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Details/Discussion of Saver (Basic Economy) "X" Fares

Details/Discussion of Saver (Basic Economy) "X" Fares

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Old Feb 26, 19, 7:25 am   -   Wikipost
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How are Saver fares different?

Saver fares do include some restrictions on booking, refunds, changes, and seat selection.

These restrictions include:
  • Limited seating may be available at the time of purchase. Most seats will be assigned at check-in.
  • We canít guarantee that parties of two or more will be seated together.
  • No refunds are allowed beyond the first 24 hours after ticketing.
  • No changes, including same-day confirmed changes, are allowed for Saver fares.
  • No standby is allowed for Saver fares, even for elite status guests.
  • If a guest is a no-show for any flight during a trip, all other flights within that trip are automatically canceled, with no refund available.
  • Saver fares cannot be combined with any other fare types on the same itinerary.
  • Saver fares are non-transferable.

Elite status benefits you do get when you buy a Saver Fare:
* Priority check-in
* Priority boarding group
* Baggage fee waiver
* Express security line at select airports (for MVPG+)
* Refreshments (alcoholic drink or chocolate for MVPG+)
* Complimentary inflight entertainment player - available on coast-to-coast and Hawaii flights (for MVPG75k, while they last)
* Bonus miles (by elite level)

Elite status benefits you don't get when you buy a Saver Fare:
* Access to preferred seating (certain seats behind Premium Class or in the exit rows)
* First Class upgrades, when available
* Premium Class upgrades, when available
* Waived change fees for MVPG+
* Complimentary same-day standby/flight changes for MVPG+

Full info here: https://www.alaskaair.com/content/tr...perience/saver
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Old Nov 23, 18, 5:07 pm
  #271  
 
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[QUOTE=Visconti;30460019]
Originally Posted by VegasGambler View Post
I don't disagree with any of this. But here's why I'll probably (grudgingly) stick with AS. The "saver" SFO-NYC fare is $119. Main is $149. So I'm going to pay $60 (round trip) to use my elite benefits. That bothers me a fair bit -- elite benefits are "earned" and supposed to be free.
/QUOTE]

Fair point here. Aside from short haul intra CA or LAS flights, I mainly fly into NYC. Here, I'm captive, since UA/DL/AA are all doing the same thing. Likely, if a GGU is available, I'll just book it, otherwise I may take my chances with AA (using 500 mile upgrades), or just book Mint.

Absent of transcon, I can't see where AS will win out over WN, all things being equal.
I think the mileage earning is the only bright thing here, the problem is we're sitting on hundreds of thousands of miles that can't be used to anywhere without paying heaps of taxes. This enhancement will cost us easily 1600 bucks next year.
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Old Nov 23, 18, 6:29 pm
  #272  
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Originally Posted by fly18725 View Post
Actually, expecting to fly SFO-LAX for $52 is ridiculous. That fare level is not sustainable.
If it's not sustainable, it has nevertheless been sustained. I have AVERAGED less than $52 each way intra-California for many years and hundreds of flights on Southwest. My upcoming flight cost $39.

Alaska's $82 fares will fail hard. I recall $29 VX next-day fares from SFO to LAX. Those were the days. But sub-$50 short-notice fares in that market are still common.
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Old Nov 23, 18, 7:12 pm
  #273  
 
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i have counted over 80k status miles for 2019 from many of the partner fares in business and first class. so I will only need at most 1 or 2 trip on cheap Alaska fare to keep 75k. oh well. i am probably done with Alaska after 2021 as I should have enough ticket to keep status for next 2 years.
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Old Nov 23, 18, 7:43 pm
  #274  
 
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Originally Posted by lalala View Post
I think the mileage earning is the only bright thing here, the problem is we're sitting on hundreds of thousands of miles that can't be used to anywhere without paying heaps of taxes. This enhancement will cost us easily 1600 bucks next year.
What taxes? Was there a change?
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Old Nov 23, 18, 8:17 pm
  #275  
 
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Originally Posted by nsx View Post
If it's not sustainable, it has nevertheless been sustained. I have AVERAGED less than $52 each way intra-California for many years and hundreds of flights on Southwest. My upcoming flight cost $39.

