Quoting myself from another topic on the same subject a while back.
commanderb wrote:Unfortunately the new system brought along this 'enhancement'.
My rules of thumb -
- If it starts with W S H or K and you were looking at PE, then its probably telling you the fare bucket it books into.
- If it doesn't, then you have no idea what you will get until ticketed, where you can check using the 'view receipt' button in Manage Booking. [Update - this now only appears for VS ticketed itineries. If booked through a travel agent, it does not.]
- If you don't think you know which bucket (when it doesn't start with W S H or K) then go on price.... is it insanely cheap or expensive... that will give you a clue.
- When in doubt, query ExpertFlyer to see what buckets are available to sell. If ExpertFlyer says no K and H then you know it must be S or W.
- Search for what you want, if the fare condition is not understandable, do the same search again but specify one of the higher fare buckets and see what happens to the price. Repeat this process until you find a fare code that matches the price of the original search, then you can be relatively sure that's what it is.
- If you need a specific fare bucket (for TPs or whatever) do NOT chance using the website, call VS and make sure you get the bucket you want.
It's all a bit of a palaver really. I submitted a request for improvement on this via the social media team many months ago. I asked for the ability to see the bucket before booking, like you can on the receipt once its ticketed. This was what the old website did. Ideally, it should also show TPs & Miles earned before booking, like the old site too.
EDIT to add -
If it's UC outbound and PE inbound or vice versa, its very unlikely you will be able to decipher these alone. Whenever the fare conditions get complex (mixing classes or layovers), the codes are become an enigma. When its a straight return in the same class, its almost always the first letter that is the fare bucket unless there is a sale or something on and then maybe not.
Fly's a little too much.