Will American Airlines Extend Companion Certificate Expirations?
If you’re like me, you might have earned a Companion Certificate by spending $20,000 or more on eligible purchases through the Barclays Aviator Silver MasterCard. I earned mine last fall, and I received it in November. Of course, I was originally planning to use it this summer. But now that coronavirus impacted flight availability and my ability to travel, it might not be possible. I’m hopeful that travel will be possible to book in the fall, but it’s hard to say right now.
I reached out to American Airlines to see if they had any update on the companion certificate expiration. A spokesperson told me, “We’re working through options for customers with expiring Companion Certificates and will share an update as soon as we know more.”
So it definitely sounds like this is on AA’s mind. Although, it’s impossible to know what any option might look like once American puts it out. Perhaps, there will be a limited window of expiring certificates that will be included. But I think there’s a possibility at least some people with expiring Companion Certificates will get some sort of wiggle room. Of course, I don’t have any inside information on that and it’s just my conclusion based on the language from the spokeswoman and my hopes.
However, I won’t necessarily blame AA if they don’t extend my Companion Certificate. In fairness, I have had it since November and didn’t book anything. In addition, it’s likely travel will be available to some extent in the fall. But it definitely would be nice to get an extension of at least a few months to readjust.
In case you weren’t aware, one of the benefits of the Barclays Aviator Silver MasterCard is the Companion Certificate. You earn the certificate when you spend $20,000 or more and keep your account open for 45 days past your account anniversary. Once you earn it, you can redeem 2, $99 roundtrip tickets (plus taxes and fees) on American Airlines flights within the Continental United States. The first person pays the full price fare.
The certificate is valid for one year from the issue date, meaning travel must be completed by the expiration date. And you can access the certificate through your online Barclays account or through email where Barclays sends the certificate.
Of course, be aware that Companion Certificates come with terms and conditions, including blackout dates. In addition, you are not eligible for upgrades for any tickets issued with the certificate.
AA credit did do something positive with elite status extension and Admirals Club membership extensions. That being said, there’s still no word from Citi on whether AAdvantage Executive cardholders will get some sort of relief on their annual fee. But I do think AA has been fair on similar subjects. Of course, some of that is pressure that comes from their competitors taking similar actions. But I do take them at their word they are genuinely evaluating this issue.