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Massive spreads between Basic Economy and Main Cabin

Massive spreads between Basic Economy and Main Cabin

Old Mar 2, 20, 12:58 pm
  #1  
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Massive spreads between Basic Economy and Main Cabin

Starting to see some massive spreads between BE and Main cabin....

Example: One-way ATL-SJC 7/3: BE: $232, Main: $358. ($126 surcharge for main cabin!)

Interesting revenue management in play here.
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Old Mar 2, 20, 1:33 pm
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They're just clearly hosing the business travelers since most don't book basic econ. That isn't exactly a big leisure route.
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Old Mar 2, 20, 1:37 pm
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On our filtered screen, that would show up as $358, because BE is filtered out. That would be true for any business which does not book BE (whether there is a filter or not).
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Old Mar 2, 20, 1:49 pm
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The gap is only there with one-way fares. For roundtrip fares (yes, DL has numerous roundtrip fare filings on this route), the fare gap is the regular $35/each way. There's a one-way XAVKA0BQ fare, but no corresponding one-way XAVKA0ML main cabin fare to go with it. The cheapest one-way main cabin is a UAVNA0ML fare. You see this frequently with AA/UA as they will often have heavily discounted BE fares to compete with ULCC's. It's less common to see these gaps in fare filings with DL.

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Old Mar 2, 20, 1:56 pm
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Edit: Nevermind, xliioper beat me to it.
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Old Mar 2, 20, 2:00 pm
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Originally Posted by ajggiant View Post
I hope this isn't a new trend. Something looks a bit fishy with the fare rules here. EF is showing XAVKA0BQ, which is a basic economy fare, but there's no corresponding X main cabin fare. Cheapest main cabin on 7/3 is UAVNA0ML. There's a corresponding basic economy fare that's the standard $35 less. I wonder if the basic economy XAVKA0BQ fare is a mistake and the rules are missing the seasonal/holiday blackouts that the main cabin X fare has.
Don't think it's a mistake and again UA/AA both do this type of pricing frequently. DL has a monopoly on this route and pressing it's competitive advantage. The BE fare is likely there to try to be somewhat competitive with the $177 WN WGA one-way fares which are being matched by AA/UA. One-way tickets are typically purchased by business flyers who tend to be less price sensitive and don't care as much about the large gap when buying up to main cabin. The roundtrip fare filings on this route all have the standard $35 upcharge each-way to go from BE to main cabin.
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Old Mar 2, 20, 2:07 pm
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I've noticed on EF that DL tends to keep basic economy inventory open even when only high main cabin fare classes are available. Given that BE fares tend to have advanced purchase requirements, this doesn't seem to make much sense in the examples I've noticed unless it's to enable agents to do IROPs bookings of BE passengers into BE so that they can't pick seats etc. by accident. Given other DL trends, I'm surprised that BE fares aren't dual inventory.
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Old Mar 2, 20, 2:26 pm
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Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
I've noticed on EF that DL tends to keep basic economy inventory open even when only high main cabin fare classes are available. Given that BE fares tend to have advanced purchase requirements, this doesn't seem to make much sense in the examples I've noticed unless it's to enable agents to do IROPs bookings of BE passengers into BE so that they can't pick seats etc. by accident. Given other DL trends, I'm surprised that BE fares aren't dual inventory.
All DL BE fares have a coach class fare basis and employ dual-inventory checks. The various restrictions (advance purchase, minimum stay for roundtrip fares, etc.) are generally always mirrored between the BE, main cabin, C+ fare filings for corresponding fares. The lowest one-way BE fare in this instance is unusual in that it doesn't have corresponding one-way main cabin and C+ fares to go with it. This is why there is the big step-up to the lowest cost one-way main cabin fare. The XAVKA0BQ fare basis means there must be both X bucket and E bucket open to purchase it. Simply having E inventory open is not sufficient. So having E inventory open all the time really doesn't mean much as the availability of particular BE fares is going to be controlled by the coach fare bucket availability with the dual inventory checking. The BE fare filings only go as high as L class on this route. So if there is no bucket inventory availability in L or lower, there will be no BE fares available for purchase even if there is E bucket still open.
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Last edited by xliioper; Mar 2, 20 at 2:40 pm
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Old Mar 2, 20, 3:20 pm
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Seeing extremely similar pricing on ATL-SFO for 7/3 as well. But not any other markets. Wonder if this is an experiment of a new pricing model....
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Old Mar 2, 20, 3:40 pm
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Originally Posted by spongenotbob View Post
Seeing extremely similar pricing on ATL-SFO for 7/3 as well. But not any other markets. Wonder if this is an experiment of a new pricing model....
Yes, there's an isolated BE T fare. But again, it's only the one-way fares that have the exception, and not roundtrip fares. If you want to avoid the tax, buy a roundtrip ticket and not one-way's (assuming you can meet the min stay requirements). Or fly into OAK where DL competes with WN and does not have same leverage and all fares are one-ways with standard $35 diff. Not seeing it on EF on any other west coast routes (SMF/PDX/SEA/LAX/ONT etc.).

