How to Book Barclays US Airways Companion Certificate Tickets

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I’ve written about the changes coming to the Barclays US Airways card and how some of its benefits are changing.  One major change is the discontinuation of the annual Companion Certificate that comes with the card at the end of 2014.

The certificate lets you bring up to 2 companions with you on US Airways operated flights for $99 plus taxes and fees, as long as you’ve paid at least $250 for your round-trip ticket.  You can use it to fly coach within the US (not including Hawaii and Alaska) and Canada.

Emily recently applied for the Barclays US Airways card and received her Companion Certificate in the mail.  There’s a lot of fine print and some tricks to booking with it, but I’ll show you how!

How To Book Barclays US Airways Companion Certificate Tickets

The Barclays US Airways Companion Certificate Lets You Fly up to 2 Guests With You for $99 Each

How Do You Use the Companion Certificate?

Link:   Barclays US Airways MasterCard

1.   How Long Is It Good For?

After you’ve made your 1st purchase and paid the annual fee on the Barclays US Airways card, you’ll receive the Companion Certificate in the mail.  It looks like this:

How To Book Barclays US Airways Companion Certificate Tickets

The Companion Certificate Is Mailed to You Once You’ve Made a Purchase and Paid the Annual Fee on the Card

You have 9 months from the date of issue of the certificate to book your flights, and 12 months from the date of issue to travel.  This also applies to certificates issued on current cardholder’s anniversaries (you get 1 Companion Certificate each year).

But remember, new certificates will NOT be issued after December 2014.

2.   When Might You Want to Use the Certificate?

Sometimes, award tickets aren’t available and you have to buy a paid ticket.  Even though these tickets might be expensive, if there are 3 in your group you’ll save a significant amount of money.  And remember, you’ll earn miles on both the paid ticket and companion tickets!

And while there are many blackout dates, you CAN book a ticket just 14 days before you leave and use the certificate to add on 2 greatly reduced fares.

If you can travel during off-peak times, this could be terrific deal.  Some ideas that come to mind are:

  • A last-minute getaway for a couple’s anniversary
  • 2 parents and a child flying to a family reunion
  • A young couple visiting Grandma for her birthday
  • Grandma and Grandpa flying to see the birth of their grandchild
  • Mom & Dad flying to see their child’s university graduation

3.   How Do You Book Your Tickets?

You can NOT book tickets online if you want to use the Companion Certificate.  You have to call US Airways at 800-428-4322 to buy the tickets.  You’ll also need to quote the SHARES reference code on the certificate.

You will NOT be charged a telephone booking fee.

Before you call, you can check for the flights you want on the US Airways website.  Note the flight numbers and dates you want (and be sure the flights are all on US Airways or US Airways Express).

How To Book Barclays US Airways Companion Certificate Tickets

You Can Check for Flights on the US Airways Website, Then Call to Book With Your Companion Certificate

Your ticket must be round-trip and cost at least $250 before taxes and fees.  Up to 2 companions can fly with you (on the same itinerary) for $99 each, plus the taxes and fees they would have paid on a full fare ticket.

But there are quite a number of restrictions!  Here are some of the rules:

  • Travel must be within the continental US or Canada (not Hawaii, Alaska, or Puerto Rico)
  • Flights must only be on US Airways or US Airways Express aircraft (NOT American Airlines or other partners)
  • You must use your Barclays US Airways card to pay for the tickets
  • After booking, the Companion Certificate must be mailed to US Airways
  • Tickets must be purchased at least 14 days prior to travel
  • You must use the certificate – it can’t be given to someone else
  • You and your companions will earn US Airways miles on the tickets (they’re treated like paid tickets, not award tickets)
How To Book Barclays US Airways Companion Certificate Tickets

Despite the Merger, the Companion Certificate Can NOT Be Used on American Airlines Flights!

