Different seat fees on return trip

Old Aug 1, 18, 8:55 am
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Different seat fees on return trip

I just booked an award trip for my daughter from DFW to LAS, a MCE seat was $49 going but $77 coming back, It is the same seat on the same plane. I always assumed the seat fees were the same, didn't realize these fees fluctuated so much. She is okay with a free seat but will these fees continue to change up to check in? Do these fees change just as much as airfare?
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Old Aug 1, 18, 10:26 am
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I haven't tracked it carefully, but no, I don't think there's any law that says fees have to be the same on a given route. However I doubt they will fluctuate day by day. I rarely pay for MCE but two times I remember doing so, I paid $81 on LAS-PHL and $46 on a longer route, PHL-LAX. (I actually paid $23 but in the second case I was eligible for a 50% discount for gold status, which didn't apply to the first case.)
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Old Aug 1, 18, 12:17 pm
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Originally Posted by jm62 View Post
I just booked an award trip for my daughter from DFW to LAS, a MCE seat was $49 going but $77 coming back, It is the same seat on the same plane. I always assumed the seat fees were the same, didn't realize these fees fluctuated so much. She is okay with a free seat but will these fees continue to change up to check in? Do these fees change just as much as airfare?
I suspect the price can vary.. and AA is not alone in this.
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Old Aug 1, 18, 12:19 pm
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Yes, I have noticed that MCE seat fees are direction dependent, with eastbound being more expensive generally than westbound. (especially true on red-eyes, but my most recent flight still had a mid-morning eastbound MCE upgrade more expensive than the very late evening westbound upgrade).

Honestly, MCE fees are so high nowadays I would be quite surprised if many people are actually paying for them. Indeed, the number of people in MCE serves as a proxy for how many elites are on the flight (since elites can select them for free), thus indicating the likelihood of a long upgrade list or not.
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Old Aug 1, 18, 3:29 pm
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The free drinks in MCE has been a double-bonus for this Gold member: the prices have shot up so much that more of the seats are still empty at T-24. I've noticed a lot more options on my midcons in the past few weeks.
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Old Aug 1, 18, 3:54 pm
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Originally Posted by jm62 View Post
Do these fees change just as much as airfare?
You won't see a fluctuation of 6x between lowest and highest but, yes, they are dynamic.

When Delta first did Economy Comfort (now Comfort Plus) on domestic routes it was a distance-based charge. That, after launching international Economy Comfort with dynamic pricing. Now it's all dynamic. Inventory levels and perceived value and all that...
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Old Aug 1, 18, 4:38 pm
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Originally Posted by pinniped View Post
The free drinks in MCE has been a double-bonus for this Gold member
It won't be a double-bonus for Golds come September 5th once Gold pays the same price for MCE as non-elites...
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Old Aug 1, 18, 5:15 pm
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Why not? The price of the ticket varies on the same flight.
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Old Aug 1, 18, 5:28 pm
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Originally Posted by Finsup72 View Post
It won't be a double-bonus for Golds come September 5th once Gold pays the same price for MCE as non-elites...
I think he is referring to the ability to get them free, 24 hours out. He's saying they are more readily available, due to the higher pricing and people not purchasing them as much.
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Old Aug 1, 18, 9:38 pm
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Originally Posted by wetrat0 View Post
Why not? The price of the ticket varies on the same flight.
Beginning September 5th, the 50% discount for Golds to buy MCE is no longer a benefit, so Gold elites and non-elites will all be paying full-price for MCE (up until 24 hours, then Golds can still choose MCE for free). Weird that they made the switch during the elite year.
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