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A3 begins charging for advance seat reservations - limited discount for A3*G

A3 begins charging for advance seat reservations - limited discount for A3*G

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Old Mar 3, 18, 2:27 am
  #181  
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: LHR, ATH
Programs: A3*G
Posts: 97
Originally Posted by wyvern View Post
So maybe a new top tier is coming which will then get access to these seats for free? I guess devaluing gold and adding platinum or similar would avoid putting up the qualification thresholds if they feel they have too many gold members. But I am not sure if I would be motivated to achieve a new top tier.
That's an interesting concept but I can't see how they could devalue Golds without causing a major uproar. Also, let's say you would need something like 36K miles to qualify and 24K to maintain Platinum. I can't imagine what they could offer in return. Free upfront wouldn't cut it. And if nothing else, to be hitting 24K miles each year on a regional airline wouldn't be easy, unless you credit long hauls, something A3 doesn't offer.
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Old Mar 3, 18, 2:31 am
  #182  
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Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: PAS, Paros Greece
Programs: A3 *G
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Originally Posted by wyvern View Post
So I emailed A3, and included 'I understand that....' and points from f their standard response in my email, and stated that most carriers offered their top tier members access to free premium seating, and I expected this from A3. I received the following in reply:

"We would like to note that, by launching this new service, our goal is to facilitate our members and passengers and offer them the choice of preselecting the desired seat. This kind of service is offered by many International Air Carriers already and we do follow this example, hoping to provide extended care and a completely new level of information and control of our regular customers’ journey. n the Miles + Bonus program, at the moment, the top tier is Gold. However, considering the course and development of the Program so far and of course with your support, we believe that in the future we will be able to offer more and more opportunities matching your expectations and growing needs of our individual members like you."

So maybe a new top tier is coming which will then get access to these seats for free? I guess devaluing gold and adding platinum or similar would avoid putting up the qualification thresholds if they feel they have too many gold members. But I am not sure if I would be motivated to achieve a new top tier (most of my *A miles are going into Asiana as the moment as I am mid way to lifetime status).

As others have said, I think one of the worst things about *A is the lack of premium seating benefits for gold alliance-wide. The others are the basing of codeshare earning on the operating carrier's codes, and the the growing number if *A carriers using their own non *A LCC for connecting/regional flights.
It's surprising that you seemed to get a 'personal' reply rather than a standard one. I also got a standard reply to my complaint, but it was different to some of the others copied here. At least they seem to be listening.

I agree that this does hint of a possible 'Platinum' tier in future and I think that would be a good idea. Myself, I would probably not reach that and would stay Gold, but it at least would mean, as you say, that they might not raise the bar for Gold. At least such a new system would seem "fair" as it would no longer be the case that they were taking benefits from their top tier as we'd no longer BE "top" tier.

As for the off-topic 'worst thing about *A', my current bugbear is the lack of alliance-wide free checked bag, particularly now that SAS are following the lead of the LH group and removing this on their cheapest fares. I fly SAS quite often. Again, this might be something addressed by a higher tier than Gold - perhaps something like Platinum would work on an alliance-wide basis but I don't expect it to happen.
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Old Mar 3, 18, 2:47 am
  #183  
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: AMS / ATH
Programs: AFKL Gold, A3 Gold
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Very interesting development indeed. If they would introduce a platinum level, and if indeed that level would have free up front/legroom seating, that would be fine by me.

The people that have a right to complain about the current changes are the ones that over-qualify anyway (i.e. The ones that actually fly A3 a lot), and those would probably qualify for a platinum tier anyway. Even if that means that the platinum tier is not that much different from Gold, it takes away one of the main grievances (seat reservation fees) at this point. And of course they can make the level more interesting by offering a few more business upgrades, platinum call center number with higher priority, etc.
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Old Mar 3, 18, 3:40 am
  #184  
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: LON, ATH
Programs: A3*G, BA Gold, OA Gold (in memoriam), Hertz #1 Gold
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Platinum? on a regional airline? are we serious? They should just make gold more difficult for people who don't fly the airline (eg increase the requirement to 8 flights) rather than introducing a new tier. If they had long haul flights though it is a different league
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Old Mar 3, 18, 3:55 am
  #185  
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
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Originally Posted by wyvern View Post
I received the following in reply:
It sounds to me as if someone at customer service was just being a little more creative at fobbing you off! You've got to praise them for their ingenuity at least!

