Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Miles&Points > Airlines and Mileage Programs > Alaska Airlines | Mileage Plan
Reload this Page >

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

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

    Hide Wikipost
Old May 11, 19, 6:58 am   -   Wikipost
Please read: This is a community-maintained wiki post containing the most important information from this thread. You may edit the Wiki once you have been on FT for 90 days and have made 90 posts.
 
Last edit by: NoLaGent
Wiki Link
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 can’t 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
Print Wikipost

Reply

Old Feb 11, 19, 5:32 pm
  #616  
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: US West Coast
Programs: Alaska 75K, Marriott Titanium, Hyatt Globalist
Posts: 222
Originally Posted by icelandman2 View Post
Has anyone found a consistently successful way to exclude X fares on either alaskaair.com or on GF? I've tried searching via ITA, though it often seems to price higher than what the same fares show once I click through to the AS website. Trying to head to a wedding in ANC and have very little experience with X fares since I'm usually booking direct for conferences/work and don't have to worry (too much) about costs.
I don't know of any way to make alaskaair.com act like X fares don't exist site-wide, but I've found that on the "All Search Options" interface (which also appears at the top of results when browsing results), if you select an upgrade type, any upgrade type, it won't show the "Saver" column. The X fares still appear in the row of dates along the top, so if your days are flexible, you want use the flexible calendar view like @VegasGambler said.

It's just a layout change, and not really that useful, but I've found that ignoring a column in the middle is easier than ignoring the column on the left. With the Saver column shown, I'm constantly having moments of "Ooo! There's a good price!" followed by disappointment. It's maddening. The more I can hide X fares from myself, the better. I really wish it was a site-wide setting, including email marketing!
jjmadison and icelandman2 like this.
CalanMan is online now  
Reply With Quote
Old Feb 11, 19, 5:48 pm
  #617  
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: British Columbia
Programs: AA, AS Gold 75K, BA, QF, SQ, Marriott Platinum Premiere
Posts: 2,076
Originally Posted by VegasGambler View Post
On alaska you can't exclude them from the schedule view, but they show up in a different column. On the calendar view you can choose whether you want to see main or saver (or first)
You can exclude them indirectly! For upgrade type select anything other than "None." Since Saver fares cannot br upgraded, only main fares will be shown in the first column. The date tabs across the top will still reflect the Saver fare.

James
Flying for Fun is online now  
Reply With Quote
Old Feb 11, 19, 7:33 pm
  #618  
LBJ
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Programs: DL DM
Posts: 13,286
Originally Posted by icelandman2 View Post
Thanks - I feared as much. Knew fare class filter doesn't exist on GF but sadly they don't code X as BE. I'll take another look at ITA!
Use "as+ /f ~bc=x" in advance controls.
jjmadison likes this.
LBJ is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Feb 11, 19, 9:09 pm
  #619  
 
Join Date: Nov 2017
Programs: AS MVPG 75K, HH Gold, SPG/Marriott Gold
Posts: 144
Originally Posted by LBJ View Post
Use "as+ /f ~bc=x" in advance controls.
Yup that's what I've always been doing. Unfortunately instead of showing the buy-up price, this seems to show the cheapest AS flights not offering X fares for some reason.
icelandman2 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Feb 11, 19, 9:24 pm
  #620  
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Posts: 3,883
Put AS+ in the left box and F ~bc=x in the right box.

If I do this with a SFO-LAX search for 4/1 I see $74 fares. If I remove the thing in the right box I see $59. This matches the website ($59 saver; $74 main)


PaperGlider likes this.
VegasGambler is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Feb 12, 19, 10:09 am
  #621  
 
Join Date: Aug 2018
Programs: AS MVP
Posts: 107
Email from Alaska just now: "The story behind Saver fares"

This just landed in my inbox. I don't see how this email is really helping anything, the only people who would potentially care about this email are the people who understand that given that Saver fares occupy the old standard economy price point and that the full main cabin tickets got a price bump, that this was a devaluation of Mileage Plan benefits since people who care about getting those benefits now have to cough up more to keep getting them.

Dear <member>,

I am writing today to talk with you about Saver fares, which is a new product Alaska Airlines recently launched. Many of you have written or called us asking for a better understanding of the rationale behind this decision, and I'd like to provide some context for why we launched a new fare class with fewer benefits than other Alaska Airlines products.

