

Has anyone done this before?
Not possible AFAIK

Need to book companion cert online and then book AS Vacations seperate- either online or by phone. And mileage and paid reservations will be on seperate tickets (PNR's) too.
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Old Jan 2, 2012, 11:15 am
  #108  
 
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Thanks Beckoa that was helpful, didnt think about purchasing seaparately - duh...
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Old Jan 3, 2012, 10:32 pm
  #109  
 
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Originally Posted by flyer206
Extending a companion fare
Tickets must be booked by the expiry date but can be for travel up to 330 days in advance. So book 2 full-fare or first class tickets for travel 11 months in advance to any destination on AS. When you have decided when and where you want to go, call AS to change the tickets. Since the tickets are full-fare or first class the changes will be no charge. The tickets can be changed to a lower level ticket including hot fare and the destination can be changed as well. If the tickets are cheaper then the amount will be refunded to the same credit card.
Just want one point of clarification on this (after reading the whole thread). I think I know the answer based on what I read but I didn't see it specifically covered.

If I were to initially buy a ticket say LAX-SEA First Class or Full Fare Y, but then change to a ticket to Hawaii that is more expensive than the originally booked ticket, you only pay the difference in fare for the first ticket, and any adjustment in taxes/fees as appropriate, correct? (as opposed to having to pay a fare difference on both tickets)
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Old Jan 4, 2012, 12:31 pm
  #110  
 
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Originally Posted by meballard

If I were to initially buy a ticket say LAX-SEA First Class or Full Fare Y, but then change to a ticket to Hawaii that is more expensive than the originally booked ticket, you only pay the difference in fare for the first ticket, and any adjustment in taxes/fees as appropriate, correct? (as opposed to having to pay a fare difference on both tickets)

YES!!
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Old Jan 10, 2012, 3:20 pm
  #111  
 
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Can we earn AA miles

For a big trip to Alaska, we're thinking of joining Mileage Plan program and getting Alaska Air visa in order to get companion ticket, so our second ticket (for a 4-leg journey) would effectively cost only $174 ($75 for visa plus $99 for companion ticket). Can we earn American rather than Alaska miles for our trip?
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Old Jan 10, 2012, 4:01 pm
  #112  
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Originally Posted by sharonsimon
For a big trip to Alaska, we're thinking of joining Mileage Plan program and getting Alaska Air visa in order to get companion ticket, so our second ticket (for a 4-leg journey) would effectively cost only $174 ($75 for visa plus $99 for companion ticket). Can we earn American rather than Alaska miles for our trip?
Its $99 plus taxes ... so i'd add another $30 or so to your total.

And when you say 4 leg... are you talking about connections? Stopovers? random one way segments with driving in between? That makes a difference too as to whether the companion fare will apply.
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Old Jan 11, 2012, 6:16 am
  #113  
 
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four leg journey possible on companion fare?

Our ideal trip using companion fare is: day 1 WAS to ANC, day 8 ANC to JUN for cruise, day 15 SIT to Seattle to visit family, day 17 SEA to WAS. If the whole thing won't work on Visa companion fare, would 3 legs work (I would pay for ANC to JUN separately as it is cheapest leg)? Does number of legs matter if doing economy versus first class ticket? Thanks much.
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Old Jan 12, 2012, 11:10 pm
  #114  
 
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Originally Posted by flyer206
Extending a companion fare
Tickets must be booked by the expiry date but can be for travel up to 330 days in advance. So book 2 full-fare or first class tickets for travel 11 months in advance to any destination on AS. When you have decided when and where you want to go, call AS to change the tickets. Since the tickets are full-fare or first class the changes will be no charge. The tickets can be changed to a lower level ticket including hot fare and the destination can be changed as well. If the tickets are cheaper then the amount will be refunded to the same credit card.
However, the ticket can not be extended for another 330 days. Meaning, you can not keep on extending the companion certificate. Hence travel must be completed within the initial 330 day window.
Question about this.

My companion cert expires August 2012. I'd like to use it in September of 2012. Is this possible (that is, can I book the flights for some random date between now and August 2012, then later rebook for September 2012)? It doesn't sound like it.

There seems to be a contradiction here (in that last bit). Can the certificate be "extended" or not? It says the travel must be completed within the initial 330 day window. If that's the case, it doesn't sound like it can be extended at all - where's the "extension"?

Or can it be extended once (beyond the 330 day window, as far out as 660 days)? That would be ideal for me, but seems unlikely.

Can someone clarify?

Thanks!
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Old Jan 13, 2012, 12:16 am
  #115  
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Originally Posted by nwflyboy
Question about this.

My companion cert expires August 2012. I'd like to use it in September of 2012. Is this possible (that is, can I book the flights for some random date between now and August 2012, then later rebook for September 2012)? It doesn't sound like it.

There seems to be a contradiction here (in that last bit). Can the certificate be "extended" or not? It says the travel must be completed within the initial 330 day window. If that's the case, it doesn't sound like it can be extended at all - where's the "extension"?

Or can it be extended once (beyond the 330 day window, as far out as 660 days)? That would be ideal for me, but seems unlikely.

Can someone clarify?

