Alaska Airlines’ Fare Sales are no longer good deals

Alaska Airlines is known for their monthly fare sales. Deals are often available from $39 or $49 one way, but they’re no long as good of a deal as they used to be. Ever since they launched their ridiculous Saver fares, the deals have become not nearly as exciting. You can still get good deals, but now they come with a catch.

Alaska Flash Sale

Flash Sales used to be a reason to get excited. $49 from Seattle to San Francisco? Sign me up! Now, things have changed. You can still get those deals, but now the deals are on their bare bones Saver Fares.

Saver Fares Explained

Saver Fares are Alaska Airlines’ foray into Basic Economy fares. While you still get one mile earned for every mile flown, that’s about it. You’re boarding last, you don’t get a bag, you only can pre-assign the last 3-4 rows in the plane, you can’t change the ticket, and your elite benefits are gone. No upgrades, etc. There’s nothing attractive about it, other than they can now charge the same thing they charged before November and now call it a Saver Fare.

This has now made its way over into their fare sales. At least they’re being transparent about it, but it’s still kind of bait and switch. Just take a look at the way the sale is posted.

Alaska Fare Sale

Notice how they say Flash Sae, and they let you know the deals are under the Saver Fare ‘most restricted fare…’ The Main Fare deal, which used to be the way all things are, tries to convince you its the way to go with “more options and more flexibility.”

In reality, there isn’t a ton more flexibility, since you’re still charged out the you-know-what when you want to make any changes to a flight. Take a look at the fare difference between some of these options. While some of them are only $30 some are higher. And this is each way.

Alaska Fare Sale

That means that you’re paying $60 more, at a minimum, that you would have paid a few months ago for the exact same product. It’s like they’re saying “no, don’t use your internet time machine to realize that we’re charging you a HUGE premium for the exact same thing that we gave you a couple months back for the same price…”

Not all gloom and doom

If you still only want to get from A-B and don’t care about anything other than a seat on a plane, this might make sense for you. With that said, anyone chasing status, upgrades, or any level of comfort for their flying experience should just enter into this fare sale with their eyes wide open.

What are your thoughts? How do you feel about the ‘ol bait-and-switch Alaska Airlines is doing moving forward?



Author: Jon Nickel-D'Andrea

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  1. Great info. Honestly, I track multiple sites and blogs and there are really no more “deals” out there anywhere. I travel from Boston to Kona often and we never find deals. Never. Always at least $600 and up per person, RT. In tracking flights and destinations, any deals are gobbled up so quickly that one may never even see them. Thanks for the information!

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  2. This is news?? Has been true for years now. Most published “fare sales” are dogs – true for all major airlines.

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    • You seem to be confused. This is in fact news, since Alaska Saver Fares have existed only since November, and their flash sales were REALLY GOOD in the past. Not all airlines are terrible, even though that’s where we’re trending in general. Thanks!

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  3. I’m a 75k and have been for the past 5 years. Alaska’s new pricing and customer service approaches have left me with a bad taste. It’s sad as they were a unicorn of sorts when it came to how they treated loyal customers and competed with other airlines. I was shocked with the saver fare option as my top tier benefits don’t even apply which has me auto deleting most of their emails so I don’t get my hopes up..

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    • I’m with you. I fly them when it’s convenient but this saver bull has got me looking elsewhere.

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  4. This is a nightmare and Alaska has just lost a long time Gold member. The main reason I fly AK is the no change fees and refundable tickets. However as all of my travel is booked through a corporate booking site, I don’t have visibility to which fares are Saver and which are not when I book. I happily paid more for fares knowing I could change my ticket whenever and do same day confirmed changes but now I can’t do this and lost the ability to upgrade. This may be a good deal for John Q flyer with no status but AK is going to upset and lose a lot of their elite and most loyal fliers over this change. Really disappointing as they have been a great carrier and by far until this change had the best service and program.

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    • You should know that the majority of booking engines WONT book into saver. The easiest way is to look at the price on Alaska and you should see that the fare for Main Cabin matches your booking engine (at least that’s what mine does)

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  1. Alaska Airlines sort-of Apologizes for Saver Fares | No Mas Coach! - […] “saver fare sales” and the regular fares aren’t as sexy. We wrote about those here and here, for […]

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