Although most airlines only have three classes of service -- economy class, business class, and first class -- a carrier can choose to categorize its fare prices with almost every letter of the alphabet. Airfare companies categorize tickets in several fare classes or booking classes with different costs, restrictions and frequent flyer earnings to maximize their potential for selling tickets and taking off with a full flight. Understanding ticket classes, including V class, can help you make a more informed choice next time you are buying an airline ticket, especially on more expensive long-haul flights or international flights.
Fare class V tickets are always a sub-class of economy tickets. V-class ticket holders sit in the coach cabin of the aircraft but are not limited to any specific seats, so you can book a seat in the first row of the cabin, in an exit row or in the last row. Although fare codes or booking codes vary throughout the coach cabin, all passengers with coach tickets receive the same treatment when on board the aircraft. Premium economy often only has 1-2 more inches of legroom than basic economy seats, some premium economy fares include perks such as a baggage allowance for one free checked bag.
While airlines differ in their hierarchy of letters for coach class fares, V class usually falls on the lower third of the fare spectrum, making it a fare class that is more affordable. The discounts available with V-class tickets, as with other deeply discounted fare categories, are available to passengers who book early.
Watch too for potential savings on child fares or infant fares which may allow savings compared to a higher fare adult round trip ticket. Ask at check in for any potential complimentary upgrades as well, while first class seats are unlikely, elite status, credit card points, politeness, or other factors may increase the chance for an upgraded seat.
Discounts also come with restrictions, though. On many airlines, fare rules for low fare flights may not offer full-fare refunds or refunds of any kind. However, you are allowed to upgrade with a V-class ticket on some airlines. Check with your airline and read the fine print before booking your ticket online to find out what restrictions a V-class fare incurs on the airline you are flying.
Frequent Flyer Miles
V-class tickets, like most other economy tickets, usually award travelers with 100 percent of the miles traveled added to their frequent flyer mileage. Business travelers and first-class fares can award anywhere from 125 to 200 percent of miles traveled. Unless your V-class ticket is the most discounted fare for the airline, which it usually is not, you will probably get 100 percent of your journey's miles credited to your frequent flyer account.
American Airlines program (AAdvantage) currently offers 50 percent of air travel miles to v-class tickets and offers a full chart online showing their fare basis codes and mileage accrual. Both Delta Airlines and United Airlines currently offer 100% points for v-class seats. Again, check the rules and restrictions before booking the ticket.