Breeze Airways Introduces No Flex Fares, Becomes Less “Nice”

Breeze Airways Introduces No Flex Fares, Becomes Less “Nice”

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There’s a lot going on at US low cost carrier Breeze Airways at the moment. The airline has launched a partnership with Priceline, and has also unveiled the details of its new credit card. That’s not all that’s changing, as Breeze is also reworking its fare bundles, to create an even more basic ticket type.

Breeze adds No Flex Fare to bundle lineup

Breeze Airways markets itself as offering “Seriously Nice flights,” and historically the carrier’s fare bundles have reflected that, and have been marketed as Nice, Nicer, and Nicest. Well, the airline has now added a less charming fare bundle, known as No Flex Fare.

The first thing to note is that with this change, Breeze has actually improved Nice fares. Previously Nice fares didn’t include a carry-on, while now they do include a carry-on, so that’s good. What’s less good is that I suspect No Flex Fares will probably be similarly priced to the former Nice bundles.

Breeze Airways’ four fare bundles

So, what are the restrictions with No Flex Fares, compared to Nice bundles?

  • No Flex Fares don’t offer the same flexibility as other fares (which offer full flexibility) — if you cancel 61+ days in advance you get a 100% flight credit, if you cancel 15-60 days in advance you get a 50% flight credit, and if you cancel within 14 days (up to one hour before departure) you get a 25% flight credit
  • Passengers booked on No Flex Fares board last, rather than with general boarding
  • Passengers booked on No Flex Fares earn fewer BreezePoints — rather than earning 2x points on a Nice bundle, you earn 1x points on a No Flex Fare

My take on Breeze’s No Flex Fares

The most significant change here is that Breeze Airways is no longer offering full credits on all types of fares when you need to make changes. That of course matches the industry norm, as you’ll find the same with Alaska Saver Fares, United Basic Economy, etc. But it still represents quite the change, as Breeze has promoted since launch how it doesn’t change change or cancellation fees. The airline is actually still arguing that it doesn’t have change fees even after this change, since changes aren’t allowed, but rather you’re given a partial credit.

“We never charge a change or cancellation fee”

I think this change ultimately makes sense, though I also feel like it reflects a larger identity crisis at the airline, which seems to be common for airlines that David Neeleman has founded. Breeze so heavily leans into how it’s “Seriously Nice,” and the fare bundles are even named after that.

Breeze Airways promotes itself as “Seriously Nice”

Now the fare choices are Nice, Nicer, Nicest, and… No Flex Fares? What’s “Seriously Nice” about that?

Breeze Airways’ fare bundles

But bigger picture, Breeze needs to focus on its core value proposition, which is operating point-to-point routes in underserved markets, and getting as much revenue from that as possible.

People book Breeze because they can fly nonstop from Fort Myers to Providence. They don’t fly Breeze because the airline is “Nice,” or anything else. Yet historically the airline has made it really hard to actually book its flights by not partnering with online travel agencies, while instead investing in offering a better experience. I think that’s misguided.

Breeze management is stating that the airline will be profitable in 2024, despite all publicly available data suggesting the airline has been hemorrhaging money up until this point. I’m curious if this is the year where the airline can turn things around.

Bottom line

Breeze Airways is introducing No Flex Fares, with the biggest new restriction being that these fares don’t allow free changes within 60 days of departure. Realistically speaking, this is probably a pretty smart move on Breeze’s part, even if it’s not customer friendly. People fly with the airline because of its point-to-point route network, and the airline needs to lean into that and maximize revenue.

The new No Flex Fares do put the airline in an odd position when it comes to marketing, given that Breeze has been so heavily focused on how “Nice” it is, and this new fare option runs counter to that.

What do you make of Breeze’s No Flex Fares?

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  1. Ryan Guest

    Previously there was nothing between the no-carryon Nice fare and the carryon+checked Nicer fare, so putting a something that includes a carryon between the two is one plus. However, like almost every other airline that introduced non-flexible Basic Economy pricing, they didn't reduce fares in line with the devaluation; what one previously paid for a Nice fare and its flexibility now pays for a No Flex fare, so they're effectively charging you more to add...

    Previously there was nothing between the no-carryon Nice fare and the carryon+checked Nicer fare, so putting a something that includes a carryon between the two is one plus. However, like almost every other airline that introduced non-flexible Basic Economy pricing, they didn't reduce fares in line with the devaluation; what one previously paid for a Nice fare and its flexibility now pays for a No Flex fare, so they're effectively charging you more to add something that they previously gave you as part of the same price.

    From what I could tell, the only airline that actually added a lower-price tier that neither changed nor devalued its pre-existing fare tiers was JetBlue, where Blue Basic fares AND lower fares were introduced, i.e./e.g., let's say SFO-LAX was $50-74 or SFO-JFK was $180 on a Blue fare, for the same period from one year to the next, and this held true after Blue Basic was introduced, where Blue Basic fares for SFO-LAX would quote for $37 or SFO-JFK would quote for $108-120.

