Do you hold one of the co-branded Delta American Express credit cards featuring a Companion Certificate — and want to use the perk for holiday travel this winter? Now might be the time to book your flights.
My wife, daughter, and I need to visit Fargo this Thanksgiving. (It’s “my side of the family’s” turn for Thanksgiving. My wife’s side decides where we spend Christmas.) My dad’s birthday is Thanksving week. We’ll also celebrate my stepmother and dad’s 20th wedding anniversary.
So, this will be a special trip.
Just for grins, I checked Delta’s Thanksgiving week airfares the other night.
Los Angeles (our closest major airport) to FAR prices averaged about $850, with the highest coming in around $1200. That’s for Main Cabin, my friend.
We found an itinerary that works great with our school and work schedules — and it was the most affordable. (How often does that happen?) But not all trips are eligible for Companion Certificate redemption.
So, I logged in to my Delta account, selected a Companion Certificate, and checked which fares were available.
The itinerary we liked was the only one available for Companion Certificate booking. Luck was on my side. I booked it immediately. (The cost was $657.20 for the primary passenger and $47.20 for the companion. I purchased the third ticket through Capital One Travel, applying my Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card‘s $300 travel statement credit and some points to pay a total of $7.19 cash for my ticket.)
“But the Winter Holidays are Still a Half-Year Away!”
I know. And some people don’t book winter holiday travel until September or October (or even later).
Given that airfares are so inflated right now, I jumped on a price that didn’t make me gag. Especially for a smaller market airport (Fargo) during Thanksgiving.
A travel agent friend of mine who reads the blog has some advice for people looking to purchase holiday travel. If you see what you think is a good fare, book it. You can always rebook at a lower price if the fare comes down. But you’ll kick yourself if you don’t buy the ticket and later see the trip is more expensive.
I set up a Google Flights alert for my itinerary. That should let me know if the fare drops.
And what happens if it does? Will the Companion Certificate somehow complicate things?
What if the Companion Certificate Fare Goes Down?
Companion Certificates come with a host of rules. Like, the certificates can’t be reissued if you cancel your reservation. (But speaking from experience and hearing others’ stories, some customer service reps somehow magically accidentally redeposited them into the holder’s account upon phone calls to cancel reservations. Strange, right? That said, I’ve also eaten a couple of certificates for canceled reservations.)
So, when and if our trip’s price becomes cheaper, I’ll place a call to Delta (and hope I get a rep who knows what they’re doing). Then I’ll ask them to reissue our tickets at the lower costs.
Delta states on this page, “If the primary ticket and Companion ticket are changed after issuance, subject to the fare rules of the primary ticket, there will be a charge for the fare difference of the primary ticket.” My travel agent friend is very familiar with Companion Certificates. He said that Delta should be able to reissue our tickets and any fare differences will be applied as eCredits in our Delta accounts.
Now might be the time to start booking travel — especially if you want to use a Delta Amex Companion Certificate. Not all Delta itineraries are eligible for Companion Certificate redemption. Like other airlines, Delta hasn’t been shy about cranking up airfares. So, if you see something affordable, you might want to book — then keep an eye on the airfare and rebook if the trip becomes cheaper.
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