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-   -   Details/Discussion of Saver (Basic Economy) "X" Fares (https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/alaska-airlines-mileage-plan/1931311-details-discussion-saver-basic-economy-x-fares.html)

sfozrhfco Sep 19, 18 8:13 am


Originally Posted by BearX220 (Post 30220718)
The other carriers' BE programs have been Trojan Horse price hikes. They are not discounts against old economy fares, with less benefits. They are the old economy fares, with the benefits formerly associated with same now priced higher. Presumably AS will be no less disappointing.

Isnít that the whole point? Airlines figure a certain percentage of people will pay extra to avoid it and thus increase revenue overall. Whether in practice it is the cash cow they thought it would be is another story.

Often1 Sep 19, 18 8:36 am

Most employers have exempted BE fares from "lowest logical" policies and, if they use compliance software such as Concur, have programmed that accordingly. These fares are a terrible deal for businesses because, at least on the three legacies and we will have to see on AS -- the tickets are inflexible. Thus, if a trip is cancelled or changed, the ticket is worthless. One does not need to toss more than a ticket every year or two to make up whatever the scraps are in BE.

BE works well for carriers. Most passengers simply click on the cheapest fare and do not consider anything else. If AS provides middle seats only, most won't even know that there were available windows and aisles to have been had for a marginally more expensive fare.

It is all a race to the bottom. If one carrier prices $10-15 below the others, its tickets will show up as the cheapest. But, if everyone offers roughly the same BE ticket, it won't much matter.

For personal travel, this may be useful if one simply cannot afford the Y ticket and the small savings to BE makes the trip doable. But, the cheapest ticket is often not the least expensive ticket. People need to make changes and when they do, they get a rude surprise (they should not, but they do).

missamo80 Sep 19, 18 8:55 am


Originally Posted by Often1 (Post 30221169)
BE works well for carriers. Most passengers simply click on the cheapest fare and do not consider anything else. If AS provides middle seats only, most won't even know that there were available windows and aisles to have been had for a marginally more expensive fare.

I expect Alaska will go out of their way to make sure people buying these fares know they are stuck in a middle seat and for just a few bucks more can get a different fare that allows windows and aisles.

These fares aren't about offering cheaper flights for the flying public. They're about charging the same for less and enticing people to pay more to avoid the restrictions on the ticket.

Neil

BallardFlyer Sep 19, 18 9:00 am


Originally Posted by CDKing (Post 30220692)
I am confident thats coming to all fare classes soon other than refundable..

have they announced sub 100% on other rev fares is coming?

Often1 Sep 19, 18 9:02 am


Originally Posted by missamo80 (Post 30221259)
I expect Alaska will go out of their way to make sure people buying these fares know they are stuck in a middle seat and for just a few bucks more can get a different fare that allows windows and aisles.

These fares aren't about offering cheaper flights for the flying public. They're about charging the same for less and enticing people to pay more to avoid the restrictions on the ticket.

Neil

You would be surprised. All three of the legacies not only separate out BE from Y, PE, J, and F, but also require one to check a box before proceeding, acknowledging the specific limitation of the fares. People click through those things without looking. AS may or may not do the same thing, but it can't likely do more than AA, DL, and UA do now and the fares are wildly successful, to the extent that both DL and UA are expanding their use

chrisl137 Sep 19, 18 9:15 am


Originally Posted by Often1 (Post 30221291)
You would be surprised. All three of the legacies not only separate out BE from Y, PE, J, and F, but also require one to check a box before proceeding, acknowledging the specific limitation of the fares. People click through those things without looking. AS may or may not do the same thing, but it can't likely do more than AA, DL, and UA do now and the fares are wildly successful, to the extent that both DL and UA are expanding their use

If you buy tickets through an OTA it may be less obvious and less called out. I often do initial price comparisons through OTAs, and getting them to not show BE fares can be non-trivial. I habitually use Orbitz, but they're particularly bad about wanting to show nothing but BE, so I'm finally starting to use google flights for the comparison. I'm not sure if they make you acknowledge what a restricted ticket you're getting, because I buy personal tickets through the airline sites and have someone else do my tickets at work, but they aren't nearly as obvious as using the airline websites while you're searching.

BearX220 Sep 19, 18 9:35 am


Originally Posted by Often1 (Post 30221169)
...the cheapest ticket is often not the least expensive ticket. People need to make changes and when they do, they get a rude surprise.

A point lost on most casual buyers.


Originally Posted by Often1 (Post 30221291)
All three of the legacies not only separate out BE from Y, PE, J, and F, but also require one to check a box before proceeding, acknowledging the specific limitation of the fares.

OTA channels can be a good deal less explicit. Sometimes there is just a mystery icon, smaller than the price quote.

