Our Complete Guide to the Alaska Airlines Companion Fare

We’ve added a new reference guide to our resource pages. For the full guide, see:

Alaska Airlines Companion Fare Complete Guide

Last night, I posted a quick deal on an incredible airfare on Alaska Airlines (See: Awesome fare NY to Hawaii: from $362 round trip on Alaska, since expired). That fare was hard to resist for a couple of reasons. First, sub-$400 round trip airfare from New York to Hawaii is rare. Second, it was a great opportunity to use the Alaska Airlines Companion Fare to get an even better value.

Two passengers round trip for $540? That’s terrific.

As if $362 or $373 wasn’t good enough for a round trip (with open-jaws possible), the fare could drop even further with the Alaska Airlines companion fare. As you can see in the image above, my total for two passengers from New York to Kauai with a return from Maui to New York was $540. That’s $270 per person round trip — less than the cost of the average domestic plane ticket. If you applied under the current Best Offer on the Alaska Airlines Visa Signature (personal) card, you would have paid $99 less, since the companion fare under that offer is $0 plus taxes in the first year. Whether you had that deal and could book it for an effective two hundred twenty bucks each or you had to pay two seventy per passenger like me, the price was low enough (and current NY weather cold enough) to inspire a previously off-the-radar trip to Hawaii.

You never really have to twist my arm to go back here.

Thanks to the great flexibility of the companon fare and the fact that I had two of them that were soon to expire, I was even able to help a friend book a bucket list trip for a fraction of the usual price.

While I’ve often said that I think the Southwest Airlines Companion Pass is the best deal in domestic travel, and I previously wrote a Complete Guide to the Southwest Companion Pass, I realized that we were missing a good resource on the Alaska Airlines companion fare. While less glamorous than the Southwest pass since the Alaska version is only usable once per year, the Alaska companion fare can still be a terrific value. Some would say that using it on the Hawaii fare above was a poor use since I could have paid just $273 more for the second passenger (and I understand and respect that opinion), but I’ll still rest easy with the fact that we paid $540 for two passengers to fly round trip from New York to Hawaii and also earn nearly enough miles for each person to book a free domestic one-way saver-level ticket within the 48 continental US states.

Hopefully, this place is on AirBnB 🙂

I’ll certainly make no argument that it was the best ever use of the Alaska Airlines companion fare, but it was a lot better than letting the discount codes expire in my account (as they may have if this sale hadn’t popped up). If you’re interested in reading more about this benefit so you can prepare for the next big deal, you’ll want to check out our newly-published:

Alaska Airlines Companion Fare Complete Guide.

While you’re at it, see our list of Resource Pages (always accessible by clicking “Resources” in the bar at the top of any page or post here at Frequent Miler) for other useful reference tools and our Complete Guide to Travel Companion Tickets for more details on other airlines that offer different versions of this kind of benefit.

About Nick Reyes

Nick Reyes is a (fairly) regular guy with an animalistic passion for maximizing the value of miles and money to travel the world in comfort and style. There is little in life that he loves more than finding a fantastic deal and helping you shop smarter & harder to achieve your travel dreams.

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iahphx
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iahphx

This fare was my first use of the Alaska Companion Fare coupon, too. Through the BoA card, I’ve been casually collecting (and spending) miles in the Alaska program for several years now, but never bought a revenue ticket from them before. With Alaska’s expansion of East Coast service (through their own expansion and the Virgin purchase), I’ve been keeping an eye on their cheapo fares, particularly connecting to Hawaii. Yesterday was obviously the day to buy! I actually booked ahead for next winter (a particularly attractive and usually expensive time for Northeasterners to visit Hawaii).

I further sweetened my deal by “paying for” my tickets with funds from my Alaska “Wallet” account. It’s now been discontinued, but BoA offered a Merrill+ credit card where the sign-up bonus gave you 50,0000 Merrill points. You could use 25,000 of those points for a revenue ticket up to $500. Some folks figured out a good strategy: buy a $500 ticket on Alaska for 25,000 points, and use their quirky “no-penalty advance cancellation” policy to cancel that ticket and put the $500 into your Wallet. Then combine the Wallet funds with the Companion Fare. Anyone who still has unused Merrill+ points and an Alaska Companion Fare coupon might want to consider converting their points to Alaska for their next crazy fare deal.

Jimm
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Jimm

I did this exact same thing with first class tickets to Kauai with the wife. Used the Merrill card and Alaska my wallet trick along with an Alaska CP. We are currently in Kauai, heading back tomorrow. Sad to see that card go! Now on the lookout for other similar opportunities. Anyone have any leads/suggestions? 🙂

Ali
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Ali

Original post: Love the blog. nice story, but this is NOT a “complete guide”. You want a complete guide to the Alaska companion pass read travel codex summary.

Edit: I’m an idiot. I thought the story was meant to be the guide. Clicked through to he actual complete guide and it’s about as good as it gets. Maybe the link to the actual complete guide should be front and center?

kana
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kana

Hi, are you able to find out Eva and CI of companion tickets ?

mark
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mark

I actually thought the same thing…the initial link was to the complete guide. It’s not intuitive.

HoKo
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HoKo

Good guide. I also found it counter-intuitive that I had to click through to the actual guide

Erika Hamilton
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Erika Hamilton

Also, the SWA companion pass can be used with miles bookings, which is what makes it amazing in my opinion. Unfortunately, the AK companion pass cannot be .

YoYoPedro
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YoYoPedro

Curious if I can book with Alaska Companion Pass through Amex, Citi or Chase Travel portals? Would love to either use points or get 5X MR points for the spend on my Platinum card…