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Yesterday, the news broke that you could now redeem your Alaska Airlines companion fare code for flights on Alaska Airlines and Virgin America. That is great news, especially if you have 1 or more companion fare codes and if Virgin America serves the routes you want to fly. I’ve written about the Alaska Airlines Companion Fare Code a few times:
- Using the Alaska Airlines Credit Card Companion Fare
- Alaska Airlines Companion Pass Code Posted 16 Days after Annual Fee is Billed
The overlooked part of the news from yesterday is that Virgin America has their own less-than-amazing companion discount code. No one ever talks about that code, but I am going to compare the Alaska Airlines companion fare code to the Virgin America companion discount code and show you which code is better.
First things first, if you have the Bank of America Alaska Airlines Visa Signature Credit Card (personal or business version), you will get the companion fare codes. To locate those codes, log into your Alaska Airlines account and click Valid under Discount and Companion Fare Codes. You will see all the companion fare codes listed, their expiration date (travel must be booked by that date) and the terms and conditions of the companion fare code.
Here are the terms and conditions of the Alaska Airlines companion fare code (I bolded the important stuff):
Discount: Valid for one annual Companion Fare from $121 (USD) ($99 base fare plus taxes and fees from $22 depending on your Alaska Airlines flight itinerary) when traveling with another passenger on a paid airfare. Valid for coach class only. Both passengers must be booked in the same itinerary, at the same fare, traveling together, and ticketed at the same time. Valid for round-trip or one-way travel. Multiple stopovers not allowed. Valid on published fares. Valid on published fares. Not applicable to Mileage Plan Award Reservations, Alaska Airlines Vacation packages, tour or contract fares.
Reservations & Ticketing: Valid for new ticket purchases through alaskaair.com or EasyBiz. The Companion Fare Discount Code is redeemed at time of ticketing and is void for future changes or purchases. Traveler and/or Purchaser name must match the name issued on the Discount Code. Credit card required for purchase.
Passengers: Valid for one Companion Fare when traveling with a second passenger on a paid fare, traveling together, and booked and ticketed at the same time in the same reservation.
Routes: Valid systemwide.
Advance Purchase: Per applicable fare rule.
Purchase By: Expiration date on Discount Code.
Blackout Dates: Per applicable fare rule.
Minimum & Maximum Stay: Per applicable fare rules.
Flights: Valid only on flights operated by Alaska Airlines and flights operated on behalf of Alaska Airlines by Sky West and Pen Air. Not valid on codeshare flights. (This part will probably change since you can now redeem for Virgin America flights.)
Taxes, Fees and Surcharges: Passenger is responsible for all applicable taxes, fees, and surcharges, including checked baggage fees.
Combinability: Not valid with any other discounts, including Discount Codes, My Account online discount, coupons, discount programs, or other arrangements.
Changes and Refunds: Changes and refunds are allowed per the applicable fare rule and may result in the forfeiture of the Discount Code.
Mileage Plan: Mileage Plan credit applies and upgrades are allowed.
Transferability: Discount Codes and tickets are not transferable. They may not be given to another individual, and may not be sold, bought, bartered, auctioned or collected in bulk. Any deemed by Alaska Airlines to have been distributed or acquired improperly will not be honored and traveler will be liable for payment of full fare.
Additional Terms: All rules of Alaska Airlines , alaskaair.com, and the applicable fare rules not mentioned within these terms and conditions apply.
Other: Lost or stolen Discount Codes or tickets cannot be replaced. Alaska Airlines has the final authority regarding redemption. Travel is subject to Alaska Airlines contract of carriage. Terms and conditions as written herein are final and cannot be changed by any statement or representation of any unauthorized person, including employees of Alaska Airlines or issuing organization. Other restrictions may apply and Alaska Airlines reserves the right to suspend or change this offer without notice.
Basically what that means is that if you can find 2 paid economy tickets for sale on Alaska Airline’s website, you can pay full price for the first ticket and then use the code to lower the price of the second ticket down to $120. If the first ticket is really expensive, the companion fare code will save you a lot of money. This is great for last minute trips and can make flying to Hawaii very affordable.
