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Frustration with Flex vs. Standard fare gap

Frustration with Flex vs. Standard fare gap

Old Jan 25, 19, 9:42 am
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Frustration with Flex vs. Standard fare gap

So, I'm trying to book YOW-SYD return in late February. My employer's policy is "lowest fare", with a little flexibility in practice...

Standard fare is pricing at $1,612 all-in. Flex is pricing at $3,834.

I'd like Flex, so that I have the opportunity to upgrade (with credits), and get 100% AQM/AQD. But is that really worth over $2,000 extra?

The Flex fare seems so high that it's unlikely anyone would pay it. Seems like a missed opportunity to get some passengers (like me) to pay a little more (but not $2K) for these benefits. But, who am I to second-guess the AC revenue management team.....
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Old Jan 25, 19, 10:17 am
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Originally Posted by sweden05 View Post
So, I'm trying to book YOW-SYD return in late February. My employer's policy is "lowest fare", with a little flexibility in practice...

Standard fare is pricing at $1,612 all-in. Flex is pricing at $3,834.

I'd like Flex, so that I have the opportunity to upgrade (with credits), and get 100% AQM/AQD. But is that really worth over $2,000 extra?

The Flex fare seems so high that it's unlikely anyone would pay it. Seems like a missed opportunity to get some passengers (like me) to pay a little more (but not $2K) for these benefits. But, who am I to second-guess the AC revenue management team.....
Which day is the outbound and which day is the return?
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Old Jan 25, 19, 10:20 am
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Originally Posted by sweden05 View Post
So, I'm trying to book YOW-SYD return in late February. My employer's policy is "lowest fare", with a little flexibility in practice...

Standard fare is pricing at $1,612 all-in. Flex is pricing at $3,834.

I'd like Flex, so that I have the opportunity to upgrade (with credits), and get 100% AQM/AQD. But is that really worth over $2,000 extra?

The Flex fare seems so high that it's unlikely anyone would pay it. Seems like a missed opportunity to get some passengers (like me) to pay a little more (but not $2K) for these benefits. But, who am I to second-guess the AC revenue management team.....
A lot of pax are willing to pay the extra $2K. Getting a chance to upgrade is major, but PY would have a better chance. Personaly a upgrade on that flight is worth a min $3K to me. Another idea would be keep your standard fare and buy the LMU. It will be around $3.5 to 4K, but still a very good value.
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Old Jan 25, 19, 10:21 am
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Originally Posted by sweden05 View Post
I'd like Flex, so that I have the opportunity to upgrade (with credits), and get 100% AQM/AQD.
That is entirely between you and your employer.

And of course, this not a guaranteed upgrade - you merely have an opportunity to spend $2000 more to perhaps end up in the same seat as if you didnt.
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Old Jan 25, 19, 10:23 am
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I have seen huge gaps between Standard and Flex fares for YQB-YUL/YYZ-LHR for June as well. Here's an example from June 2nd, but this was true of pretty much all dates I checked.



Very hard to justify buying Flex when it is twice as much as Standard.
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Old Jan 25, 19, 10:40 am
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Isn't the current promotion still on with Standard copay at $850? Which is $1700 RT, beats $2k.
Now granted that may be something the OP would have to pay vs OPM for the Flex ... and it sucks to go from a $0 SE copay to $1700 but it's still cheaper than Flex.
And yes, I think the chance of an upgrade from Standard on a TPAC even for a SE is ... poor.

But yes, I've seen similar issues with Standard vs Flex of late. Too much of a difference for me to justify.
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Old Jan 25, 19, 10:43 am
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Originally Posted by yyznomad View Post
Which day is the outbound and which day is the return?
Feb 21 to Mar 1 for example, but surrounding dates are similar.

PY is a bit under $1K higher than flex, if I recall.
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Old Jan 25, 19, 10:45 am
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Once one starts buying higher fares that you would otherwise just to accumulate status miles, you have to sit down and do some calculations about how much your status is really costing you. Because a few Flex upfares to Asia or Australia later, and you've spent as much on buying Flex to get miles or be able to upgrade as you could have spent on just buying J outright (on another airline) for some trips.

