Alaska Airlines is joining Delta, American, and United and launching a basic-economy class - but the cheap tickets come with a catch (ALK)



Alaska Airlines announced on Monday at that it is going to begin selling discount no-frills tickets called Saver Fares.

The low-priced tickets are not changeable or cancellable and will not be eligible for upgrades, Alaska Airlines chief commercial officer, Andrew Harrison announced on the company's Q1 2018 earnings call.

Those traveling on Saver Fare tickets will also board last and will be seated at the back of the plane. Alaska Airlines expects Saver Fares, which will go on sale this fall, to drive as much as $100 million in revenue in 2019.

Alaska's Saver Fare tickets will function in a similar manner to the unbundled no-frills basic economy fares offered by American, Delta, and United Airlines. However, Alaska was not immediately available to comment on whether carry-on bags will be allowed on board for Saver Fare tickets holders.

Alaska Airlines is also going to implement several new product and policy changes between now and June. Changes include offering exit row seats for sales, dynamic pricing for premium seatings, implementing new technology to better manage revenue, and the elimination of fee waivers for reservation changes made more than 60 days before a trip.

These additional changes are expected to drive $20 million in revenue this year and another $50 million next year.

On Monday, Alaska Air Group announced a Q1 profit of $18 million, down from the $124 million the company reported last year during the same period. On April, 25, Alaska Airlines and Virgin America will complete the merger of their operations at which point the Virgin America brand will be retired.

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