A complete guide to airline companion passes

Everything you need to know about earning companion passes and discounted fares

Companion passes and discounted fares

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Flying can be a hefty expense – especially when you’re buying more than one airline ticket at a time. If you frequently fly with a companion, whether it be your child, spouse or friend, a companion pass can drastically reduce your travel costs.

While the terms vary depending on the airline and credit card, generally, companion passes allow a second passenger to fly with you for free or at a significantly discounted rate. Some credit cards automatically offer a companion pass when you are approved for the card or each year on your account anniversary. Others require you to charge a certain amount within a given timeframe to earn the pass.

For more details on some of the most common companion passes, including what they offer and how to earn them, read on.

Southwest Companion Pass

The Southwest Companion Pass is easily the most popular companion pass available due to its incredibly valuable offer: You can  choose a designated person to fly free with you each time you purchase or redeem points for a Southwest flight for up to two years. You will only be responsible for taxes and fees, which start at $5.60 per one-way ticket.

How do you qualify for the pass?

To qualify for a Southwest Companion Pass, you must earn 110,000 points or make 100 one-way flights within one calendar year.

Note that most of your Rapid Rewards points count toward qualifying for the Companion Pass. This includes points earned through your Rapid Rewards credit card, points from flights booked through Southwest Airlines and base points earned from Rapid Rewards partners. However, purchased points, transferred points and points converted from hotel and car loyalty programs do not count.

How long is it valid?

The Companion Pass is valid for the remainder of the year in which you earn the pass as well as the following full calendar year. So, for example, if you earn 110,000 points by November 2018, your companion pass will be valid for the remainder of that year, through Dec. 31, 2019.

Which cards help you qualify?

American Airlines Companion Certificate

American Airlines offers two Companion Certificate options, depending on which credit card you have. The CitiBusiness®/AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Mastercard® offers a Companion Certificate that lets you purchase one domestic round-trip main cabin ticket for a $99 fee, plus $21.60 to $43.20 in taxes and fees. The AAdvantage® Aviator® Silver World Elite Mastercard® lets you purchase tickets for up to two guests for $99 each, plus taxes and fees.

How do you qualify for the Companion Certificate?

You will receive a Companion Certificate each year that you spend $30,000 or more and renew your card membership.

How long is the certificate valid?

Once issued, the Companion Certificate will be valid for one year.

Which cards help you qualify?

British Airways Travel Together Ticket

With the Travel Together Ticket, when you book a flight on a British Airways flight originating in and returning to the U.S., you’ll receive a second seat for a companion on the same flight and in the same cabin. You will only be responsible for the taxes, fees and carrier  charges; however, those charges can range from $682 to $1,250 per adult.

How do you qualify for the Travel Together Ticket?

To qualify, you must spend $30,000 on your British Airways Visa Signature® Card within a 12-month period, starting on Jan. 1 and ending on Dec. 31. For example, if you opened your card account in June 2018, you have until Dec. 31, 2018 to reach the spend requirement for that year.

How long is the Travel Together Ticket valid?

The Travel Together ticket is valid for 24 months from the date of issue.

Which cards help you qualify?
British Airways Visa Signature® Card

Delta SkyMiles Companion Certificate

The Delta SkyMiles Companion Certificate lets a companion fly with you on eligible round-trip domestic flights. You will be responsible for taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights.

Delta Reserve Credit Card from American Express cardholders can earn one domestic first class, Delta Comfort+ or main cabin companion certificate each year.

How do you qualify for the Delta Companion Certificate?

You will receive a Companion Certificate every year that you renew your card membership. The certificate will automatically be issued to your SkyMiles account following your renewal.

How long is the certificate valid?

Once the certificate is issued, it will be valid for the remainder of the year, until your next renewal date.

Which cards help you qualify?
Delta Reserve Credit Card from American Express

Hawaiian Airlines companion discount

Hawaiian Airlines cardholders receive a one-time companion discount of 50 percent off a roundtrip coach ticket between Hawaii and the Mainland on Hawaiian Airlines.