Up next, let’s look at the Virgin America companion discount code that comes with the Comenity Virgin America Premium Visa Signature Credit Card. I wrote a post about How to Request Missing or Lost Virgin America Credit Card $150 Discount Companion Code and showed that the companion discount code is emailed to you, you cannot find the code anywhere in your Virgin America online account. Make sure you save that email in a safe place. Here are the terms and conditions of the Virgin America companion discount code (I bolded the important stuff):
The Virgin America Visa Credit Card must be used to purchase travel in order to receive the discount. Virgin America is solely responsible for the electronic delivery of this Discount Code. Discount Codes will be sent via email only. To ensure receipt, keep your email address updated in your Elevate account. 14-day advance purchase is required. Promotion code expires September 16, 2017.
The maximum discount per booking is $150 off the base fare. This is a one-time use promo code. If base fare is lower than $150 value, remaining discount value will not be available for future use. Base fares do not include Passenger Facility Charges of up to $9 each way, September 11th Security Fees of $5.60 per one-way trip or stopover, and a Federal Segment Tax of $4.00 per domestic segment. A segment is a takeoff and landing. A stopover is a break in travel of more than 4 hours between 2 flights. For service to/from Mexico, base fares do not include the U.S. Immigration User Fee of $7, the U.S. APHIS fee of $5, the U.S. Customs processing fee of $5.50, a U.S. International Arrival/Departure Tax of $17.50 each way and additional taxes/fees of up to $70, including: Mexico International Departure Tax and Mexico Tourism Tax. One time use promo code is valid for non-refundable Main Cabin tickets only in fare classes N, S, L, I, M, U, E, H, B, or V. Promo code must be used by September 16, 2017. Travel must occur before September 30, 2017. Blackout dates are: 5/27/16, 5/30/16, 6/30/16, 7/1/16,7/4/16 and 7/5/16, 9/2/16, 9/5/16, 10/7/16, 10/10/16, 11/10/16, 11/11/16, 11/13/16, 11/14/16, 11/18/16 through 11/28/16,12/22/16 through 01/2/17, 01/13/17, 01/16/17, 02/17/17, 02/20/17, 3/16/17 through 4/02/17, 4/7/17 through 4/16/17, 5/26/2017, 5/29/2017, 6/30/2017 through 7/4/2017, 9/1/2017, and 9/4/2017. Promo code may be used only towards newly booked travel and may not be applied to prior bookings. Promo code discount will be deducted off of base fare. Promo code may not be redeemed for cash. Promo code may only be used for bookings made on virginamerica.com and is only valid on round trip itineraries of exactly 2 guests and requires 14-day advance purchase. Offer is not transferable and cannot be combined with any other offers. Seats are limited, subject to availability, and may not be available on all flights.
As you can tell, this differs greatly from the Alaska Airlines companion fare code because this code will only deduct $150 off the base fare (not including taxes or fees), requires roundtrip travel, you must book 14+ days in advance, and work around the various blackout dates. You also need to pay with your Comenity Virgin America Premium Visa Signature Credit Card to score the discount, while you can pay with any credit card for the Alaska Airlines companion fare code. Both companion codes are only valid for economy / main cabin tickets, not for first class tickets.
Since you can now book Virgin America flights using the Alaska Airlines companion fare code, there is really never going to be a time where using the Virgin America companion discount code provides a greater value. The only possible time that would work is if the Virgin America base fare was right around $150 with minimal taxes/fees, then that ticket would almost be free.
I don’t have any plans to use my Virgin America companion discount code before it expires, which is a shame since one of the main reasons for getting the Comenity Virgin America Premium Visa Signature Credit Card was to use the $150 companion discount code to offset the $149 annual fee. I guess I am not going to keep that credit card open for another year.
If you have any questions about either the Alaska Airlines companion fare code or Virgin America companion discount code, please leave a comment below. Have a great day everyone!
P.S. If you have already used your Alaska Airlines companion fare code to book travel on Virgin America, let me know if the process is any different than booking a Virgin America flight. how much did you save using the companion fare code? Let me know below :)