Use companion tickets for business and first class flights


Earlier this week I published a roundup companion ticket opportunities: The Complete Guide to Travel Companion Tickets. We have also recently published a few options for getting great business class flight prices.  For examples, please see the following:

Another approach to fly up-front for less, is to use companion tickets so that two can fly for the price of one.  Let’s take a look at each companion ticket that can be used to fly up-front…

Cathay Pacific Companion Ticket Awards


With this companion ticket award, you must purchase a First or Business Class ticket on Cathay Pacific, Cathay Dragon or British Airways and then use Cathay Pacific Asia Miles to book the second passenger.  The miles required for the second passenger are less than those required for a full award ticket, and companion ticket award availability is supposedly much better.

My take: If you’re flying business or first class for work, this is a great way to bring along a companion cheaply.  Or, if you want to fly Cathay Pacific and can find reasonable business or first class pricing, this can be a great way to book the exact flights and dates you want without having to worry as much about award availability.

For more details about this companion ticket and how to qualify, please see: Cathay Pacific Companion Ticket Awards.

British Airways Travel Together Ticket


The BA Travel Together Ticket provides a way to book two international award flights for the price, in miles, of one.  Unfortunately, you do have to pay taxes, fees, and fuel surcharges for both tickets.  Due to their very high fuel surcharges, premium award tickets with British Airways are always best thought of as a way to use miles, not to get the flight for free, but to save money on the ticket.  By using the Travel Together Ticket, you can save a lot of miles.

My take: You can often do much better by using miles to fly business or first class with airlines or miles that do not incur fuel surcharges.  However, if you really want to fly British Airways, and if you can find award availability for two, this is a good way to do so.

For more details about this companion ticket and how to qualify, please see: British Airways Travel Together Ticket.

American Express Platinum International Airline Program

United Polaris Bed+recline

This American Express Platinum International Airline Program is a companion ticket that is good for international business and first class flights originating in the United States (and select Canadian gateways).  The primary passenger must buy a qualifying full fare first or business class ticket on a participating airline.  The companion pays $39 + ticket taxes and fees (which can be substantial).

My take: The full fare requirement, plus the need to pay taxes and fees for the second ticket, can make this option more expensive than buying two discount business or first class tickets from the get-go.  This option is best when you truly need refundable tickets, or when an employer is paying full fare anyway.

For more details about this companion ticket and how to qualify, please see: American Express Platinum International Airline Program.

Delta Companion Ticket

Delta One

The companion ticket that comes with the Delta Reserve card is valid for both economy and first class tickets.  Tickets are valid only for round trip flights within the 48 contiguous United States.  But, there is an exception for those who live in the US, but outside of the contiguous 48 states: “Residents of Hawaii, Alaska, Puerto Rico or the United States Virgin Islands (USVI) must originate from there to the 48 contiguous United States and have an address on their SkyMiles account in Hawaii, Alaska, Puerto Rico or the USVI”.

My take: This is a good way to fly domestic first class for less.  Hawaii residents can potentially get huge value by booking lie-flat first class seats available on certain routes (Honolulu to Atlanta, for example).  Similarly, those who fly Delta’s premium transatlantic routes (LAX to JFK, for example), can book Delta One tickets for almost half price.

For more details about this companion ticket and how to qualify, please see: Delta Companion Ticket.

Alaska Airlines Companion Fare

Alaska first class. Mood+lighting.+side+view

The Alaska Airlines companion ticket is limited to flights flown by Alaska Airlines or Virgin America.  The companion ticket can be used to buy any coach fare, including upgradeable coach fares.  One can use this companion ticket to buy two coach tickets for the price of one, and then use miles or elite status to upgrade.  Currently, upgrades are available only on Alaska Airlines flights.

My Take: This is a good way to save on domestic first class, or first class for two to Hawaii.  Keep in mind, though, that Alaska does not have lie flat seats (or anything close to it) in first class.

For more details about this companion ticket and how to qualify, please see: Alaska Airlines Companion Fare.

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