Why not just buy 2 Delta coach tickets? Can you use with FREE companion cert?

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Business class seats are expensive. Not just a little bit more expensive, a lot more expensive. I mean, if you look at New York to Los Angeles on a weekday, you are talking SEVEN TIMES the money for business over coach. Is it worth it? What if you just want space?

Delta 767-300 economy comfort seats - Delta Points blog review (2)

Delta’s Economy Comfort seats are very nice. You get them free once you have attained Gold Medallion or higher and buy a domestic fare. On the to- and- from JFK to SFO, SEA or LAX, you even get free “complimentary beer, wine, and spirits” like in business class.

In the above from NY to LA example, if you buy TWO coachseats, you are paying $831 compared to $2918 for one business class seat. Not only that, but on JFK to SFO & LAX you can order “premium meal service on select flights within limited routes to our Economy Class customers” food coach jfk delta points blog

Even if you spend 2 x $15.99 for a premium meal – both outbound and return – you are still under $900 all-in for two seats vs. almost $3000 for one business class seat!

How do you do this? While you can buy tickets for many people at once, there is no way to by two for yourself on Delta.com. You have to call Delta to book two seats. What happens next is this; the first seat will be in your name, the next, will be your last name and “EXTRA”. Since you can not do this on Delta.com Delta will waive any phone fees for this booking.

Other tidbits to consider with this idea. We all know that Delta reps will give you different info depending on who you talk to. One rep told me you have to split the reservation to have a shot at a medallion upgrade. Another said no you can still upgrade but only one of the two seats. Yet another said you can upgrade both and get two first class seats. And then about earning MQMs & RDMs (i.e. Medallion Qualifying Miles and Skymiles). I have also been told different info from reps here as well. Some say only ticket #1 while others say both. I am waiting for confirmation from Delta and will update the post, but I would also love reader feedback on to split or not to split if you have more data points on both of these issues.

delta companion certificate delta points blog

Now here is where this can get really fun and something you may not have thought about! While it is some work to find seats (LUT fare class only for coach) for the Delta AMEX Platinum card or the Delta AMEX Reserve card (you get a cert in year two after fee bills) you CAN USE THESE and buy both seats for yourself. Yep! The second seat, just like usual, you just pay the tax for this second seat. This second seat for “you” can not be booked on Delta.com so you must call and ask for the “Promotion Desk” and they can then book this for you – again fees waived since it cannot be booked on Delta.com for two seats for just you.

I so love this idea even though I have not tried it yet (but plan to very soon). Remember that with these certs the primary flyer earns Skymiles and MQMs and the BOGOF certificate (PDF here) seat does not earn anything.You get a ton of space this way and can, depending on your status, pick either EXIT or EC seats for you and yourself! And depending on the route, as we see above, you can get free drinks for you and “yourself” 🙂

I have always used the BOGOF for both Lisa & me but I do not like to put my Lisa in coach (after 25+ plus years with me she has earned 1st class travel). But, if I can take a trip by myself in coach and get a ton of space then this would be a great value to me for this certificate from my Delta AMEX card(s).

What you think? Like the idea of buying two seats? Of using your BOGOF AMEX cert this way? Feel free to comment but I will have a question for you later for SWAG Saturday at 1:PM ET. Today! – René


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  1. Rene,

    I have a companion ticket that expires in December, however this year hasn’t been kind for travel with my wife. We are expecting our first child in November and I don’t think we can use the companion ticket. Can I buy a ticket for friends to use with the companion ticket, or do I have to be the one to use it? I have some work travel coming up, but the dates won’t work for my wife to join me to make the companion ticket work.

    DJS in Mpls

  2. Delta will try to put somebody in that empty seat before they close the doors, a standby or a non-rev. Have your TWO boarding cards handy.
    I got bumped up to first ATL-LAX only to be told by my seat mate he bought two first class tickets, he and his black lab.
    They FA figured it out, sent me back to EC, and was highly embarrassed.
    When the drink cart rolled around, she told me the “dog” had bought me two drinks and the sandwich of my choice.

  3. Rene, since you have the Reserve cards, it seems finding a reasonably priced First Class ticket and using the cert to take Lisa in First would be a better use. Would it not?

  4. @JohnHace – I need so many mileage runs each year that I can use these that way or what Lisa suggested is we buy 3 seats and we use them that way that is I use the BOGOF and then buy her a seat too. Worst case, she upgrades, and I sit back in coach with two seats. Win Win and much cheaper!

  5. Regarding MQMs and RDMs for a two ticket purchase: I highly doubt ticket #2 would get anything. If so, when you see a great MR opprotunitiy, there would be no reason for you to not buy as may seats as you need to complete your year’s worth of MRs.

  6. For UA, I believe the second seat would earn redeemable miles, but not the status miles.

    I kind of doubt the second seat would earn anything on Delta. Otherwise, Lynn Harrell of cello miles fame would’ve just booked the second seat for his cello under his name right? Rather than booking and accruing miles under the cello’s own account.

  7. If I do mileage run, I certainly would appreciate the ability to buy 2 tickets and earn MQM miles on both. Can you confirm that? If that’s really the case, I’m surprised not more mileage runners are employing this technique. This would cut your mileage run effort by half.

  8. I don’t actually understand the point of buying two seats for yourself other than space. It is ridiculous to me to waste the certificate in this fashion. I prefer to help someone else get a deal along with me, and most people would not complain about not earning miles on a half price ticket.

  9. Wow, that would be a great trick if you could get MQMs on both. Double (or more) your pleasure on mileage run! Looking forward to the update, though it sound too good to be true.

  10. Rene, did you ever end up trying this? I don’t see the update. That would be a great way to use these. I have one from last year that will end up expiring soon, and I have another one coming soon for this year that I will not be using.

    Also, someone on FT was saying when they did this, the phone booking fee was not waived: http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/23381688-post11.html

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