In addition, there are a lot of blackout dates, both system-wide and for specific cities.  They’re mostly on major holidays and busy travel periods.  Here are the dates you can NOT travel:

  • 2014:   Jan 3, 4, 5, Feb 14, Mar 16, 23, Apr 13, 27, May 22, 23, Jun 19, 20, 22, 26, 27, Jul 6, 7, 27, Aug 3, Oct 10, 19, Nov 30, Dec 1, 19, 20, 26, 27, 28
  • 2015:   Jan 3, 4, Feb 13, Mar 15, 20, 22, 26, 27, 29, Apr 2, 3, 6, 12, May 21, 22, Jun 25, 26, Jul 5, 6, Oct 18, Nov 20, 29, 30, Dec 18, 19, 26, 27

And for the 2015, these specific cities have blackout dates as follows (the dates for city-specific blackout dates in 2014 have already passed):

  • Jan 15 from Dallas
  • Jan 29, 30 to Phoenix
  • Feb 2, 3 from Phoenix
  • Feb 13 to New Orleans
  • Jan 15 from Dallas
  • Feb 18 from New Orleans
  • Apr 7 from Indianapolis
  • Apr 30, May 1 to Louisville
  • May 3 from Louisville

It’s a wonder that folks are able to use these certificates with all the restrictions!  That said, if you can find a way to make it work, you could save a lot of money if you’re traveling with companions.

Note:   Folks on Flyertalk complain that it’s become increasingly difficult to find routings that are exclusively on US Airways aircraft.  Because of the merger, many routings involve flights on both US Airways and American Airlines planes.  You can NOT use the Companion Certificate on American Airlines flights!

Bottom Line

You have 9 months from the date of issue to book flights using the US Airways Companion Certificate.  And travel must be completed within 12 months of the date of issue.

Tickets must be booked over the phone by calling 800-428-4322 and giving the agent the reference code on the certificate.  Your ticket must cost at least $250 before taxes, and your companion’s ticket(s) cost $99 each, plus the taxes and fees on a full-fare ticket.

There are lots of restrictions and blackout dates for travel.  And all flights must be on US Airways or US Airways Express aircraft.

If we can get around the restrictions, Emily and I hope to use the Companion Certificate later this year.  Have you had success using the Companion Certificate?

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69 responses to “How to Book Barclays US Airways Companion Certificate Tickets

  1. Regarding Barclays can anyone help answer this? I’m flying USAirways tomorrow (I have the Barclays card) and my connection is awhile… would like to use the lounge. If I also have the AAdvantage Citi Exec card do I even need my 1 day pass? It looks like my Citi Exec would get me in to any of the AA or USAirways lounges, is that correct? I just need to bring the card and show it? Then would I ever need the USAir lounge pass?

  2. Are companion tickets still valid if I use it and cancel my card before my flight date? I didn’t get a chance to use it last year and my annual fee is due. My flight date unfortunately will be after I cancel my card.


  3. Eh I don’t think these companion tickets are that great a deal. It’s really a very limited set of circumstances that it makes sense

  4. Can you purchase a FC ticket with the companion pass? I don’t you talking about it?

  5. @Nina if you are the primary card holder of the AA Exec card you don’t need to user your day pass to get into the US club, just make sure you have your AA FF number handy as the US club needs it.

  6. If I got the card on 12/9/13 do you think I’ll get one more companion certificate before the perk goes away?

  7. Now this too is a very helpful post….. answers in detail a question I raised a while back. Started searching for the USAirways fares — and for the diminishing flights still available, I encountered serious sticker shock. Will keep watching. Yet seems I’ve been spoiled this past year flying Southwest — all on points — AND with the companion pass. (thank you very much for those tips) Compared to SWA & its companion pass, these one time use USAirways passes seem not quite so grand. :-)

  8. I just used my compainion pass for 3 of us to do a mileage run from LAX-PVD in the fall for Waterfire. Cost of ticket #1 was $365 ai and tickets #2 & #3 were $140 each ai. So it came out to $215 each. I have found that fall is a great time to use the companion certificate.

  9. Used the companion certificate to fly ORD-SAN-ORD in two weeks – since full fare ticket over $500 saved a ton on other two tix. Agent seems to think that soon may be able to also use CC for flying on AA – most likely hogwash.

  10. Great article. My last companion pass was issued on 12/31/13. Will I get another companion pass on 12/31/14? I know that is cutting it close with the day when they will no longer be issued. Thanks.

  11. Thank you for your post. I did not use my companion certificate last year because I was so confused as to how to use it. Now knowing both the user and the companion will be able to accumulate miles, is fantastic.

