First Class Cheaper Than Main

Old Nov 7, 19, 9:07 am
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First Class Cheaper Than Main

I've noticed lately flights from PDX to either Calgary or Edmonton have cheaper fares booking first class over main. Sometimes the main fare is almost double the price of first. I've never seen this before and was wondering if this is common? The last two trips, I have booked my main fare from BOI-SEA-YEG and get waitlisted, while my coworker in Portland can buy a first class ticket PDX-SEA-YEG cheaper than my main ticket?
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Old Nov 7, 19, 9:35 am
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It's not common, but it happens, especially when F is discounted bigly.
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Old Nov 7, 19, 9:37 am
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What fare class is main cabin booking into?
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Old Nov 7, 19, 11:45 am
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Here is an example
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Old Nov 7, 19, 11:54 am
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Originally Posted by Dyoungman1 View Post


Here is an example
Oddly, EF doesn't show this flight, but the next one has the same pricing as you show here. And these are the fare buckets. That one from the AS screen shot is booking into L.

But when I put it in my cart the price drops to $270. Still more than F....
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Old Nov 7, 19, 11:55 am
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Grab it while it lasts!!
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Old Nov 7, 19, 11:58 am
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AS (**) 2204PDX 5:00a → SEA 5:57a

F0 D0 P0 I0 U0 A0 Y7 Z7 S7 B7 M7 H7 Q7 L7 V7 K6 G0 T0 R0 X7 N7 W0 E0


AS (**) 2749SEA 9:50a → YEG 12:50p

F7 D7 P4 I1 U1 A1 Y7 Z7 S7 B7 M7 H7 Q7 L4 V0 K0 G0 T0 R0 X7 N6 W0 E0


It's the mixed cabin I think. For a coach fare sold as PDX-YEG, it's probably looking for lowest fare class available all the way across which is L. Mixed cabin can match K and I. If you click one screen further after adding, you'll be able to see the fare codes the website is selecting.
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Old Nov 7, 19, 12:19 pm
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Here are some more examples for the return flights 11/19.
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Old Nov 7, 19, 3:18 pm
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I've seen main cheaper than saver for Canada flights. I was told to avoid AS in and out of Canada since revenue management person is smoking something and than its usually a better deal to fly another carrier.

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Old Nov 7, 19, 7:25 pm
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Originally Posted by Dyoungman1 View Post
I've noticed lately flights from PDX to either Calgary or Edmonton have cheaper fares booking first class over main. Sometimes the main fare is almost double the price of first. I've never seen this before and was wondering if this is common? The last two trips, I have booked my main fare from BOI-SEA-YEG and get waitlisted, while my coworker in Portland can buy a first class ticket PDX-SEA-YEG cheaper than my main ticket?
A pair of solutions, first, move to Portland and exploit this variation. Or move to YEG and then never worry again.

You might as well bat yourself in the head with a tennis racquet non-stop than discover some finite set of rules around airline fares from any point to any other point in any class, any day or month, on any aircraft, it's that simple.
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Old Nov 8, 19, 8:12 am
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I have seen this a fare amount between SEA and DTW this year. Not as extreme but cheaper to pay into first than to buy upgradable coach (which wasn't instant upgrade either.) When I see it I buy it.
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Old Nov 8, 19, 9:25 am
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Originally Posted by NWAlaskaFlyer View Post
I have seen this a fare amount between SEA and DTW this year. Not as extreme but cheaper to pay into first than to buy upgradable coach (which wasn't instant upgrade either.) When I see it I buy it.
That example happens all the time, though. I find that sometimes the rules between the two don't always match up, though. The coach may be refundable and the first may be non-refundable, for example. It is less common for the least expensive non-basic main fare to be less than the least expensive first fare, though.
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Old Nov 11, 19, 7:29 am
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I'm mostly an AA flyer domestically, but I'll give you the following:

Sometimes, I'll encounter fares that are really close, Y vs J/F. Usually it's either a fare booked close to flight time or a short hop flight (CMH/ORD or CMH/DCA).

Like you've encountered, sometimes the prevailing premium fare is less than the Y fare.

I've noticed a lesson from this forum.... Usually it's a Y fare with few or no restrictions versus a restricted first class fare (for example, no refunds available on the F fare, or particular days/routes restrictions).

Hope that helps.
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Old Nov 11, 19, 8:00 am
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Originally Posted by elCheapoDeluxe View Post
That example happens all the time, though. I find that sometimes the rules between the two don't always match up, though. The coach may be refundable and the first may be non-refundable, for example. It is less common for the least expensive non-basic main fare to be less than the least expensive first fare, though.
Good explanation, I had never considered. Fortunately 75K has no cancellation fees (maybe my favorite benefit) so that doesn't impact me.
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