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Is Flying Alaska Airlines Getting Expensive?

Is Flying Alaska Airlines Getting Expensive?

Old Feb 15, 2018, 3:28 pm
  #61  
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I am struggling to find reasonable as prices - we have plans for lax to yyj, yvr, bzn area - all seem like a good fit for as but all are meaningfully cheaper on dl, ws, ac...
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Old Feb 15, 2018, 3:44 pm
  #62  
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I see flights for $97 on AS (LAX-YYJ) for a good chunk of the months of March and April. Admittedly, WestJet has them for $92... I wouldn't call that meaningfully cheaper.
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Old Feb 15, 2018, 4:05 pm
  #63  
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Originally Posted by VegasGambler
My point is that people who book that far out often ARE price sensitive. So if they see an AS flight for $418 and the same UA flight for $139 they are going to buy the $139 one (even people who aren't particularly price sensitive would probably buy the $139 one)
The problem being that you can't sell that $139 seat later to a business traveler for $300 close-in. You're locked in. Why lock yourself in to super-cheap fares if 90%+ of demand isn't going to show up until three months out, or if you're still collecting data on your revenue forecast/figuring out the buckets to stick everything into? Great, if you want to go buy a cheap seat way in advance on some other carrier, have a blast. There's probably still going to be demand for a fare that loses money/is a crap yield for a seat 90 days before flight time. Why lock in losses early?

FWIW, UA (your example) admitted their revenue management model was problematic:

In practice, this means United is holding back fewer seats to be sold at higher fares and leaving lower buckets open for longer. That may be why you can get a cheap fare at the last minute even though you’re willing to pay more. Now United is going to fix this issue (in the next year or two), and that means there will be fewer seats available at the lowest fares and more at the highest fares.
I don't know if AS's revenue management model's better. I don't know if VX's was better. I don't know whose software is being used. Revenue management folks probably know their jobs better than I do. But I don't see high fares far out as necessarily bad unless you're not doing your job filling YOUR planes profitably when WN/B6/NK shows up on the schedule, it's 90 days out, etc. If someone WANTS to buy that $418 fare, great. But if UA wants to fill their planes with low fares... knock yourself out, kid.
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Old Feb 15, 2018, 4:29 pm
  #64  
 
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What you see here is not the case of Alaska being anti competitive. This is an example of a market, controlled by leisure market, like cruise industry, pre-purchasing allocation of ticket to meeting their anticipated demand and only releasing inventory back to alaska, when return penalty is still at a minimal. What's left over to sell at Alaska, is the higher priced inventory. Yes, seats may show wide availability, but in reality, significant seats were already sold, just not assigned to an individual.

This is also typical, especially between Asia and Hawaii when international travel agents and hotels pre-book hotels and airline seat, in anticipation of passenger traffic.

Sadly, there is nothing we can do to control such behavior, as cruise industry is also protecting their business.

Jiburi
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Old Feb 15, 2018, 11:27 pm
  #65  
 
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Originally Posted by eponymous_coward
I don't know if AS's revenue management model's better. I don't know if VX's was better. I don't know whose software is being used. Revenue management folks probably know their jobs better than I do. But I don't see high fares far out as necessarily bad unless you're not doing your job filling YOUR planes profitably when WN/B6/NK shows up on the schedule, it's 90 days out, etc. If someone WANTS to buy that $418 fare, great. But if UA wants to fill their planes with low fares... knock yourself out, kid.
This high pricing is evident in multiple markets against multiple carriers. So either (1) the AS revenue management software and procedures are antiquated, or (2) AS has something brilliant going on in their revenue management that no one else in the US airline industry has figured out - but then we would be seeing something different in their financial performance relative to other airlines.
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Old Feb 16, 2018, 10:35 am
  #66  
 
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I fly for leisure only, and AS is routinely 10-25% more than the other carriers on the same route I fly. I'm a Gold, so I continue to book AS flights because of my track record of getting upgraded to F, but if the Mileage Plan program wasn't so good I'd bail to DL in a heartbeat.
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Old Aug 3, 2018, 10:04 am
  #67  
 