Alaska's $82 fares will fail hard. I recall $29 VX next-day fares from SFO to LAX. Those were the days. But sub-$50 short-notice fares in that market are still common.
Agreed - but this is what the market is bearing for intra-CA fares...this is what WN can charge....Alaska said they wanted to be California's airline.....they need to create more value and make them the choice of flyers in California. With the Saver fares....this doesnt help at all...they dont have the network UA/AA/DL or WN. They need to create a reason for flyers to go out of thier way to seek out Alaska. So far....Southwest hasnt had to even try to compete hard with AS...they just do what they do and do it well. WN didnt give into short term Wall Street analysts.....AS did because of CEOs wanting to pad thier own pocket instead of creating long term value of the company.

Right now - WN is California's airline.....AS isnt even in the same FAA ATC center frequency (LA or Oakland).....
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Old Nov 23, 18, 11:13 pm
  #276  
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Here I was waiting for Cyber Monday to buy some fares... and now this is launched nearly system wide
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Old Nov 24, 18, 12:11 am
  #277  
 
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back in late Oct, I booked BOS LAX for 137. Just did a search right now, the same fare is at 137 (same flight) but at the saver level, while the main Cabin is 167.....
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Old Nov 24, 18, 12:42 am
  #278  
 
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Elite or Saver

I suppose we saw this coming, but am now feeling squeezed by Alaska. Despite my 75K, Alaska is making me pay more to feel elite as prices/fares that were previously R is now X. I Had previously booked Sea Jfk fares at $129 R class for several dates in Jan 2019. Now those prices are $159 for R, still $129 for saver X. If i had waited to booking my Jan travels, the same $129 would only earn me chocolates.
In booking upgradeable economy fares, the choices are now: Hell no/Maybe Classy/Not in your FC (fat chance) guest booking classes. For SEA JFK, Lowest Maybe Classy fare for the dates in Jan is $159, and lowest upgradable fat chance gold guest fare is $259. At those prices, id rather book two economy savers seats at $129 each. Oh wait, chances are, they are going to split my fat a**

Ugg.

Jiburi
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Old Nov 24, 18, 12:52 am
  #279  
 
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Originally Posted by jiburi View Post
I suppose we saw this coming, but am now feeling squeezed by Alaska. Despite my 75K, Alaska is making me pay more to feel elite as prices/fares that were previously R is now X. I Had previously booked Sea Jfk fares at $129 R class for several dates in Jan 2019. Now those prices are $159 for R, still $129 for saver X. If i had waited to booking my Jan travels, the same $129 would only earn me chocolates.
In booking upgradeable economy fares, the choices are now: Hell no/Maybe Classy/Not in your FC (fat chance) guest booking classes. For SEA JFK, Lowest Maybe Classy fare for the dates in Jan is $159, and lowest upgradable fat chance gold guest fare is $259. At those prices, id rather book two economy savers seats at $129 each. Oh wait, chances are, they are going to split my fat a**

Ugg.

Jiburi
DL AA and UA all have discount economy which have a similar benefit.

The strong point for AS is still 100% RDM which is better than the big 3.

For one to do 15 domestic round trip transcon to keep Alaska 75k, and it will costs 900 USD more to fly Main Cabin. 30*3= 900.
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Old Nov 24, 18, 12:53 am
  #280  
 
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Originally Posted by beckoa View Post
Here I was waiting for Cyber Monday to buy some fares... and now this is launched nearly system wide
Rolling it out right before Black Friday/Cyber Monday might not be completely unrelated.

The systemwide $60 RT surcharge is a bold move. Iím sure Iím not in the only market where AS fares are often on the high side already vs OAL. Itís been harder and harder to fly AS on work trips, even after eliminating OAL BE fares from consideration. An across the board effective price increase will push the scales further in that direction.
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Old Nov 24, 18, 1:17 am
  #281  
 
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Hi -

If they wanted to thin the ranks of 75K, this is certainly an effective way to do it. I have always had to take 2-3 MR trips each year to hit 75K; now that they have effectively raised the $/EQM 20-30%, the economics now favor just getting to MVPG and moving 1/3 of my "hard" business to other carriers.

Oh well. I always tell others to not be wedded to any FFP. Time to listen to my own advice.
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Old Nov 24, 18, 1:47 am
  #282  
 
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Originally Posted by Orwaid View Post
Hi -

If they wanted to thin the ranks of 75K, this is certainly an effective way to do it. I have always had to take 2-3 MR trips each year to hit 75K; now that they have effectively raised the $/EQM 20-30%, the economics now favor just getting to MVPG and moving 1/3 of my "hard" business to other carriers.

