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Amex Delta Plat comp cert question

AlpineX
Regular Contributor

Amex Delta Plat comp cert question

So I've been seesawing back and forth between the Delta Platinum and Delta Gold over the past few weeks. Won't be apping until later next month but it seems that some of the intricacies of using the Plat companion certificate may be the primary deciding factor. Hoping some of the Delta pros here could provide a little insight.  I've done some searching and digging but have only found found bits and pieces briefly mentioned, some of it years old, and never all in one spot.

 

It appears that, when redeeming the comp cert, you can only book two tickets on that reservation - the paid ticket and the comp cert. Still true?

 

That being said, as my traveling party would most likely always be larger than two people, I've seen mention that a second reservation would be needed and the two itineraries could be "linked". Linked meaning only that a note would be added to the reservations and an CSR would need to be looking for the note to see the link. How does this affect card benefits such as checked bags for entire party as the cardholder would only be on one reservation? I've read that benefits would possibly carry over for all travelers, not automatically but may need to speak to agent when dropping bags, and not necessarily available at a kiosk. Is there a foolproof solution for this or is it YMMV.....?

 

Or am I just overthinking things? (Wouldn't be the first time, but I've been bitten before...)

Message 1 of 17
16 REPLIES 16
K-in-Boston
Moderator

Re: Amex Delta Plat comp cert question

Yes, you can still only book 2 tickets on one PNR when redeeming a companion certificate.  You can link multiple PNRs to get the free bags and to improve your chances of remaining togethether and being treated as one group in case of IRROPS.  At check-in, the agent may need to manually credit baggage fees for additional passengers not on your PNR, but it shouldn't be a big deal other than not being able to use the kiosk for automated bag check.

 

I am not sure if Main1 boarding would be inherited as I've only done split PNRs on Delta in First, or in Comfort+ when there was another Delta cardholder on the other PNR before I had elite status.

 

Edit: One thing to keep in mind is that Delta Platinum and Reserve cardholders are more likely to have elite status with Delta, and having 3 or more tickets on one PNR disqualifies you from automated complimentary upgrades.  When the companion certificate (or any SkyMiles award flight) is booked, customers are still eligible for upgrades based on the highest tier passenger on the PNR.

Message 2 of 17
Revelate
Moderator Emeritus

Re: Amex Delta Plat comp cert question


@K-in-Boston wrote:

Yes, you can still only book 2 tickets on one PNR when redeeming a companion certificate.  You can link multiple PNRs to get the free bags and to improve your chances of remaining togethether and being treated as one group in case of IRROPS.  At check-in, the agent may need to manually credit baggage fees for additional passengers not on your PNR, but it shouldn't be a big deal other than not being able to use the kiosk for automated bag check.

 

I am not sure if Main1 boarding would be inherited as I've only done split PNRs on Delta in First, or in Comfort+ when there was another Delta cardholder on the other PNR before I had elite status.

 

Edit: One thing to keep in mind is that Delta Platinum and Reserve cardholders are more likely to have elite status with Delta, and having 3 or more tickets on one PNR disqualifies you from automated complimentary upgrades.  When the companion certificate (or any SkyMiles award flight) is booked, customers are still eligible for upgrades based on the highest tier passenger on the PNR.


Platinum gets a bonus on the upgrade hunt too?  I thought that was Reserve or bust now or did I misinterpret what you meant (happens, sadly, often!)?




        
Message 3 of 17
budugu
Regular Contributor

Re: Amex Delta Plat comp cert question

The certificate is a pain to use. Best I have priced is getting 100$ value. It has fare class restrictions and see lots of days / flights that are not even available. Unless u have a specific case and know your trip it is largely useless. I downgraded when price was increased and did not get a chance to use it. 

amex - plat + bcp, Apple Card, Citi Prestige (AU)
Message 4 of 17
K-in-Boston
Moderator

Re: Amex Delta Plat comp cert question


@Revelate wrote:

@K-in-Boston wrote:

Yes, you can still only book 2 tickets on one PNR when redeeming a companion certificate.  You can link multiple PNRs to get the free bags and to improve your chances of remaining togethether and being treated as one group in case of IRROPS.  At check-in, the agent may need to manually credit baggage fees for additional passengers not on your PNR, but it shouldn't be a big deal other than not being able to use the kiosk for automated bag check.

 

I am not sure if Main1 boarding would be inherited as I've only done split PNRs on Delta in First, or in Comfort+ when there was another Delta cardholder on the other PNR before I had elite status.

 

Edit: One thing to keep in mind is that Delta Platinum and Reserve cardholders are more likely to have elite status with Delta, and having 3 or more tickets on one PNR disqualifies you from automated complimentary upgrades.  When the companion certificate (or any SkyMiles award flight) is booked, customers are still eligible for upgrades based on the highest tier passenger on the PNR.


Platinum gets a bonus on the upgrade hunt too?  I thought that was Reserve or bust now or did I misinterpret what you meant (happens, sadly, often!)?


No, Platinum cardholders are not eligible for complimentary upgrades after Medallion members.  But Medallion members (and now Reserve cardholders) are eligible for complimentary upgrades when using companion certificates, whether they are the free or paid passenger.

Message 5 of 17
K-in-Boston
Moderator

Re: Amex Delta Plat comp cert question


@budugu wrote:

The certificate is a pain to use. Best I have priced is getting 100$ value. It has fare class restrictions and see lots of days / flights that are not even available. Unless u have a specific case and know your trip it is largely useless. I downgraded when price was increased and did not get a chance to use it. 


