Adios to using companion fare for F class tix for codes issued after 8/1/12

Discussion in 'Alaska Airlines | Mileage Plan' started by dave1013, Jul 7, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. dave1013

    dave1013 Silver Member

    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    8
    Status Points:
    115
    From FB and FT:

    All new companion fare certificates issued after August 1st will be valid in conjunction with Coach Class only. Any unused certificates may still be used towards First Class until their expiration date. Ongoing cost pressures and growing demand for limited space in First Class (particularly on flights to Hawaii and the East Coast) prompted the changes. Our companion fare still offers tremendous value in that - unlike other airlines' offerings - it can be used for travel to anywhere we fly, including Hawaii and Mexico. Additionally, as an MVP Gold, you can still use your benefits to upgrade to First Class when traveling on a companion fare ticket.

    The hits just keep on coming! Seems like all that's left is the change fee waiver for Golds.
     
  2. Bay Pisco Shark
    Original Member

    Bay Pisco Shark Gold Member

    Messages:
    1,557
    Likes Received:
    2,072
    Status Points:
    1,270
    Boo to the Eskimo, who has had not a bit of good news to its most loyal flyers for ages. "We just punched you in the gut, and then punched you again, but look, we still offer the best band-aids in the industry!"
     
    seaflyguy likes this.
  3. Mike Reed

    Mike Reed Gold Member

    Messages:
    2,414
    Likes Received:
    3,574
    Status Points:
    2,025
    Well this sucks. I just got the Visa card in part for the companion fare. This seems like a good reason to cancel.
     
    myskyconnections likes this.
  4. mcpennca

    mcpennca Active Member

    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    2
    Status Points:
    65
    I always go out of my way to travel on my "preferred" carrier (meaning the one whose FF program I like the most). AS, unless they re-visit this decision, will NOT be the "preferred" one, as they have been for the last few years. It's not hard to make that switch - I've done it before, albeit always reluctantly.

    I think that if we under-appreciated "loyals" really let them know how we feel about this, that perhaps AS might re-think it. I could EASILY be convinced to cancel this account (actually we have two in our household) and move to a FF affinity card (and change to the associated airline as well) where the benefits actually might get better instead of being consistently stripped away. In the letter I got from AS today they think the companion fare is still a "top value in the industry". Really? $99 to sit in the back... hardly a benefit or a value - I don't care WHERE you are going. AS isn't THAT good, and they just got a lot worse IMHO.

    I understand that if too many F seats are getting booked with the companion fare that there aren't enough to sell to the rest of the world. But how about finding other ways to make it work? Even restricting it more, or SOMEthing other than just yanking it. That's just a huge slap. Oh and in their letter, they also said they are increasing the discount for a Board Room membership from $25 to $50. Is that the tradeoff?? Can you spell o-u-t-o-f-t-o-u-c-h?

    I'm listening - any thoughts as to some kind of organized effort here?
     
    bobsgt likes this.
  5. LarryInNYC

    LarryInNYC Gold Member

    Messages:
    1,384
    Likes Received:
    2,797
    Status Points:
    1,445
    Ouch. I just fifteen minutes ago got done activating this card and adding it to Award Wallet.

    The package from the credit card company did not have a companion certificate. Will that come with the package from Mileage Plan program? That should be here soon -- assuming it is, it sounds like the certificate will generated in such a way that it's still good for use in the future (that is, this winter, when I was hoping to use it to Hawaii). Is that right?

    I'll have to rush through my wife's application, we need two of the certificates.
     
    bobsgt likes this.
  6. LarryInNYC

    LarryInNYC Gold Member

    Messages:
    1,384
    Likes Received:
    2,797
    Status Points:
    1,445
    While I'm still hoping to be able to use the certificates for first class travel once they really do represent a far, far more generous benefit that other programs provide. I'm not surprised to see it getting cut back to economy only.
     
    bobsgt likes this.
  7. mcpennca

    mcpennca Active Member

    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    2
    Status Points:
    65
    The "certificate" is electronic and stored in your AS MP account (My Account | Discount codes). It might be there already.

