Alaska Airlines Will Introduce Basic Economy Fare

Alaska Airlines will introduce a basic economy option this fall, but it will not include some of the restrictions like seat selection and carry-on baggage seen in its competitors' basic economy fares.

Alaska's Saver fare passengers will be at the end of the boarding line, as for other carrier's basic economy fares. Alaska's new fare also offers no chance of upgrades for elite loyalty program members and will allow no changes or cancellations, Alaska Airlines chief commercial officer Andrew Harrison said. While seating will be restricted to the back of the aircraft, Alaska passengers will get a seat assignment upon booking. "That's extremely important to people," Harrison said. "If you look across the structure of basic economy, people have different rules and policies around it and ours is one that meets in the middle ground."

The fares are one of several "revenue product and policy changes" Alaska will enact over the next few months, he said. It also will eliminate fee waivers for changes made beyond a 60-day window, will add a fee for exit-row seats and will introduce a dynamic pricing model for premium seating.

Those initiatives are projected to add $150 million in revenue for Alaska in 2019, two-thirds of that coming from the basic economy fares alone, Harrison said.
Business Travel News 4/23/2018