The Air Canada Worldwide Companion Pass is a great way to save money when traveling with a friend or a family. It provides a significant discount for the second passenger, when traveling together.
I have previously posted about the following Companion Passes available to Canadian travelers:
In this post, I will share how I leveraged my Air Canada Worldwide Companion Pass that is for Economy Class bookings only to travel in Air Canada Signature (Business) Class instead.
Air Canada Companion Pass Summary
As a reminder, the Air Canada Worldwide Companion Pass is available to the following credit card holders:
- American Express Aeroplan Reserve Card
- American Express Aeroplan Business Reserve Card
- TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite Privilege
- CIBC Aeroplan Visa Infinite Privilege
The Air Canada Worldwide Companion Pass is earned after spending more than $25,000 per cardmember year. The voucher has a tiered pricing structure as follows:
- $99 for flights within Canada and USA, excluding Hawaii
- $299 for flights within North America
- $499 for flights to South America, Europe, Africa and Middle East
- $599 for flights to Asia, Australia, and New Zealand
Restrictions and Limitations
The Air Canada Worldwide Companion pass has the following restrictions and limitations:
- The pass is can only be used for one way or round-trip travel on flights wholly operated by Air Canada, Air Canada Rouge and Air Canada Jazz. Open jaw travel is not permitted.
- The pass can be redeemed on any fare class for Economy Class travel, other than Basic Economy
- The pass must be used for travel within 12 months from the time of booking.
My Experience with the Air Canada Worldwide Companion Pass
I was thinking of booking my travel to India in April 2022, as part of my solo travel experiences, but also a trip to visit my brother. I learnt, one of my closest friends was also exploring the possibility of going to India at the same time.
My friend, by the way, does not believe in leveraging credit card rewards, as he does not want to get “spoilt” by the experience of traveling in Business Class regularly.
I started looking for available fare options for him, and we found that he was looking at spending over $2,000 for his travels from Vancouver to Delhi and back in Economy Class.
My requirements on the other hand were quite simple; I must be in Business Class on all my flights.
How to use a Companion Pass
I realized I could only use my Air Canada Worldwide Companion Pass for a one way ticket from Vancouver to Delhi. For those who have recently purchased a ticket from India to Canada, It is not a surprise that Air Canada and Air India flights are ridiculously expensive. How expensive you might ask? Over $3,000 for a one-way ticket. As such, with Air Canada filling their flights with paid customers, an upgrade from Economy to Business Class flight was impossible coming back from India.
This worked out perfectly for me and my friend. He wanted to spend three weeks in India with his family, whereas I only wanted to spend two weeks outside of Canada. So, I told my friend, look, flights from Delhi to Vancouver are ridiculously expensive. We will find a cheap flight for you with possibly extremely long layover for your journey home to Vancouver. But for Vancouver to Delhi, I will find a way to travel in Business Class, for the price of Economy Class, and we will fly this journey together.
As you can imagine, when you promise someone to fly in Business Class at the price of Economy Class, it was a very simple and attractive proposition for him.
Fares from Vancouver to Delhi
Air Canada flight options from Vancouver to Delhi, were pricing at about the $1,000 range, per person, for Economy Class travel.
Both me and my friend are frequent flyers with Air Canada, so we both had Air Canada eUpgrade Credits that we could use to get complimentary upgrade from Economy to Business Class. However, one important criterion was that we had to book in the Latitude fare bucket, which is the most expensive fare bucket for Economy Class travel and can often be more than a Business Class ticket.
In the picture shown below, you will see the Standard fare from Vancouver to Delhi is $960. The Latitude fare is $2,572, about $400 more than the cheapest ticket in Premium Economy.
The $2,572 fare is broken down as follows:
|Airport Improvement Fee||$32|
|Air Travelers Security Surcharge||$25.91|
Had we used the Air Canada Worldwide Companion Pass on this ticket, only the base fare would be discounted to $599. All other charges, including carrier surcharges, would be incurred for the second ticket. The fare breakdown is shown below:
|Fare||Passenger 1||Passenger 2|
|Airport Improvement Fee||$32||$32|
|Air Travelers Security Surcharge||$25.91||$25.91|
The total amount would be $3,715.14. When dividing by two, it would have been $1,857.57, far more than the price of an Economy Class ticket to Delhi.
That was double of what I had promised my friend, and would not go well for him…
Fares from Seattle to Delhi
If we instead, choose to originate in Seattle, the pricing for Latitude fare will be $1,623:
This is $900 cheaper than flying from Vancouver to Delhi! That is a significant cost saving.
The $1,623 fare is broken down as follows:
|September 11th Security Fee||$7.70|
|Airport Improvement Fee||$7|
|Transportation International / Domestic Tax - USA||$29.10|
|Passenger Facility Charge USA||$6.20|
Had we used the Air Canada Worldwide Companion Pass on this ticket, our costs would have been the following:
|Fare||Passenger 1||Passenger 2|
|September 11th Security Fee||$7.70||$7.70|
|Airport Improvement Fee||$7||$7|
|Transportation International / Domestic Tax - USA||$29.10||$29.10|
|Passenger Facility Charge USA||$6.20||$6.20|
The total amount would now be, $1,309.01. That is only a $350 premium over Economy Class. While this involves a drive to Seattle to pick up the flight, this was well worth the savings.
I made the booking on the Air Canada website, and subsequently used the eUpgrade credits from my friend to instantly clear into Business Class while paying $350 more than an Economy Class booking!
Convincing my friend to spend an additional $350 was quite straightforward, for over 24 hours of travel in Business Class. It will be his first time traveling in Business Class and I’m extremely excited to be there to witness that journey. Maybe, just maybe, he might decide to venture into the world of credit card rewards.
The Air Canada Companion Pass can be an incredibly valuable voucher to travel in Business Class for just a bit more than Economy Class, as I have recently accomplished, by flying from Seattle instead of Vancouver. The important criteria for the maximum effectiveness, however, is to make sure you are traveling with someone who holds elite status on Air Canada.