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Branded Fares; AC changes booking classes/fare classes for Tango & Flex

Branded Fares; AC changes booking classes/fare classes for Tango & Flex

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Old Jun 24, 19, 4:50 am   -   Wikipost
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What are Branded Fares?

Branded Fares (also called Fare Families) are the concept of airlines grouping fares together that share the same characteristics - for example, penalties (changes, refunds), baggage allowance, seat selection (none, paid, or free), mileage accrual, in-flight meals, priority airport services (boarding, check-in) etc.

Air Canada's Branded Fares: The Past

Air Canada has long utilised the concept of Branded Fares, primarily in its Economy Cabin. At present, there are three brands that people are familiar with: Tango, Flex, and Latitude.

In the past, AC has used other brands, including Tango Plus, Latitude Plus, Leisure, Tourist, and Relax & Return.

Until late September 2017, the fare brand was exclusively controlled by the 'booking class' (also called fare class, or the more technical term RBD - reservation booking designator) on each flight segment.

Air Canada's current Economy fare structure is: Y B M U H Q V W G S T L A K

Latitude is Y B
Flex was M U H Q V (W G for domestic and US flights)
Tango was (W G for international fights) S T L A K.

For example, if you were booking an itinerary within Canada or between Canada and the US, and wanted a Flex fare, all you needed to worry about was that each flight was booking in G or higher.

Air Canada's Branded Fares: The Present

On 19 September 2017 at its Investor Day, Air Canada announced that it will be utilising the concept of Branded Fares much more.

All Air Canada fares in all markets have been assigned a 'brand code' as follows:

- Basic: BA
- Standard: TG
- Flex: FL
- Comfort: CO
- Latitude: LT
- Premium Economy Lowest: PL
- Premium Economy Flexible: PF
- Business Class Lowest: EL
- Business Class Flexible: EF

For domestic and US transborder fares, the brand code will appear at the end of the fare basis code (i.e. V3WCTG, V3WCFL etc.). On international fares, while the fares are assigned the brand codes within reservation systems, they will generally not appear on the fare basis code.

For flights within Canada and between Canada and the US, booking classes M U H Q V W G S T L A K will now be used for both Tango and Flex fares, in three possible ways:

1. A distinct separation will remain (i.e. M U H Q V W G always as Flex, S T L A K always as Tango)
2. Some booking classes will overlap (i.e. M U H Q V W G as Flex, and V W G S T L A K as Tango - V W G overlap the two brands)
3. All booking classes are both Flex and Tango.

Air Canada may change how they file fares in a specific market at any point in time.

An example for Toronto to Timmins is included below, showing how Tango and Flex fares are available through all booking classes:

Code:
YTO-YTS CXR-AC WED 01NOV17 CAD
 
 AC-ACK/TG - TANGO
 AC YTOYTS 01NOV17
 V FARE BASIS BK FARE TRAVEL-TICKET AP MINMAX RTG
 1 A21ZATG A X 77.00 R15DE T22SE 21/1 -/ - 100
 2 L21ZATG L X 92.00 R15DE T22SE 21/1 -/ - 100
 3 T14WLATG T X 123.00 ---- 14/1 -/ - 100
 4 T14ZLATG T X 129.00 ---- 14/1 -/ - 100
 5 S10WLATG S X 154.00 ---- 10/1 -/ - 100
 6 S10ZLATG S X 159.00 ---- 10/1 -/ - 100
 7A G10WLATG G X 176.00 ---- 10/1 -/ - 100
 8A G10ZLATG G X 183.00 ---- 10/1 -/ - 100
 9A G5ZLATG G X 209.00 ---- 5/1 -/ - 100
 10A W7WLATG W X 228.00 ---- 7/1 -/ - 100‡
 11A W7ZLATG W X 234.00 ---- 7/1 -/ - 100‡
 12A G0ZLATG G X 239.00 ---- -/‡ -/ - 100
 13A V3WLATG V X 276.00 ---- 3/1 -/ - 100
 14A V3ZLATG V X 281.00 ---- 3/1 -/ - 100
 15A V0WLATG V X 293.00 ---- -/‡ -/ - 100
 16A V0ZLATG V X 303.00 ---- -/‡ -/ - 100
 17A Q0ZLATG Q X 330.00 ---- -/‡ -/ - 100
 18A H0ZLATG H X 389.00 ---- -/‡ -/ - 100
 19A U0ZLATG U X 430.00 ---- -/‡ -/ - 100
 20A M0ZLATG M X 500.00 ---- -/‡ -/ - 100
 
