We wrote last year that Delta One seats suddenly weren’t available to book with Delta Amex Reserve Companion Certificates.
That’s no longer the case, though. Inventory permitting, you once again may use your Delta Reserve Companion Certificate for Delta One reservations.
But the deal might not be as sweet as you may think.
Quick Primer: Delta Reserve Companion Certificates
Four co-branded Delta American Express Cards give cardholders an annual Companion Certificate starting the second year of card membership:
- Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card
- Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card
- Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card
- Delta SkyMiles® Platinum Business American Express Card
The Delta Platinum cards’ Companion Certificates are valid only for select Main Cabin (coach) fares: L, U, T, X, and V.
But both flavors of Reserve Cards have Companion Certificates valid for Delta One, First Class, Comfort+, and Main Cabin trips with available fare classes I, Z, W, L, U, T, X, and V. Delta adds, “For Delta Comfort+ travel, tickets are available in W and S classes of service, but only when L, U, T, X, or V classes of service are available in the Main Cabin.”
Last Year: Delta One Tickets Excluded
I tried using one of my Delta Reserve Companion Certificates last year to book a Delta One trip for my in-laws. And that’s how I found out Delta quietly eliminated Delta One as a Companion Certificate option. “Standard” First Class remained bookable on flights with that product. But Delta One was no longer eligible.
And that really stunk.
This Year: Delta One’s Back — But is it Still a Great Deal?
Reader Jeff S. emailed me that he recently found Delta One seats available with a Delta Reserve Companion Certificate. (Thanks, Jeff!)
I did my own trip search just to confirm, contrast, and compare.
Sure enough, Delta One is again an option for Delta Reserve Companion Certificate redemption. But here’s the catch: refundable tickets are your only option.
What’s the big deal? Well, refundable tickets are more expensive than non-refundable tickets.
I priced out a Los Angeles (LAX) to New York-Kennedy (JFK) trip for October 21-23. Here’s the cost for two people to sit in Delta One — with the Companion Certificate applied:
Again, that’s a fully refundable ticket. The paying passenger’s fare was about $2,214. (The companion is charged tax and fees.)
But a non-refundable ticket costs about $1788. That’s about $426 cheaper than the refundable ticket — which, of course, is your only option when booking a Delta One reservation with your Companion Certificate.
Here’s the total for two people flying two non-refundable tickets on the same itinerary.
The Companion Certificate still provides nice savings in this example ($1334). It more than covers both cards’ respective $550 annual fees. (To see rates and fees for the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card, please visit this link. To see rates and fees for the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card, please visit this link.)
But giving cardholders the cheaper, non-refundable option would be nice, too. (Hey, let us takes our chances!) Unless Delta or Amex are just trying to squeeze more money out of us.
So I think the Delta Reserve cards’ Companion Certificate perk is still a pretty good deal — even for Delta One. But it could be just a little sweeter.
Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Cards’ Companion Certificates are once again valid for Delta One reservations. But know ahead of time that your only option will be a refundable fare — which is more expensive than a non-refundable ticket.
But given that you’re paying for one ticket, it’s still a good deal.
To see rates and fees for the Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card, please visit this link. Terms apply.
To see rates and fees for the Delta SkyMiles® Platinum Business American Express Card, please visit this link. Terms apply.
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