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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 May 11, 19, 6:58 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 Dec 19, 18, 11:24 am
  #436  
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Ballard, WA (SEA)
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Have been looking this week to see if Saver fares were only sold 3+ weeks out, but given we still see them for 1/8, it looks like they are at least sold within the 3-week window.
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Old Dec 19, 18, 11:45 am
  #437  
 
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Originally Posted by bmvaughn View Post
Have been looking this week to see if Saver fares were only sold 3+ weeks out, but given we still see them for 1/8, it looks like they are at least sold within the 3-week window.
Doing a quick search on EF, I see X fares with a 3-day advance purchase requirement, but none without any requirement. (Which is not too say that there aren't any -- my search was not thorough)
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Old Dec 19, 18, 11:13 pm
  #438  
 
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How come sometimes they don't show up? Jan 14, SNA SJC (but days around it do)
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Old Dec 19, 18, 11:29 pm
  #439  
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maybe sold out for that date already ...
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Old Dec 19, 18, 11:51 pm
  #440  
 
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Originally Posted by s0ssos View Post
How come sometimes they don't show up? Jan 14, SNA SJC (but days around it do)
For this specific example (SNA-SJC) there are 4 fares published which book into X. All have 21 day advance purchase requirements. Two have underlying fare class R, one is T, one is G.

However, the cheapest fare that books into X (underlying R) is the same price as the cheapest R fare that books into R. The AS website seems to not show saver fares when the cheapest saver fare is the same price or more than the cheapest main fare.

On the other hand, the cheapest T fare which books into X is $15 cheaper than the cheapest T fare which books into T. So once the R space is gone, the main fare will jump to the cheapest T price, and saver will show as available (as long as it's at least 21 days before the flight), with a $15 buy up.

The first flight of that day is R1 so it might happen soon (all are X7, which really means >= 7)
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Old Dec 19, 18, 11:54 pm
  #441  
 
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Originally Posted by jrl767 View Post
maybe sold out for that date already ...
Kind of the opposite, actually
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Old Dec 20, 18, 1:37 am
  #442  
 
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Originally Posted by VegasGambler View Post
Kind of the opposite, actually
Care to expound?

James
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Old Dec 20, 18, 10:17 am
  #443  
 
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Originally Posted by Flying for Fun View Post
Care to expound?

James
I did, in the post before the one you quoted
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Old Dec 20, 18, 2:18 pm
  #444  
 
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Originally Posted by VegasGambler View Post
I did, in the post before the one you quoted
My apologies, missed that it was your post too.

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Old Dec 21, 18, 9:34 pm
  #445  
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
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Is there any way to see which saver seats are available for pre-assignment (if any) before you purchase? When doing a flight search, the "S" seats don't show up like the premium and elite seats when you click on the seat map. Is there a standard set of rows for each aircraft...last 3? last 4? I booked saver seats on a Q400 flight and although they were all toward the back (near the door), there were plenty available for pre-selection.
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Old Dec 21, 18, 10:23 pm
  #446  
 
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You can see it before you purchase but maybe not before you select the flights and have them in your shopping cart.

Seat selection is before payment though.
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Old Dec 22, 18, 11:26 am
  #447  
 
Join Date: Dec 2018
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Originally Posted by MJMLBBtoCPH View Post
This is my main concern as an AS elite. As someone who pays for all of my tickets to commute to my work, I need this flexibility. If the BE fare does not allow elites a free change, and the price increase for a normal economy is more expensive than Southwest, why would I stay with Alaska? This would apply to lots of small business travelers who currently choose Alaska over Southwest. This is the main elite benefit that I hope Alaska does not tinker with on BE fares.

