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Earlier this year as the merger between US Airways and American Airlines progressed, the US Airways MasterCard issued by BarclayCard stopped accepting new customers. Those who were already customers by a certain date went on to be American Airlines Aviator cardholders, but Barclaycard could not issue new American Airlines branded cards, only convert existing US Airways cardholders. The Aviator Card has some similar benefits to the new extinct US Airways MasterCard, but there is one very big difference.
The US Airways MasterCard had a very nice Companion Certificate that allowed the cardholder to bring two additional passengers on their flight for just $99 + taxes/fees each once per year. This certificate carried with it certain restrictions including some blackout dates, validity only in the lower 48 and Canada, a minimum airfare of $250 for the first passenger, among other things. Even as the merger progressed, the certificates could only be used on US Airways operated flights – at least until there are no more US Airways operated flights after October 18, 2015. At that time you can use them on American Airlines operated flights, which will open up more potential uses for the remaining valid certificates.
However, the time frame for using these certificates is rapidly closing as I think the last valid date to book the certificate is September 30, 2015. I could be wrong on that, but that is the date on the last certificate we got for this card as the window was closing for new card members.
The way the certificates work is you have a certain date you must book by, and then a certain date by which you must travel. I’m 99% sure that the last round of certificates issued had a final booking deadline of 9/30/15 and a final travel deadline of 12/31/15. This means there are just two days left whereby you can use these certificates that can be so valuable for family travel!
I have personally saved hundreds (if not thousands) of dollars over the years using these certificates, and I am racking my brain to find a good use for at least one of our remaining certificates, but it probably won’t come to pass since there are only a few months left where they are valid for travel and you need to lock something in by Wednesday. Hopefully you will have more luck than me with your remaining certificate(s)!
If you are looking to use your certificate for travel on American Airlines after the October 18th cut-over be aware that you may need to book using 1-800-433-1790 instead of the 1-800-428-4322 number listed on the certificate as per this Flyertalk thread.
Have you put your last companion certificates to good use?