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Airlines’ “basic” fares may be counterproductive

October 1, 2018

No ticket changes. No refunds. No advance seat assignments. No carry-on luggage.

The airlines industry is now offering cheaper, no-frills pricing that doesn’t provide the flexibility and amenities that most business travelers are looking for.

This strategy enables airlines to offer “attractive, super-low” fares. However, experienced flyers realize that they need to be cautious when they see these prices.

The industry is also making it harder for frequent flyers to attain the elite status that maybe they achieved two or three years ago. This premier status enabled easy upgrades or better odds of not being bumped if a flight is full.

This value-pricing trend is pushing many business travelers away from brands like Delta and toward brands like Southwest Airlines. Southwest is known for its Rapid Rewards program because its point system is accelerated; the points add up faster than most.

The hassle in pricing and perqs is also driving executives away from commercial flights and toward private jets. This also occurs when travelers become sensitized to political unrest or international turmoil.

The stripped-down value pricing is forcing some companies to provide an ‘elevated’ service to their C-suite travelers. The idea is to broaden the scope of the service so as to become an executive’s ‘personal travel advisor.’ One of the defining tools of that relationship is a mobile app that alerts executives about airline delays, gate changes, weather waivers and alerts about the location of the nearest gas station before dropping off your car.

Check the Van Go blog for the latest tips in business travel.

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