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My experience using an Amex Card Companion Certificate last weekend

My experience using an Amex Card Companion Certificate last weekend

 
Old Aug 18, 03, 11:43 am
  #1  
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Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: BLR
Posts: 291
My experience using an Amex Card Companion Certificate last weekend

This is a followup to the discussion in the following thread ->

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/Forum21/HTML/011146.html

Paid a heavy price for a K fare as I didnt get cheap deals (when I needed it) to the west coast. We flew BDL-LAX and the certificate gave us the best deal at the time. In hindsight, I feel the certificate would be a bargain if used judiciously (and I would put at least a $50 value on it).

Miles credit -> I gave both my and wife's FF number prior to the travel date on phone. Mrs. boarding cards said - NO FF CREDIT similar to when you get an award ticket. However, found today that she got credited for miles. The one bright spot.

Upgrades -> This was more complex and different agents interpret it differently. First two phone calls said - no upgrade. On the day of travel, a friendly SMS agent said that I could use NAMU and split our reservation into two for that purpose.

At the airport, one agent was unsure and on the fence but his colleague emphatically said NO - it is a free ticket and therefore cannot be upgraded. However, as a PM, I could be. But, for marital bliss - I chose the coach and ended with a pain in the neck by the time I reached LAX. (At CVG, agent was willing up upgrade Mrs. for $150 and I would get a free upgrade.)

Our coach seat assignment got messed up when the SMS agent split the reservations - in order to sit together, we say in the last row of MD88 next to the engine.

On the return, again - no seats together. This time, agent again says pay up $150 each and he will upgrade so that we can sit together. I point out my PM status and price comes down to a total of $150. I present my NAMU and get both of us upgraded. I was also told that we will get our CVG-BDL boarding passes in CVG and that our seats were 4A and 4B (I had 4A even when I checked in at LAX). For some reason, he couldnt issue those.

At 6AM in CVG, agent says only Mrs. (on NAMU at this stage) has a 4B and I am in coach. Apparently, supervisor went in and added to my record that my ticket cannot be upgraded (K class for a PM). Till that moment, I was told the opposite - that while I get a complimentary upgrade, my wife cannot be upgraded.

Got both of us demoted to coach and caught up on sleep that we sorely needed after a hectic vacation

Overall, the cert. was a mixed blessing.
While it was useful in getting a decent fare when there was no fare sale, it is worse than probably even LUT in terms of upgrade. And the worst part for us was that they screwed up our seat assignments.

ps: Why are red-eye flights from LAX to CVG so full - do they connect to some inbound international flights?
gt0138d is offline  
Old Aug 18, 03, 3:32 pm
  #2  
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Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Greensboro, NC, USA
Posts: 39
My experience has been that these certificates are not really worth $300 that AMEX plat. charges you per year. One cannot save $300 with these. On the contrary, one cannot upgrade either. If I was to buy two tickets, I can upgrade myself as Plat. and companion using systemwide upgrades or N. American. Not with this certificate though!

So I ahve 'dumped' my plat. card and opted for a regular card. I would encourage others to do the same instead of paying a high fee when you only save about $125.
PAKMAN is offline  
Old Aug 18, 03, 5:32 pm
  #3  
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: SEA - DL DM/2MM, *A Gold, SPG Lifetime Plat, some other car and hotel stuff
Posts: 5,647
The DL Plat Amex is only $135, not $300. Perhaps you are thinking of the non-DL-branded Plat Amex at ~$300, PAKMAN?

gt, I hope you are not complaining about what you got from the certificate, but it is hard to tell. Overall, your companion got miles (but should not have) and you seem to have gotten a bunch of free upgrades (but should not have).
andymo99 is offline  
Old Aug 18, 03, 6:03 pm
  #4  
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Salt Lake City, Utah, DL DM since inception, 2+ MM, SPG-Gold
Programs: DL, UA, AA, HH, SPG
Posts: 1,785
Add to this trouble that the certificate can not be used on any Delta Connection flight, (which I found out the only time I wanted to use it going SLC-Omaha on a Skywest connection). After that fiasko I don't even bother and the certs. are thrown out when new ones arrive.

Mrs. Duck and me are flying together on pure domestic itineraries about 4 times a year. I find it easier to just by the cheapest non-LUT fare for her and upgrade with a NAMU at time of reservation. I have enough of those lasting us into February 04, and at that time we will see what happens with the SM changes, but include in the equation how the companion 500 point upgrade option unfold, an issue I am still entirely unclear on (i.e. do the upgrade time frames follow the principal traveler, i.e. 100 hours for PM, 72 for GM etc.?) - don't have a clue at this point.

Aside from this, since we put everything o0n our Skymile AE card, including our kid's college tuition (for a $1 service fee per semester each!!) with all the double miles we get well over 100K miles per year, enough for 1-2 B/E award ticket(s) making the $135/y well worth it IMHO.
Flying_Duck is offline  
Old Aug 18, 03, 6:28 pm
  #5  
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Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: BLR
Posts: 291
<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by andymo99:

gt, I hope you are not complaining about what you got from the certificate, but it is hard to tell. Overall, your companion got miles (but should not have) and you seem to have gotten a bunch of free upgrades (but should not have).
</font>
andymo99 I was sharing my experience as I had a bunch of questions before the trip - will I get miles, can both of us get upgraded, the value of the certificate etc.

No. I am trying to be cautiously positive on this topic. I think I made good use of the certificate under the circumstances. Probably, the best use of an Amex Certificate, IMO is to share it without someone you dont have to sit with (that way, you can get upgraded while you reap the full benefits of the cert.

PAKMAN - as andymo pointed out, it is $135 instead of $300. And, I managed to bring it down to $85.

Duck - if you are anyway buying the cheapest non-LUT, this cert. would work - I have no experience on DL connection flights though. Mine was a case where the cheapest non-LUT was almost $500. So, for an annual fee of $85, I got a ticket for $15 (taxes on my wife's ticket) + 10K miles a year (the reason I made it to PM the last 3 years) + a ton of miles.

Surely beats the other airlines cards.


gt0138d is offline  

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