  12. Question: Is there a problem if the primary ticket holder no-shows on the return flight? We already have our tickets for SFO-DCA-SFO in Aug, but my partner may have to go directly to a business meeting from DCA. Can I return alone on my companion ticket? Thanks.

  13. @Nina – The Executive card will get you (and a guest) in the lounge!

    @Kevin – I believe so as long as you are ticketed and have an e-ticket number.

    @ Thomas – Fingers crossed!

    @Dj – Not sure, but I’d guess yes (but this is ONLY a guess!)

  14. Hello! Thank you for posting this- very informative. I do have a question though. I think I may be confused about the $250. Can the card holder just use their 40,000 points on a flight that costs over $250 (but under $400) and then have two companions fly for $99+fees? I think I thought the deal to be much better than it is. Hope my questions makes sense. Would so appreciate your input on this!

  15. I made my reservation for myself and one companion. Do I earn miles on my Dividend Miles account from my companion flying with me? Or must they have their own Dividend Miles account?

  16. I carefully read all of the terms and conditions prior to calling to book a family trip to Disney World this Christmas. I had no problems at all using the certificate where the Blackout days are specifically listed. Using the certificate saved us over $1400 of what I’d originally budgeted! I certainly wouldn’t use the certificate to fly a couple hundred miles as you wouldn’t get your money’s worth, but it’s definitely worth arranging travel around their Blackout days to save that much money!

  17. I misplaced my unused companion certificate for 2014. Is there any way to get a replacement sent to me, or is there a way to use it without the original certificate? Thanks

  18. @Nancy – I’d call and ask!

  19. Can I use a companion ticket for a multi-leg trip. I want to go from Boston to Atlanta, with a two day stop over, then to Las Vegas with a 4 day stop over and back to Boston. Thank you.

  20. I just booked 3 US Air tickets using both companion certificates to fly round-trip from ORD to LAX heading through Pheonix. We were fortunate to pay a base fare of just over $250, therefore, we got the best value out of the passes.

    I was a little surprised on the amount in taxes (approx. $50) but we still did very well. 3 tickets for a grand total of $620.60. Plus we earn miles on the flight and the purchase with our mastercard.

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  22. ANSWER to my question above: ” Is there a problem if the primary ticket holder no-shows on the return flight?” I took the flight a couple of weeks ago and there were NO issues at all on the return when the primary simply no-showed for the flights (there was 1-stop/plane change). We tried splitting the itinerary into 2 separate confirmation numbers thinking it may help, but they did not allow it because it was a companion ticket. We also, both ‘checked-in’ and printed boarding passes at the airport. In the end, it all worked out fine for me. No questions asked…but it was a little nerve-wacking. 😉 YMMV.

  23. “You have 9 months from the date of issue of the certificate to book your flights, and 12 months from the date of issue to travel”

    So question: I already have some unused AA miles. I apply for this card, get the 40k USAir miles. As I understand it, those AA miles will transfer 1:1 to USAir miles. If so, can I use those miles (combined with my transferred AA miles) to book a flight + companion cert?

  24. @josefismael – You have to pay cash to book flights and use the companion pass.

  25. I just signed up for the US Air Barclaycard and I’m waiting for it to come in the mail. I should get a companion ticket, after my first purchase etc., and if it’s issued in October 2014, then I have until October 2015 to travel with the tickets, correct? My question is this: if US Airways is no longer operating as US Airways by that time, and is now full blown AA, how would I redeem my companion ticket/s? Is AA going to let people use them for that time being?

  26. @Hannah – No official information, but it should be possible to use the pass then.

  27. Hi there :) Would it be smart to use my 40,000 us airways miles before 2015? Or save them? What would you do?

  28. Germaine reinhardt

    Are companion fares gone for good? We would like travel next summer, but our certificate expires in Feb. is there a chance they are issuing another round, or are they done?

  29. As these are treated as paid fares, will AA Elites (I’m PLT, OW SAPP) still be able to upgrade at OLCI 24 hours before the flight? Or are they somehow blocked from being able to do that?

  30. @Analisa – If you don’t have specific travel plans, you could keep them (unless they are expiring). But they will become American Airlines miles next year (but doesn’t change much).

    @Nikki – Not sure. You earn miles on the flights, so looks like they are treated as paid flights.

