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What are branded fares ?

Updated: Feb 14, 2020

Branded fares are fast becoming in the norm in the travel and airline industry. Are your customers able to book and upsell between the various fare brand options?


We've all seen them at some point or another. You're booking a flight on an airline website and you'll see different options for an Economy class booking. Economy Basic, Economy Flex, Economy Light, Classic Economy, Economy Extra and the list goes on.


It used to be so simple before, you searched for a flight and had to choose between Economy, Premium Economy, Business or First. But as scheduled airlines have sought to lower lead in prices and compete with low cost carriers we've seen them de-bundle the fares, taking out extras from the basic fare such as baggage and free seat selection.


These are where branded fares come in, with more and more airlines going down this path. It's not just on short haul bookings either, airlines now offer fares brands on both their long haul and short routes.


A great example of this is Virgin Atlantic, with Economy Light, Economy Classic and Economy Delight. The lead in fare for Economy Light to New York can be as low as £261 return including all taxes, but this doesn't include any luggage, seat selection is chargeable and there are no refunds or changes.

But book Economy Classic for £70 more (£341) and you'll be able to check-in a suitcase, choose your seats and change your flight by paying an admin fee. Stepping up again with Economy Delight offers even more with extra leg room seats.

There's a market for both type of fares. For example someone going for a short break on a budget may be fine only taking a cabin bag and not having seat selection. Where as a customer going on a longer trip will need to take more with them and will want to check-in a suitcase for the trip.


What's key is that the customer has a choice, virginatlantic.com and many other airline sites will offer them this choice when they book directly.


Up until recently this option was only available to customers booking on an airline website, but this changed when Travelport launched Rich Content and Branding. This enables airlines to display branded fares and rich content through online travel agents and corporate booking tools. Their data shows that when upsells are made using Rich Content and Branding, average ticket values increase by 23%. This can lead to significant revenue growth, with one in six flight bookings made using Rich Content and Branding resulting in an upsell, according to Travelport data.

If you would like more information on how SoftCloud can help you increase revenue using our integration with Travelport Rich Content and Fare Branding then please get in touch to book a demo or have a chat with us.


Our brand new solution SoftCloud IBE enables upselling of branded fares throughout the booking journey on both the results screen and booking confirmation screen.

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