 AC-ACK/FL - FLEX
 AC YTOYTS 01NOV17
 V FARE BASIS BK FARE TRAVEL-TICKET AP MINMAX RTG
 21A A21ZAFL A X 117.00 R15DE T22SE 21/1 -/ - 100
 22A L21ZAFL L X 132.00 R15DE T22SE 21/1 -/ - 100
 23A T14WLAFL T X 163.00 ---- 14/1 -/ - 100
 24A T14ZLAFL T X 169.00 ---- 14/1 -/ - 100
 25A S10WLAFL S X 194.00 ---- 10/1 -/ - 100‡
 26A S10ZLAFL S X 199.00 ---- 10/1 -/ - 100‡
 27I G10WLAFL G X 216.00 ---- 10/1 -/ - 100
 28I G10ZLAFL G X 223.00 ---- 10/1 -/ - 100
 29I G5ZLAFL G X 249.00 ---- 5/1 -/ - 100
 30I W7WLAFL W X 268.00 ---- 7/1 -/ - 100
 31I W7ZLAFL W X 274.00 ---- 7/1 -/ - 100
 32I G0ZLAFL G X 279.00 ---- -/‡ -/ - 100
 33I V3WLAFL V X 316.00 ---- 3/1 -/ - 100
 34I V3ZLAFL V X 321.00 ---- 3/1 -/ - 100
 35I V0WLAFL V X 333.00 ---- -/‡ -/ - 100
 36I V0ZLAFL V X 343.00 ---- -/‡ -/ - 100
 37I Q0ZLAFL Q X 370.00 ---- -/‡ -/ - 100
 38I H0ZLAFL H X 429.00 ---- -/‡ -/ - 100
 39I U0ZLAFL U X 470.00 ---- -/‡ -/ - 100
 40I M0ZLAFL M X 540.00 ---- -/‡ -/ - 100
 
 AC-ACK/LT - LATITUDE
 AC YTOYTS 01NOV17
 V FARE BASIS BK FARE TRAVEL-TICKET AP MINMAX RTG‡
 41 B0ALT B X 594.00 ---- -/‡ -/ - 100‡
 42 Y0ALT Y X 655.00 ---- -/‡ -/ - 100
 43 Y Y X 1764.00 ---- - -/ - 1
 
 AC-ACK/EF - BUSINESS FLEXIBLE
 AC YTOYTS 01NOV17
 V FARE BASIS BK FARE TRAVEL-TICKET AP MINMAX RTG
 44 J J‡X 1964.00 ---- - -/ - 1
 
 1* TRAVEL MUST BE NONSTOP OR DIRECT
 100* 1. YTO-YTS
How do I make sure I'm booking the fare type I want?

If booking on Air Canada's website, choosing the fare type in the search results should give you a fare in that category, regardless of the booking class letter.

Otherwise, you will need to check the fare basis codes for all flights on your ticket to ensure they should the correct suffix (TG for Tango, FL for Flex).

If you book flights using a corporate booking tool such as Concur or GetThere, you may want to check with your travel administrator that the site is properly configured to display the branded fares according to brand code and not booking class.

What about milage accrual on Aeroplan?

The Aeroplan website has not yet been updated to reflect accrual, however you should expect to earn miles based on the fare type purchased (i.e. a domestic Flex K fare should earn 100% and a Tango M fare should earn 25%).

What about milage accrual on other programmes?

