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-   Alaska Airlines | Mileage Plan (https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/alaska-airlines-mileage-plan-442/)
-   -   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)

Often1 Sep 27, 18 7:52 am

All of these "if this, then that" posts simply point to the fact that details matter to individuals. AS marketing will likely have carefully examined these issues. It goes without saying that there will be some passengers who jump ship and some who come onboard. But, all passengers are not equal.

Thus, if flexibility is a key and you lose flexibility, shifting to another carrier makes sense. But, you don't know that for certain yet.

jiburi Sep 27, 18 9:22 am


Originally Posted by s0ssos (Post 30218763)
Wonder if this will be the last straw. They are already more expensive and have no network to rely on in IRROPS.

Really? In my past experience, AS has put me in AA, sometime in DL. I do believe agreements are in place for the big 3. I'm reasonably certain UA, DL and even AA puts its passengers to AS for their domestic IRROPS.....

Back to the topic, does Basic Economy book to R inventory or will there be another?

Jiburi

be_rettSEA Sep 27, 18 9:34 am


Originally Posted by jiburi (Post 30252308)
Back to the topic, does Basic Economy book to R inventory or will there be another?

As far as I've seen, those details haven't been confirmed by AS yet, but many have speculated that R (and perhaps T/G) may all be basic economy. It's possible they'll create a new fare class, but imagine they'll just repurpose the lowest fare class(es) instead.

eponymous_coward Sep 27, 18 1:34 pm


Originally Posted by Often1 (Post 30252019)
All of these "if this, then that" posts simply point to the fact that details matter to individuals. AS marketing will likely have carefully examined these issues. It goes without saying that there will be some passengers who jump ship and some who come onboard. But, all passengers are not equal.

Thus, if flexibility is a key and you lose flexibility, shifting to another carrier makes sense. But, you don't know that for certain yet.

The implementation details of Basic Economy so far have been "let's make this fare class punitive in some respect so people will pay money to avoid this- no changes, and a lot of ways to make the experience terrible so people will pay to get out of it".

I rather agree with what Crankyflier says about how the US3 have gone about this: at least the ULCCs like Spirit, Ryanair, Easyjet get the basics of "all you get is a seat on the plane and EVERYTHING ELSE is an add-on", whereas the US3 haven't thought everything through, and to be honest have been weakening their product compared to WN and the ULCCs- you get less of a coach product than WN offers, and a more expensive/confusing Basic Economy product than what ULCCs offer. Hopefully AS will do better at this than the US3 do. But so far the pressure has been towards self-loading cargo and what can we cut. Hard to bet against that trend.

CDKing Sep 28, 18 9:50 am

Jetblue also announced it will be doing a basic economy. Like AS not sure what will be cut.

JacksonFlyer Sep 28, 18 10:27 am

[QUOTE=eponymous_coward;30253463]The implementation details of Basic Economy so far have been "let's make this fare class punitive in some respect so people will pay money to avoid this- no changes, and a lot of ways to make the experience terrible so people will pay to get out of it".

To be honest, if I were looking to fly "cheap" I doubt that I would ever fly Alaska. It is unlikely that I will ever purchase an Economy ticket as I want more flexibility in seating choices but the reason why I fly AS is because of their schedule from SEA and PDX, their on time performance, generous mileage plan (for me) and direct flights. If I were a student again or at the beginning of my career sure, I would probably find the cheapest ticket that probably had three legs to my destination. However to call AS economy fair "punitive" I think is a stretch; like they are punishing people to take a cheaper fare. I agree with what many others say here about the cost of add ons and how that negates the benefit of the lower fare along with sitting in the back and in the middle seat, but I do not think AS is punishing anyone, it is buyer beware. So far I have only heard talk and not specifics of this new fare (with regards to elites) so until everything comes out I will hold off any speculation of what might be but Alaska is a for-profit company, I have to believe they are looking at a segment of the traveling population they think they will obtain.

eponymous_coward Sep 28, 18 11:00 am


Originally Posted by JacksonFlyer (Post 30256804)
To be honest, if I were looking to fly "cheap" I doubt that I would ever fly Alaska. It is unlikely that I will ever purchase an Economy ticket as I want more flexibility in seating choices but the reason why I fly AS is because of their schedule from SEA and PDX, their on time performance, generous mileage plan (for me) and direct flights.

I guess this shouldn't concern you, AS is likely to offer a similar F product to what they have now (or even a somewhat improved one). And frankly airlines love price-indifferent customers, as well they should.


Originally Posted by JacksonFlyer (Post 30256804)
I do not think AS is punishing anyone, it is buyer beware.

The prices aren't going down, as has been stated multiple times here. What's happening is very profitable airlines that don't necessarily face a lot of competition (an oligopoly) have decided en masse that offering less product (things like no upgrades, less miles, no seat assignment, no carryons, no changes ever) for the same price as before increases profit as a response to ULCCs unbundling everything. The idea is is to make people pay more money for what they used to get: upgrades, carryons, a seat assignment. That seems punitive; "Well, we did make lots of money on the old tickets, but it's not enough, so either pay more or get less".

