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TPG reader @PaulTurec tweeted me a question about the US Airways and American Airlines merger:
@ThePointsGuy — “Will my US Airways companion certificate still be good for redemption on flights after the merger is completed?”
Airline mergers don’t happen overnight; it’s already been more than two years since the merger between US Airways and American Airlines was announced. There have been several milestones along the way — most recently, in July, American Airlines combined reservations systems with US Airways. October 18th is the next crucial date, as that’s when all US Airways flights will become American Airlines flights.
Technically, your companion tickets from the old US Airways MasterCard require you to be on a US Airways flight — however, beginning on October 18th, there will be no such thing.
Luckily, you’ll still be able to use your US Airways companion tickets on flights operated by American Airlines, but you’ll have to call the department currently handling companion pass bookings (AA Meeting Services: 800-433-1790). As a reminder, here are the current companion ticket terms:
- Each year a Companion Certificate will be sent 6-8 weeks after the time of the account-opening anniversary and the annual fee has been paid. (The first certificate is sent 6-8 weeks after the account has been used for at least one purchase, and the annual fee has been paid.)
- The certificate is valid for one or two companion tickets.
- It’s valid for round-trip coach class travel within and between the contiguous US and Canada when the primary cardholder purchases a qualifying ticket (minimum fare purchase of $250 required).
- All passengers are responsible for payment of the additional taxes, fees and charges which are not included in the qualifying ticket minimum fare ($250) or the companion certificates ($99 or $149 as applicable).
- Restrictions apply, including advance purchase requirements and black-out dates.
Going forward, Barclaycard will no longer be issuing new American Airlines-branded credit cards; if you have an existing card, you can still get companion passes by hitting spend requirements on the AAdvantage Aviator Silver card or if you’re grandfathered in to the program. However, Aviator Red cards won’t include companion passes.
The good news is that you can use those companion tickets (and get great value out of them). The bad news is that they’re going to be harder to come by once the merger is complete, so it’s time to start looking into other opportunities to fly with a friend.