I mean, really, what could a Platinum status actually offer that was of any value? A Platinum Lounge at Athens!?
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Old Mar 3, 18, 9:09 am
  #186  
 
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Originally Posted by DrHalxx View Post
Platinum? on a regional airline? are we serious? They should just make gold more difficult for people who don't fly the airline (eg increase the requirement to 8 flights) rather than introducing a new tier. If they had long haul flights though it is a different league
I see it going on a revenue based system similar to other airlines have introduced. Also to cater for the Greek Domestic business market maybe 40 segs a year to get Gold.
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Old Mar 3, 18, 3:07 pm
  #187  
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
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Originally Posted by DELLAS View Post
I see it going on a revenue based system similar to other airlines have introduced. Also to cater for the Greek Domestic business market maybe 40 segs a year to get Gold.
I have a feeling this thread will need to be splitted again.
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Old Mar 3, 18, 4:07 pm
  #188  
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Amsterdam
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Originally Posted by headingwest View Post
It sounds to me as if someone at customer service was just being a little more creative at fobbing you off! You've got to praise them for their ingenuity at least!

I mean, really, what could a Platinum status actually offer that was of any value? A Platinum Lounge at Athens!?
They could always make gold equal *S and a new Platinum status being the new *G.

I mean, not that I imagine this is happening, just that is the only way I could imagine a new higher tier making any sense.
Certainly not unprecedented. It's what they did a few years ago to the blue members.
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Old Mar 3, 18, 4:31 pm
  #189  
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
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Enjoy the cheap status while you can. Aegean has smartened up!
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Old Mar 3, 18, 5:00 pm
  #190  
Senior Mod and Moderator: Aegean Miles&Bonus and British Airways
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Norwich, UK
Programs: A3*G, BA Gold, BD Gold (in memoriam), IHG Spire
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Folks, we are experiencing thread drift. The subject is A3’s decision to charge for preferred seats. Let’s not get distracted please.

/mod
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Old Mar 5, 18, 6:42 am
  #191  
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
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Do A3 publish how many Golds and Silvers they have (like BA do in their annual report)? Might be helpful to construct a better argument with them if we understand the quantum of members affected.
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Old Mar 5, 18, 10:30 am
  #192  
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: AMS / ATH
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Another data point: AMS-ATH last week was fully booked in Economy, as is almost always the case. Kind of impressive if you consider that this is winter and there is hardly any tourist traffic towards Greece. The (very) low fares may have something to do with that perhaps..

However that also means that most of the people in Economy 'Up Front' were upgraded for free. No empty middle seat when buying the up front seats on this route.
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Old Mar 5, 18, 12:45 pm
  #193  
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Programs: Miles & Bonus (A3), Miles & More (LH)
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Originally Posted by Xandrios View Post
Does EF show seat mas right up until departure? Does it retrieve the seat map data from the airport (who controls the seats during check in), or the airline reservation system (Who controls the bookings).

Very few flights nowadays have empty seats by the way - somehow A3 seems to be getting very high loads. I'm expecting that most flights will be too full to use this tactic.
Indeed EF shows seat maps until the check-in procedure is concluded.
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Old Mar 5, 18, 1:57 pm
  #194  
 
Join Date: Jan 2018
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Originally Posted by Xandrios View Post
Another data point: AMS-ATH last week was fully booked in Economy, as is almost always the case. Kind of impressive if you consider that this is winter and there is hardly any tourist traffic towards Greece. The (very) low fares may have something to do with that perhaps..

However that also means that most of the people in Economy 'Up Front' were upgraded for free. No empty middle seat when buying the up front seats on this route.
Just back from a PRG-ATH-HER-ATH-PRG week-end mileage run. I had my exit row seats booked during the era of free pre-seating. On PRG-ATH-PRG, the exit rows were relatively empty, yet other passengers changed seats, which was noticed by the crew, yet they had no objections / acted as if nothing wrong happened. On ATH-HER-ATH, the exit rows were quite full already. On all the four segments, particularly so on the domestic Greek legs, the Up Front seats were occupied with very few if any free middle seats.

As I stated earlier, after my 8 upcoming segments, I have and shall further halt my A3 bookings until the policy has been adjusted. I shall primarily miss the LH lounge at ATH and am looking forward to less remote stands (except for TLV bound flights and very sporadic incoming Schengen flights) and having to beg for enough tea poured into the cup / another cup.
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Old Mar 6, 18, 1:35 am
  #195  
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: LON, ATH
Programs: A3*G, BA Gold, OA Gold (in memoriam), Hertz #1 Gold
Posts: 463
Flew LHR-ATH yesterday. Most upfront seats taken with the middle seat empty. I don't know if these were people who were upgraded at check-in, paid for their seats or were pre-seated before the changes.

Two old boys (who were both golds, I saw them at the lounge before) tried to self-upgrade to an exit row after boarding was completed but the cabin manager did not let them. Quite interesting, felt a bit like united.

Not good A3, not good, you should make those seats free at check-in for your valued customers
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