'Standard' pricing has to compete against other airlines' pricing for the price-sensitive buyer. 'Flex' doesn't, because it primarily affords Altitude-related benefits that no other airline can offer to those locked-in customers. Accordingly, RM thinks they can always charge a premium for Flex and I don't think they are wrong.
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Old Jan 25, 19, 12:14 pm
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Originally Posted by eigenvector View Post
íStandard' pricing has to compete against other airlines' pricing for the price-sensitive buyer. 'Flex' doesn't, because it primarily affords Altitude-related benefits that no other airline can offer to those locked-in customers. Accordingly, RM thinks they can always charge a premium for Flex and I don't think they are wrong.
As long as AC maintains their Standard copay ongoing never ending promotion, for trips like this a non SE has to change compare a $750 copay from Flex with $850 from Standard. Now yes you also get twice the miles but I query the value of paying $2k for what amounts to under 8000 miles. Given AE sells 8,000 miles for $361!

And yes the odds of an upgrade are lower. But fare class is pretty low on the list for upgrades.

AC charges for so many things now I wonder if itís going to backfire as people start doing some very simple calculations.
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Old Jan 25, 19, 12:26 pm
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OP, IMHO you should think of the price gap as a benefit in this case. If you buy a flex fare, you're playing Aerolotto but spending way more money. Your chances of getting the upgrade on this route is very low; more likely you'd pay a more expensive fare and end up sitting in the same Y seat.

If you buy a Standard fare, you'll pretty much have the same chance of an upgrade, but you'll only pay the more expensive co-pay (which is only $100 more than flex IIRC) if your upgrade actually clears. IMHO you'll be better off buying the standard fare.

If you do want to pay more, it looks like on several dates Premium Economy (Lowest) is cheaper than Flex. You might want to go that route; guarantee yourself premium economy and have a higher chance at J upgrade.
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Old Jan 25, 19, 12:31 pm
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Standard + copay is an even better deal when you consider that the copay is only charged if your upgrade is actually confirmed, whereas with Flex you're paying the lottery for whether you'll even get the upgrade.
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Old Jan 25, 19, 12:50 pm
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Originally Posted by eigenvector View Post
Standard + copay is an even better deal when you consider that the copay is only charged if your upgrade is actually confirmed, whereas with Flex you're paying the lottery for whether you'll even get the upgrade.
Sure, except that OP is on OPM. As such, copay would likely come from his own pocket, not his employer's as would be the case if he had bought Flex.
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Old Jan 25, 19, 1:01 pm
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Originally Posted by jasdou View Post
Sure, except that OP is on OPM. As such, copay would likely come from his own pocket, not his employer's as would be the case if he had bought Flex.
It wasn't clear (to me anyway ) if the OP would be paying the $2k difference themselves or if the company would pay it.

But for me at my company? I've had to have a darn good reason for the bean counters if I booked a flight that was $2k more (also more than double) the cheapest fare.
Of course, at my company I wouldn't be flying a TPAC in Y. As per another comment in another recent thread, my schedule would become full.
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Old Jan 25, 19, 4:55 pm
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I like the standard fare as when you travel YYC/YEG to YVR the flex fare for the 502/426 AQM is not worth it. Also when you upgrade at the gate there is no copay. Did this for Christmas, cheap fares with upgrades to J as most Business travelers are not travelling.

AC will only do this if people keep paying. So i blame those who like to pay more as AC loves those corporate accounts, they pay the higher fares.

Sometimes chasing status with some routes simply does not make sense. I do hope the other two low cost carriers make a go of it this year so that would be four new low cost carriers driving down fares. Remember reality, 6 million Canadians cross the border each year to fly on US carriers. AC CEO complained about that two years ago!
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Old Jan 25, 19, 5:05 pm
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Originally Posted by HerpaYvr View Post
I like the standard fare as when you travel YYC/YEG to YVR the flex fare for the 502/426 AQM is not worth it. Also when you upgrade at the gate there is no copay. Did this for Christmas, cheap fares with upgrades to J as most Business travelers are not travelling.
Are you sure it wasn't the promotion they've been running that eliminate the co-pay on all but the lowest Standard fares?
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