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