If I'm going to be treated like I am flying a ULCC if I buy a cheap ticket, I might as well fly a ULCC, or just strictly go on price/schedule/comfort level I want to pay for/options I need and ignore "loyalty". For me it will push some travel to WN from AS (assuming they don't follow the Pied Piper, and I suspect they won't- their value proposition is an actual, real differentiator for me) since their coach tickets usually offer a lot of options I like- if I change plans my money isn't gone, if prices go down I can capture the fare difference in future flying, their FFP is not full of lucrative spend pennies to drink Krug spots but it's straightforward and offers consistent value. Some will stay on AS, some will probably migrate to DL/AA/UA/NK/whatever works for the task at hand (fly from point A to point B).

AS as an MVPG offers a lot of WN's flexibility, as well as some extraordinary value in MP, but so far the trend has been to slowly nibble away at those differentiators (GARR gone, free changes for < 60 days gone, GGUs don't work on certain fare classes, many partner fare classes don't accrue at 100%, no notice MP devaluations) and I strongly suspect that given how everyone else has done Basic Economy, Saver Fares will be similar and also detract from the AS value proposition for me. Maybe I'm wrong and everything will be peachy keen. I kind of doubt it given the tea leaves so far.

channa Sep 28, 18 11:17 am


Originally Posted by Flying for Fun (Post 30227750)
The original fare, soon to be called a basic economy fare, still works for many who don't utilize all the benefits it came with. For many, that is fine, for the rest, accept it as a price increase. I have no concerns for me personally. I never purchase the cheapest fare. I purchase the fare that gives me the best value. There in lies the difference.

The issue is not so much the price increase but the fact that you practically have to be a lawyer to understand what you're getting with these types of fares.

WN makes a ton of money because they're easy, people know what's included when they purchase the brand, and it's done. No surprises. No seat fees, no baggage fees, no carryon fees, no change fees, nothing.

Comparison shopping is incredibly difficult, and that's exactly how they want it to be, which is unfortunate.

beckoa Oct 18, 18 11:06 pm

Fare class X emerges on AS
 
Have been doing some searches on Expert Flyer and I keep running into Fare Class X. Is this the new Basic Economy?

Code:

AS 108  0  ANC
01/02/19 12:30 AM  SEA
01/02/19 5:03 AM  73G
Daily
92% / 21m    F7  D7  P0  I0  U0  A0  Y7  Z7  S7  B6  M3  H0  Q0  L0  V0  K0  G0  T0  R0  X0  N3  W0  E0

There also appears to be a fare class of "I". Not sure what that might be used for... Basic First? :D

I also could be misinterpreting the data. But it could be related to all the seat map issues we've been seeing.

rustykettel Oct 19, 18 1:05 am

Doesn't seem to be any fares loaded for X to see fare rules. Fwiw, EF shows I as a Business cabin. Maybe just isn't set up yet? Or related to those flights showing as Business on AS.com a couple of weeks ago?

CalanMan Oct 19, 18 1:17 am

Earnings is next week, so we may have an answer soon...

Eastbay1K Oct 19, 18 9:18 am

I'd expect "I" to be a subset of F. AS currently only uses P for discounted F, and there are typically several fare bases within the P. Having I as a discrete separate bucket should help the matter, so long as it is nothing more than the lowest P fare, and mileage earning / lounge access remains the same.

3Cforme Oct 19, 18 9:36 am

I looked at SEA-LAX/LAS/MSP/ANC in January and the cheapest fares all booked into R.

be_rettSEA Oct 22, 18 8:50 am

This link (a guide to saver fares for travel agents) was posted in an 75K facebook group I follow and describes a lot of the benefits (or lack of) that the saver fares will have:
https://www.alaskaair.com/content/tr...es/saver-fares

It sounds like it won't necessarily be it's own distinct fare class from the description (so you could potentially buy a non-saver R fare or a saver Y fare, for example), but in summary:
  • no same day confirmed changes
  • no same day stand-by
  • no elite upgrades or ability to use miles to upgrade
  • no advance seat selection
  • last boarding group
  • mileage earning remains 1 mile flown = 1 EQM earned
Elites will retain some of their benefits including:
  • seat selection (though keep in mind premium class counts as an "upgrade", so you may have to pay for the seat you used to get for free - paying for a premium seat is permitted)
  • boarding prioirty
  • baggage allowance (including AS CC holders)

pushmyredbutton Oct 22, 18 8:56 am


Originally Posted by be_rettSEA (Post 30342791)
This link (a guide to saver fares for travel agents) was posted in an 75K facebook group I follow and describes a lot of the benefits (or lack of) that the saver fares will have:
https://www.alaskaair.com/content/tr...es/saver-fares

It sounds like it won't necessarily be it's own distinct fare class from the description (so you could potentially buy a non-saver R fare or a saver Y fare, for example), but in summary:
  • no same day confirmed changes
  • no same day stand-by
  • no elite upgrades or ability to use miles to upgrade
  • no advance seat selection
  • last boarding group
  • mileage earning remains 1 mile flown = 1 EQM earned
Elites will retain some of their benefits including:
  • seat selection (though keep in mind premium class counts as an "upgrade", so you may have to pay for the seat you used to get for free - paying for a premium seat is permitted)
  • boarding prioirty
  • baggage allowance (including AS CC holders)

Gross. Interesting read on the link you provided. Since saver fares need dual availability, I wonder if we'll see 'saver' as an option for all coach fares, or if AS will stop offering it once fares get pricey.

I'm surprised to see mileage-earning unchanged, but I won't be buying these fares based on the draconian restrictions for elites.


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