ATL-SFO one-way fares




ATL-SFO roundtrip fare filings with $35 each way difference between fares -- VFUNA5BG/VFUNA5MF == $196/$266.

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Last edited by xliioper; Mar 2, 20 at 3:50 pm
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Old Mar 2, 20, 10:15 pm
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Originally Posted by xliioper View Post
All DL BE fares have a coach class fare basis and employ dual-inventory checks. The various restrictions (advance purchase, minimum stay for roundtrip fares, etc.) are generally always mirrored between the BE, main cabin, C+ fare filings for corresponding fares. The lowest one-way BE fare in this instance is unusual in that it doesn't have corresponding one-way main cabin and C+ fares to go with it. This is why there is the big step-up to the lowest cost one-way main cabin fare. The XAVKA0BQ fare basis means there must be both X bucket and E bucket open to purchase it. Simply having E inventory open is not sufficient. So having E inventory open all the time really doesn't mean much as the availability of particular BE fares is going to be controlled by the coach fare bucket availability with the dual inventory checking. The BE fare filings only go as high as L class on this route. So if there is no bucket inventory availability in L or lower, there will be no BE fares available for purchase even if there is E bucket still open.
So in the example OP is seeing, theres no corresponding X fare basis, but there is X inventory and the dual inventory check is satisfied?
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Old Mar 2, 20, 10:18 pm
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I don't know how they do it, sometimes I see BE fares the same or higher than Main Cabin fares. Same over at United.
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Old Mar 3, 20, 3:56 am
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Originally Posted by ajggiant View Post
So in the example OP is seeing, there’s no corresponding X fare basis, but there is X inventory and the dual inventory check is satisfied?
Yes, as noted above, normally there would be a one-way XAVKA0ML main cabin fare to go with the one-way XAVKA0BQ BE fare for $35 more. But there is no one-way X main cabin fare filings or (C+). The cheapest main cabin one-way fare on ATL-SJC is a UAVNA0ML U fare which is $106 more. There is a one-way UAVNA0BQ BE fare to go with this main cabin U fare which is the typical $35 less. In order to buy the XAVKA0BQ BE fare, there must be both X and E inventory and you must meet the 21-day advance purchase requirement. There are V and X main cabin roundtrip fares which have a roundtrip purchase requirement and min stay requirement (Sat or variable length). So if you were booking a roundtrip and there was X inventory available, you could book one of those main cabin X fares. The roundtrip BE fares that pair with these are the typical $35 less each way.
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Old Mar 3, 20, 10:49 am
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This has been a really informative thread - thank you all for this. At the end of the day, OAK is really inconvenient for this trip, I won't book BE, and the price premium over WN to SJC just didn't make sense, so WN it is. ($187 WN vs $358 DL Main). No change fees / no cancel fees on WN just sweetens the pot.
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Old Mar 3, 20, 11:13 am
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Originally Posted by spongenotbob View Post
This has been a really informative thread - thank you all for this. At the end of the day, OAK is really inconvenient for this trip, I won't book BE, and the price premium over WN to SJC just didn't make sense, so WN it is. ($187 WN vs $358 DL Main). No change fees / no cancel fees on WN just sweetens the pot.
A lot of people on the DL FT thread will rip WN to shreds, but IMO, having no status on WN > than having a BE ticket on DL. At least on WN, you can check in exactly at T-24 or pay the $15-30 for EarlyBird Check and you are almost guaranteed to get an aisle or window and you still can choose seat (just not in advance). With BE on DL, you more than likely will be assigned a middle seat (especially on a route like this) and have no say so in where that seat is. Plus WN tickets are fully changeable with no fees, something that a Main Cabin ticket on DL wont even give you.
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