(NEXSTAR) — It’s a service that might have been unthinkable to many at the height of the pandemic, but on Wednesday Alaska Airlines announced it would launch a flat-rate subscription service.
Although we gladly donate money every month to stream movies or buy clothes, will the business model work for flights? Alaska is banking on it, especially as omicron cases continue to decline.
Subscriptions, which start at $49 per month, allow people to fly to a number of airports in the western United States – most are in California, but Reno, Las Vegas and Phoenix are also included.
Alaska Airlines said in a press release that it is banking on travel trend reports showing that Americans plan to vacation in the country in 2022, particularly to destinations with warm climates and beaches.
“After two years close to home, customers are ready to travel again and with 100 daily flights from 16 airports across California and between California to Reno, Phoenix and Las Vegas, Flight Pass will get them there,” said said Alex Corey, director. director of business and product development for Alaska Airlines.
Alaska offers two types of subscriptions, Flight Pass, which starts at $49 per month and requires a reservation at least 14 days in advance, and Flight Pass Pro, which starts at $199 per month and allows you to reserve the same day until two hours before the flight. .
Once you’ve chosen your plan, you’ve decided how many round-trip flights you want to fly per year: 6, 12, or 24. You can then redeem credits to book travel on an eligible route, choosing from the 100 daily flights departing from 16 airports.
A closer look at the fine print shows there will be costs beyond the subscription fee, but Alaska says most will be under $15. Travelers still must pay government taxes and airport fees for each flight, as well as a nominal fare, which Alaska says is as low as $0.01 for “most flights.”
Other limitations are that the offer is only valid for return flights, not one-way fares, and credits expire if not used before the next set arrives.
It’s unclear if the subscription offering will work, but the concept has been a great business model in other industries. Other airlines, such as JetBlue, have tried in the past – the company’s “All You Can Jet” pass allowed travelers unlimited travel for a month.
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