DEAR MISS MANNERS: I obtained a credit card through a major airline. One of the perks of receiving the card is that if I spend a certain amount with the card within the first few months, I have the opportunity to purchase a half-price companion ticket with my purchase of a regular full-fare ticket.
A friend (and occasional travel companion) and I are planning a trip, for which we will each pay our own way. This purchase will enable me to take advantage of the airline’s companion-flies-at-half-price offer.
When I ask my friend to reimburse me for his ticket, would it be appropriate for us to split the total cost of both tickets, so that we each pay 75 percent of a regular full-fare ticket? Or am I required to pass along the full benefit of the half-price offer to my friend, and bear the cost of the full-fare ticket myself?
I’m not aware of any etiquette on this question. For what it’s worth, my friend is not my significant other.
GENTLE READER: Logically, your friend will be no worse off no matter what you recommend -- that he pay the full fare, that he pay 75%, or that he pay 50%. But most friends would feel ill-used by the first option and grateful for the third.
Miss Manners has no objection to your taking the neutral second option, but even this should be stated clearly and only as a suggestion: “I have this offer. What do you think of us using it and splitting the savings?” Note that you are asking your friend whether you should use the offer on this trip -- not the terms on which you will do so. Presumably you are already close enough to anyone you are willing to sit next to on an airplane that this will not be a difficult discussion.