    The letter I got said that if you have one of their current companion "certificates" in your account, it will be good for the first class companion fare until it expires. After that - sayonara - no more companion first class fares!
     
  8. LarryInNYC

    LarryInNYC Gold Member

    Messages:
    1,384
    Likes Received:
    2,797
    Status Points:
    1,445
    Thanks. I just checked my account and it has neither the discount code nor the 25K "on approval" credit card miles. . .
     
  9. mcpennca

    mcpennca Active Member

    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    2
    Status Points:
    65
    As I remember, the companion fare discount code did take a little time to show up the first time...
     
  10. Mike Reed

    Mike Reed Gold Member

    Messages:
    2,414
    Likes Received:
    3,574
    Status Points:
    2,025
    Took a couple of days for me...
     
  11. LarryInNYC

    LarryInNYC Gold Member

    Messages:
    1,384
    Likes Received:
    2,797
    Status Points:
    1,445
    In that case, I'll have my wife apply tomorrow and hope that both certificates get issued by August. I suspect if we've applied well before August 1st they'll credit the certificates correspondingly.
     
  12. seaflyguy
    Original Member

    seaflyguy Silver Member

    Messages:
    143
    Likes Received:
    166
    Status Points:
    395
    Dear AS:

    This is a chip, chip, chip too far for me. You've finally hit my limit. Of course my wife and I will be cancelling our BofA Visa cards shortly, and I won't be renewing my BR membership. And after years as MVPG, I won't have enough miles with you in 2012 to carry any sort of status forward.

    I hope your transition to whatever sort of airline you're trying to become works out for you. I honestly do. I just don't want to be part of it.

    Sincerely,

    -- seaflyguy
     
    bobsgt, jrp2 and ballardFlyer like this.
  13. NYBanker
    Original Member

    NYBanker Gold Member

    Messages:
    32,725
    Likes Received:
    191,901
    Status Points:
    20,020
    Because we don't actually fly TPAC or TATL, we give you more!
     
    ballardFlyer likes this.
  14. ballardFlyer

    ballardFlyer Gold Member

    Messages:
    1,297
    Likes Received:
    1,528
    Status Points:
    1,120
    Totally agree seaflyguy - where are they headed as an airline?

    Clearly south of expected on this move, but more generally it feels like they are pillaging their SEA audience expecting us all to keep paying ~50% more for 738 flights that include the hope of extremely limited upgrade (impossible for me as an MVP) to get such great things as missing PDBs, crummy IFE, and no power ports.

    I'm through with it and all of my 2012 flights (and CC spend) are going to AA and DL. They both put me upfront consistently on t-cons & I'm treated with better service/seats/food/IFE. Plus I've been able to easily redeem $$,$$$ of F & J award travel without calling someone on the phone, paying $25, and then hoping they can make it work for several days while I keep calling back.

    I'll keep redeeming 9K Avios for my necessary QX flights instead of spending ~$450 or 25K AS miles to get 500 miles over the mountains though :)

    Hope AS likes what they find at the end of the LCC race to the bottom.
     
    seaflyguy likes this.
  15. Seacarl
    Original Member

    Seacarl Gold Member

    Messages:
    10,521
    Likes Received:
    11,372
    Status Points:
    16,520
    Two comments on this change. On the one hand, if it improves F availability and maybe the occasional upgrade, whether complimentary or using the guest upgrade, that might be a change that I like.

    On the other hand, I don't think the BofA visa is very compelling any more. With the $75 fee and ~$110 companion fee, that companion ticket costs $200. Maybe for Hawaii in coach or if you happen to have two people doing a transcon or a last minute trip. Or for Mexico if you can find a flight with upgrade availability.

    The card is definitely less compelling to use for charging AS flights. Don't know if I'll keep it.

