Last updated: 02:46 PM ET, Fri August 21 2015

Etihad Rolls Out New Eight-Tiered Pricing Structure

Airlines & Airports | David Cogswell | August 21, 2015

Etihad Rolls Out New Eight-Tiered Pricing Structure

Photo courtesy of Etihad Airways

Etihad, the national carrier of the United Arab Emirates, introduced a new pricing system that consumers may appreciate – if they can figure it out.

While all-inclusive payment plans have spread like wildfire through the lodging and tour operator segments of the industry, the airline industry remains intent on breaking up prices into various components and giving customers the opportunity — and the additional complexity — of considering the price of each component individually.

Etihad is introducing an alternative concept in pricing. But whether consumers will consider it an improvement remains to be seen.

Etihad’s Chief Commercial Officer, Peter Baumgartner, said the change is “about providing choice” and “allowing travelers to tailor their bookings to their individual needs,” according to a statement from Etihad.

Under the new system, customers booking Etihad flights will now choose from eight “Fare Choices.”

Economy class will now be broken into four sub-groups: Economy Breaking Deals, Economy Saver, Economy Value and Economy Freedom.

Business Class will be broken up into Business Breaking Deals, Business Saver and Business Freedom.

First Class will have only one price structure, called Freedom.

The price categories differ in a variety of ways, such as how many frequent flyer miles are earned, how much baggage can be carried, eligibility for upgrades or priority check-in, whether they are refundable, and of course price.

For details on the specifications of each category, see the Etihad website.

According to Baumgartner: “The ‘Fare Choices’ are transparent and differ in baggage allowance, flexibility and included benefits that otherwise need to be purchased separately.”

Under the new system, the price of carrying a 23-kilo bag will be reduced by “up to 90 percent.”  This number can be reduced an additional 30 percent "if pre-purchased directly with Etihad Airways up to 24 hours before travel."

The new pricing structure will go into effect Sept. 14.

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