If I don't get the free chocolate and alcohol on a BE fare, I can live with that. If I have to sit in the middle seat as an elite, I'm not sure if I can live with it. Perhaps I can live sometimes. But, don't take away my free change benefit as an AS Gold. Otherwise, why am I flying you Alaska instead of Southwest? And, I get free drink tickets from Southwest too. And no middle seat on Southwest as an A-Lister. I guess Alaska has to decide who their competitors are. Is it JetBlue and Southwest or the Big 3? Maybe Alaska has determined that they don't have many small business travelers so they don't care if they lose them.

because if you change you ticket on southwest you pay the price of the new ticket on the day purchased and get credit for the prior purchase price towards the new ticket. If itís within a week or day of travel what do you save by having to purchase their highest priced ticket. Unlikely that the last minute ticket or subsequent change of ticket on southwest is going to be cheaper as their fares are rolling typically higher after a certain number of seats ar sold.

With regards to BE pricing I think this is to attract those who are strictly flying based upon the lowest fare and flay infrequently. Carriers donít tend to value these customers long term relationship when the shock of only the basics arise on day of flight. Similar to seating at concerts, sporting events or live shows the location of seats determine price and customers need to determine value (other than general standing room admission). Seats closer to the stage are higher priced as they are more desirable. Middle seats are less desirable than aisle and windows and as result a different cost based upon an individuals perception of value is reasonable as the market economy will ferret out the value for a transaction.

I value my and my familyís ability to buy a ticket and change or cancel a flight on AS as a elite status member. It allows me to purchase tickets months in advance then arrange around this flight. If needed we can just cancel and receive the full fair value into our wallet. The BE doesnít allow this and Iím fine with this ostensible $30 ďsurchargeĒ. I will make this $30 surcharge up by being immediately able to select a premium seat and likely upgrade to first class. I sometimes feel bad when I fly from MKE to Seattle on a $99 ticket and get upgraded. (I no longer fly from ORD home to Seattle in winter as a light dust of snow shuts down that airport where as Milwaukee general mitchel airport is a 90 minute train ride from Chicago directly to airport and NEVER shuts down flights back to Seattle).
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Old Dec 22, 18, 11:42 am
  #448  
 
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Originally Posted by Xrayman View Post
because if you change you ticket on southwest you pay the price of the new ticket on the day purchased and get credit for the prior purchase price towards the new ticket. If itís within a week or day of travel what do you save by having to purchase their highest priced ticket. Unlikely that the last minute ticket or subsequent change of ticket on southwest is going to be cheaper as their fares are rolling typically higher after a certain number of seats ar sold.
With regards to BE pricing
sure, but usually I'm canceling the flight because I'm not going at all. Moving a flight around same day is typically no cost on AS (as MVPG) if there is seat availability and somewhat easier on WN (as an A-Lister) if you are simply wanting to fly standby on an earlier flight. And, if I am going on a different day, if it's that close in, I use air miles from a frequent flyer program to defray the cost (and am able to thus keep the funds for the cancelled ticket). The BE pricing has basically turned into a 30 dollar fare increase, and the fares that are now competitive with WN months out are now basically the BE prices. That was the point I was making. It makes it harder for me financially to justify flying AS as much as I currently do (though I still like the airline and its customer service).
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Old Dec 22, 18, 12:42 pm
  #449  
 
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With A List you can only stand by on an earlier flight. This is useless if you want to change to a later flight.

With Alaska (and legacy carriers) you can get a confirmed change to an earlier or later flight. On Alaska this costs $50 on most routes, $25 on "shuttle" routes, and free for MVPG+. This has a lot of value. You can save a lot of money by booking the cheapest flight of the day, and changing to the one that you want.

I'll take free (or cheap) same day changes over "no change fee" but "pay the walkup price" changes.
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Old Dec 22, 18, 8:55 pm
  #450  
 
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Originally Posted by Xrayman View Post

...
I value my and my familyís ability to buy a ticket and change or cancel a flight on AS as a elite status member. It allows me to purchase tickets months in advance then arrange around this flight. If needed we can just cancel and receive the full fair value into our wallet. The BE doesnít allow this ...
Your family also has MVPGold or higher? As far as I know, less than MVPGold get charged a change fee (don't get full value into the wallet for a cancellation)
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