One of the best benefits of the Alaska Airlines Visa cards is the annual Companion Certificate, whereby a cardholder can book an itinerary with a companion and pay just $99 + tax for the companion’s ticket. This can be a terrific value when planning complex itineraries and can be a great way to put together a mileage run as both travelers will earn miles and elite credits on the flights. The rules for booking these fares state that travel should be round trip, though in reality the rules have been quite liberal in booking these — with Alaska’s website allowing one-way bookings and multiple stopovers and open-jaws. See this summary from Travel Codex that reviews some of the key rules.
As reported by One Mile at a Time, today brings the good news that in addition to being used for Alaska Airlines flights, the companion certificate can now apply to flights operated by Virgin America. You don’t have to choose one or the other — you can mix and match carriers on a single itinerary:
This is great news as it opens up a number of new routes and flight times. One particularly exciting option will be the chance to use the companion fare on Virgin routes to Hawaii. In the past, Virgin has matched the Southwest Companion pass to Virgin Gold status, which opens up Main Cabin Extra seats at no additional charge. I’m not sure whether you’ll be able to use this benefit in conjunction with a companion certificate, but it could work out very well for visiting Hawaii. There are very few lie-flat options to the islands anyway — so if you’re going to fly economy class, you could at least be marginally more comfortable.
If you are an Alaska Airlines cardholder, it is easy to find your discount certificate codes. Simply log into your Alaska Airlines account. On the left side menu under “My Account” you will see “Discount and companion fare codes“.
Just click “Valid” and you will see a list of any codes you have available:
To use the discount code, you can start at the Alaska Air home page and click the words “Use discount or companion fare code“:
Then, just select whether you want to search one-way, round-trip, or multi-city. Put in your dates, cities, and code and you can then build your itinerary:
There are some restrictions on number of segments/stopovers (for example, while the site might show you a flight with a 12-hour layover, it might not allow you to book that flight if you have already maxed out stopovers/segments). A little trial and error will help you surmise what can and can’t be done.
While Alaska Airlines elite members still do not have access to elite benefits like complimentary first-class upgrades on Virgin America, it’s great to see an expansion of this popular benefit to allow bookings on both carriers. Note that your companion certificate is single-use, but if you have the Alaska Airlines Business Visa in addition to the Alaska Airlines Visa Signature card, or some other combination of multiple Alaska Airlines credit cards, you may have multiple discount codes as well. You can find more information about these cards on our Best Offers page.