Are flight subscriptions the future of travel?

Alaska Airlines has recently launched the first-ever flight subscription service in the US.

It’s called Flight Pass and is an annual plan that allows subscribers to book participating flights as a part of a fixed monthly fee that allegedly costs less than standard airfare rates.

The most popular routes within California are included as well as nonstop services from Californian airports to Reno, Phoenix and Las Vegas.

Read: The future of aeroplane cabins

How Flight Pass works

Subscribers can choose between two annual plans. The regular plan starts at $49 per month and requires booking at least 14 days before travel. Flight Pass Plus starts at $199 per month and allows for booking up to two hours before departure.

Subscribers decide if they want six, 12, or 24 roundtrip flights per year to and from the 19 eligible destinations. They don’t have to pay for any flight they book no matter the fare at the time, although taxes and airport fees will have to be paid.

Subscribers will get credits deposited into their accounts on a monthly or bi-monthly basis.

Read: Double decker seats the future of flying

“Flight Pass builds on our mission to offer travellers the most West Coast destinations at the best value,” Alex Corey, managing director of business development and products for Alaska Airlines, said in a statement.

“Our commitment to care means offering convenient and affordable options that fit our guests’ lifestyle and connect them to where they want to go,” he said.

“After two years of staying close to home, guests are ready to travel again, and with 100 daily flights from 16 airports throughout California and between California to Reno, Phoenix, and Las Vegas, Flight Pass will take them there.”

Read: Things flight attendants notice about you as soon as you board

Other airlines have also been experimenting with subscription models and have reported success, especially when it comes to building customer loyalty.

And with car subscription plans taking off in Australia, maybe flight subscriptions aren’t so far behind.

In 2019, Forbes made the prediction that by 2025 1.9 million cars on Australian roads could be subscription cars. That’s 10 per cent of the country’s current road fleet, and almost four times the 515,472 private vehicles sold in 2018.

And it seems that shift may be happening sooner than expected. Research by vehicle subscription firm Carly has revealed 38 per cent of Australians would consider subscribing to a car rather than purchasing or leasing a vehicle.

Do you think a flight-subscription plan would work well in Australia? Can a subscription-style plan work with flights just as it works with other services? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.

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Ellie Baxter
Ellie Baxter
Writer and editor with interests in travel, health, wellbeing and food. Has knowledge of marketing psychology, social media management and is a keen observer and commentator on issues facing older Australians.
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