Additionally, primary cardholders are eligible for an annual $100 discount off one coach companion ticket for roundtrip travel between Hawaii and the Mainland after each account anniversary.

How do you qualify for Hawaiian Airlines discount?

The one-time 50 percent discount will automatically be added to your HawaiianMiles account when you are approved for a Hawaiian Airlines card, while the $100 discount will automatically be added each year on your account anniversary.

How long is the discount valid?

The one-time 50 percent discount is valid for 13 months after opening your credit card account, while the annual $100 discount is valid for 12 months after each account anniversary.

Which cards help you qualify?
  • Hawaiian Airlines® World Elite Mastercard® (50 percent and $100 discounts)
  • Hawaiian Airlines® Bank of Hawaii World Elite Mastercard® (50 percent and $100 discount)
  • Hawaiin Airlines® Business Mastercard® ($100 discount)

Alaska Airlines Famous Companion Fare

Alaska Airlines gives cardholders two ways to save on flights: the annual Famous Companion Fare offer and a two-for-one new card member bonus.

Eligible Alaska Airlines cardholders will earn a Famous Companion Fare each year on their account anniversary, which lets them purchase one round-trip coach companion fare on Alaska Airlines starting at $121 ($99 base fare plus taxes and fees from $22).

Additionally, for a limited time, new Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® credit card members can earn one free ticket when they purchase a round-trip coach ticket on Alaska Airlines and reach the required spend threshold. Cardholders will be responsible for taxes and fees starting at $22, based on your flight itinerary.

How do you qualify for the Famous Companion Fare?

To qualify for the Famous Companion Fare, you must be an Alaska Airlines Visa Signature®, Alaska Airlines Visa® Business, World Elite® Mastercard® or Platinum Plus® Mastercard® cardholder. You will automatically receive the companion fare each year on your account anniversary.

To be eligible for the buy one, get one free introductory offer, you must be a new Alaska Airlines Visa® cardholders. Cardholders will receive a free ticket when they spend $1,000 in the first 90 days and purchase a round-trip coach ticket on Alaska Airlines.

Travel must be booked on alaskaair.com.

How long is the fare valid?

The Famous Companion Fare is valid from the date of issue until your next account anniversary.

Alaska Airlines has not yet specified when the two-for-one limited-time offer will expire.

Which cards help you qualify?

Lufthansa companion ticket

Miles & More World Elite Mastercard cardholders get one economy class companion ticket on Lufthansa Airlines after their first purchase, as well as an annual companion ticket each year after that. You will be responsible for taxes and surcharges.

How do you qualify for the Lufthansa companion ticket?

As the primary cardholder, you will receive an economy companion ticket when you make your first purchase using your Miles & More Mastercard. Each year after that, you will receive a companion ticket on your account opening anniversary, as long as your account remains open and in good standing.

To book the companion ticket, you must call Miles & More Companion Ticket Service at 866-461-5399.

How long is the companion ticket valid?

The Lufthansa companion ticket is valid from the date of issue until your next account anniversary.

Which cards help you qualify?
Miles & More® World Elite Mastercard®

Which companion pass is right for you?

The right companion pass for you depends on a number of factors, including how much you charge each year on your credit card, how often you travel and where you plan to fly. For example, if you don’t want to charge a large amount, a companion pass that’s automatically issued each year on your credit card anniversary – such as Delta SkyMiles, Alaska Airlines or Hawaiian Airlines – will be your best bet.

But if you travel several times per year with your companion, the Southwest Companion Pass offers the best option – as long as you can earn 110,000 points within a calendar year and you live in or near a city that Southwest Airlines services.

Whichever one you choose, companion passes and fares offer a great opportunity to cut the cost of traveling for two.

See related: How to get the Southwest Companion Pass, Earn 40,000 bonus miles with the Southwest Rapid Rewards cards 


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Updated: 12-14-2018