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Is Flying Alaska Airlines Getting Expensive?

Is Flying Alaska Airlines Getting Expensive?

Old Feb 22, 2020, 2:18 pm
  #91  
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Originally Posted by czpdx
I imagine that on those routes/times that a non-insignificant portion of the passengers used companion tickets.
That seems extremely unlikely
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Old Feb 22, 2020, 2:43 pm
  #92  
 
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Originally Posted by _fx
March 27th: https://shorturl.at/abgxC

Fortunately I purchased this fare when it was less expensive, but I checked back later (because I was thinking of making a change), and was shocked to see this difference.
its just that route...I booked an sfo mco leg for 3/31 and it’s only $159 saver one way.
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Old Feb 22, 2020, 4:43 pm
  #93  
 
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Originally Posted by VegasGambler
That seems extremely unlikely
IMO it is very likely that AS employs higher “companion fare” pricing, especially on SEA flights to leisure destinations, especially during holiday periods.

I recently flew LIH-SEA the Saturday after New Years and ended up buying a Y fare with a companion fare. I kept checking and the price never went down. I booked it 10 months in advance, after checking the price as soon as the date became available. If they are selling out an entire plane of Y fares, I’d assume a significant number of passengers were on a companion fare.
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Old Feb 22, 2020, 7:35 pm
  #94  
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Originally Posted by Bretmd
IMO it is very likely that AS employs higher “companion fare” pricing, especially on SEA flights to leisure destinations, especially during holiday periods.

I recently flew LIH-SEA the Saturday after New Years and ended up buying a Y fare with a companion fare. I kept checking and the price never went down. I booked it 10 months in advance, after checking the price as soon as the date became available. If they are selling out an entire plane of Y fares, I’d assume a significant number of passengers were on a companion fare.
How do you figure that any one flight has a high percentage of companion fares? Most customers (by far) have 0 companion fares per year. The second most common number of companion fares is 1 per customer. And a significant number of those probably expire unused. There are many flights per day to many leisure destinations. This causes the ones that actually get used to be spread out over lots of flights over the course of a year.

Some very small number of couples will be clever and get 2 cards (1 each) and make 2 companion fare trips per year. Understand that people who open 6 credit cards to get 6 companion fares a year are rare (outside of FT, anyway).

I'm not sure how you make the logical leap from "price is high" to "plane is full of companion fares".
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Old Feb 22, 2020, 8:53 pm
  #95  
 
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Originally Posted by VegasGambler
How do you figure that any one flight has a high percentage of companion fares? Most customers (by far) have 0 companion fares per year. The second most common number of companion fares is 1 per customer. And a significant number of those probably expire unused. There are many flights per day to many leisure destinations. This causes the ones that actually get used to be spread out over lots of flights over the course of a year.

Some very small number of couples will be clever and get 2 cards (1 each) and make 2 companion fare trips per year. Understand that people who open 6 credit cards to get 6 companion fares a year are rare (outside of FT, anyway).

I'm not sure how you make the logical leap from "price is high" to "plane is full of companion fares".
I conclude a flight touching Seattle (the AS card Is popular here), a leisure destination, peak season flights and a plane sold on straight Y fares to result in a high likelihood of companion fares. I’ve also noticed the pricing on leisure routes during the holidays to be higher than other airlines, but just barely a value when a companion fare is factored in.

If anything, it’s a SEA thing. Don’t underestimate the number of people here with an AS credit card, the loyalty to AS, and the popularity of escaping this depressing hellscape to warmer destinations during the holidays. Lots of people are going to use their one companion fare on that Hawai’i flight during the holidays, AS knows it, and prices accordingly.
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Old Feb 22, 2020, 9:22 pm
  #96  
 
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Originally Posted by radtechtraveler
PDX-BOS in summer over the past few years i have generally found AS about 20-30% higher for day time flights. It sucks when you are trying to maintain gold and those trans flights always hit the wallet harder
I am guessing competition out of PDX isn’t great enough to force AS to lower prices. I think it expensive to have to fly out of regional airports with minimal competition. I hear PDX is a lovely airport!
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Old Feb 23, 2020, 10:28 am
  #97  
 
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Just some random dates a couple months out.. but noticed this trend for many destinations from SEA.
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Old Feb 23, 2020, 3:05 pm
  #98  
 
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choosing LAX is probably skewing your pricing experience. LAX is a mega hub for
both AA and DL so I can imagine they want to drive business that way. AS sometimes wants to route me to LAX to catch an AA flight when I’m going East, so I’m not surprised with your SEA-LAX results... maybe try something more level like SEA-JFK or SEA - DEN... that might be more representative.

I’m also thinking maybe all the saver fares are gone from AS on those legs...

