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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 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
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Old Feb 13, 19, 2:33 pm
  #676  
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Originally Posted by JacksonFlyer View Post
WN is an excellent company, I for one have never enjoyed flying with them and would do so only if they were my last choice...
Well, OK. WN is often hated here on FT as the "kettle airline", so your reaction's not unusual. I'm not going to tell people which airlines to like or dislike, but if I am going to be stuck in bad seats and have no chance at an F cabin if I buy the lowest fare in Saver, I might as well buy it on WN at the same price and not be stuck eating the cost of the ticket if my plans change. I don't clear enough AS F upgrades to want to pay $30 for "upgrade roulette" (and end up in Y if lose it), and I simply don't value shorthaul F very much (I have SDC'ed out of AS F to AS Y at better times so many times I've lost track).

There have been times where I HAVE bought AS in Main ("oh, look, instant GGU usage" or "well, it costs the same as WN to be in Main anyway"), and I expect there will be some in the future, but 2019 is experimenting with free agency.

TBH I could fly NK for the right deal. (Their operational reliability and the overall experience is better than a lot of people think.)
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Old Feb 13, 19, 2:53 pm
  #677  
 
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Originally Posted by JacksonFlyer View Post
..sigh...you are right, I did not read my post completely it was meant to be "fee waiver OR change of flight" not "for". Yes, you lose the ability to chose your seat but the main point of my comment is the gist was becoming that you had no benefits when that is not the case. I get that the benefits such as the ones listed above are very important to frequent flyers.
It's true that you don't lose all benefits.

The biggest benefit is the mile earning bonus and you keep that.

You also keep free checked bags and priority boarding, though, you can get that with the credit card anyway, so non-elites have access to that as well if they want (1 free bag at least with the CC -- the 2nd free checked bag as elite is occasionally useful)

Everyone values things differently, but, for me, the most valuable benefits are (in order)

1. Ability to select premium cabin seats
2. Elite mileage earning bonus
3. Waived change fees
4. Ability to make same day changes (free or not)

I don't really put any value in the rest of it (AS F is so bad that I don't really value it much more than a premium seat, unless I'm on a VX-configured airbus, and those are going away. Also since I have the CC now I don't really value the checked bag as an elite benefit, and I rarely care about a 2nd checked bag. I assign no value at all to priority boarding).

I value the premium seat at #1 because if it's not free I'm going to pay for it, and usually the premium seat costs more than the value of the bonus miles earned (though not always, so on some flights I value the miles more). Also, the rare time that I travel with a companion, it saves 2x the fee.

If I book a saver fare I keep my 2nd-valued benefit but I lose everything else that I care about. So, for me, it's pretty horrible.
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Old Feb 13, 19, 3:23 pm
  #678  
 
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Originally Posted by TheotherJames View Post
That may have been me. SEA-DAL day trip, was on Saver when they upgraded me to single seat First Class. The belief is that they oversold Y and undersold F, and the GA opted to move me up cause I had status. It made sense but I am sure it was an Outlier.
I had my first domestic Op Up ever recently, on Delta, which I hadn’t flown on revenue in a decade (and have zero status). I “blame” my luck on the fact that it was probably an elite-light route and I had paid for their Comfort+ product. Free agent FTW - I usually picked AS on that route.
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Old Feb 15, 19, 1:17 am
  #679  
 
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For the seat selection, if you don't have one at booking time, do you just get one assigned at check in and can't change it even if it's a middle seat by the lav and other seats are free or do you just get your pick at T-24?
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Old Feb 15, 19, 7:21 am
  #680  
 
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We experienced the Saver rate experience for the first time on our trip from San Jose to Seattle... I have to say, I never thought I would say this, but I think I like the Southwest experience better!!! LOL...

Yes, I know, I know... Pay more, and I can avoid the crappy experience...

We arrived 30 minutes ahead of boarding to "check in". They took our paper tickets and said that they would "page" us when they were ready to assign seats. They called a bunch of people (but not us) and a long line started to form. In anticipation, we got in line anyway thinking that by the time we got to the front of the line, our names would be called. Our names were never called (good thing we got in line)...

As we worked our way through the queue, I noticed that the overhead screen showed that we had a seat assigned (but again, our name was never called as promised). When we got to the front, we gave them our names, they fumbled through a pile of paper boarding passes, and once found, gave it to us. We boarded last (as anticipated).

The good news is that we both (my wife and I) ended up with back-to-back aisle seats... The process was a confusing mess for anyone who has not gone through the process before. Now I know and I can better anticipate what to do... It's still a hot mess though...
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Old Feb 15, 19, 9:22 am
  #681  
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
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Just flew my first “saver” last night (ogg-pdx). Premium was basically empty so the GA called me to the podium and put me in row 8 as a thanks for being a 75k. Ended up with a row to myself, which made it much easier to get some shut eye. I know it’s an abnormal experience, and one that technically isn’t supposed to happen, but it was appreciated for sure.
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Old Feb 20, 19, 4:45 pm
  #682  
 
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My friend (no status) booked a saver fare on PDX-OGG. Did not select a seat. Got assigned 6E at check-in.

Premium seat on a saver fare? It was assigned about 42hr before takeoff too (3rd flight in an itinerary with an overnight layover). That is just crazy... MVPs (48 hr window) who paid extra to buy up barely have had time to move to premium seats and they are giving them to saver fares?