3Cforme Sep 19, 18 9:40 am


Originally Posted by chrisl137 (Post 30221329)
If you buy tickets through an OTA it may be less obvious and less called out. I often do initial price comparisons through OTAs, and getting them to not show BE fares can be non-trivial. I habitually use Orbitz...

It sounds like Orbitz serves you poorly. Continuing to use it is a market choice you make.

DG206 Sep 19, 18 9:55 am

If you are like me and get stuck on nothing but Q400's where every seat is terrible, Id gladly save a few bucks to not pre select a seat

Tracer_SEA Sep 19, 18 9:56 am


Originally Posted by Gig103 (Post 30220016)
Perhaps the difference (from the competition) is that elites would still see preferred seats?

What makes you think that? Elites are the demographic most likely/able to pay the "tax" to buy out of Basic and up to the higher fare to get their seat assignment and upgrade benefits

missamo80 Sep 19, 18 10:05 am


Originally Posted by Often1 (Post 30221291)
You would be surprised. All three of the legacies not only separate out BE from Y, PE, J, and F, but also require one to check a box before proceeding, acknowledging the specific limitation of the fares. People click through those things without looking. AS may or may not do the same thing, but it can't likely do more than AA, DL, and UA do now and the fares are wildly successful, to the extent that both DL and UA are expanding their use

Remember that "wildly successful" for these fares, as seen from the airline's perspective, isn't that people buy them often. It's that people pay more money to avoid them. They haven't been wildly successful everywhere either. United admitted they lost $100m because passengers simply booked elsewhere when they could get more benefits for the same amount of money by flying another airline. American had to relax their BE carry-on rules too because they were so restrictive people simply booked another airline at the same price with fewer restrictions instead of paying American the upcharge to avoid the restrictions.

Neil

bbison Sep 19, 18 10:27 am


Originally Posted by missamo80 (Post 30221259)
I expect Alaska will go out of their way to make sure people buying these fares know they are stuck in a middle seat and for just a few bucks more can get a different fare that allows windows and aisles.

These fares aren't about offering cheaper flights for the flying public. They're about charging the same for less and enticing people to pay more to avoid the restrictions on the ticket.

Neil

The problem is when "a few bucks more" went from $20-$30 to $75 to $200+. That's how I wound up flying AS more (and liking it) in the first place. UA N fares and (especially) AA B fares had significant discounts from their other Y buckets. Any AS economy fare was usually cheaper than non-basic economy on my routes. When that goes away, likely so will I, as AS isn't a preferred vendor.

channa Sep 19, 18 11:39 am


Originally Posted by Often1 (Post 30219111)
Likely two things people really care about, e.g. middle seats in the rear and wholly inflexible, e.g. have to buy a new ticket if you need to make a change.

If the fare is below the change fee, which it is in many cases, then this is already the case on traditional non-refundable fares.



Originally Posted by Often1 (Post 30221169)
Most employers have exempted BE fares from "lowest logical" policies and, if they use compliance software such as Concur, have programmed that accordingly. These fares are a terrible deal for businesses because, at least on the three legacies and we will have to see on AS -- the tickets are inflexible. Thus, if a trip is cancelled or changed, the ticket is worthless. One does not need to toss more than a ticket every year or two to make up whatever the scraps are in BE.

Part of the rationale these tickets are typically excluded is because of the restrictions. By including more than other carriers, AS may not be an exclusion here. This may help or harm them. If more people book them because they're lower, great. If people get creative and find ways to avoid them to get a better seat on someone else that is more restricted in the corp booking tools, this could harm them.


BE works well for carriers. Most passengers simply click on the cheapest fare and do not consider anything else. If AS provides middle seats only, most won't even know that there were available windows and aisles to have been had for a marginally more expensive fare.

It is all a race to the bottom. If one carrier prices $10-15 below the others, its tickets will show up as the cheapest. But, if everyone offers roughly the same BE ticket, it won't much matter.

For personal travel, this may be useful if one simply cannot afford the Y ticket and the small savings to BE makes the trip doable. But, the cheapest ticket is often not the least expensive ticket. People need to make changes and when they do, they get a rude surprise (they should not, but they do).[/QUOTE]

CDKing Sep 19, 18 11:58 am


Originally Posted by BallardFlyer (Post 30221282)


have they announced sub 100% on other rev fares is coming?

No but they have done it to all of their partners but Qantas. The first will be just this new "basic" but do you really think its stops there? I wish i had your optimism.

chrisl137 Sep 19, 18 12:21 pm


Originally Posted by 3Cforme (Post 30221434)
It sounds like Orbitz serves you poorly. Continuing to use it is a market choice you make.

I don't really use it for other than finding flights at the right times that I book elsewhere, since it did a decent job of that until the proliferation of BE.


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