Alaska Airlines Companion Pass | No Longer Good For First Class!
WTH, Alaska Airlines?
- I needed to see what credit agency BOA pulled in my area (creditboards was letting me down)
- Diversify- I’m all about diversifying my miles and points (I already have the hero cards: Sapphire P., Ink Bold, United, SPG, SW, US Airways, Hyatt, etc…)
- It’s churn material- you can apply and receive the sign up bonus multiple times
- Alaska Airlines annual $99 Companion Pass
Alaska Airlines Companion Pass
This was really the biggest reason I applied for the Alaska Airlines branded card. The thing that made the Alaska Airlines $99 companion pass so compelling was… it was a true companion pass with no restrictions. As long as you were flying Alaska metal, you were good. And the companion pass was valid for any full fare ticket! Yes, even first class. Also, there wasn’t any spend to meet to receive the annual pass (ala British Airways). You would receive a code in your online account a couple of weeks after being approved.
Now, I haven’t had to pay for a flight in a long long time, but I know that day is coming quickly. I’m traveling more (because of miles and points) and I have been burning through some serious mileage coin. Trips in first class will do that, but that’s where the insane value is. I have also taken numerous domestic trips in the last couple years, all on my miles and points.
I’m addicted to travel. There could be worse things I suppose, but if I’m going to be paying for a ticket, I’m looking for some incredible value to stretch my hard earned money. That’s where the $99 companion pass comes in. It was a true companion pass ticket on any full fare tickets w/ no restrictions. I think I said that up above. Anyway, I was planning on using my companion pass ticket for a future first class ticket to Hawaii. You can often find first class tickets to Hawaii for around $1,000 (that’s a lotta coin), but I could bring the wife along for only $99 more ($110 w/ taxes). So that’s a little over $500 each for 2 first class tickets to Hawaii. This isn’t for everyone, but there is good value there. Half price first class tickets to Hawaii don’t suck.
Of course you could use it for a coach ticket too.
No More First Class
Last Thursday, I received a letter in the mail (would’ve written this post then, but I’ve been recovering from getting my wisdom teeth extracted) from Alaska Airlines letting me know that after Aug. 12, companion passes aren’t eligible for first class tickets. WTH? That’s a huge reason I signed up for the card.
As I continued to scroll down the page, I realized “if you have a companion pass code in your account, it will be eligible for First Class until it’s expiration date”. I breathed a sigh of relief, but still- the Alaska Airlines card just got a lot less sexy. Think Britney when she shaved her head.
No More 1,000 Miles Bonus
Also going away is the 1,000 mile bonus you used to get for booking online with your Alaska card. This is another major blow. People were abusing this bonus though, because they would book fights and cancel them and still receive the 1,000 bonus.
No More Noob Love
This was a border line rewards card for me anyway. I do like the churnability of it, but I will have a hard time recommending it to anyone now. (Unless you are based in Seattle or if Alaska Airlines is your go-to airline.)
I wish Alaska Airlines would have just corrected the loop-hole concerning the booking bonus of 1,000 miles instead of taking it away altogether.
Be warned: The Alaska Airlines Visa is a lot less sexy now. But you can still use the companion pass for an economy ticket and save $$$.
— Noob Master