Travel subscriptions are becoming popular with airline and hotel brands, but what exactly is a travel subscription? While that can be a complex question to answer, we’re going to dive into the topic and how they can benefit travelers.
On the macro level, a travel subscription involves paying a monthly fee in exchange for a premium service provided by a travel company, but each travel subscription offers something a little different to its customers. With the U.S. dropping its travel mask mandate and travel booming again, let’s look at some of the travel subscriptions that are available to you now!
The Alaska Airlines Flight Pass
Alaska Airlines recently started offering a subscription flight service called flight pass. The Pass costs a fixed monthly rate of $49 to $550 (depending on the package you choose) and a yearlong commitment, Flight pass subscribers can take up to 24 round trips, depending on the plan, among 16 airports in California, Nevada, and Arizona.
With the $49 plan, subscribers can book one round-trip main cabin flight every two months for one penny plus about $15 in fees. At the moment, the flights need to be two and from the 16 listed airports, but could expand in the future.
What could be the benefit of a flight pass like this? Well, if you’re someone who travels often, then you know that the price of airline tickets fluctuates on a daily basis, sometimes skyrocketing out of nowhere and leaving you stuck. The flight pass price is locked in for your 1-year commitment. For example, if your roundtrip ticket from Sacramento to San Diego shot up to $300 overnight, you’d still be paying the $49 per month subscription.
Be Right Back Travel
Be Right Back kind of works like a travel agent for European destinations. You pay a monthly fee that is calculated after you answer a few questions about trip duration, preferred hotel rating, flight origins, etc. Then the service will ask you a few questions about your travel preferences, places you want to visit, and places you definitely don’t want to visit. An agent from their service then get’s to work on booking you a trip. You actually don’t know where you are going or your trip itinerary until two weeks before your travel date.
The Luxury Side Of Travel Subscriptions
On the other side of the price spectrum, the luxury travel platform Inspirato offers a subscription service for vacation rentals and high-end hotels starting at $2,500 per month. The pass offers travelers the freedom to book any destination included with their pass, and assists them with booking excursions, dinners, and other luxury amenities that a traveler could want.
For those wanting a premium luxury flight subscription, FlightXO starts at $595 per year and offers travelers access to private charter flights at a discount. Their memberships go up to a whopping $1000/m.
At The Airport
Another type of travel subscription focuses on your experience at the airport. TSA Pre-Check allows you to skip the line at the airport, leave your liquids in your carry-on, not take out your laptop, or take off your shoes. . TSA Pre-Check costs just $85 every FIVE years.
Credit Cards can also act as a subscription service. For example, the United Explorer card is $95 per year and comes with perks like airport lounge passes, miles for each purchase, payment for Pre-Check, and more.
New to many U.S. airports is the service CLEAR, which costs $15 per month and lets you fly through security, jumping the normal lines. Their expansion now has them in over 50+ airports and stadiums in the U.S., with more locations coming.
Are Travel Subscriptions worth it?
Well now that we have a basic understanding of the travel subscriptions available, are they worth it? Well, that really depends on the type of traveler you are. The Alaska Flight Pass could be useful to you if you travel across the west coast often. Be Right Back could be a fun idea for the free-spirited who are up for anything. Inspirato is an interesting concept for people who can afford it. It will be really interesting to see what other companies hop on the travel subscription trend.
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Disclaimer: Current travel rules and restrictions can change without notice. The decision to travel is ultimately your responsibility. Contact your consulate and/or local authorities to confirm your nationality’s entry and/or any changes to travel requirements before traveling. Travel Off Path does not endorse traveling against government advisories