Saver fares are designed for a specific type of traveler - one who prioritizes price above all else, and not the elite Mileage Plan™ benefits you've come to know and love. Saver fares offer cost-conscious guests the absolute lowest fare possible. The trade-off is that these tickets are not refundable, not changeable, and not eligible for front-of-cabin seat selections or complimentary upgrades - even as an elite member.

We resisted launching Saver fares, but in recent years the offering of Basic Economy fares by other airlines have become popular among cost-conscious flyers and we started to lose business to the competition. In order for Alaska to be considered by shoppers, we had to reduce our Main Cabin fares to match the lowest published prices of our competitors' Basic Economy fares, while still offering full Main Cabin benefits.

As you can imagine, this became impossible to sustain. This industry shift to Basic Economy has cost Alaska hundreds of millions of dollars over the past few years. It was simply a financial imperative that we launch our own version to protect Alaska Airlines over the long term. We recognize, in some situations, you will pay more for Main Cabin fares that provide the full suite of the elite benefits you're accustomed to. Our goal continues to be what it has always been, to fulfill our commitment to maintaining low fares, great service and generous Mileage Plan rewards.

The airline industry is constantly changing and often forces us to make difficult decisions, but we remain focused on setting ourselves apart from other airlines. Our Saver fares needed to be more generous than run-of-the-mill Basic Economy fares, and they are. Alaska passengers who purchase Saver fares earn full miles for their trip, are allowed to bring a carry-on bag and in many cases can still be assigned a seat at the time of booking - albeit in the rear of the aircraft. Additionally, elite Mileage Plan members who purchase Saver fares will still enjoy priority boarding.

We did a poor job at providing you with enough information well in advance about how Saver fares might impact your elite experience, and for that I apologize. Going forward, we will err on the side of providing our most loyal customers like you with more proactive and transparent communication about product changes of this magnitude — for better or worse.

Thank you for your loyalty and understanding. It means the world to us, and we don't take it for granted.

Sincerely,
Andrew Harrison
Eurynom0s is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Feb 12, 19, 10:12 am
  #622  
Original Poster
Hilton Contributor Badge
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Snohomish, WA
Programs: AS MVP Gold, HHonors Diamond
Posts: 2,447
We recognize, in some situations, you will pay more for Main Cabin fares that provide the full suite of the elite benefits you're accustomed to.
Looks like they made a mistake when proof-reading. I assume they meant to say:

We recognize that you will pay $30 more each direction for Main Cabin fares that provide the full suite of the elite benefits you're accustomed to. Go fly another airline if you don't like it.
Neil
lalala, DaveH, sfozrhfco and 8 others like this.
missamo80 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Feb 12, 19, 10:16 am
  #623  
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: JNU
Programs: HH D, AS MM/MVPG for life/AL, Awesome Wipes VIP Club, NEXUS, Hertz 5-Star Gold
Posts: 2,832
Saver Fare Treatise

Received this morning from Andrew Harrison:

Dear dave1013,

I am writing today to talk with you about Saver fares, which is a new product Alaska Airlines recently launched. Many of you have written or called us asking for a better understanding of the rationale behind this decision, and I'd like to provide some context for why we launched a new fare class with fewer benefits than other Alaska Airlines products.

Saver fares are designed for a specific type of traveler - one who prioritizes price above all else, and not the elite Mileage Plan™ benefits you've come to know and love. Saver fares offer cost-conscious guests the absolute lowest fare possible. The trade-off is that these tickets are not refundable, not changeable, and not eligible for front-of-cabin seat selections or complimentary upgrades - even as an elite member.

We resisted launching Saver fares, but in recent years the offering of Basic Economy fares by other airlines have become popular among cost-conscious flyers and we started to lose business to the competition. In order for Alaska to be considered by shoppers, we had to reduce our Main Cabin fares to match the lowest published prices of our competitors' Basic Economy fares, while still offering full Main Cabin benefits.

