What is a ZED Fare?
ZED is shorthand for "Zonal Employee Discount"
The Basics of a ZED Fare
- 3 fare levels (high, medium, low)
- 9 mileage bands (1 -9)
- 2 reservation statuses (space available, confirmed space)
Zed Fare levels
- ZED High – Some airlines will require a higher fare due to tax issues or on-line service charges. This fare level is also often used for certain eligible travelers (e.g., parents).
- Zed Medium – Exchanged by most airlines on a bilateral basis
- ZED Low – Often exchanged between partner airlines (e.g., within an alliance or as part of a joint business agreement) and may be used for an airline’s own employees traveling on their own airline.
Used to determine the applicable fare based on the nonstop ticketed point mileage (TPM) of an itinerary. Some airlines will bilaterally agree to permit a single fare and single coupon to be issued on through flights but, in most cases, a separate fare must be collected and a coupon issued for each nonstop leg.
- Space-Available – Most widely exchanged among member airlines.
- Confirmed Space – Often exchanged by airlines that are not restricted or limited from doing so by fringe benefit tax laws.
How do you Book a ZED Fare?
- Figure out where you want to go and determine what airlines fly the market(s)
- Determine if your employer has an agreement with any of the airlines that fly the routes
- Determine the conditions of that agreement (e.g., which of your family/friends are eligible to accompany you on that airline, at what fare)
- Request and purchase a ticket(s) from your employing airline for travel in the specific market(s)
- Contact the airline on which you intend to travel to create a flight listing. That airline may require you contact them by phone or via a website (e.g., FlyZED) or it may not require a flight listing at all
- Check-in with that airline and keep your fingers crossed that they are able to accommodate you
- If that airline cannot accommodate you, contact a secondary airline in the market with which your employer also has an agreement to create a flight listing
- Check-in with that airline
- If, after your trip, you have unused tickets in your pocket, get them refunded by the airline that issued them to you in the first place
About the ZED ticket
- The ticket must be issued for a specific market
- The ticketing airline must collect the applicable fare (generally for each nonstop segment in the itinerary) and the applicable taxes (also for each nonstop market, as a stopover not a connection)
- If the ticket is issued as an electronic ticket it must contain your date of joining (which may be a generic date) the ZED member airline through which your ZED travel privileges are derived (e.g., AA if you are an employee of American Eagle), a code indicating that your ticket is for personal travel and for either standby or confirmed space
- The ticket must contain the endorsement VALID ZED CARRIERS or something very similar. It is not necessary that the endorsement contain a list of other airlines (e.g., ALSO VALID DL/UA/US) but many airlines add that to increase the opportunity that the ticket will be accepted by another ZED airline in the market
What can you expect from the airline when traveling on a ZED Fare?
- To check you in at a priority that is, in most cases, behind its own employees and their eligible travelers
- To not collect any fees that it does not remit to a government or airport authority (e.g., fuel or insurance surcharges)
- To attempt to accommodate you in the market (origin/destination) on which you are ticketed
- To attempt to accommodate you in the ticketed cabin
- To attempt to accommodate you on its next flight to the ticketed destination without requiring you to check-in again
What might the other airline offer, at its discretion
- To accept your ticket in an alternate market if the fare you paid is equal to or greater than the fare applicable to the new routing
- To accept your ticket in an alternate market if the taxes collected and shown on your ticket are the same as the taxes applicable to the new itinerary
- To accept your ticket if the fare level you paid is the same or greater than the fare level applicable had the ticket been issued under the conditions of that airline’s agreement with your employing airline
- To offer you a seat in a higher cabin