Oh well. I always tell others to not be wedded to any FFP. Time to listen to my own advice.
you still get 100% EQM on saver fare.
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Old Nov 24, 18, 5:37 am
  #283  
 
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Yes, but I am looking at the extra expense of paying up over 75,000 miles instead of 40,000. 54 segments x $30/segment comes to $1600 extra. I spend between 5K-6K a year on AS, so this represents a 30% increase. I have always been able to find a MR coming in at either <.05/EQM or <.02/RDM. And no, I won't do a TCON turn in coach thank you very much. I always looked for these fares across the AS network during their slow periods, times when they should be happy putting a butt in the seats and generating cashflow. Apparently this is no longer the case.

I think a lot of us here on FT would go out of our way to fly Alaska (often already at additional expense) for the FF benefits that accrued, even though we all know the service levels in many cases do not measure up to other airlines' offerings. In my case, I have about 40K/year where AS has been reasonably competitive on fares. Another 20K/year where they are not but I chose to fly them anyway because the ancillary benefits were worth it. Then it made sense to do 3MR TCONS to get me to 75K. With their new fare structure that is no longer the case.

To cite a current example: PDX-DEN. Alaska would charge me $102 - $150 and have me change planes in Seattle. Frontier will fly me nonstop for $49. Yes I know it is Frontier. Yes I know that IRROPS means I could be messed up. Because of the former value proposition, I would take Alaska and pay the extra $$ for a 1st class seat + the EQM/RDM (Like most of you, I use the RDM on Int'l Biz/1st).

Now, with the new value proposition, I did the math and decided it was easier and cheaper to just get to MVPG, be a free agent after that, and just buy miles at .02/RDM if/when I need them. I will fly less going forward, and generate less goodwill for AS (mainly from family/friends using the 8 GGUs -- now just 4, and most likely those will be for me).
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Old Nov 24, 18, 10:54 am
  #284  
 
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Originally Posted by Orwaid View Post
I think a lot of us here on FT would go out of our way to fly Alaska (often already at additional expense) for the FF benefits that accrued, even though we all know the service levels in many cases do not measure up to other airlines' offerings.
As I've posted other places around FT - an upgrade to an ok but not superfancy seat that you have a reasonable chance of getting is better than an upgrade to a lie-flat with PS service that you have exactly zero chance of getting. And on AS, unless you're based in SEA, you have a pretty good chance of an upgrade. So for me for transcons the extra $30 makes sense because it's likely to be a $30 fee to get an F seat.
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Old Nov 24, 18, 11:50 am
  #285  
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Even though I knew it was coming, Alaska's actual rollout of the fare structure is so much of an "in-your-face" corporate blatant lie to their regular FF passenger - it's just too dystopian. They did not even pretend to have even one "cheaper" saver fare for ANY route I fly. I challenge anyone on this forum to find ONE route that is now cheaper on a saver fare after the adjustments. I fly a lot to PDX to AUS; PDX to LAS; PDX to DAL/DFW. Basically, they took the old regular main economy prices and turned them into saver fares. The regular good fares of $119 to go to Austin or Dallas (sometimes $99 occasionally) are now the saver fares. What the hell? Those aren't saver fares. I can fly Southwest and get more benefits for the same price on that route (even if I had no status on Southwest) than I can with my elite status on Alaska. Same with PDX to LAS. The old really good price of $74 PDX to LAS is now the saver fare. Like literally, without doing anything else, Alaska executives do their little Kabuki dance in their press releases as if they think their FF customers are stupid, and then roll out a patently obvious lie and spit in the face of any regular AS flyer who puts up with their little tiny teeny weeny route network of an airline. How arrogant of them. It reminds me of the jerks who run Amazon and Facebook? It makes me want to fly little small business California Pacific Airlines (buy local!) more than ever.

I knew this would happen, but I guess I had hoped that AS wouldn't engage in such an obvious lie with their best customers. There is no saver fare anywhere. And you know, Alaska ain't the big three. I have to go out of my way sometimes to fly Alaska. The free cancellation fee is what kept me with Alaska. This really makes a move to Delta (or a double down with Southwest) look really tempting. I would have never considered moving to Sky pesos 2 years ago, but they have a great on-time performance and obviously superior route structure. I can only imagine Alaska will lose lots of elites out of Seattle to Delta in the coming year.
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