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I'm trying to book a flight, one of the segments says Economy (R) and the other one Economy (L). They are provided by the same air company, Air France if this information is useful.

What is the difference between them?

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The fare class differs for international or within Europe flights.

Economy Class on AF are the following:

  • Within Europe:

    • Economy Flexible (U, K, H, L, T) - no minimum stay, cannot cancel, change with a fee
    • Economy Flexible (W, S, A, Q, E, N, R, V, G) - minimum stay required, cannot cancel, change with a fee
    • Economy Fully Flexible (Y, B, M) - no minimum stay, change possible, cancellation possible.
  • Intercontinental:

    • Premium Economy Fully Flexible (W) - no minimum stay, change free, cancellation possible
    • Premium Economy (S, A) - minimum stay (S: 2 days, A: 6 days); change (S: with a fee, A: not allowed); cancellation (S: with a fee, A: not allowed)
    • Economy Fully Flexible (Y, B, M) - no minimum stay, change allowed, cancellation possible
    • Economy Flexible (U, K, H) - minimum stay (U: 2 days, K: 4 days, H: 6 days), change possible (with a fee), cancellation possible (with a fee)
    • Economy (L, Q) - minimum stay 7 days, change at a fee, no cancellation
    • Lowest Possible (Q, T, N, R, V) - minimum stay 7 days, no change, no cancellation

You can find these on airfrance.com; search for "fare structure".

  • so it has nothing to do with allowed bagagge? between L and R speciffically – Leo Messi Sep 22 '18 at 16:57
  • Unfortunately no baggage allowance concessions. – Burhan Khalid Sep 22 '18 at 17:00
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Even though there are only a maximum of 4 travel classes (also known as cabins), namely coach, premium, business and first, there are lots of different fares for each class. Each fare has a code, and they are usually grouped in booking classes name after the first letter of the fare code.

Differences between fares may include:

  • availability: on each flight, there’s a maximum number of seats available in each booking class. As the flight gets fuller, the quotas for the cheapest fares will fill up, and you’ll have to book more expensive fares
  • booking restrictions, such as having to book X days in advance, stay Y days at the destination, stay over the weekend at the destination, etc.
  • the ability to change or cancel your booking, and when allowed, the penalties/fees for doing so
  • the number of frequent flyer miles you may earn
  • your priority if there are any issues (overbooking, flight cancelled and you need to be rebooked...)
  • for some fares/routes, the ability to make a stopover (stay one or more nights at one of the connection cities), and the cost for those
  • the number/weight of included checked luggage
  • the ability to combine that fare with others (for connecting flights or for outbound/inbound)
  • available routings
  • and probably a ton more.

In some cases, there are fare classes that are quite equivalent, but they just use different letters for different types of flights (e.g. short-haul vs long haul).

For coach, quite universally the most expensive fare is Y, which is normally an unrestricted, fully flexible, changeable, cancellable, and refundable fare. All the other vary, and the “order” is quite variable.

While booking you will usually be presented with a a chart that explains the difference between the different options (especially when they try to sell you an upgrade). You should also have a link somewhere about “fare rules” or “fare conditions” or something similar. Note that it sometimes links to the full fare rules text which can be quite hard to understand.

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These look like two different booking classes, having different fares, and rules concerning changing, cancelling, etc.

You might find more information on the Air France website, or if you look for the details for that segment.

  • so it has nothing to do with allowed bagagge? between L and R speciffically – Leo Messi Sep 22 '18 at 16:57

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