No data is currently available to support this, but in the absence of changes listed by the respective programme, the expectation is flights will continue to earn on those programmes based on the booking class letter.

What about milage accrual to Aeroplan when the flight is booked as a codeshare (i.e. UA*AC) and operated by Air Canada?

No data is currently available to know what happens. Codeshares map to specific booking class letters, not fares.

What about international fares?

There have currently been no changes to international fares. Branding of these fares still exists, but Air Canada has a lot less flexibility in filing fares in specific markets (for example, Transatlantic fares that are covered by the A++ Joint Venture).

How can my travel agent book branded fares?

AC has a guide here which describes how a TA can book TG or FL branded fares: https://www.aircanada.com/content/da...de_v1.0_EN.pdf

Air Canada's Branded Fares: The Future

On 19 September 2017 at its Investor Day, Air Canada also announced it may introduce a new "ULCC" fare brand below Tango to respond to markets in which it faces competition from Ultra Low Cost Carriers, as well as a "Comfort" brand between Flex and Latitude. Watch this space for future developments.
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Old Sep 22, 17, 5:57 pm
  #1  
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Branded Fares; AC changes booking classes/fare classes for Tango & Flex

I have not seen any mention here of branded fares.

Branded fares are mentioned in the Investor Day document from AC earlier this week. From what I understand it's some sort of a way to back off from the unbundling disaster. Allow people who care about the real overall price to include "ancillaries" in the ticket price, perhaps at some discount compared with lower fare + equivalent various surcharges.

I can see that AC does not really like the unbundling business, but feels they have no real choice in the world of search engines and paying the absolute rock bottom price (before all the BS surcharges) is a bit of a national sport. Plus, people who indulge in this will continue going for what they see as lowest price, so there is no real motivation for offering them any kind of custoer service.

However there is your typical FTer, people who actually fly as part of their job, and working for an inconsiderate employer who only cares for lowest price, and who are mighty unhappy with being relegated in the same category as the occasional flyer above.

So, offering people who have a better sense of the business "branded fares" seems to be a win-win situation. Customers pay a bit less, or the same, but they don't feel nickel and dimed with all the crap.

AC apparently expects


$20M in Annual Incremental Benefits

- Increased fare differentiation
- Improved product recognition
- Increased customer buy up
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Old Sep 22, 17, 6:00 pm
  #2  
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Originally Posted by Stranger View Post
I have not seen any mention here of branded fares.

Branded fares are mentioned in the Investor Day document from AC earlier this week. From what I understand it's some sort of a way to back off from the unbundling disaster. Allow people who care about the real overall price to include "ancillaries" in the ticket price, perhaps at some discount compared with lower fare + equivalent various surcharges.

I can see that AC does not really like the unbundling business, but feels they have no real choice in the world of search engines and paying the absolute rock bottom price (before all the BS surcharges) is a bit of a national sport. Plus, people who indulge in this will continue going for what they see as lowest price, so there is no real motivation for offering them any kind of custoer service.

However there is your typical FTer, people who actually fly as part of their job, and working for an inconsiderate employer who only cares for lowest price, and who are mighty unhappy with being relegated in the same category as the occasional flyer above.

So, offering people who have a better sense of the business "branded fares" seems to be a win-win situation. Customers pay a bit less, or the same, but they don't feel nickel and dimed with all the crap.

AC apparently expects
You are very correct. You are the first to talk about this here.

Get ready for "Tango" and "Tango Flex"!
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Old Sep 22, 17, 6:07 pm
  #3  
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Booking codes G and W were transferred from Flex to Tango this past Tuesday for 18 domestic routes.

FL Fare Family to TG Fare Family.
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Old Sep 22, 17, 6:15 pm
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Originally Posted by yyznomad View Post
Booking codes G and W were transferred from Flex to Tango this past Tuesday for 18 domestic routes.

FL Fare Family to TG Fare Family.
Why does the name "Tango" still exist? That so-called airline died long ago.