  31. Do you think it would be possible to get instant approval AND the companion ticket at the same time. I’m trying to travel 12/25or 26 to 12/30 or 31 to sfo from nyc and desperately could use the companion tickets. I’ll call them tomorrow. From the dates on this post I should be ok, but I’m sure there would be a catch.

  32. @Jill – You get the companion ticket in ~1 month.

  33. Return flight – Primary card holder “no show”. We are considering a flight from Oklahoma to NY area. Some friends will be traveling to the NY area and have a different return itinerary than us. We were thinking about offering them the companion passes and leaving the same day — splitting the cost 3 ways. Is it possible for the companions to fly back WITHOUT the primary card holder? Our group will be staying longer and going to take another route home.

  34. can i combine my dividen miles and use my companion certificate together? please answer as soon as possible!!!

  35. Can you get upgraded to first class using a companion ticket? I purchased my ticket and the a companion fare ticket for my wife and we are also traveling with an infant lap baby under 2 years old. I am gold with US Air and now I am wondering if being upgraded to first is a possibility. Any info is appreciated and great job on the article.

  36. Don’t know if you will see this question, but I have a family of four, and most times we travel by vehicle from DFW to Charlotte, NC. But was wondering if we could purchase one ticket ($250 or more), put two on the companion certificate, and then redeem miles for the fourth. Have you heard of that happening?

  37. This is a scam and the tickets are worthless. I tried for two days to use the companion ticket to fly Ontario CA to Louisville with no luck. You can only fly USAir metal, no AA flights, or legs, at all.
    I have had this scam card for 4 years and never used the companion tickets and now I know why. My card will be cancelled today and I will not be caught in this mess again. USAirways lost a customer for sure.
    Good luck if you apply for this credit card because you will need it.

  38. Well I found out the Answer! You can get upgraded on companion tickets! First class all the way from JAX to LAX woohoo!

  39. also the time from ticket departure date to return date must be longer than 2 days completed within 30 days, so another limitation if looking for a longer stay :>(

  40. Jeff,
    How did you get the upgrade-can you explain in detail

  41. I am a gold status on us air. It was just a standard complementary upgrade.

  42. I spoke to the barclays US air credit card rep last week and he told me that if your renewal date is in early 2015 (mine is end of this month), they will still be issuing the companion tix. He told me, as was also sent to me in a mailer, that the conversion to AA will take place in the 2nd quarter of 2015 but exactly when, the account specialist said was not yet known to them.

    the tix worked great last year. hoping to get in another trip for summer before the complete switchover (i saw that my destination is still serviced completely by US air…not AA)

  43. Can anyone tell me what will happen if you have to cancel your travel that was planned using the companion fare tickets? I’m in the predicament now in which it looks likes I may not be able to travel. I’m trying to weigh out if the disadvantages for this scenario to determine if I really have to make this trip even though circumstances as of now says it should be a no go!!!! Thanks for anyone’s help with this question.

  44. Does anyone know if you can use the miles to fly one way, or does it have to be round trip? Also, can one person fly first class using miles and the other person fly coach using the companion certificate? I have waited on hold for over an hour trying to get answers from US AIR – what a joke!!!!

  45. Cathy,

    You can use your miles for a one way ticket. The companion fare ticket can only be used with a paid ticket, and the companion fare is for whichever class the paid fare is (First or Coach). Also, companion fare tickets can only be used on US Air flights, not American or other partners airlines. Miles used for award tickets can be used on partner airlines. If you buy a ticket and use a companion certificate and you get upgraded your companion would be upgraded with you. Lastly you have to call and speak with an agent to use the companion certificate and book your flight then also mail the paper certificate you received from Barclay to the address on the certificate within a few days (paper mail ugh). Hope this helps!

  46. Can I use companion tix on Air Wisconsin dba USAir express?

  47. Barbara Giafaglione

    I’very been trying for a week to get a person at US Airways to book my flt with companion tic. Cannot even get through. They blame high call volume.
    what to do?

