Executive Summary -
The companion ticket certificate is perhaps the most highly prized feature of this card. This section of our review examines the details and fine prints of this perk.
Some frequent flyer cards offer companion tickets as one of the perks to attract new members and to increase customer loyalty. This affinity card from US Airways also offers the companion ticket perk. We will now explore how this works for US Airways.
After you get approved for the card and have paid your annual fee, you will be sent a companion ticket certificate. The certificate is good for 2 companion tickets with a base price of $99 (ie it excludes taxes and any other surcharges). To use the companion certificates, the primary cardholder has to book a ticket. This ticket has to meet the following criteria:
It has to have a base cost of $250 or more. That means excluding taxes, the ticket has to be at least $250.
The flight must be a roundtrip flight - no one way trips
The flights must originate and travel between the 48 Contiguous US States and Canada. The downside to this is that you cannot use them to fly to Hawaii or Alaska
You have to book 14 days in advance
The minimum stay is 2 nights and the maximum is 30 days
You can only use this with economy tickets
There are a few other things you should be aware of. The first is that there are blackout dates. Below are blackout dates for late 2012 and 2013 provided by readers.
US Airways Blackout Dates for 2012:
March 24th, 25th
April 1st, 15th
June 29th, 30th
July 1st, 8th, 29th
August 5th, 12th
November 25th, 26th
December 21st, 22nd, 23th, 26th, 27th, 30th
US Airways Blackout Dates for 2013
January 5th, 6th February 15th, 24th
March 8th, 10th, 15th, 17th, 28th, 29th
April 1st, 6th, 7th
June 28th, 29th
July 6th, 7th, 28th
December 1st, 2nd, 20th, 21st, 28th, 29th, 30th
How does one go about booking your companion ticket?
Once you receive your companion ticket, you will be a code on it. That will be the number when you book your companion ticket. You should find the US Airways flight that you want and make sure you check the blackout dates. Then call US Airways and make the reservations (there is no charges for booking via phone). You will need to provide the code on the companion certificate. As long as there are seats available for all the bookings (main primary cardholder plus one or two companions), you will be awarded the seats. The US Airways representative will most likely ask you to mail the certificate to them (there is actually no need to do that because the code was been used to ticket your flight).
Will I earn frequent flyer miles and will the companion ticket earn miles as well?
Yes, all will be able to earn FF miles (even the folks on companion ticket).
What if I lose my certificate?
Just call Barclays bank (who is the issuer of this card) and they should be able to help you.
Can I pay for the tickets and companion tickets with another credit card?
No, you would have to pay with this US Airways card.
If my spouse has this card (but I do not) and I want to travel with my two kids, can we use the companion tickets without the main cardholder actually being a ticket holder?
No, the main card member has to be the main ticket purchaser. The solution to this is for the spouse without the card to get one.
Can I book "preferred Upgrade" tickets along with the companion certificate?
Yes you can. When you log in into usairways.com and book your tickets, there is a drop down menu where you can choose "preferred seating" tickets. If you are using the companion certificate (assuming for two companions), then three "preferred seating" seats have to be available for the booking to go through.
Can I book multi-cities round trip?
According to the terms and conditions, the answer is NO (though there might be a couple of lucky folks who have done this).
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