Alaska’s Free Companion Fare: Useless?

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I have 7, that’s right 7, Alaska Free Companion fare tickets to use with varying expiration dates. I pay full price for one ticket and my companion gets to fly for ‘free’- $121 extra. I’ve made a couple of bookings that were decent deals but haven’t been impressed by Alaska’s fares to use them more often.

In the end the fare split between two people looks like what I would pay if I purchased two tickets from another carrier. I am more than happy to give away these companion fares but the rules make it cumbersome. Still, there is some value to be found if you live in remote areas like I do at present.

Below are a couple that are decent given that Southwest doesn’t fly these routes.

Anyone have any ‘sweet spots’ they’d care to share?

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28 COMMENTS

    • Ha! Wait, I don’t know if my experiences were atypical positive or negative. When I was in Phoenix, the fares were outrageous. Leaving from Montana, they are decent compared to competitors. So are you pro Alaska or not?

      • Very much pro, I’ve used these successfully for years, was truly sad too when they eliminated booking paid F with these… from the East Coast to Hawaii one paid F + one companion was awesome. And the certs off the business card had to be ticketed at the airport. Contract station ticket counters either would fail to collect the cert or they’d charge both passengers the companion price.

        • Yeah that would’ve been nice to fly F from NYC. So I guess ‘useless’ from the comments depends on your locale most especially for Alaska Air. I’m sure you have a dozen yourself, but offer is on the table if you want to take some of mine off my hands!

  1. Personally, I think that these can be valuable given that there are no route or fare restrictions or no blackout dates. The best use, IMHO, is using the companion pass for two tickets to Hawaii. Given that you can fly east coast-Hawaii-east coast for approximately $1000 + $122, that’s pretty hard to beat. You can also use these during flights during the holiday season to save a ton of money. PHL-SEA for $484+$122 is a great deal on the holidays.

    Every other companion certificate has blackout dates and won’t let you fly to Alaska or Hawaii or in the case of Delta’s, only apply to a higher fare class. On top of this, you can earn full mileage on both American or Alaska, two of the most valuable currencies out there, for BOTH tickets. You can use these for a crazy two person mileage run given that you can fly anywhere Alaska goes if you find a cheap fare.

    • I guess if I’m going to Hawaii im flying allegiant to lax then avios to hnl.

      But I agree that alaska is great currency. Though applying for a bunch of cards is an easier approach.

      Thus the question if they are useless. Definitely has positives and negatives.

      • Well… if the question is if they are useless, that’s going to depend on the person. As someone living on the east coast and has family in LA, I’m considering using the pass to fly to BWI-LAX nonstop for the holidays, when award availability is scarce to non-existent (or astronomically priced in the case of WN) so I do find it useful.

        In addition, these companion passes are transferrable. They are not attached to your account… It is a coupon/promotion code. I wouldn’t go so far as to sell them but if you have family that has two people who have use for the pass, you can just give them the code and they can use it.

        I do think maybe as a west-coaster, it might be difficult to find use given that Alaska tend to be more expensive and you can use Avios to go to Hawaii for cheap (dependent on availability ), but I think someone who lives on the east coast or would like to travel during times of high demand (when Avios availability is limited) can get out-sized value out of the companion pass.

        • Looking to get to DFW from SEA for the holidays to see my parents. If you feel generous enough I’d love to take one of those off your hands. Thank you!

        • Since I am located in San Diego, the Companion pass is a great deal for me and the wife to go to Hawaii and to Seattle to see the grandson.
          If you still have no use for the codes I will gladly take any you are willing to part with
          Edward

        • I would be glad to take the Code, I will make a trip up to see the grandson for Christmas and his birthday

          Edward

        • Hi, I am planning a trip to Alaska from Honolulu and we have 6 people in our family. I just had one companion pass that got from opening the credit card for my husband; however, my application that only approved for a plus account not the signature, so I would be appreciate you have at one or two near expirations to share. Our trip is on Oct. 1 – Oct 6, 2015. Thank you!

        • Just gave away the October one sorry. I’ll post a giveaway as the expiration draws nearer for others and I make no use of it.

  2. This post is USELESS. I don’t get what it is you are having a problem with? You say you pay full price, full price in my book is full Y fare. It is simple, you book a sensible fare and the companion goes for $99.00 plus taxes. There are no route restrictions or blackout dates. I don’t understand how you can have such a problem performing such a simple task. If you don’t understand how the program works, call Alaska and they will walk you through it. This brief posting is so lacking substance.

      • I don’t see too many ‘sensible’ fares and that’s what I was asking about. Montana to anywhere is expensive. So Montana + $121 isn’t that awful if you divide by two. Other than that I will continue to lean towards it being useless until shown otherwise.

        • I think your problem is that you leave in Montana. I don’t know why anyone would live in MT. So, you would fly Allegiant? Do you know that if your Allegiant flight cancels, it could be days before that get you out. I have a coworker that took three weeks to get from PDX to HNL due to a mechanical problem at PDX. My wife has a coworker that was flying back from LAS Monday on Allegiant, on one of their state-of-the-art MD80’s where the engine blew. He ended up driving back to Oregon. The fact is that you get what you pay for. So, let’s get back to your problem. I don’t know where you live but I priced BIL – HNL for the period that i am going from PDX. The first pax would be $720.00 and the second pax would be $121.00. I don’t think that you can do that on Southwest, your other airline. Southwest doesn’t fly to MT at all. I did the math in my head and it works out to $420.50 per person round trip to HNL. Alaska also flies out of Helena, Bozeman, Great Falls and Kalispell. I’m glad I could help you.

        • Hahha Steve you are funny, seriously. My favorite quote: “I don’t know why anyone would live in MT. ”

          I agree, it wasn’t part of the plan: see this link (http://thepointsoflife.boardingarea.com/park-hyatt-moscow-postponed/)

          And I haven’t had the pleasure of flying what I call ‘the greyhound of the skies, Allegiant, in my ultimate hyatt diamond challenge. (http://thepointsoflife.boardingarea.com/hyatt-diamond-challenge/) I’m sure it will be as lovely as the experiences on Spirit which seems to always run out of fuel.

          For Southwest, yes they don’t fly to Montana. It took longer to get to Phoenix from Montana (thus Allegiant this time, fingers-crossed) than it would to go to Dubai. see link here (http://thepointsoflife.boardingarea.com/a-wedding-in-scottsdale-saying-i-do-to-points/)

          Finally, and this may offend everyone. I have no interest in going back to Hawaii. It’s actually cheaper to get to Tahiti (see this post: http://thepointsoflife.boardingarea.com/shanghainztahiti-bangkok-in-business-rt-60000-united-miles/)

          So I think with my present circumstances that it’s still 50/50 if the companion pass is useless. I know getting to DTW via Delta would be a lot more for two people than Alaska but overall paying for flights, in coach, nonetheless, hardly sounds appetizing. see link here Delta goes from BIL-MSP-DTW! (http://thepointsoflife.boardingarea.com/virgin-business-athens-afterthought/)

          Alternatively, I could just move out of Montana.

          Cheers

  3. If you are willing and/or planning on sharing codes, I do have a trip to Seattle in October planned, and a trip to Hawaii next July/August :). not begging, and only if you are indeed sharing.

    • Just gave away the October one. If you need the Hawaii one around then and I don’t use it then message me (if you remember) Or maybe I’ll just start posting the giveaways as the expiration date draws nearer on each.

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