    But I actually think increased F availability on transcons (and maybe Hawaii) is a net win.
     
    bobsgt likes this.
  16. mbluecpa

    mbluecpa Active Member

    Messages:
    14
    Likes Received:
    10
    Status Points:
    80
    I've had the card for less than a year and got it specifically for the companion F ticket ability. I'll hang onto it for now in hopes of being able to find MVPG instant-upgrade fares with U available at booking. My original intent (2 in F to EWR) is now for all intents and purposes off the table, but U availability to Hawaii can be had with planning. Reduction in benefits, definitely, but not the end of the line for me. Yet.
     
  17. Gardyloo
    Original Member

    Gardyloo Gold Member

    Messages:
    1,421
    Likes Received:
    4,431
    Status Points:
    2,470
    As a frequent purchaser of AS full-F fares, I've regarded the companion certificate as the one remaining reason to keep any loyalty at all to both AS and the B of A.

    Most of my travel these days is to the east coast and/or southern California (or overseas) and if I'm going to pay F for a flight it sure as h3ll is going to be one that goes to MIA and not FLL, or JFK and not EWR, and if I'm going to California, I'll eat better food and watch the great IFE, in a way more comfortable seat, on Beardo America.

    [/rant]
     
  18. seaflyguy
    Original Member

    seaflyguy Silver Member

    Messages:
    143
    Likes Received:
    166
    Status Points:
    395
    I tend to think that in most such situations, the most useful effort is to vote with one's dollars. If they don't reverse the policy before the renewal date on my BofA Visa, I will cut up that card and send the pieces to the appropriate AS executive, along with a polite but sharply-worded letter. Then the next step will be cutting up my BR card and sending that to AS as well. If enough people do this -- not threaten to do it, but actually do it -- then my hope would be that we would see a change.
     
    yaychemistry and bobsgt like this.
  19. yaychemistry

    yaychemistry Silver Member

    Messages:
    447
    Likes Received:
    693
    Status Points:
    610
    I really want to cancel the AS Visa b/c of this change, but I keep getting temporary spending category bonuses that last a couple of months (which I think are targeted - anyone else get these?). A few months ago, it was triple miles on gas/groceries, then double miles on hardware stores, and right now its triple miles on anything...

    As long as these bonuses keep coming, I will probably end up keeping the card.
     
  20. Bay Pisco Shark
    Original Member

    Bay Pisco Shark Gold Member

    Messages:
    1,557
    Likes Received:
    2,072
    Status Points:
    1,270
    Just got off the phone with BofA and sliced one of my cards, as it is up for renewal.
     
    yaychemistry likes this.
  21. Shera

    Shera Silver Member

    Messages:
    36
    Likes Received:
    55
    Status Points:
    180
    Using my first and last $99.00 companion ticket next week to go to Hawaii in F. Will not be renewing my Canadian AS MC. Not only is BoA Canada stuck in the sixties with no online access, but now changes to AS just not worth the effort. (who wants to phone every time they want to know their balance?) Will cancel when my renewal is due.
     
    yaychemistry likes this.
  22. yaychemistry

    yaychemistry Silver Member

    Messages:
    447
    Likes Received:
    693
    Status Points:
    610
    Just used my companion ticket for F tickets BOS-OGG... will probably cancel the card soon. I'll just earn AS miles through my SPG Amex instead.

    A pity, too, as I'll finally qualify for MVP next year.
     
    Stephan likes this.
  23. Stephan

    Stephan Silver Member

    Messages:
    250
    Likes Received:
    90
    Status Points:
    375
    Agree, the incentives for the card are fading if you can earn elsewhere.
     
  24. Stephan

    Stephan Silver Member

    Messages:
    250
    Likes Received:
    90
    Status Points:
    375
    Is it true that one can't use an F mileage upgrade on a companion fare? ie: I'd like to go to OGG and there is F upgrade space available, and I use my 241 on either a value or full flex coach fare.
     
  25. AJTrenkle

    AJTrenkle Active Member

    Messages:
    26
    Likes Received:
    21
    Status Points:
    85
    Can't the companion pass still be quite valuable for flying during more expensive fare times like around the holidays? Even if it is in coach it seems like it is saving you real money for the yearly fee. I agree not as awesome as it being in F, but just food for thought.
     

Share This Page