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Once again AS really needs to work on their pricing model. I was needing to purchase a ticket from New York to Bay Area for January 1. Everyone (DL, AA, UA) had First/Business available for $650. AS wants $2000. Everyone else is lie-flat. I still would have bought AS F for the miles and taken a standard F seat, but I won't do it for more than 3 times the price!
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Old Aug 3, 2018, 10:16 am
  #68  
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Originally Posted by SF1K
Once again AS really needs to work on their pricing model. I was needing to purchase a ticket from New York to Bay Area for January 1. Everyone (DL, AA, UA) had First/Business available for $650. AS wants $2000. Everyone else is lie-flat. I still would have bought AS F for the miles and taken a standard F seat, but I won't do it for more than 3 times the price!
The pricing model is actually pretty similar, but AS has many fewer seats to sell. The $650-ish seat is elusive. If you looked at the tariffs for each carrier, they probably all match. I flew in one of them a couple of months ago. But the other direction of my flight was on DL. And my other trips over the past few years have been mostly DL/AA/B6.
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Old Aug 3, 2018, 10:25 am
  #69  
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Originally Posted by Scottrick
Other airlines are beating Alaska on "flight duration"? This doesn't make sense to me. Most jet aircraft fly about the same speed.

If anything, Alaska often has the best schedules out of Seattle, including more frequent departures and nonstop flights. Fares are not always the cheapest, but for those not looking for a mileage run, they are usually fair given these other benefits.
On flights in and out of SEA, I find that DL tends to pad alot more -- so they can be "on-time". For example, DL schedules their SEA-PHX flights routinely for 15 minutes longer than AS.
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Old Aug 3, 2018, 10:45 am
  #70  
 
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Originally Posted by Eastbay1K
The pricing model is actually pretty similar, but AS has many fewer seats to sell. The $650-ish seat is elusive. If you looked at the tariffs for each carrier, they probably all match. I flew in one of them a couple of months ago. But the other direction of my flight was on DL. And my other trips over the past few years have been mostly DL/AA/B6.
Between DL/AA/UA there are 9 flights to choose from at that price point for that day. Looking at AS seat maps zero seats sold in F. Oh well - would have been nice to start the year with some AS qualifying miles, but UA will do - was the perfect flight time for us too.
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Old Aug 3, 2018, 11:16 am
  #71  
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Originally Posted by SF1K
Between DL/AA/UA there are 9 flights to choose from at that price point for that day. Looking at AS seat maps zero seats sold in F. Oh well - would have been nice to start the year with some AS qualifying miles, but UA will do - was the perfect flight time for us too.
Add to that the earliest SFO/JFK now gets you in about 6pm, meaning not settled at your Manhattan hotel until about 8pm (maybe 730 if the baggage and transit / traffic gods are cooperating).
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Old Feb 20, 2020, 9:07 pm
  #72  
 
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My experience looking at flights out of Alaska for this summer and fall is Alaska is more expensive across the board than Delta, American, and Southwest. Southwest I get, but Delta(offering the same services) and American I don't understand. Prices are 1/3 to 50% higher on most routes right now from May-October. I can fly first class on Delta on multiple routes for the same price as "Main" Alaska.

Not sure why Alaska has raised its rates so much.
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Old Feb 20, 2020, 9:33 pm
  #73  
 
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Originally Posted by gdam22
My experience looking at flights out of Alaska for this summer and fall is Alaska is more expensive across the board than Delta, American, and Southwest. Southwest I get, but Delta(offering the same services) and American I don't understand. Prices are 1/3 to 50% higher on most routes right now from May-October. I can fly first class on Delta on multiple routes for the same price as "Main" Alaska.

Not sure why Alaska has raised its rates so much.
or maybe DL is just undercutting AS in their home market...not unheard of. I still find Alaska pretty competitive out of SFO, so maybe you are looking at AS routes that are super popular and in demand.
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Old Feb 20, 2020, 9:38 pm
  #74  
 
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Originally Posted by gdam22
My experience looking at flights out of Alaska for this summer and fall is Alaska is more expensive across the board than Delta, American, and Southwest. Southwest I get, but Delta(offering the same services) and American I don't understand. Prices are 1/3 to 50% higher on most routes right now from May-October. I can fly first class on Delta on multiple routes for the same price as "Main" Alaska.

Not sure why Alaska has raised its rates so much.
AS doesn't release lower brackets until 2 or 3 months out.
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Old Feb 20, 2020, 9:56 pm
  #75  
 
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Originally Posted by eddiehuang97
AS doesn't release lower brackets until 2 or 3 months out.
Good to know(Generally). Doesn't seem like they are opening up those lower brackets at all right now, however as I'm seeing the same for April/May.

The odd thing is it's not the usual 20 bucks here or there, it's like flights for 89 or 150 on Delta are going for like 169 or 229 on Alaska. The Delta prices are about what they've been in past years on the same routes, but the Alaska prices are what's significantly higher, so wondered what was up.
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