Thanks!
If your companion cert expires in Aug 2012, that means you have to ticket by Aug 2012; therefore, if your cert expires 8/2012, you can use it now to book a ticket for 9/2012.

Basically what is being said above:
The expiration date is the ticketing deadline; travel must be completed within 330 days of the ticketing deadline (because you cannot book travel beyond 330 days out)
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Old Jan 13, 2012, 12:26 am
  #116  
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Originally Posted by nwflyboy

Originally Posted by flyer206
Extending a companion fare
Tickets must be booked by the expiry date but can be for travel up to 330 days in advance. So book 2 full-fare or first class tickets for travel 11 months in advance to any destination on AS. When you have decided when and where you want to go, call AS to change the tickets. Since the tickets are full-fare or first class the changes will be no charge. The tickets can be changed to a lower level ticket including hot fare and the destination can be changed as well. If the tickets are cheaper then the amount will be refunded to the same credit card.
However, the ticket can not be extended for another 330 days. Meaning, you can not keep on extending the companion certificate. Hence travel must be completed within the initial 330 day window.
Question about this.

My companion cert expires August 2012. I'd like to use it in September of 2012. Is this possible (that is, can I book the flights for some random date between now and August 2012, then later rebook for September 2012)? It doesn't sound like it.

There seems to be a contradiction here (in that last bit). Can the certificate be "extended" or not? It says the travel must be completed within the initial 330 day window. If that's the case, it doesn't sound like it can be extended at all - where's the "extension"?

Or can it be extended once (beyond the 330 day window, as far out as 660 days)? That would be ideal for me, but seems unlikely.

Can someone clarify?

Thanks!
OK...in reading that more closely, what he is saying is:

Expiration date is a ticketing deadline.
Since AS publishes availability/fares 330 days in advance, essentially travel by deadline is 330 days after companion cert expiration date.

So...let's consider 2 scenarios:

#1 - you KNOW where you want to travel now, but your travel dates are after the expiration date (i.e. booking deadline) of your companion cert: You can go ahead and book them now as long as the schedules/fares are published for your travel dates now.

#2 - your companion cert is about to expire (i.e. booking deadline is fast approaching) and you DON'T KNOW where you want to go: Wait until the expiration date, and book 2 First Class tickets (or full flex tickets) for ANY route for travel 330 days into the future. Then once your plans firm up (between now and 330 days from now) CHANGE the F or fully refundable tickets to the itin you want (even if a lower fare class). The companion certificate will still be valid, and either your credit card will be refunded the difference, or you will be charged the up fare (but no change fee), whichever the case will be. The catch here is that you would have to know the names of the travelers, you wouldn't be able to make name changes without paying the name change fee.
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Old Jan 13, 2012, 10:36 am
  #117  
 
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Originally Posted by ANC RED-EYE
#2 - your companion cert is about to expire (i.e. booking deadline is fast approaching) and you DON'T KNOW where you want to go: Wait until the expiration date, and book 2 First Class tickets (or full flex tickets) for ANY route for travel 330 days into the future. Then once your plans firm up (between now and 330 days from now) CHANGE the F or fully refundable tickets to the itin you want (even if a lower fare class). The companion certificate will still be valid, and either your credit card will be refunded the difference, or you will be charged the up fare (but no change fee), whichever the case will be. The catch here is that you would have to know the names of the travelers, you wouldn't be able to make name changes without paying the name change fee.
This is an awesome trick that I might need to try in a couple of months - just no personal travel coming up. I'm assuming if I still can't figure out a trip, I can cancel the F or full Y ticket for a full refund (but losing the certificate). Really wish AS would start PHL - that's the one trip I do know I need to take.
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Old Jan 13, 2012, 5:57 pm
  #118  
 
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Originally Posted by ANC RED-EYE
OK...in reading that more closely, what he is saying is:

Expiration date is a ticketing deadline.
Since AS publishes availability/fares 330 days in advance, essentially travel by deadline is 330 days after companion cert expiration date.
Perfect - makes sense (and is good news for me).

Thanks for the clarification.
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Old Jan 15, 2012, 8:26 pm
  #119  
 
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Is there any difference in this strategy based on whether the $99 cert came from the biz or personal credit card? I have a certificate from each expiring soon and am still totally undecided where and when to use them. So I plan to booso two trips for myself and a companion in 1st and rebook when I decide.

[QUOTE=ANC RED-EYE;17805140]

Expiration date is a ticketing deadline.
Since AS publishes availability/fares 330 days in advance, essentially travel by deadline is 330 days after companion cert expiration date.
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Old Jan 15, 2012, 10:05 pm
  #120  
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[QUOTE=cchrissyy]Is there any difference in this strategy based on whether the $99 cert came from the biz or personal credit card? I have a certificate from each expiring soon and am still totally undecided where and when to use them. So I plan to booso two trips for myself and a companion in 1st and rebook when I decide.

Originally Posted by ANC RED-EYE

Expiration date is a ticketing deadline.
Since AS publishes availability/fares 330 days in advance, essentially travel by deadline is 330 days after companion cert expiration date.
Now that both are electronic there shouldn't be.
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