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Seattle bound, on Companion Fare

In April of this year, we traveled to Seattle for a weekend on Alaska Airlines. Our bookings were made using our Alaska credit cards. One of the benefits of the card is the companion fare. At the time that Mr. JJ applied for it, he was offered a companion fare of $121 ($99 base fare plus taxes and fees based on itinerary of $22). The later one that I applied for had an introductory offer of a $0 base fare and $22 in taxes and fees, for all companion tickets.

The details on the companion fare from the Alaska Air website state:

“Alaska’s Famous Companion Fare is offered to eligible Alaska Airlines Visa® cardholders (US), the Alaska Airlines Visa® Business card (US), as well as the World Elite® Mastercard® and Platinum Plus® Mastercard® (Canada). The companion fare entitles the card holder to purchase one round-trip coach companion fare on Alaska Airlines from $121 (USD) ($99 base fare plus applicable taxes and fees from $22 depending on your flight itinerary) when traveling with another passenger on a paid published coach airfare on the same itinerary, booked at the same time. Travel must be booked at alaskaair.com. Mileage cannot be used as a form of payment, however mileage credit accrual is allowed for both travelers. Travelers are responsible for all applicable taxes, fees, surcharges and applicable checked baggage fees. The companion fare discount code is not valid with award travel, and cannot be combined with other discounts.”

To qualify, new cardholders have to make net purchase of $1000, within 90 days after opening an account. The actual code posts 6-8 weeks after qualifying to the primary card holder’s account. For existing cardholders, whose accounts are in good standing, the “Discount Code (posts) within the first 2 billing cycles after the anniversary date each year. Typically, account anniversary will fall approximately 6 to 8 weeks after the date on which you originally open your credit card account.”

The code has to be redeemed to book within the expiration date but the travel itself can occur within 12 months after ticket is issued. The card holder can be one of the travelers on the itinerary. In the event the cardholder is booking for two others, his or her name must match the one on the credit card as the purchaser of the reservation. Miles are accrued by both the primary traveler as well as the companion for such flights. Flights can be upgraded, if needed.

To use the code, log into your Mileage Plan account, locate the Discount and Companion Fare code section in the bar on the left. Choose the one that states Valid, it takes you to a new screen with the discount code(s) and a box that states SHOP. The terms and conditions for using the code are laid out here. Mine states $0 base fee with applicable taxes and fees for $22 and is valid system wide. Click the SHOP button that takes you to the “Book a flight” screen and proceed as usual with the booking. Discount is automatically applied at the end.

While both Mr. JJ and I have this card, we chose Mr. JJ’s card to use the Companion Fare. My discount code wasn’t active yet and his was nearing expiration. The roundtrip price for each passenger was $271. We bought Sonny JJ’s fare under the discount code. Here are the details of our prices for one person and with the discount code applied.

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Cost breakdown, with companion fare discount applied

We saved about $135 overall for Sonny JJ’s ticket. In the world of miles and points, that’s pittance. But what is important is that we were willing to travel at that price for that weekend and got his ticket at half price, we made use of the discount code before it expired and we got a chance for Sonny JJ to open an Alaska account and add some miles. Plus the money saved meant money spent on other activities on the trip.

I am looking forward to using my own discount code sometime this summer/ fall. It makes paying the annual fee on this card much more worthwhile.