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Main Cabin Flexible vs Main Cabin Fully Flexible

Main Cabin Flexible vs Main Cabin Fully Flexible

Old Sep 12, 23, 9:14 pm
FlyerTalk Evangelist
Join Date: Oct 2014
Posts: 10,716
Originally Posted by ijgordon
Call your congressperson and have them pressure Secretary Pete.
Or just complain to the DOT.

AA is not alone here. Using poorly defined marketing speak for various levels of flexibility is the norm.
VegasGambler is offline  
Old Sep 13, 23, 7:48 am
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 602
in regards to cancellation, you have the same refund 'rights', so both are fully refundable for cash, not just airline credit.

The reason why both fares exist is easy when you know about their distribution channels
'Main Cabin Flexible' is almost always only $50 more and is only distributed via NDC
'Main cabin Fully Flexible' is the fare that is available in all GDS.

AA has removed a LOT of its cheaper fares from GDS and tries to push all (O)TAs to use NDC instead of GDS. A few of (O)TAs have already worked on this (for example expedia group) and you can already book the discounted fully refundable AA NDC fares on expedia.
Many traditional (O)TAs have not implemented NDC access yet, so they get the full fare refundable fares via GDS.
And for the typical oldschool TMCs that only use GDS, AA still wants to be able to sell them a fully refundable fare, and since money is much easier spent by employers, AA gets this nice profit by only offering the expensive fares via GDS.

Most likely once enough OTAs have switched from GDS to NDC, AA will dramatically change the price for the 'Main Cabin Flexible' since selling a fully refundable ticket for only $50 more is too cheap (for AA)
fuyao is offline  
Old Sep 13, 23, 11:50 am
Join Date: Jun 2019
Location: NYC/DC
Programs: AA,SPG, Delta, Amtrak, JB
Posts: 411
Originally Posted by AmericanCaptive
Whats the difference besides $900?

I am confused: why would AA have a OW Fully flex economy priced at $1,024 and First priced at $564 and $714. What am I missing?
AJNEDC is offline  
Old Sep 13, 23, 12:06 pm
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Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 22,044
Originally Posted by AJNEDC
I am confused: why would AA have a OW Fully flex economy priced at $1,024 and First priced at $564 and $714. What am I missing?
This topic comes up about once or month or so. Here again is the explanation --

The primary difference between Flexible and Fully Flexible is that Flexible fares can have advance purchase requirements, seasonality requirements, day/time requirements, etc., while Fully Flexible fares do not. Since Fully Flexible fares have no advance purchase requirements, you can generally change them up to departure with no fare difference (provided it is same origin and destination and there is bucket inventory availability in the booked fare class). The First and First Flexible fares showing above are restricted fares with advance purchase requirements, unlike the fully flexible coach fare. This is why the coach fare costs more than the FC fares.

Here are examples of Flexible (a 21-day AP, Q class fare) and Fully Flexible (a B class fare) fares on DTW-DCA. They are both refundable with no fee, but you can see the Flexible one is far more restricted with day/time, advance purchase, and embargo date restrictions. For domestic fares, the 'R' in third to last letter of fare basis code indicates they are refundable fares. The non-refundable equivalent will have an 'N' there.

Last edited by xliioper; Sep 13, 23 at 2:52 pm
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