Recently, Danish LCC Sterling Airlines introduced a new Flex Fare in addition to their usual Low Fare option. The new Flex Fare is, unsurprisingly, launched to capture a larger chunk of the business travel market. Now, notwithstanding that Sterling has relatively low frequencies on all its routes; maybe apart from CPH-OSL; and hence cannot offer a lot of flexibility regardless of the ticket having such an option, there is something about the new Flex Fare that does not make sense IMO.
At the bottom of this post I've included the fare rules, but basically, the only thing that separates the two (Low Fare and Flex Fare) is that with the Flex Fare you don't have to pay a fee to change your ticket (apart from the name), whereas with the Low Fare you pay 40 Euros to do this.
Well, the "problem" IMO, or the thing that doesn't make sense, is that the fare difference between "Low" and "Full" is most of the times huge, and way above the 40 EUR change fee. (There are no frills attached with the Flex Fare either). For instance, if a Low Fare is selling at 50 EUR, and a Flex Fare is going for more than 200, you'd have to be either a) extremely risk-averse or b) be 70-80 % sure that you'll change your ticket very close to departure to buy the Flex Fare.
So my question is: What's the bloody point?!?!? Because the Low Fare is still pretty flexible compared to the Full Fare, a lot of business travellers are still not fenced of from buying the Low Fare and then paying the striking sum of 40 EUR when things go wrong. Or what am I missing..!??!?!?
Change of date, time or name: Possible against a fee of DKK (Denmark): 299 / NOK (Norway): 332 /SEK (Sweden): 374 /EUR: (outside Scandinavia) 40 per one-way per passenger.
Changes may take place via Sterling's Call Centre no later than two hours before the planned departure. Please note that changes made via the Internet can take place no later than 24 hours before the planned departure.
Changes can be made free of charge until 2 hours after purchase.
If you change your ticket to a more expensive fare, the difference between the two fares will be added to the above fee.
The ticket cannot be changed to a cheaper ticket.
If you wish to change to an earlier departure date, the change must be made at least 2 hours prior to such departure.
Cancellation of ticket: Possible against a fee of DKK (Denmark): 299 / NOK (Norway): 332 / SEK (Sweden): 374 / EUR: (outside Scandinavia) 40 per one-way per passenger. . The remaining amount will be refunded to a customer credit account, which can be used to purchase Sterling tickets in the future. The amount will be stored in the account for 12 months, hereafter the amount will be annulled.
Cancellation may take place via Sterling's Call Centre no later than two hours before the planned departure. Please note that cancellation made via the Internet can take place no later than 24 hours before the planned departure.
With a Flex ticket you can change the dates and times of your journey or cancel it free of charge.
You can change the dates and times of your ticket at any time if a ticket in the same price range is available, though no later than two hours before the departure. If the only available tickets are in a more expensive price range, you must pay the difference. It is not possible to rebook to a cheaper price range.
Fee for changing names:
Denmark: DKK 299
Norway: NOK 332
Sweden: SEK 374
Rest of Europe: EUR 40 each way per passenger.
Trips must be changed no later than two hours before departure.
Trips can be changed free of charge, though no later than two hours before departure.
The amount is put into a Sterling customer credit account which can be used to buy other trips with Sterling.
The amount will be available on the account for 12 months.