They should, at the very least, wait until it goes to gate control to assign seats for saver fares.
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Old Feb 21, 19, 9:32 am
  #683  
 
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Originally Posted by VegasGambler View Post
My friend (no status) booked a saver fare on PDX-OGG. Did not select a seat. Got assigned 6E at check-in.

Premium seat on a saver fare? It was assigned about 42hr before takeoff too (3rd flight in an itinerary with an overnight layover). That is just crazy... MVPs (48 hr window) who paid extra to buy up barely have had time to move to premium seats and they are giving them to saver fares?

They should, at the very least, wait until it goes to gate control to assign seats for saver fares.
I agree it is crazy if this was the case, but you said he "was assigned 6E at check-in" then you said he was assigned 42 hours prior to take off. You cannot check in until 24 hours prior to departure. So yes, if that individual was moved up almost two days prior to departure without status something has gone terribly wrong (except the bonus your friend got).
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Old Feb 21, 19, 9:36 am
  #684  
 
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Originally Posted by JacksonFlyer View Post
I agree it is crazy if this was the case, but you said he "was assigned 6E at check-in" then you said he was assigned 42 hours prior to take off. You cannot check in until 24 hours prior to departure.
Everything he said was consistent. "3rd flight in an itinerary with an overnight layover." So the friend checked in 24 hours before the first flight, at which point he could check in for *all* segments, including one segment that was 42 hours in the future.
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Old Feb 21, 19, 11:31 am
  #685  
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Originally Posted by jhurwitz View Post
Everything he said was consistent. "3rd flight in an itinerary with an overnight layover." So the friend checked in 24 hours before the first flight, at which point he could check in for *all* segments, including one segment that was 42 hours in the future.
Yeah, with some flights you can check in very early depending on number of segments, lengths, and connection times.
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Old Feb 21, 19, 10:40 pm
  #686  
 
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Originally Posted by jhurwitz View Post
Everything he said was consistent. "3rd flight in an itinerary with an overnight layover." So the friend checked in 24 hours before the first flight, at which point he could check in for *all* segments, including one segment that was 42 hours in the future.
I have flown many, many multi-segment itineraries. You cannot check-in for any flights that are departing the day after your first segment. You certainly will be checked-in for all segments departing the same day as your first flight but anything after that will require checking-in 24 hours prior to departure for the next segment(s) I often check-in for subsequent flights while flying to my layover/stopover.

I recently flew PHX-SEA-ANC-HNL-SEA-LAX-SJO-LAX-SEA-PHX. I could check-in for PHX-SEA-ANC-HNL-SEA as they all had departures on the same day. I had to wait until 24 hours prior to check-in for SEA-LAX, 24 hours prior to to check-in for LAX-SJO-LAX and 24 hour prior to LAX-SEA-PHX.

James in Faa'a Tahiti.
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Old Feb 22, 19, 12:04 am
  #687  
 
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No, that's not always true.

In this case, checking in for the first flight caused all 3 to be checked in. The last segment was thur next calendar day (15+ hr after the first flight). So the last segment was checked in 39+ hr before it left (I don't know why I said 42 before -- my math was off)

Now, you cannot get a boarding pass more than 24hr before your flight (in the US). But you can absolutely be checked in.
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Old Feb 22, 19, 12:21 am
  #688  
 
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Originally Posted by VegasGambler View Post
No, that's not always true.

In this case, checking in for the first flight caused all 3 to be checked in. The last segment was thur next calendar day (15+ hr after the first flight). So the last segment was checked in 39+ hr before it left (I don't know why I said 42 before -- my math was off)

Now, you cannot get a boarding pass more than 24hr before your flight (in the US). But you can absolutely be checked in.
It was 4 flights all on the same calendar day. The 5th flight was on the next calendar day. The 6th & 7th on the next calendar day and the 8th & 9th on the next calendar day. You can't check-in for the 5th segment some 50 hours later, 24 hours before the first flight.

When I am flying YLW-SEA-PHX, I do indeed get my boarding pass for SEA-PHX more than 24 hours before departure, same as if I am flying the reverse getting a SEA-YLW boarding pass. I always get the boarding passes for all flights I have checked-in for. That is my experience.

It may be all flight with 24 hours of the first segment, not delineated by calendar dates. I just haven't seen that in all the times I have flown.

James in Faa'a Tahiti
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Old Feb 26, 19, 2:37 pm
  #689  
 
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Thoughts on Alaska's Basic Economy

I stay away from Basic Economy at all costs because I enjoy being treated like a human, but Alaska's BE fares are a lot more flexible so I'm considering giving it a shot since I'll be flying solo and I'll earn mileage for the miles flown. I don't really mind being in the middle seat but what I am a little worried about is about overhead bin space. I always travel with a backpack and a cabin sized roller. I don't want to check the bag in and I'm worried that since I'll be last to board, by the time I get on the plane, all the overhead space will be gone.

For those of you who have experience in Alaska's BE, what are your experiences with overhead bin space? Is it usually a hit or miss or is it always full or always plenty available?
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Old Feb 26, 19, 2:47 pm
  #690  
 
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This thread could possibly be moved to the ongoing Saver discussion thread, however if you have status (MVP, Gold, etc.) you board with your status. If you do not have status then you will be the last to board and if it is like most of the recent full flights that I have been on, they most likely will gate check your roller. That being said, I have seen FAs heroically try to help passengers find some way to get bags into the overhead bins. Good luck.
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