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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23 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.

    Thanks.

  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?

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