Travelers turn to airline subscriptions to save money

Airfares are climbing once again. That has more travelers looking into subscription plans for airlines. Can they save you money?

Subscriptions are available for nearly everything these days: television streaming, cooking kits, pet toys.  

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Some airline subscriptions can save you money if you take several trips a year, or travel with multiple people.

"A lot of times, I’ll bounce back and forth from San Francisco, I’ve gone to Tahoe, San Jose," said Braydee Seehuus, a member of Alaska Airlines' Flight Pass subscription plan.

Seehuus says she pays $189 a month for a subscription to Flight Pass, which launched earlier this year. She receives 24 round trip tickets year, saving her several hundred dollars.

"They’ll roll out their sales, when you can go to San Jose for $69 each way. You’re still coming out ahead of that," said Seehuus.

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"The individual is getting a discounted price point on every one of those flights for that fixed price. Secondly, the fixed price itself gives people the consistency many people want throughout the year," explained Neil Thwaites, Regional Vice President for Alaska Airlines.

Flight Pass starts at $49 a month for six round trips a year. It includes one carry-on bag, no change fees, and 16 airports in California, Nevada, and Arizona.

Frontier Airlines offers Discount Den for $59 a year. It features exclusive discounts for you and up to six people, plus a free child’s ticket on certain flights. Nerdwallet says typical savings are $10 to $30 a flight.

Spirit Airlines has the Spirit Savers Club starting at $70 a year, with access to airfare deals and discounts on bags, seats, and other perks.  


United Airlines has a variety of subscriptions, including one for $350 a year that lets you and eight companions check two bags free on each trip.

For frequent and international travelers, American Airlines offers the AirPass subscription, letting you fly American, British Airways, Finnair, Iberia and Japan Airlines. It starts at $10,000 a year, but offers fixed rate fares, a free companion on your flights, and no change fees.

Enterprise Rent-A-Car and Hertz also offer monthly subscription plans.

To determine if a travel subscription is right for you, estimate your travel costs for the year, and compare them to the annual subscription cost. Be sure to note any exclusions, like dates or destinations.