Skift Take

Airlines have decided that cheap consumers aren't loyal ones and they've adjusted accordingly.

What to Know Now

The day of reckoning has come for budget travelers and those who are required to book the least-expensive ticket. American and United are following in the footsteps of Delta Air Lines and introducing ultra-budget airfares. The airlines announced their official intentions at a JP Morgan conference just last week.

Built to compete with low-cost carriers, these new budget fares strip away all of the typical perks of frequent travel — seat selection; luggage fees — but most importantly, they take away the ability to score free upgrades. For many, that may be the final straw before breaking the loyalty camel’s back.

No firm date has been set for the cutover, but both airlines suggested that the new fares would come in the second half of this year. Expect strong pushback from the loyalty cohorts from each airline — and a deaf ear on the other side.

Social Quote of the Day

Great. Since my company pretty much requires us to take the lowest fare (within a certain percent), I will never, ever, be able to use the 100+ 500 mile upgrades that I have and will continue to accumulate. Maybe I will be wrong on this…. My AA Platinum status is looking more like a tin foil chewing gum wrapper…..

Jim L @ View from the Wing



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Joshua Berman’s column in the Denver Post this week is on how to raise your kids outdoors. Give it a good read.

Tips and Comments

Can be sent to gm[at]skift[dot]com or to @grantkmartin

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Photo credit: A rendering of a MileagePlus Chase Sapphire Preferred card. United Airlines

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