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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 24, 18, 11:58 am
  #286  
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
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They may backtrack on some of the policies too. Other airlines did this (eg the with the basic econ carry-on policy). If it's costing them revenue they will change it. If it's making them more money they won't.
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Old Nov 24, 18, 12:28 pm
  #287  
 
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the :: real :: insult is going to come in the next few months when Alaska announces that "W" mileage fares are now Saver.
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Old Nov 24, 18, 12:48 pm
  #288  
 
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Originally Posted by UAPremierExec View Post
the :: real :: insult is going to come in the next few months when Alaska announces that "W" mileage fares are now Saver.
Have any of the big 3 done this yet? I don't think so (and I doubt AS would make such a move first).
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Old Nov 24, 18, 1:12 pm
  #289  
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Originally Posted by Orwaid View Post
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).
i used to trying to fly AS as much as I can, but not anymore. All these changes to screw the elite high-paying flyers in the last 12 months have made me using DL as my alternative out of SEA more and more often, especially they are a real national and international airlines with a much more extensive network than AS. So if price and schedule is better on DL, I will just collect sky pesos. The MP is getting closer and closer to being sky pesos anyway, with the latest addition of the "fake" saver fare.
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Old Nov 24, 18, 2:32 pm
  #290  
 
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Well, not that I'm thrilled with the devaluation, but, to be fair, AS, unlike the other 3, allows elite boarding on their saver fares (unsure of the checked bag elite benefit), which may be considered "generous" under the current environment. On short flights, so long as I can board with my bin space assured, I could live without the F upgrade, PDBs, or whatever food served.

PS - If that's the case, why not go with WN with the added flexibility, all things being equal? In my view, this will test AS intestinal fortitude if they lose significant market share to WN, especially in the CA market.
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Old Nov 24, 18, 2:59 pm
  #291  
 
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Originally Posted by Visconti View Post
Well, not that I'm thrilled with the devaluation, but, to be fair, AS, unlike the other 3, allows elite boarding on their saver fares (unsure of the checked bag elite benefit), which may be considered "generous" under the current environment.
I don't know about AA and DL (too lazy to look, too), but on UA elites get their regular boarding group according to:

https://www.united.com/web/en-US/con...c-economy.aspx

"With Basic Economy, you'll also be in the last boarding group unless you're a MileagePlus Premier member or companion traveling on the same reservation, the primary cardmember of a qualifying MileagePlus credit card or a Star Alliance Gold member."

(no personal experience; I have not bought any BE/Saver fares on any carrier. This does illustrate, however, the confusion that these BE fares are likely creating... especially if the rules differ from airline to airline).
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Old Nov 24, 18, 3:03 pm
  #292  
 
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Originally Posted by jhurwitz View Post
Have any of the big 3 done this yet? I don't think so (and I doubt AS would make such a move first).
Given that they "already" use the name "Saver Awards", I would agree that it is the next logical step. Hopefully I will be able to burn a ton of miles next year :/
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Old Nov 24, 18, 3:44 pm
  #293  
 
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Originally Posted by FlyingBear View Post
Hawaiian matched the saver fare and, at this time, does not have basic economy.
I'm seeing this - same price AS (X) and HA (regular Y) from mainland to OGG. Which would you guys pick - AS X or HA Y? I'm leaning towards AS for the mileage earning, assuming everything else is similar. I have no status on HA and no interest in their miles.
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Old Nov 24, 18, 5:07 pm
  #294  
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Originally Posted by italdesign View Post
I'm seeing this - same price AS (X) and HA (regular Y) from mainland to OGG. Which would you guys pick - AS X or HA Y? I'm leaning towards AS for the mileage earning, assuming everything else is similar. I have no status on HA and no interest in their miles.
well for starters ....checked bag fees are less on HA. I believe Y passengers get complimentary meal. If not chasing status or having no status (AS) HA seems like a much more pleasing experience.
i am thinking of leisure traveler with family in this instance.
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Old Nov 24, 18, 5:07 pm
  #295  
 
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Originally Posted by notquiteaff View Post
I don't know about AA and DL (too lazy to look, too), but on UA elites get their regular boarding group according to:

https://www.united.com/web/en-US/con...c-economy.aspx

"With Basic Economy, you'll also be in the last boarding group unless you're a MileagePlus Premier member or companion traveling on the same reservation, the primary cardmember of a qualifying MileagePlus credit card or a Star Alliance Gold member."

(no personal experience; I have not bought any BE/Saver fares on any carrier. This does illustrate, however, the confusion that these BE fares are likely creating... especially if the rules differ from airline to airline).
None of the Big Three block elites from priority boarding on BE tickets.
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Old Nov 24, 18, 5:31 pm
  #296  
 
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Originally Posted by italdesign View Post
I'm seeing this - same price AS (X) and HA (regular Y) from mainland to OGG. Which would you guys pick - AS X or HA Y? I'm leaning towards AS for the mileage earning, assuming everything else is similar. I have no status on HA and no interest in their miles.
Single traveler or family with kids? Are you able to select "decent" coach seats on your AS flight?
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Old Nov 24, 18, 6:03 pm
  #297  
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Originally Posted by VegasGambler View Post
They may backtrack on some of the policies too. Other airlines did this (eg the with the basic econ carry-on policy). If it's costing them revenue they will change it. If it's making them more money they won't.
Agreed totally. The only way they would backtrack on their policy is if they see a noticeable drop in bookings and revenue. This Holiday season will show whether the $30 increase across the board on main cabin fare will affect their bottom line. I guess it will depend on whether the general public's acceptance of paying the X fare will more than compensate a few elite high-spending flyers booking their year end tickets somewhere else. I have a feeling that a few of us at the FT forum won't stop the downward spiral trend, and we will all be screwed by this, and will pay more from now on......
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Old Nov 24, 18, 6:05 pm
  #298  
 
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Perhaps patience is warranted

One possibility that I'm entertaining: AS bulk loaded all the new Saver fares with the intent of making adjustments over time for specific routes and dates.

Giveaways are the near-rigid consistency in dollar amount buy-up to a Main fare that's been reported here, and the fact that Saver fares in many/most cases equate to the lowest-available Main fare in the past.

I would not be surprised if, in the weeks to come, there are market-specific adjustments that roll out sequentially.

This situation reminds me of how, if you want mileage redemption exactly when flights become available roughly 11 months out, you usually can only find the highest redemption levels. But if you wait a few days or a week, lower redemptions suddenly become available. This may not be analogous, but there is almost too much consistency for the new Saver fares to stick across the board the way they've been introduced. IMHO.
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Old Nov 24, 18, 6:22 pm
  #299  
 
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Originally Posted by jinglish View Post
None of the Big Three block elites from priority boarding on BE tickets.
Wow, had no idea.

From skimming some of the bloggers doom & gloom on BE, I had just assumed one didn't receive any Elite benefits. In that case, not so bad, since one will be assured of bin space.
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Old Nov 24, 18, 7:14 pm
  #300  
 
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Originally Posted by Visconti View Post
Wow, had no idea.

From skimming some of the bloggers doom & gloom on BE, I had just assumed one didn't receive any Elite benefits. In that case, not so bad, since one will be assured of bin space.
Perhaps we have to thank the affiliate credit cards that promised early/preferred boarding in exchange for an annual fee for this “benefit”. (and of course there would be riots if elite travelers who don’t have a card were put in group 37).
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