  48. Donna: If you read only a third of this thread, you’d see your question answered.

  49. I think one great specific use for this pass is tickets from the US to Canada. Most other companion passes (Delta anyone?) can only be used in the lower 48. This USAir pass allows the lower 48 AND Canada–a unique quirk that most other companion passes don’t have. For some reason tickets to Canada seem to be crazy expensive (Atlanta to Toronto–a 2 hour flight!–is close to $700 per person) so getting an additional person in for $99 is a great deal. I called 2 days ago and booked two tickets from Atlanta to Toronto and back to Atlanta for a total of $809. I can see how this pass only works in limited cases. This just happens to be a specific case where it really works out well.

  50. Hi;

    Quick question because I cannot find it listed anywhere;

    Is the $99 companion ticket only good for one way or does that mean a round trip ticket say from NY to CA will only cost $99 plus tax total for both ways?

  51. Round trip Kathy

  52. Thank you Jeff! Can’t beat a trip to Californina round trip for $99! :-)

  53. @Kathy Troy: It starts at $99 depending on where you’re flying. Since you’re traveling from the East Coast to West Coast, expect it to be at least $150 before tax. Last time I asked for NY to SEA, they quoted $150 so I expect it to be the same. The gotcha is the full fare ticket that you must purchase under your name. When I used my companion ticket, it basically doubled my fare compared to what’s posted on the US Airways website. In the end, I still ended up saving some money (but very little).

  54. Jeez, I’ve waiting on the line for more than 1 hour, expecting to talk to someone. Know I understand why these companion certificates are given left and right!

  55. Can I use my companion ticket to purchase airfare for my cousins and not travel myself? Essentially I want to give this deal to my cousins & I would be buying 3 tickets total: one ticket for $250+ and two other tickets for $99/each but I won’t be travelling with them since I don’t have the time but I don’t want this deal to go to waste?

  56. @pon, the ticket requires you to be flying with two other passengers. Plus their tickets may be higher than the $99 starting price depending how far you’re flying to.

  57. Thanks a lot for your detailed info. Very helpful and clear!

  58. can the companion tickets be used for a different return flight if companions need to stay longer

  59. @Leo: No. They must be on the same itinerary that you are on.

  60. Jack Westfall

    i booked a flight with 1 full fare , 2 companion tickets , all for family
    Members. One of my family died last week. Will they allow another to use the ticket.mthe flight is on June 13 to a family reunion.

  61. I want to use my companion certificate for a trip to California. Ideally I would like to fly into Sacramento and back from SFO. Will that work or does “round trip” mean into SFO and out of SFO only.

  62. I am purchasing my ticket to Las Vegas, and will use 1 of my companion tickets for my husband. Would like to use my other companion ticket for my daughter, (who lives in a different state) to meet us out in Vegas. Will they allow this? Thanks for your advice, as I am new to USAir.

  63. I allowed my card to renew this year in March and received my companion certificate. As stated in the normal guidelines above I always had 12 months to fly from my renewal date. I’ve always received my certificate in March and my certificate expiration date has always been 2/28. I renewed and paid my annual fee knowing I had a planned trip in the beginning of January 2016. I just noticed that this time my certificate says I must travel by 12/31/15 meaning it wasn’t even good for a year since I didn’t even receive it until March. I’m wondering if anyone has had luck asking for a few week extension or filing a grievance. I would not have paid the annual fee and renewed had I known they were going to change the rules without notifying me. I would have used my frequent flyer miles to book my travel and then cancelled my card. It seems that since the annual fee is for a year, the certificate should also be valid for a year.

  64. Monica McGinley

    Question, I need to mail my companion voucher to them today, and I can’t fine it, does anyone know if and where I can go to on line to print another one?

  65. Your best bet is to call up Barclay or send them a message (pretty quick in responding).

    I would try looking for it again. You should have this in your hand yesterday when making the reservation since they need it mailed out within 24 hours. So trace back your steps. Good luck.

  66. Brianna LaBarge

    Do you have to use both companion passes at the same time? I want to use one now, and then save the other for a different date.

  67. I’m looking to book a ticket and I’m not 100% sure my companion will be able to make the flight… If I show and my companion ends up a no show will that affect or cancel my trip??


  68. The article suggests that the companion ticket can not be used for American Airlines flights but I was told yesterday by a service rep that I could just book on American…

    PLanning to call back on Monday and get everything finalized..

  69. From what I understand this is true once AA and US are using one reservation system which is around mid October if I recall reading that correctly.

    Probably should ask the agent when you call what happens if one of the passengers can’t make it.

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