As you can imagine, this became impossible to sustain. This industry shift to Basic Economy has cost Alaska hundreds of millions of dollars over the past few years. It was simply a financial imperative that we launch our own version to protect Alaska Airlines over the long term. We recognize, in some situations, you will pay more for Main Cabin fares that provide the full suite of the elite benefits you're accustomed to. Our goal continues to be what it has always been, to fulfill our commitment to maintaining low fares, great service and generous Mileage Plan rewards.

The airline industry is constantly changing and often forces us to make difficult decisions, but we remain focused on setting ourselves apart from other airlines. Our Saver fares needed to be more generous than run-of-the-mill Basic Economy fares, and they are. Alaska passengers who purchase Saver fares earn full miles for their trip, are allowed to bring a carry-on bag and in many cases can still be assigned a seat at the time of booking - albeit in the rear of the aircraft. Additionally, elite Mileage Plan members who purchase Saver fares will still enjoy priority boarding.

We did a poor job at providing you with enough information well in advance about how Saver fares might impact your elite experience, and for that I apologize. Going forward, we will err on the side of providing our most loyal customers like you with more proactive and transparent communication about product changes of this magnitude — for better or worse.

Thank you for your loyalty and understanding. It means the world to us, and we don't take it for granted.

Sincerely,
Andrew HarrisonEVP & Chief Commercial Officer, Alaska Airlines
dave1013 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Feb 12, 19, 10:22 am
  #624  
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Seattle, WA
Programs: AS MVPG
Posts: 211
I just got this e-mail a few minutes ago and I wondered how long before somebody would say something here....was not disappointed. The mods should probably combine this with the ongoing "Saver Fare" discussion as I doubt this explanation from Alaska will sway anyone who have commented ad nauseam on this topic one way or the other. I appreciate that the powers that be understand that there are rumblings amongst their elite members and took the time to send the e-mail, even if it doesn't mean much to some. I appreciate it.
JacksonFlyer is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Feb 12, 19, 10:38 am
  #625  
 
Join Date: Aug 2018
Programs: AS MVP
Posts: 107
Originally Posted by missamo80 View Post
Looks like they made a mistake when proof-reading. I assume they meant to say:



Neil
I feel like the ultimate problem here is framing. If they'd just come out and said that they'd decided they needed to raise fares, obviously nobody would like it but whatever, that's a thing that happens. But the doublethink about Saver fares being great for cost-conscious people while putting them at the old baseline main cabin price point pushes it into feeling a bit like they're insulting our intelligence.
Eurynom0s is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Feb 12, 19, 10:55 am
  #626  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Back home in the REAL Washington (SEA); still working occasionally in the other Washington (DCA area) and near LAX (El Segundo CA)
Programs: DL PM 1.3MM; AS MVPG 75K
Posts: 12,106
"We did a poor job at providing you with enough information well in advance about how Saver fares might impact your elite experience ..."

uh, yeah, and most of us elites -- especially those of us here on FT -- figured it out pretty quickly

as in many other areas, it's not the initial screw-up that's the problem so much as the scramble to unscrew the poor or non-existent messaging that accompanied it
pcoll, rustykettel and Eurynom0s like this.
jrl767 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Feb 12, 19, 11:09 am
  #627  
 
Join Date: Nov 2016
Location: EUG
Programs: AS MVP, HH Gold, SPG/Marriott Plat, and a bunch of other stuff I guess
Posts: 25
Originally Posted by jrl767 View Post
"We did a poor job at providing you with enough information well in advance about how Saver fares might impact your elite experience ..."

uh, yeah, and most of us elites -- especially those of us here on FT -- figured it out pretty quickly
And those of us who had the misfortune of not figuring it out ended up buying those tickets (like via our corporate travel booking sites) without realizing what we were getting, or rather weren't getting.

The tone of the email was very self-pitying: poor us, we had to do it because everyone else did it, we won't do it again, maybe, unless of course we do.
jjmadison likes this.
metaldirtnskin is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Feb 12, 19, 11:11 am
  #628  
nsx
Moderator: Southwest Airlines
 
Join Date: Sep 1999
Location: California
Programs: WN CP & A-list preferred, just another shafted United Club Lifetime Member, Hotwire, Priceline, tent
Posts: 19,377
Alaska just emailed this to, I presume, all elite members:

I am writing today to talk with you about Saver fares, which is a new product Alaska Airlines recently launched. Many of you have written or called us asking for a better understanding of the rationale behind this decision, and I'd like to provide some context for why we launched a new fare class with fewer benefits than other Alaska Airlines products.

