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Old Jun 14, 04, 5:41 pm
  #1  
LatusElAl
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: 30,000 Feet
Programs: LY Top Platinum, AA Platinum, Hertz Five Star Gold
Posts: 845
El Al's "upgraded" Matmid Sucks

El Al's much touted "new" Matmid program goes into effect in a couple of weeks and El Al's managemnet have proven, once again, to be morons who just don't have any business sense in the airline industry.

On the one hand, they are making the program more attractive by giving you 3 years to accumulate points for reward travel and they are opening up a new, lower elite level which is good for the infrequent traveller. But El Al is about to screw their higher-up PL's (Platinums) in super royal fashion.

One of the biggest perks untill now has been the upgrade policy, which genuinely rewarded the most frequent travellers who generate the most revenue for the airline over an extended period of time. Top criteria until now was your tier status, followed by class of ticket purchased, followed by number of points acquired in previous 12 months within the peer group on your flight. This way, the more you fly El Al, the better your chance of getting an upgrade on a given flight - Classic perk of a frequent flyer program, good for the passenger, good for the airline.

NOW, they are making your tier status nearly irrelevant since the class of your ticket is the new #1 criteria. This means that El Al's management, in its great wisdom, is going to sooner reward the guy generating the most revenue on a particular flight instead of the guy who generates the most revenue over the course of, say, a whole year. So, a pax who flies coach NYC-TLV 3-4 times a year, generating maybe $5k in revenue annually, can have a beter chance at an upgrade than the guy who flies 30 times a year and generates $35k-$40k in revenue for El Al.

What the arrogant dudes in TLV don't realize is that without upgrades, the current PL's are going to stop buying the already expensive S and M class tkts and instead opt for the cheapie H, K and V - which aren't upgradeable, but who cares if we aren't getting upgraded with the "upgradeable" expensive tkts anyway. Which all means that instead of your PL's giving you $40k in revenue per year, they'll now be giving you half of that - if they remain flying El Al altogether.

Ah - so we'll get less than full points per flight, you say? So what - bonus (award) vouchers are going to become impossible to use now that they are going to be capacity controlled (weren't till now). Truth is that the capacity control thing is long overdue and I totally understand it - but A combined with B and C and D - all means that they are smokescreening the fact that Matmid is not a loyalty program at all. There is little benefit in the new program to the PL's beyond the biz check-in and lounge access.

I think I'll be checking out CO. I know they don't really do the upgrade thing, but I hear that their coach product is superior to LY. Plus, at least my elite status with CO will translate into upgrades and useable perks on domestic flights whereas LY's elite status doesn almost nothing for me as of July 1st. If I have the time, I might even start doing AA through ZRH where ZRH-NYC is "more room throughout coach" - a far better coach product.

Bottom line - El Al remains the airline in greatest need of serious head-on competition. (Israir with 3 flights a week doesn't count).
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