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Alaska Airlines Provides Details on Rollout of Basic Economy Fares

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Back in April, Alaska Airlines announced their intentions of rolling out a basic economy offering during their earnings call. Alaska Airlines has now indicated they are ready to launch the product. The airline has released details of what these new “Saver Fares” will look like.

Alaska is telling travel agents they plan to begin selling these fares in November 2018 for travel beginning in January 2019.


Alaska Basic Economy

Alaska's Basic economy fares are far and away going to be better and less restrictive than what is currently offered from Delta, United and American Airlines. If you buy a basic economy “Saver Fare” through Alaska you will get both advanced seat assignment and a free carry-on bag. See below for the full details of Alaska's new Saver Fares.

  • Alaska basic economy customers will board the aircraft last
  • Alaska basic economy customers will sit in the back of the aircraft
  • No reservation changes permitted
  • No elite status upgrades
  • Fares will provide advanced seat assignments
  • Fares will include a free a carry-on bag


Our Analysis

It was only a matter of time before Alaska rolled out a basic economy fare class. While they announced their intentions of doing so last fall, we are finally getting details on when these will appear. My guess is they were waiting to finalize the merger with Virgin America before they did so.

Basic economy fares are becoming a necessity to compete with the legacy carriers in the US who have already implemented them. With this news, Southwest Airlines and jetBlue are the only remaining domestic carriers without a basic economy offering. However, jetBlue recently announced its intentions to offer basic economy fares soon.


Bottom Line

All of these airlines have shareholders to answer to. Offering a basic economy fare class is one of the quickest ways to bolster their revenue numbers. Alaska's basic economy product should be the best of all domestic carriers as you will still get a free carry-on bag and advanced seat assignment.

Alaska plans to begin selling these fares in November 2018 for travel beginning in January 2019.


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