This Airline Now Offers a Subscription Service for Flight Tickets
Move over, Netflix: Californians can now subscribe to airline tickets.
Alaska Airlines has just forayed into the world of subscription services with the launch of Flight Pass. This subscription-based ticketing program allows California travelers to jet around 13 of the state's major airports — and over to Phoenix, Las Vegas, and Reno — for as little as $49 per month plus one-cent fares and taxes.
Here's how it works: Travelers can sign up for either the standard Flight Pass, which starts at $49 per month for six flights a year, or shell out a bit more for the Flight Pass Pro, which starts at $199 per month. The only real difference between the two is that standard subscribers must book at least 14 days in advance, while Pro passholders have until two hours before departure to secure their tickets. Both models offer bundles of six, 12, or 24 credits per year, and credits are deposited either monthly or every other month, depending on the package. Credits can be used for trips departing up to 90 days in advance, but they do expire once the next credit (or batch of credits) is deposited into your account.
Each credit can be used toward a round-trip flight in the Main Cabin and passholders accrue miles the same way they would if they'd paid for a full-fare ticket. Alaska is also offering a dedicated reservations desk for passholders, though the online booking process is straightforward enough that most travelers likely won't have any reason to call.
Most flights are available to passholders for only one cent, plus $14.60 each way to cover fees and taxes. However, be aware that if you're traveling during a peak time (like a public holiday), you may end up spending considerably more than a symbolic penny to get on your flight of choice.
Subscriptions are hardly a new concept in the airline industry — American Airlines launched the first incarnation of its AirPass to high-rolling air travelers over 40 years ago, while Mexican budget carrier Volaris brought a subscription model to the masses in 2018 with v.pass. While the concept is still unfamiliar to the majority of U.S. travelers, the hope is that it will encourage fliers — at least in California — to reimagine their approach to exploring by plane.