Travel Hacking: The Alaska Airlines Companion Fare

The Alaska Airlines Companion Fare is arguably the best benefit of having the credit card issued by Bank of America. It allows two people to travel together, while the second person only has to pay the taxes and fees. Currently, the offer from Bank of America is waiving the $99 co pay, but every year upon renewal, you’ll pay that in addition to the taxes and fees.

One of the questions we get all the time is “What’s the best way to use my Alaska Airlines Companion Fare?” and it’s never an easy answer. There are certain ways to go about using it that will allow you for maximum value, including upgrades to First Class and more!

Alaska's new leg room

Alaska’s new leg room, from Alaska Airlines

Companion Fare Basics

Here’s a few basic rules to the companion fare that everyone should keep in mind:

  1. You must fly on Alaska/Horizon/SkyWest/Virgin and can’t use a partner (like American)
  2. You must choose economy class (but there are ways around this)
  3. One-Way are OK, so are Multi-City trips
  4. If you cancel your ticket, you lose the code (you can CHANGE however, no problem)
  5. Both people MUST travel on the companion ticket.

How it works

Using the companion fare couldn’t be easier. Every year on your credit card anniversary, you’ll have one deposited into your mileage plan account. Just log in, head to “discount codes” and click “shop.” Easy peasy!

So long as there are two seats available for sale on a flight, you’ll be able to use the certificate. There are no restrictions on dates, fares, or any blackout dates whatsoever. That’s a huge benefit over a lot of the other airline’s certificates.

Here’s what it looks like when you go to book the flight:

Alaska Airlines Companion Fare

Alaska Airlines Companion Fare

The extra portion that you see underneath the fare is the price for the companion. As you can see, it’s the $99 plus taxes/fees price.

Once you go to checkout, you’ll see the final pricing

Alaska Airlines Companion Fare

So there you go… two ticket for a little over $800 instead of $1050. A $250 savings!

No Mas Coach!

This is a first class blog after all, right? So, let’s talk about ways to get those first class upgrades. When you choose your flight search, choose the dropdown menu that says “MVP Gold Guest Upgrade.” This way, when the booking is complete, you can apply the gold guest upgrades and move up to First Class! Here’s a perfect example.

You want to head to Raleigh for a few days, and you can see that the normal fare is $162 each way, and the fare to upgrade is $200 each way.

Alaska Airlines Companion Fare

Alaska Airlines Companion Fare

Both flights are available to be upgraded with your GGU’s, and the fare will still price out as if it were in coach. Here’s the checkout screen.

Alaska Airlines Companion Fare

Alaska Airlines Companion Fare

$533 for two tickets in First Class! Heck yea!

I want one! I want one!

The companion certificate is available with the Alaska Airlines credit card from Bank of America. To apply, you can either click on the Limited Time offer offer below OR head up to the Credit Card links at the top of the page. While you don’t have to use our links, we sure would be thankful. It’s those clicks and applications that provide us the resources to keep bringing you great content. Thanks in advance, we appreciate it!

Author: Jon Nickel-D'Andrea

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  1. How do you use the certificate and upgrade without status?

    Post a Reply
    • You’d have to use miles to upgrade. So long as that “F” box is checked, you can use miles and do it that way!

      Post a Reply
  2. How do you work the certificate to get first class without status?

    Post a Reply
    • You can always upgrade using miles to upgrade to first class if it’s available. The key is finding if the flight has availability using that dark F. If you see that, you’re good to go.

      Post a Reply
  3. So glad I saw this post! Have been planning to use my certificate for a while for Boston to Hawaii and never knew I could leverage it into a first-class trip! Thank you.

    Post a Reply
    • Of course!! I hope the flights you want have the availability ;). Good luck

      Post a Reply
  4. I tried to do this very thing and at check out it would only allow me to select coach seats and at no point did it deduct the 15,000 per
    person points that would be needed to do a mileage upgrade to first class. So how do you confirm that you received a first class seat this way?

    Post a Reply
    • I wrote about using good guest upgrades not the 15k miles needed. I would imagine you would have to call. That’s a lot of miles to upgrade though!

      Post a Reply
  5. I have two cards. One I’ve had for just over a year. I got the companion fare code before the annual fee posted. If I cancel the card will I keep the companion fare?

    Post a Reply
    • YMMV, but in my experience, yes

      Post a Reply
    • No, it works for round trip too!

      Post a Reply


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