What is a "Tango"? Will I be so happy with this Tango fare that I'll dance the Tango?

Time to come up with a new name. My suggestion is "Petty" class.
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Old Sep 22, 17, 6:15 pm
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Originally Posted by yyznomad View Post
You are very correct. You are the first to talk about this here.

Get ready for "Tango" and "Tango Flex"!
It appears it's ULCC (probably not the final name), then Tango, then Flex, then Comfort, then Latitude.

There is even a mention of "roller carry on," seems they might no longer allow them on lowest fares, which might be a blessing?
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Old Sep 22, 17, 6:19 pm
  #6  
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Originally Posted by Stranger View Post
It appears it's ULCC (probably not the final name), then Tango, then Flex, then Comfort, then Latitude.

There is even a mention of "roller carry on," seems they might no longer allow them on lowest fares, which might be a blessing?
No ULCC stuff here. I didn't make up what I wrote... I was serious!
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Old Sep 22, 17, 6:21 pm
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Originally Posted by yyznomad View Post
No ULCC stuff here. I didn't make up what I wrote... I was serious!
I was referring to the names mentioned on p. 54 of the report. They mention ULCC as the lowest bin. Below Tango. Race to the bottom never ends. To the great satisfaction of the bulk of the customers...
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Old Sep 22, 17, 6:31 pm
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Originally Posted by Stranger View Post
I was referring to the names mentioned on p. 54 of the report. They mention ULCC as the lowest bin. Below Tango. Race to the bottom never ends. To the great satisfaction of the bulk of the customers...
Ok right.

I'm only referring to the existing changes that are live, and under the radar for most of us. I think that diagram on the left of the slide is the overall end game, but I assure you that at the moment there is something called Tango and Tango Flex.
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Old Sep 22, 17, 7:02 pm
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Originally Posted by yyznomad View Post
Booking codes G and W were transferred from Flex to Tango this past Tuesday for 18 domestic routes.

FL Fare Family to TG Fare Family.
Wait! What?

1) which routes?

2) did they apply it retroactively for existing bookings too?

3) will a previously booked W/G fare on that route now only earn 25% AQM?
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Old Sep 22, 17, 7:06 pm
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Oh for the days of Robert Milton's plan to streamline and reduce the number of fare categories and buckets!
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Old Sep 22, 17, 7:06 pm
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Originally Posted by Diabeetus View Post
Wait! What?



2) did they apply it retroactively for existing bookings too?
New bookings as if this past Tuesday.
Anything booked before that is not affected.
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Old Sep 22, 17, 7:17 pm
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Originally Posted by Diabeetus View Post
Wait! What?

1) which routes?

2) did they apply it retroactively for existing bookings too?

3) will a previously booked W/G fare on that route now only earn 25% AQM?
I can see that on EF, searching YVR-YYC on October 8th, there are W and G fares in both Tango and Flex, but YVR-YYZ the same day there are only flex fares for W/G
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Old Sep 22, 17, 7:18 pm
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Originally Posted by ScGhost0 View Post
I can see that on EF, searching YVR-YYC on October 8th, there are W and G fares in both Tango and Flex, but YVR-YYZ the same day there are only flex fares for W/G
That is correct.
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Old Sep 22, 17, 7:21 pm
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For those who book on the Air Canada website, it won't mean too much of a change since it's sorted by fare "type" anyway (tango vs flex) but those searching ITA or other engines will have to double check for sure that they are getting a Flex W/G and not a Tango W/G, assuming they keep those fare buckets in both fare type categories.
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Old Sep 22, 17, 7:26 pm
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Originally Posted by ScGhost0 View Post
For those who book on the Air Canada website, it won't mean too much of a change since it's sorted by fare "type" anyway (tango vs flex) but those searching ITA or other engines will have to double check for sure that they are getting a Flex W/G and not a Tango W/G, assuming they keep those fare buckets in both fare type categories.
This is only the beginning. It will get a bit more convoluted in the interim before everything normalizes.
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