The certificate should only be a pain to use if you are booking very close to departure when lower priced fares are no longer available.  They can be used on any flight where there are at least 2 seats in L, U, X, T, or V, fare codes in Main Cabin, which should be essentially any flight leaving say 6 weeks to 10 months out.


It is perfectly reasonable that Delta would not want to give away a $800 Main Cabin Y fare from JFK-LAX leaving next Tuesday morning if they expect the seats to sell.

Message 6 of 17
K-in-Boston
Moderator

Re: Amex Delta Plat comp cert question

Here's the first attempt for a BOS-LAX first week of May as an example:

Screen Shot 2020-02-19 at 1.26.26 PM.png

Message 7 of 17
AlpineX
Regular Contributor

Re: Amex Delta Plat comp cert question


@K-in-Boston wrote:

@Revelate wrote:

@K-in-Boston wrote:

Yes, you can still only book 2 tickets on one PNR when redeeming a companion certificate.  You can link multiple PNRs to get the free bags and to improve your chances of remaining togethether and being treated as one group in case of IRROPS.  At check-in, the agent may need to manually credit baggage fees for additional passengers not on your PNR, but it shouldn't be a big deal other than not being able to use the kiosk for automated bag check.

 

I am not sure if Main1 boarding would be inherited as I've only done split PNRs on Delta in First, or in Comfort+ when there was another Delta cardholder on the other PNR before I had elite status.

 

Edit: One thing to keep in mind is that Delta Platinum and Reserve cardholders are more likely to have elite status with Delta, and having 3 or more tickets on one PNR disqualifies you from automated complimentary upgrades.  When the companion certificate (or any SkyMiles award flight) is booked, customers are still eligible for upgrades based on the highest tier passenger on the PNR.


Platinum gets a bonus on the upgrade hunt too?  I thought that was Reserve or bust now or did I misinterpret what you meant (happens, sadly, often!)?


No, Platinum cardholders are not eligible for complimentary upgrades after Medallion members.  But Medallion members (and now Reserve cardholders) are eligible for complimentary upgrades when using companion certificates, whether they are the free or paid passenger.


Not too concerned about upgrades for the foreseeable future as we'll probably always have DD along who is 3.5yo at the moment. (She's a flying pro though and you'd never know she was there!!) Status isn't in the plans at the moment either. Would most likely have DW on the separate reservation just in case things really went kerflooey. 

 

(Was in the middle of a Vegas trip in 2003 when Delta decided to start charging for meals. Flight out - food; Flight back - no food; Found message on answering machine when we got back home about the change, despite Delta having only the cell #. No idea how they got the home one. Tix we had included meals and add a 3+ hour delay in Vegas stuck on the tarmac due to winds, it wasn't pretty for anyone)

 

Not too concerned about flight availability as I can fly out of NYC or several other airports much farther north. Things are usually planned out well enough ahead of time and if its gotta be short notice, I've got other airline options if DL isnt gonna work.

 

Another factor I'm taking into account is the lifetime language Amex has for SUBs. Hard to pass up the 100k on the Platinum. And if SUBs somewhere down the road are similar to what they've been in the past, today's Platinum SUB plus a future Gold SUB would add up to more than if it was the other way around. Should my situation seem that necessary, of course. 

Message 8 of 17
budugu
Regular Contributor

Re: Amex Delta Plat comp cert question


@K-in-Boston wrote:

Here's the first attempt for a BOS-LAX first week of May as an example:

Screen Shot 2020-02-19 at 1.26.26 PM.png


At least from Seattle the inventory is really bad (especially nonstops). Also looking at the price seems like totally off peak time as well. Considering the price you pay 250$ for the card.  The value seems to be at best 150$ coast to coast in what according to kayak is the cheapest week (traveling on a sat and returning on a Friday). As I said it is extremely YMMV thing. I found it useless. 

ps:compared to Alaska it is very restrictive. 

amex - plat + bcp, Apple Card, Citi Prestige (AU)
Message 9 of 17
K-in-Boston
Moderator

Re: Amex Delta Plat comp cert question


@budugu wrote:

At least from Seattle the inventory is really bad (especially nonstops). Also looking at the price seems like totally off peak time as well. Considering the price you pay 250$ for the card.  The value seems to be at best 150$ coast to coast in what according to kayak is the cheapest week (traveling on a sat and returning on a Friday). As I said it is extremely YMMV thing. I found it useless. 

ps:compared to Alaska it is very restrictive. 


Where are you trying to go?

When are you trying to go?

How are you looking for inventory?

How in the world are you seeing maximum $150 round-trip transcons?

 

Even looking only TWO weeks out, I found ample inventory on every single nonstop that I tried to plug in from SEA in a just a few minutes.  I'm honestly completely puzzled by your statements.

 

Screen Shot 2020-02-19 at 6.04.07 PM.pngScreen Shot 2020-02-19 at 6.03.26 PM.pngScreen Shot 2020-02-19 at 6.02.42 PM.pngScreen Shot 2020-02-19 at 6.01.59 PM.pngScreen Shot 2020-02-19 at 6.01.16 PM.pngScreen Shot 2020-02-19 at 6.00.34 PM.png

Message 10 of 17
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