Last edited by dayone; Feb 24, 2020 at 7:33 am Reason: Redact quoted image for readability.
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Old Feb 24, 2020, 9:17 am
  #99  
 
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Originally Posted by Hotel_junkie
I am guessing competition out of PDX isn’t great enough to force AS to lower prices. I think it expensive to have to fly out of regional airports with minimal competition. I hear PDX is a lovely airport!
AS has to compete with only B6 and even saver fares about about 70$ more than B6
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Old Feb 24, 2020, 7:41 pm
  #100  
 
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I know it’s one of the most expensive times to fly to Kona, and I expect to pay more, but the prices over Thanksgiving are absurd. If you want to fly direct from Seattle, its currently $999 OW in coach as compared to $1200 in first class. All three daily flights appear relatively empty (I know the prices are driven by forecast and more than just sold). This is compared to $850 RT on Delta and $1050 RT in Hawaiian. These absurd pricing anomalies happen far too often. I’m fine paying a premium for Alaska and my loyalty, but I hate feeling gouged.
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Old Feb 24, 2020, 7:58 pm
  #101  
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Originally Posted by VegasGambler
How do you figure that any one flight has a high percentage of companion fares? Most customers (by far) have 0 companion fares per year. The second most common number of companion fares is 1 per customer. And a significant number of those probably expire unused. There are many flights per day to many leisure destinations. This causes the ones that actually get used to be spread out over lots of flights over the course of a year.

Some very small number of couples will be clever and get 2 cards (1 each) and make 2 companion fare trips per year. Understand that people who open 6 credit cards to get 6 companion fares a year are rare (outside of FT, anyway).

I'm not sure how you make the logical leap from "price is high" to "plane is full of companion fares".
IIRC you don’t live in SEA. Everyone here has the credit card. EVERYONE. Even random people who fly 1-2x per year.

And the other poster was spot-on that everyone here wants to escape to the same destinations each winter to escape the rainy darkness.

It totally makes sense AS will price certain routes with the pass in mind. For example, holiday flights, or leisure winter routes.

Best part is it just leads casual travelers to think they’re getting an even better value, since they have no concept of what “normal” fares are. Just they they’re saving $$$.
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Old Feb 24, 2020, 10:12 pm
  #102  
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Originally Posted by _fx
IIRC you don’t live in SEA. Everyone here has the credit card. EVERYONE. Even random people who fly 1-2x per year.

And the other poster was spot-on that everyone here wants to escape to the same destinations each winter to escape the rainy darkness.

It totally makes sense AS will price certain routes with the pass in mind. For example, holiday flights, or leisure winter routes.

Best part is it just leads casual travelers to think they’re getting an even better value, since they have no concept of what “normal” fares are. Just they they’re saving $$$.
Everyone does not have the card. Maybe people in your group of friends have the card. Children do not have the card. People with terrible credit do not have the card. People with no credit do not have the card. People who don't fly (not even 1-2x / year) do not have the card. People who only fly DL do not have the card. People who make one international trip a year and never take a domestic flight do not have the card.

Exclude all those people and you have, what, 50k cards in SEA? Spread out over the ~20M pax AS transport in and out of SEA every year, and you are left with an insignificant number on each flight.
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Old Feb 24, 2020, 11:08 pm
  #103  
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Originally Posted by VegasGambler
Everyone does not have the card. Maybe people in your group of friends have the card. Children do not have the card. People with terrible credit do not have the card. People with no credit do not have the card. People who don't fly (not even 1-2x / year) do not have the card. People who only fly DL do not have the card. People who make one international trip a year and never take a domestic flight do not have the card.

Exclude all those people and you have, what, 50k cards in SEA? Spread out over the ~20M pax AS transport in and out of SEA every year, and you are left with an insignificant number on each flight.
Semantics...change “everyone” to “a lot of SEA AS fliers, even infrequent ones,” it’s the same argument.

Obviously people who never fly don’t have the card. They also never fly. So they don’t impact the prices.
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Old Feb 24, 2020, 11:10 pm
  #104  
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Originally Posted by VegasGambler
Everyone does not have the card. Maybe people in your group of friends have the card. Children do not have the card. People with terrible credit do not have the card. People with no credit do not have the card. People who don't fly (not even 1-2x / year) do not have the card. People who only fly DL do not have the card. People who make one international trip a year and never take a domestic flight do not have the card.

Exclude all those people and you have, what, 50k cards in SEA? Spread out over the ~20M pax AS transport in and out of SEA every year, and you are left with an insignificant number on each flight.
50,000 people is a little over 1% of the Seattle metro area (around 4 million). The revenue from the annual fee going to BofA would only be about 5 million as well.
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Old Feb 24, 2020, 11:18 pm
  #105  
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Originally Posted by eponymous_coward
50,000 people is a little over 1% of the Seattle metro area (around 4 million). The revenue from the annual fee going to BofA would only be about 5 million as well.
Some people who do not live in Seattle do have the card!

I was looking at Seattle population numbers and it said 750k (that's where I got the 50k estimate from); I guess that wasn't metro.

The point is that the companion passes get did out over many different flights. AS flies to many different leisure locations; some of them multiple times per day.

Also, AF is not a good estimate of revenue. There are plenty of no-annual-fee cards and I'm pretty sure the lenders get revenue from them!
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