Note that there are two classes concepts for airlines:
- The service class can be one of one to four different values (economy, premium economy, business and first), and described the cabin you will fly in. The code for economy is always Y.
- The fare class has a much longer list of classes, which dictate conditions (how far in advance you have to buy, minimum/maximum stay, exchanges and refunds allowed or not, for free or for a fee…), price, and availability. Full-fare economy (fully flexible, nearly no conditions, available nearly to the very last minute, but often very expensive) always has code Y, but there are a lot of other codes. They depend on each airline (and possibly flight), but common codes are R, T, M, V, etc.
Airlines are not very consistent on which code they will show where. Boarding passes will often show the service class rather than the fare class (it gives a quick indication to agents of the class of travel, and thus whether you are allowed early boarding, which jetway/door to use, etc.
Your ticket should have the fare class. Note that the fare class is the first letter of the fare code, which is a longer combination of letters and sometimes digits, usually 4 to 8 characters long, which is more likely to be shown on your ticket.
It is relatively unlikely you had tickets in fare class Y (remember, those are very expensive — a Y ticket can be more expensive than some business class tickets), so you probably actually had different fare classes (you paid a very different price).
Miles/points awarded by frequent flyer programs are usually a combination of:
- Either the price paid or the number of miles flown
- The fare class
- The frequent flyer elite status of the passenger
- The sales channel used
- The operating airline and FF program you are crediting to.
It’s common nowadays to have ratios between the cheapest economy light ticket and a fully flexible ticket on the same flight of 4 or more (e.g. cheapest ticket gets 25% of the miles while full fare gives 100%). On some airlines, some fare classes will even not award any miles at all.