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are companion tickets practically worthless?

are companion tickets practically worthless?

Old Dec 26, 15, 8:07 am
  #1  
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Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Kalamazoo MI
Programs: Delta PM , Delta Amex Reserve, Delta Amex Plat
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are companion tickets practically worthless?

have been trying to use a companion ticket from amex reserve for a coach seat for the last 3 months. I have looked at all the fare rules and the class of service has been available. Trip is DTW-Msy 3/31/2015 to 04/03/2015. There are no known conventions or other events at that time and the seat map shows a wide open plane. Award tickets are 57500 miles. I ended up eating two companion tickets for the same reason. The only flights available are a place you dont want to go at a time your not interested in.
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Old Dec 26, 15, 8:55 am
  #2  
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there's a whole thread with close to 500 posts about this
http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/delta...on+certificate

there's a general consensus that what I call "Newton's Law of the Online Forum" is in play here: for every strongly voiced opinion, there's an equal and opposite strongly voiced opinion

apparently, just seeing LUTXV fares on the website is no guarantee that the invisible subset of that inventory that DL and AmEx actually open for using the cert is also available

yes, I'm continually frustrated by some of the rules like no open-jaw travel and no upgrade eligibility, but actually using the cert in 12 or so years hasn't been an issue since we have had enough flexibility in terms of both schedule and convenience ... on at least two occasions we did BWI<-->SNA on Sat mornings when IAD<-->SAN (out Sun return Fri) was closer to ideal
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Old Dec 26, 15, 9:29 am
  #3  
LBJ
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I'm guessing general spring break travel demand for MSY. Very limited coach companion cert availability from about mid-March through the end of April (just spent some time with the calendar and playing with weekend dates). Pretty decent availability outside of that band (including though-out the summer). Availability is generally better if you can return on a Monday instead of a Sunday. Suspect that MSY suffers from Vegas-like travel patterns (everyone wants to go for the weekend and return Sunday afternoon) and the airlines are obviously aware of that.
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Old Dec 26, 15, 10:07 am
  #4  
 
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If you have the Reserve card try searching for first class tickets instead. I did a search and non-stop flights are available on your exact dates for $796 in F. The companion then just pays the taxes.
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Old Dec 26, 15, 10:49 am
  #5  
 
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Start by selecting the companion cert in my wallet, then only the flights that work are shown. I've used it a few times without much trouble, including to MSY.
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Old Dec 26, 15, 11:03 am
  #6  
 
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It's a matter of matching to a flight that will produce a good deal. Until now I've had the Delta Platinum (now reserve) and my wife has the reserve. We take a look at where we will be flying next year and check the pricing. This year we used my wife's companion ticket to purchase first class to PHX which came to about $500 each. Of course I didn't receive miles, but she got the 150% MQM. For my coach ticket I found a flight to LAS which cost us about $400 is total.

To me 57,500 for the DFW-MSY flight is not cheap so it might not be the best place to use the companion ticket.
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Old Dec 26, 15, 11:06 am
  #7  
 
Join Date: May 2014
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It takes a lot of work but they are very usable. If your dates/times cannot be a bit flexible you will likely continue to despise them.
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Old Dec 26, 15, 11:08 am
  #8  
LBJ
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Originally Posted by orca15 View Post
Start by selecting the companion cert in my wallet, then only the flights that work are shown. I've used it a few times without much trouble, including to MSY.
OP's problem is there is no LUTXV fare bucket availability for the return flights on Sunday 4/3 (nor is there any on Monday 4/4). There is L bucket availability on Thursday 3/31 for one outbound flight (flight 1628), and if OP returns on Tuesday 4/5, there are a number of flights with open L/U buckets. I checked and these are bookable with a companion cert.
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Old Dec 26, 15, 11:11 am
  #9  
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
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Originally Posted by LBJ View Post
OP's problem is there is no LUTXV fare bucket availability for the return flights on Sunday 4/3 (nor is there any on Monday 4/4). There is L bucket availability on Thursday 3/31 for one outbound flight (flight 1628), and if OP returns on Tuesday 4/5, there are a number of flights with open L/U buckets that are bookable with a companion cert.
As mentioned, if you are inflexible on dates, the value of this coupon diminishes greatly. That was my reason for suggesting that they start with what is available rather than what is desired.
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Old Dec 26, 15, 11:22 am
  #10  
 
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I'm not defending them, but DL Revenue Management looks at a lot of what has happened historically. While there may not be things scheduled right now for those dates there are events that I know about which directly precede and follow your dates.

Tulane spring break officially ends on the 28th but many students don't come back until after that, depending on their individual schedules and travel costs.

Microsoft's Convergence follows, from 4/4 to 4/7 with French Quarter Fest running 4/7 to 4/10. Flights to NOLA prior to these events, particularly Convergence, will be booked solid and people will be arriving in your time frame because they can't get here after the weekend and in many cases want to spend a fun weekend before the convention.
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Old Dec 26, 15, 12:13 pm
  #11  
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: central Wisconsin
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My wife and I both have separate DL Platinum Amex accounts, the main purpose is
the companion certificate. We have used both certs every year without too much difficulty.
In fact being a lowly FO, allowed us to be "upgraded" to C+ on our last trip at t-24.
I think its been a good value for us.
schmidlapp is offline  

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