Saver fares are designed for a specific type of traveler - one who prioritizes price above all else, and not the elite Mileage Plan™ benefits you've come to know and love. Saver fares offer cost-conscious guests the absolute lowest fare possible. The trade-off is that these tickets are not refundable, not changeable, and not eligible for front-of-cabin seat selections or complimentary upgrades - even as an elite member.

We resisted launching Saver fares, but in recent years the offering of Basic Economy fares by other airlines have become popular among cost-conscious flyers and we started to lose business to the competition. In order for Alaska to be considered by shoppers, we had to reduce our Main Cabin fares to match the lowest published prices of our competitors' Basic Economy fares, while still offering full Main Cabin benefits.

As you can imagine, this became impossible to sustain. This industry shift to Basic Economy has cost Alaska hundreds of millions of dollars over the past few years. It was simply a financial imperative that we launch our own version to protect Alaska Airlines over the long term. We recognize, in some situations, you will pay more for Main Cabin fares that provide the full suite of the elite benefits you're accustomed to. Our goal continues to be what it has always been, to fulfill our commitment to maintaining low fares, great service and generous Mileage Plan rewards.

The airline industry is constantly changing and often forces us to make difficult decisions, but we remain focused on setting ourselves apart from other airlines. Our Saver fares needed to be more generous than run-of-the-mill Basic Economy fares, and they are. Alaska passengers who purchase Saver fares earn full miles for their trip, are allowed to bring a carry-on bag and in many cases can still be assigned a seat at the time of booking - albeit in the rear of the aircraft. Additionally, elite Mileage Plan members who purchase Saver fares will still enjoy priority boarding.

We did a poor job at providing you with enough information well in advance about how Saver fares might impact your elite experience, and for that I apologize. Going forward, we will err on the side of providing our most loyal customers like you with more proactive and transparent communication about product changes of this magnitude — for better or worse.

Thank you for your loyalty and understanding. It means the world to us, and we don't take it for granted.

Sincerely,
Andrew Harrison
EVP & Chief Commercial Officer, Alaska Airlines
In short, "We know you are upset, but this is how it's going to be."

Somehow I can't believe that Alaska believes that it should have announced their "no more elite benefits on our lowest fares" policy at the start of 2018, when customers were deciding where to spend their 2018 travel dollars. I'm sure that it was financially better to keep customers in the dark, blindside them at the end of the year, then apologize. Loss of customer trust is hard to weigh against short-term financial consequences, and I don't believe that these breaches of faith have long-lasting effect unless they are repeated and they exceed industry norms.

I'm sure the need to provide advance notice was debated internally. I would have had more respect for Alaska if they had admitted that giving more notice would have been too financially costly. Sometimes doing right by customers is just too expensive.
nsx is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Feb 12, 19, 11:12 am
  #629  
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: Seattle, WA
Programs: Alaska Airlines
Posts: 277
Shed a little light into their thinking - I hadn't really considered that AS had already been competing with basic economy and just not calling it something else. Doesn't make me really any less salty about having to pay extra for my benefits... but still, I guess I appreciate them trying to communication with us an explain their thinking - even if it is just a corporate message - it's always easier to say nothing so they but an effort into this.

But yeah, basically the way they launched Saver Fares, we didn't know if they'd be the existing floor (as it turned out to be) or a newer lower fare. And we were left to ourselves to make figure out that Saver Fares were basically just a method to charge us more for our benefits.

Now, if they'd told us that in advance, would we be any happier? I doubt it
CalanMan and DrAlex like this.
nearlysober is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Feb 12, 19, 11:17 am
  #630  
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: ORD
Programs: AA EXP, AS MVPG
Posts: 218
Honestly, I thought it was a pretty good letter and understand where they are coming from. AS's saver fares are more generous than the competition's.

However, for the bit of mileage running I do with MileagePlan, it will be with Qantas Y or Singapore J / Cathay J/F, no more AS flights. I cannot stand sitting in 32C on a packed plane anymore. Maybe that's how they wanted my behavior to change, and they've done it.
jjmadison and jinglish like this.
flycal312 is offline  
Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Search this Thread