Alaska Airlines is getting into the subscription service game with a new Flight Pass members-only ticket service.
The subscription service will give members access to routes within California, along with service from California to Reno, Phoenix, and Las Vegas. Alaska promises that plan members will be able to choose from 100 different daily flights.
The service will offer two different plans, one that starts at $49 per month that required booking to be made at least 14 days before travel and another that starts at $199 per month that allows same-day bookings up to two hours prior to departure. Members of both plans can make bookings as early as 90 days in advance.
Flight Pass will offer members up to 24 roundtrip flights per year, but Alaska will also offer two smaller plans with 12 and 6 flights total.
Members will also be responsible for paying taxes and fees on each flight, along with a nominal fare, which will be $.01, on each flight.
In the announcement, Alaska boasts that the service is the first of its kind in the U.S. and allows consumers to lock in prices, which have been fluctuating as a result of the pandemic’s impact, now as demand continues to return. The carrier promises “lower than average fares on eligible flights” for subscribers.
“Flight Pass builds on our mission to offer travelers the most West Coast destinations at the best value,” Alaska’s managing director of business development and product Alex Corey said. “Our commitment to care means offering convenient and affordable options that fir our guests’ lifestyle and connect them to where they want to go.”
“After two years of staying close to home, guests are ready to travel again,” he added.
There have been other subscription models that have launched successfully in the world of travel. SurfAir, an air-charter broker that offers a private-jet subscription service, has been successful since launching in 2011. Tour company Intrepid also launched a subscription service in 2020 as a way to allow its guests to offset their carbon footprint.
In the airline space, Delta Air Lines SkyMiles Select in 2019, a subscription service that allowed members to gain some perks (early boarding, drink vouchers, luggage tags, and more) but didn’t include flight tickets.
However, no other U.S. airline has made as direct an attempt as Alaska Airlines is doing with Flight Pass, something that, depending on its success, could represent the first of many attempts at capturing a growing consumer audience who is increasingly comfortable paying a monthly fee for a service.