Airlines- _CA Fares

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» Posted by on Aug 5, 2014 in Airlines, Business Practices, Electronic Travel Systems, Global Distribution Systems, Payment Methods | 0 comments

One of the most misunderstood and under advertised benefit to Government travelers is the _CA fare. This is the capacity-controlled coach class fare mentioned in Section 2B Airlines. During regular training classes on our E-Gov Travel System, I continue to be astonished at the misperception and fear of choosing these _CA fares. These fares are still fully refundable, fully changeable; but they are not last-seat availability.

If travelers can make their arrangements far enough in advance, sometimes airlines will offer a certain number of seats at the lower _CA pricing. This can save an office $20.00, $40.00, even hundreds of dollars per leg off the full YCA fare. Travelers misunderstand the capacity limit to mean that they either will not get a seat on the aircraft or they will be the first one bumped. Neither of those scenarios should be the case. These days it is getting more and more difficult to obtain a seat, no matter the fare type.

The worst thing that could happen to a traveler if they do need to make a change, last minute or otherwise, the airlines could say there are no more seats available at the _CA price. If the traveler has to proceed with the change, they usually will end up paying the full YCA price, which feels like a penalty to the traveler. I try to encourage my travelers to always choose the _CA fares when available. If the only thing that could happen is they end up paying the YCA price, it’s worth the risk, since the alternative would have been booking the YCA fare first anyway. If they can complete the travel as booked, they will achieve the cost savings offered by the _CA fare. The city pair program is not always recognized as the cheapest possibility in the market, but more advertisement of these _CA savings and exposing some of the myths; would be a good way to improve perception of the program.

by Jaqueline Lynch

The contents of this message are mine personally and do not reflect any position of the Government or my agency.

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