AMEX & Citi Card Travel Awards StinkI feel ripped off! I feel like AMEX is ripping me off again and I feel like the Citi Card I just got for the purpose of the companion fare for my flights is also ripping me off! Note this was based on my buddy’s recommendation – big thanks! 😉

I feel ripped off!

So I am booking some flights for my June journey, specifically for the SMX Seattle event and I got nothing! I am taking Tamar with me, to help with the coverage. This is the perfect opportunity for a companion ticket.

It mets all the criteria AMEX and Citi Card set forth. The tickets are $299 or more. They are domestic. I, the card holder, is flying. Etc.

I first call AMEX travel. I am redirected to the special companion fare booking team. I give them the preferred flights I want to go on. They first hang up on me after me holding for about 15 minutes (no worries, I did two blog entries in that time). I call back, then learn that that flight is blacked out for those times… The only possible alternative is for me to leave the next day at 9am and land at 5pm – what! miss a whole day! Not going to happen.

I call Citi Card travel. They are quick to respond, which is nice. But the flight to Seattle is not eligible since there is a flight with several top overs that is less than $299. Of course I asked, but I want a direct flight and there are no direct flights for less than $299. He said, you are right, but the requirements are for any flight, no matter stop overs. Good bye!

I tried everything I could think of.

So I feel ripped off!

I booked the two tickets on AMEX’s web site for full fare.

I feel ripped off.

Website Comments

  1. Brian Mark
    Reply

    We use AmEx rewards points. 24000 points = 1 flight on selected airlines. Never had a problem getting them to accept a flight on either of those airlines.

  2. Barry G.
    Reply

    Barry;

    I commiserate with you. Just went through the same thing trying to book a flight to Israel with my AMEX points.

    So many restrictions and Blackouts that it’s a bad joke.

    These guys are as bad as the Banks and Insurance companies.

  3. NEVER TRUST THAT BUDDY
    Reply

    BARRY-

    U NOW KNOW NOT TO TRUST YOUR “BUDDY”
    and you know he stinks ALSO IN DRIVING AND ADVICE

    COmpaninon ticket taking tamar?? THE WIFE Jealous???

    I AM!!!! TAKE ME

  4. Leon Schwartz
    Reply

    Shows you what happens when you don’t read the fine print.
    I am totally not surprised that the Companion flights not blacked out are exactly the ones a traveling business person would avoid…..

  5. Mr. Obvious
    Reply

    Umm, why did you book through AMEX if you are so disgruntled with them? If a company pisses you off, stop using their product. Next time try asking to be transfered to “Account Cancellations” when they give you the run around. Then cancel your card.

  6. Rf
    Reply

    totally agree. have tried to use the companion fare about 5 times over the last year and it has never worked. I was actually told most recently, that there is a minimum fare of $299 and a maximum fare of $299 – wow, thanks for working with me. Yes, I am now terminating my Platinum card.

  7. K2
    Reply

    I understand times are tough, but do they realize the consequences of dropping this program? Aside from myself, I have spoken with lots of my customers who are infuriated with the change.

    Just a reference.. I spend $125,000 a year or more on the AMEX card through personal and business. Switch that to Mastercard/Visa @ say 2% card fee… they lost more than just the $400/yr, they lost about $2900 (CC transaction fees from my purchases + my membership).

    Multiply that by 1000 people doing the same as me and you have AMEX losing $2,900,000 per YEAR! Ouch! And that’s assuming they are only making 2% on purchases, which is usually not the case, and assuming only 1000 people dropped the program!

    Funny thing is they are still justifying the $400/yr fee by increasing things like baggage loss to $3000… whoop-ti-doo.. This will effect 1 out of 1000!

    I think the smartest thing they could have done was reduce the number of free domestic flights (or something similar rather than cancelling altogether). Two(2) flights would still be worth it considering most flights are lingering around $200+. If I took 2 flights with my wife and saved her ticket expense it would likely match the yearly fee in savings. Even if it didn’t exactly meet the expense, the typical delays at airports “forcing” me to have a drink in the Private Lounges would make up for it. Either way, I would definitely maintain the card and AMEX would maintain the $2900/yr I referred to above.

    I’ll probably be looking to drop AMEX altogether, ’cause there is no real point to have them anymore @ $400/yr. I’m hoping there will be enough complaints that something will be done. (I sent an email online, called, & chat to complain in a nice way of course)

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