Like we already know via JetPrivilege, Jet Airways, India’s biggest full-service carrier, will move on to introducing a new method of selling fares, which will make the facilities provided to the passenger by the airline in line with the fare paid. There will be the option of buying a very restricted ticket, for instance, which does not allow you access to the lounge even if you are Platinum, as compared to buying a much more expensive flexible ticket which should allow you to freely change it if your plans change.
The name and the methodology are both coming from Etihad Airways, which is the 24% owner of Jet Airways now, and has integrated Jet Airways as a partner in the Etihad Airways Partner alliance. A total of 8 fare buckets will be introduced, which will include 4 in Economy, 3 in Business Class and 1 in First Class. The various fare categories are differentiated based on the changeability and refundability of a ticket, mileage accrual, upgrade eligibility, priority check-in and lounge access. Also, Jet Airways has taken a two way view of the world. There is India and the SAARC neighbours which I call Domestic (including Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Nepal), and then there is everything else abroad, referred to as International
Here is how all the fares will be classified as of August 17, 2016, even if you’ve booked it before that date:
- Economy Deal (W, O fare classes + already issued B classes): You get the complimentary meals & baggage allowances, along with 25% miles. However, you can’t upgrade these tickets or refund them even if you are an elite. Lounge Access won’t be provided even to elites when travelling around India, and neither will be the excess baggage allowance for elites.
- Economy Saver (V, H fare classes): You get the meals and baggage allowance, and 50% miles domestically. Tickets can be upgraded using miles/vouchers but not refunded (only for Platinum members travelling). Excess baggage allowance offered to elites, and also Lounge Access. When you travel abroad, you get 75% miles.
- Economy Classic (K, S, Q, L, N fare classes): Apart from the meals and baggage allowance, you get 75% miles travelling domestically and 100% miles travelling abroad. You can also change your booking very easily, and be in line for upgrades using various instruments. Excess Baggage & Lounge Access offered to elites.
- Economy Flex (U, T,M,Y fare classes): Apart from meals & baggage, 125% miles when travelling domestic and 150% miles travelling abroad. Free changes and refunds offered to your bookings, apart from the usual elite perks.
- Premiere Saver (P fare classes): You won’t be able to upgrade these tickets to First Class or refund them. You’ll get 125% miles travelling domestic and 150% miles travelling internationally on these tickets. Everyone gets lounge access.
- Premiere Classic (I fare classes): You’ll be able to change or refund these tickets for a fee, and get 150% miles travelling domestic and 200% miles travelling abroad. Upgrade eligible using miles/vouchers.
- Premier Flex (Z, J, C fare classes): Changes and refunds to these tickets are free of cost, and 175% miles for travelling domestic, while 250% for flying International. Upgrade eligible using miles/vouchers.
- First Class (A,F fare classes): 300% Miles when booked in First Class, and full refunds and cancellations.
Here is a compact chart Jet Airways put out to show how the Fare Choices will work for easy reference:
These changes allow Jet Airways to participate in the market where no-frill airlines dictate headline pricing, and pull people into the Jet Airways fold while they may only be looking at an Indigo or SpiceJet earlier due to the low fares. What really changes is the treatment elites get when they book these headline fares which are very low.
I’m looking forward to seeing how this works out in practice. For the moment, I do have some Jet Airways itineraries booked in B and V classes after the transition date, and I’d love to see this in action and report back.