    Alaska, United, American, Delta, and now Breeze charged the same fares as before, but what you used to pay for a Main fare you started paying for a Basic fare. i.e./e.g., Breeze's SFO-SBD just a few days ago prior to this change would show for $47 this summer for Nice; now it's $47 for No Flex with its lack of flight changes, only partial flight credit for cancelling, and reduced BreezePoint accrual compared to what Nice gave.

    Previously I would choose to book with Frontier/Spirit (and would understand Allegiant has the same if not similar pricing model and policies) knowing full well of their very restrictive policies going in, while when I'd book with Breeze there was the peace of mind of no change fees, having anything I spend be fully retained as credit in the event of changing or cancelling, and lower bag fees that didn't increase between booking or post-booking, despite competing in the same space. This change takes away that distinction and likens them to Frontier/Spirit in a negative fashion, and removes a positive similarity it had in common with Southwest, possibly the only other major airline that would have no change/cancel fees and the full amount paid retained as credit for ALL fares.

    Breeze wants to price and devalue itself to be like Frontier/Spirit/Allegiant? Well Frontier/Spirit/Allegiant can also have more planes, a bigger network, and more frequencies (or fewer depending what's relevant to the person), and this change doesn't help Breeze become more compelling as a choice in comparison.

    1. john Guest

      Agree, Breeze is actually do-able now that Nice has a bag.

  2. Debbie Guest

    Just when I just started to fly breeze it changes it's policy about flight changes.
    WELL THAT JUST STINKS, I WILL GO BACK TO SOUTHWEST AIRLINES
    AS LOOKS LIKE THEY ARE THE BEST.

  3. David Guest

    Wonder why they didn't name the new fare class "Not Nice"?

  4. BradStPete Diamond

    I would like to fly this airline from TPA to....? but the schedules are impossible for a quick "up and back" on the East Coast. It's a shame.

  5. Josh Guest

    Too bad this airline won't be in business for too much longer! They are losing millions on a monthly basis! My suggestion would be to try and advertise, should'nt take rocket scientist to figure that one out!

  6. Alvin | YTHK Diamond

    Missed opportunity to call it "Passable"

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john Guest

Agree, Breeze is actually do-able now that Nice has a bag.

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Ryan Guest

Previously there was nothing between the no-carryon Nice fare and the carryon+checked Nicer fare, so putting a something that includes a carryon between the two is one plus. However, like almost every other airline that introduced non-flexible Basic Economy pricing, they didn't reduce fares in line with the devaluation; what one previously paid for a Nice fare and its flexibility now pays for a No Flex fare, so they're effectively charging you more to add something that they previously gave you as part of the same price. From what I could tell, the only airline that actually added a lower-price tier that neither changed nor devalued its pre-existing fare tiers was JetBlue, where Blue Basic fares AND lower fares were introduced, i.e./e.g., let's say SFO-LAX was $50-74 or SFO-JFK was $180 on a Blue fare, for the same period from one year to the next, and this held true after Blue Basic was introduced, where Blue Basic fares for SFO-LAX would quote for $37 or SFO-JFK would quote for $108-120. Alaska, United, American, Delta, and now Breeze charged the same fares as before, but what you used to pay for a Main fare you started paying for a Basic fare. i.e./e.g., Breeze's SFO-SBD just a few days ago prior to this change would show for $47 this summer for Nice; now it's $47 for No Flex with its lack of flight changes, only partial flight credit for cancelling, and reduced BreezePoint accrual compared to what Nice gave. Previously I would choose to book with Frontier/Spirit (and would understand Allegiant has the same if not similar pricing model and policies) knowing full well of their very restrictive policies going in, while when I'd book with Breeze there was the peace of mind of no change fees, having anything I spend be fully retained as credit in the event of changing or cancelling, and lower bag fees that didn't increase between booking or post-booking, despite competing in the same space. This change takes away that distinction and likens them to Frontier/Spirit in a negative fashion, and removes a positive similarity it had in common with Southwest, possibly the only other major airline that would have no change/cancel fees and the full amount paid retained as credit for ALL fares. Breeze wants to price and devalue itself to be like Frontier/Spirit/Allegiant? Well Frontier/Spirit/Allegiant can also have more planes, a bigger network, and more frequencies (or fewer depending what's relevant to the person), and this change doesn't help Breeze become more compelling as a choice in comparison.

0
Debbie Guest

Just when I just started to fly breeze it changes it's policy about flight changes. WELL THAT JUST STINKS, I WILL GO BACK TO SOUTHWEST AIRLINES AS LOOKS LIKE THEY ARE THE BEST.

0
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