Posted by William Charles on June 6, 2019
Airline Rewards

Published on June 6th, 2019 | by William Charles

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Alaska Companion Fares Need To Be Paid For Using The Alaska Credit Card For Tickets Issued 9/1

One of the benefits of the Bank of America Alaska cobranded credit card is that it comes with a companion fare annually. You need to pay $99 plus any taxes or fees, previously you’ve been able to pay for this using any card you’d like but the F.A.Q now states for tickets issued after October 1st, 2019 this charge must be paid for using the Alaska credit card.

Some people preferred to use other cards either to use up travel credits, provide better travel insurances or for a better rewards earn rate. This isn’t a huge negative, but it’s still an unwelcome change.

Hat tip to TPG



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Clover Chan
Clover Chan

What if you canceled the card but still have the coupon to use???

Jeff
Jeff

SOL I’d guess

Staradmiral
Staradmiral

You have until Oct 1

TPC
TPC

If the companion fare was already issued then they should be fine. The language says “for companion fares issued on of after October 1, 2019.” Since their companion has already been issued it does not appear that this rule would apply

John
John

Sounds like you’re fine, the date is for the issuance of the companion fare. So if you already have it you should be able to use whatever card you want.

TJ
TJ

For companion fares issued on or after October 1, 2019

churnandlurk
churnandlurk

FYI the article title says 9/1 instead of 10/1.

JJ
JJ

If you paid for the fare using your Alaska card but then upgraded to premium economy with your CSR would CSR insurance kick in?

weaseltown
weaseltown

Per the CSR benefits PDF, you wouldn’t be eligible for coverage. Most coverages mandate that at least some portion of the fare is charged to the CSR, but with the new restrictions going into effect the entire fare would need to be charged to your Alaska card. Preferred seat upgrades are not considered “fare” for this purpose. I suppose you could find a sympathetic claims adjustor, but unfortunately I wouldn’t count on that. The silver lining is that seat upgrades would still be eligible for 3x UR earning via the CSR.

WayUpNorth49
WayUpNorth49

This totally blows. I cash out MR using the Biz Plat for AS flights, cancel after a day, and bank the credit in my wallet. I then use wallet funds when I want to use the companion pass. It’s been a couple of years since I paid actual cash money for a ticket on AS (give or take the travel credits that cover the AmEx card fees).

FM
FM

The bigger question is whether it has to be that specific persons Alaska card or ANY persons Alaska card. I work at a large company with a very active employee-run “for sale” distribution list, and I see dozens of people a week selling their unused companion fares on the list. This will be a major blow to the secondary market if the change does require the issued persons Alaska card.

Satellite
Satellite

Sounds like Amazon.

EL
EL

The owner of the CP already had to be the one purchasing the ticket for the pass to apply (the credit card had to be in their name but not necessarily the Alaska card) so this change doesn’t change that aspect too much.

Jeff
Jeff

Huge downgrade for me. I use my flexperks points to pay for both, which I have a ton of. Now it’ll basically be a cash fare. Thumbs way down on this one!

Jimm
Jimm

This is such BS, and is a huge deal. Their companion pass is now effectively $99 plus fees and taxes, plus the AF for the card. Alaska is slowly but surely removing the reasons why they used to be the best airline on the west coast. They followed the major carriers and added Basic Economy, effectively raising rates for most travelers. They’ve recently disallowed priority pass at some key lounge locations, and now you must hold their card (and pay the AF) to book and use their companion pass… What’s next?

LC
LC

probably bankruptcy

Quango
Quango

they’ll get acquired by spirit airlines

qmc
qmc

Given that you probably earned that companion pass with that card and it’s AF, I don’t see how that’s a major difference.

I’m not sure how priority pass plays into your “best airline” … you’re implying devaluing somebody else’s product that lets non-loyalty tier customers in makes their program worse? (fwiw, I am one of these non-elite AS members with a PP)

YoniPDX
YoniPDX

Agreed this one the biggest reason I’m against M&A is the only people that benefit really are C-Suite Exec and Shareholders (customers that are shareholders unless they are huge can still end up losing), meanwhile customers and employees tend to get the raw end of the deal.

jeff
jeff

If you have multiple Alaska cards do you have to use the card that corresponds to the certificate? For me I have both a business and a personal Alaska card so I’m wondering if I can cancel a card but then use the other card with the left over companion pass?

AnHeroicHippo
AnHeroicHippo

Two misleading little bits in this article, doc. 1) The title says 9/1 but the date is 10/1. 2) you say “for tickets issued after October 1st, 2019” but as far as I can read from Alaska (including the screenshot you posted) there’s no such rule – this applies to _certificates_ issued after October 1st, 2019 – if you receive your cert before then you should be able to pay with any credit card until that cert expires. Maybe you just meant “certificates” instead of “tickets”?

Matt
Matt

I guess it’s a good thing I got declined for this card.

J T
J T

Does anyone know if existing wallet funds (deposited gift certificates, etc) can be used in addition to the Alaska Visa card, or will we be locked out of all payment options except their card when booking the companion fare? This alone will determine whether we keep our 3 Alaska cards open or not.

YoniPDX
YoniPDX

A flight delay can cost you far more than the value of the CP. Almost learned the expensive way. A reminder that we have pretty crappy flight protection compared to the EU and Canada.

This is a huge negative esp since the card really has no travel insurance – that alone can more than kill the value of CP with a trip delay.

DW and kids last week flew to the Red-eye to Atlanta – flight was delayed before boarding 25 minutes – then they sat on the runway at PDX for 70 minutes – daughter texted me – so I got on the phone to be proactive – to see about re-booking as the Red-eye flight departure window was shrinking – the flight did take off while we were on the phone – but they would only have 20-25 min once the plane landed (not necessarily, at the gate and deplaning). The CSR person did call a Supervisor who alerted the gate agents about family on board once I started asking reason plane was delayed as it only arrived 15 min late from LAX. We try to take Red-eyes when headed east as you lose part to most of the day traveling. The had to run but did make the flight -thankfully as its a short trip to see Grandma – whos health has rapidly deteriorated – and DW limited PTO left with all the travel this past year.

Since US Airlines have no requirement to provide domestic travelers vouchers for food, hotel and taxi for delays but do if bumped involuntary. I kind of knew this in the back of my mind but it has never been a concern because of normally booking with a card that covered that base.

CSR said that if they missed the flight, that they would book them on the next available AS flight, but not necessarily that evening on another Airlines redeye, nor were vouchers for accommodations guaranteed. So booking with CSR card -if the flight is delayed would more than have covered the savings of the CP.

So huge devaluation – while mileage plan is still one of few that gives actual miles flown, its getting worse all the time.

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