Like it or not, basic economy fares are here to stay. Fortunately, Alaska Airlines basic economy isnt as painful as what youll find on many other carriers.
Long after Delta became the first major airline to sell these no-frills fares way back in 2013, Alaska Airline was among the last to adopt them. Its the airlines way of trying to compete with budget carriers like Spirit, Frontier, and Sun Country by unbundling for fares, charging separately for bags, seat selection, and ruling out fare changes or cancellations.
But just as with everything in the airline world, Alaska does things a little bit differently – and it starts with the name. Heres a look at everything you need to know about flying Alaska Airlines basic economy … or what the airline calls “Saver Fares.”
In this article, we will take a deep dive and compare each aspect of Saver Fares against what you would be offered when flying Main Cabin.
These can be really tempting tickets based on the lower price but what exactly will you lose out on if you choose a Saver over a Main Cabin Fare?
If you’ve been planning a trip on Alaska Airlines chances are that you may have come across Saver Fares.
By the end of the article, you’ll be able to make an informed decision on whether or not it would be worth it for you to book a Saver Fare or just go with Main Cabin.
What are Saver fares? Saver fares are Alaska’s equivalent to basic economy. ZACH GRIFF/THE POINTS GUY
Alaska Airlines’ Saver fares are the carrier’s lowest-priced main cabin fares, akin to basic economy on other carriers.
These fares come with restrictions on baggage, seating, boarding order, and your eligibility to change or cancel your flight. The following sections will answer common questions about these restrictions.
Alaska Airlines waives some Saver-fare restrictions for elite members and holders of eligible cards like the Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® credit card and Alaska Airlines Visa® Business card. The final sections of this guide will speak to how Mileage Plan elite status and cobranded credit cards come in handy to take advantage of Saver fares.
Yes, you can check a bag, but not for free.
Saver fares adhere to the same policy as Main Cabin fares for checked bags: The first checked bag costs $30, the second $40 and any additional bags are $100 each.
For more information on Alaska Airlines’ checked bag policy, check out this page.
Yes, you can; the same policies for carry-ons with Main Cabin fares apply to Saver fares. Your carry-on cannot be larger than 22 inches by 14 inches by 9 inches, and those dimensions include wheels and handles.
To determine if your luggage is small enough to be a carry-on, you can always use the bag sizers near the Alaska Airlines ticketing counter.
Because Saver-fare passengers board last, overhead space might not be available for carry-ons, and you may have to gate-check your bag. This should be at no cost.
Like Main Cabin passengers, Saver-fare passengers can also bring on board one personal item like a purse or backpack.
What to Know Before You Book with Alaska Airlines
Alaska Airlines primarily serves West Coast cities with major hubs in Seattle (SEA), Portland (PDX), San Francisco (SFO), Los Angeles (LAX), and Anchorage (ANC). After acquiring Virgin America, it has expanded its network to many major cities along the East Coast and the Midwestern U.S. The airline also has a few flights to Canada, Mexico, and Costa Rica.
Alaska Airlines isn’t a part of any major airline alliance, but it does have plenty of codeshare partnerships across the world, which allow it to sell tickets to more locations throughout the world. Some of Alaska’s codeshare partners include British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Emirates, Icelandair, Qantas, Singapore Airlines, and even domestic rival American Airlines. If you are flying on a shorter regional route, it’s likely your flight will be operated by Alaska’s sister carrier Horizon Air.
Alaska Airlines competes on service and price with the other major carriers like American, Delta, United, and Southwest. As such, all of its economy fares include a normal carry-on bag plus a personal item. Checked bag fees on Alaska Airlines start at $30 each way for the first checked bag and $40 for the second. This is the same as all other major U.S. airlines except Southwest, which includes two free checked bags in all fares.
What does a saver flight mean?
What is the difference between Alaska saver and Main?