Posted by William Charles on April 23, 2018
Airline Rewards

Published on April 23rd, 2018 | by William Charles

16

Alaska To Add Basic Economy Fares (‘Saver Fares’) + Fees For Exit-Row & Itinerary Changes

Alaska Airlines is the latest airline to announce that they will be adding basic economy fares. In the company’s earnings call CEO Brad Tilden stated that:

We plan to roll out a fare segmentation platform in the late fall, which is essentially Alaska’s response to the industry’s basic economy fares, which are now prevalent,

The new fares will be called ‘saver fares’, these passengers will board the plane last and be seated in the back of the plane. Saver fares will not be eligible for upgrades, but they will include seat assignments. Alaska also announced that they will begin charging extra for exit-row seats and eliminate fee waivers on itinerary changes made more than 60 days before travel. These new changes are expected to be implemented later this year.

 



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AnameOfaguy
AnameOfaguy

Race to the bottom.

EricAstray
EricAstray

I guess it would be just a matter of time before they become a revenue based program and devaluate their redemption rate…

Lei
Lei

my guess will be in about a year or two….

Frogger
Frogger

As a stockholder I am worried they won’t be able to compete with Southwest with these changes. They don’t fly anywhere I am going so don’t care about that. I guess if people didn’t buy basic economy it wouldn’t exist. What’s next? Basic economy gets ridiculed by the crew and not allowed to use bathrooms.

PoorChurner
PoorChurner

Ever thought about trying to stand out for the better than be the same as all the other airlines?

Bret
Bret

The elimination of the fee waiver will take away the “trick” for getting the Amex Plat $200 Fee credit to apply to Alaska airfare (purchasing far-out reservations in small amounts, then canceling the ticket and getting the amount credited to one’s wallet). Gift cards don’t work for this Amex credit anymore, so the annual fee credit is going to be even tougher to use for an Alaska frequent flier. Hopefully a clear date will be announced in advance for when this change will take place.

P
P

This.

iahphx
iahphx

Yeah, it’s also a useful trick for other tickets, like the (no longer available) BOA Merrill + card. Also, for “normal” travellers, it was a great windfall to be able to buy cheapo tickets way in advance and be able to cancel them if something “happened” in your life that made the trip inconvenient.

Randy
Randy

Add companion fare to the mix, you got a lot of value from Wallet.

quasimodo
quasimodo

waiver of 60 day itinerary change – lame. one less reason to book Alaska.

escot
escot

After every depressing line of the latest airline to go over to the “dark side,” I kept thinking, “Southwest doesn’t do that.”

What will Alaska’s response to that be? (….. crickets)

CM

TBH, the reason I like flying Southwest so much is that I don’t have to check up on the new baggage or seating rules every time I depart to the airport, especially if it’s just a business trip and booked directly by the corporate travel agent.

I wonder what happens with business/corporate/candidate/interview travel nowadays? Travel agents and HR usually book the cheapest airfare; does it mean Basic Economy nowadays? I guess it could be a positive if it’ll make it easier to use the incidental credits for full-size carry-on baggage fees? Do any of these airlines charge for carry-on nowadays / yet? Looks like United may do? Although it seems like that requires an actual check-in, which is probably not really worth the effort — and I’m back to Southwest!

Jacob
Jacob

I don’t like the sound of this:
“these passengers will board the plane last and be seated in the back of the plane”

Justin
Justin

They WERE the best US domestic airline. This just makes me sad.

Nimrod
Nimrod

Sounds like the lowest frequent flyer fare (“Saver”) might get booked into Basic Economy, too?

Roberto
Roberto

Important correction here: just called Alaska Mileage Plan and rep said the 60-day no-fee change waiver was only for the Saver fare tickets. She said it doesn’t affect all the other fare classes, they can still be changed / re-deposited 60 days out.

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