Alaska had their Investor Day conference today, and there are some interesting slides in the presentation.
Arguably not as interesting as their Investor Day conference last year, where we learned what percent of Mileage Plan awards are booked on partner airlines. But this year’s was interesting nonetheless. 😉
It’s worth noting that Alaska will begin selling extra legroom seats in the first half of 2015. No, they’re not adding an “extra legroom” section to economy, but rather they’ll start monetizing on bulkheads and exit rows. As it stands, these seats are just open to MVP, MVP Gold, and MVP Gold 75K members in advance, though can typically also be selected by non-elite members at the airport.
It’s worth noting that Alaska will initially only be selling these extra legroom seats at check-in. I’m guessing that’s simply because they don’t yet have the technology to sell these at the time of booking. That’s rather restrictive, since most likely you’ll just be able to select middle row exit seats so close to departure, after all elites have assigned them in advance.
These extra legroom seats will be priced as follows:
- $15 for up to 1,250 miles
- $30 for 1,251-2,000 miles
- $50 for 2,000+ miles
Furthermore, the seats won’t just come with extra legroom, but also with priority boarding and a free drink.
Fortunately Alaska isn’t taking anything away for elite members — they’ll continue to offer all MVP Mileage Plan members complimentary exit row and bulkhead seating in advance. MVP members might even benefit, since presumably they’ll get a free drink as well (MVP Gold and above members already get a free drink when traveling in economy).
The pricing seems reasonable, but then again these seats can only be purchase at check-in, which means you can’t use them to secure the “best” extra legroom seats in advance.
The $15 million per year revenue projections seem optimistic to me. I’d expect that to be about right if they were selling them in advance, but only at check-in? Seems unlikely.
(Tip of the hat to View from the Wing)