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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 Feb 5, 18, 1:05 pm
  #76  
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Wedged somewhere between BTS and VIE ✈
Programs: Star Alliance Gold (A3 Gold)
Posts: 5,519
Originally Posted by NWIFlyer View Post
Succinct and accurate, I’m afraid. Apparently it’s now a Gold benefit to be able to pay for seats that previously could be selected for free. Do they seriously think anyone’s going to be taken in by this? Absolutely delusional ...
They replied to my complaint;

''Our intention is to make it easier for both our loyal members and the rest of the passengers who choose us to travel, by activating this new service that allows our passengers to preselect the ideal position, which is already being applied by many other international carriers.''

I always found it perfectly easy to get the seats I wanted before. In fact, what they've actually done is make it easier for those that don't fly often, at the expense of those who are most loyal.

The ''Check your updated Gold benefits!'' e-mail is almost textbook material for a 'How to P-off your most loyal customers' approach to management.
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Old Feb 5, 18, 4:03 pm
  #77  
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: 39000ft
Posts: 320
This Gold "benefit"

Enjoy free of charge preselection of your preferred Standard seats, for all Aegean and Olympic Air operated flights, any time you wish, for you and your travel companions, online or offline through the Aegean's Call Center
My booking had me and a non-Gold member under the same code, but online system gave me a glorious error. I tried the "gold members" line and worked then (although they were not sure why that did not work out). By the way (because I called from my M+B phone, they greeted me with my name).
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Old Feb 5, 18, 8:28 pm
  #78  
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Programs: Top Tier with all 3 alliances
Posts: 3,299
What other airlines are they referencing as making their top elites pay for good seat selection? Is there even one example?

Last edited by nk15; Feb 6, 18 at 6:05 am
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Old Feb 6, 18, 12:12 am
  #79  
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: AMS / ATH
Programs: AFKL Gold, A3 Gold
Posts: 4,715
Flying Blue offers only 50% discount on Economy Comfort to their Gold members. However at Flying Blue their Gold members are not top elite, so that is not entirely comparable. Their Platinum top elite members get seats for free on long haul which regular pax have to pay 120 euro per segment for.

Though on the other hand the qualification for M+B is a lot easier than Flying Blue top tier elite, or even Gold. So if you look at the effort that it takes to earn the status the picture is different. Perhaps they should introduce M+B Platinum with higher qualification requirements, free extra legroom seating and 8 business upgrades per year?
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Last edited by Xandrios; Feb 6, 18 at 12:19 am
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Old Feb 6, 18, 2:02 am
  #80  
 
Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: ATH, DUS, NYC, LHR
Programs: A3*G
Posts: 8
why dont all of us reading and contributing to this thread actually send them a message or reach out via their social media? I have just done so and expressed my dissatisfaction via [email protected]

Dear A3,

I’m writing to express my dissatisfaction with your recent policy change for seat reservations as well as the associated price tag for your most loyal customers.

Instead of pointing out why I believe – from a business strategy and operational point of view – it is a step in the wrong direction to start charging your most loyal customers for pre check-in reservations I will emphasise why A3 has always been my preference:

From a personal point of view I have continuously valued your business approach, putting importance on small aspects of travel that make for great customer satisfaction. Clear reservation policies, attractive fares and a customer friendly FFP are valuable. Punctuality, outstanding catering even in Y cabin as well as friendly and skilled staff, both on the ground and in-air, round off my experience every time. From my point of view, A3 has always deserved the Skytrax award as a reward for investments in valuable aspects that other airlines often neglect.

In my opinion, charging any passenger for ‘up front seats’ is more than questionable and is setting A3 on track to becoming just any other carrier. Furthermore charging your own *Golds is unacceptable for me and I will not buy into this.

I would like to encourage you to adjust your new model and continue to show faith in customer satisfaction as the key to establishing long-term success.

Kind regards
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Last edited by mac fly; Feb 6, 18 at 2:31 am
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Old Feb 6, 18, 2:16 am
  #81  
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Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Netherlands
Programs: Gold: A3, KL Silver: AZ, BA
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Originally Posted by DrHalxx View Post
They sent an email advertising the charges as enhancements. They are idiots
The new Gold hotline, however, is a definite "enchantment", don't you think?
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Old Feb 6, 18, 4:48 am
  #82  
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: LON, ATH
Programs: A3*G, BA Gold, OA Gold (in memoriam), Hertz #1 Gold
Posts: 462
Originally Posted by irishguy28 View Post
The new Gold hotline, however, is a definite "enchantment", don't you think?
Generally yes but this will be proven with time. I suspect that they sacked quite a lot of people from their call centre (they might re-hire them during the summer/high season). Whenever I called from the UK, using their UK number there was no wait. I now tried calling using the same number and there was quiet a wait, although when I called the greek number there was no wait. Yes it is probably an enhancement if you live in Greece, but they should have added numbers for other countries as well
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Old Feb 6, 18, 5:00 am
  #83  
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: LON, ATH
Programs: A3*G, BA Gold, OA Gold (in memoriam), Hertz #1 Gold
Posts: 462
Originally Posted by mac fly View Post
why dont all of us reading and contributing to this thread actually send them a message or reach out via their social media? I have just done so and expressed my dissatisfaction via [email protected]

Dear A3,

I’m writing to express my dissatisfaction with your recent policy change for seat reservations as well as the associated price tag for your most loyal customers.

Instead of pointing out why I believe – from a business strategy and operational point of view – it is a step in the wrong direction to start charging your most loyal customers for pre check-in reservations I will emphasise why A3 has always been my preference:

From a personal point of view I have continuously valued your business approach, putting importance on small aspects of travel that make for great customer satisfaction. Clear reservation policies, attractive fares and a customer friendly FFP are valuable. Punctuality, outstanding catering even in Y cabin as well as friendly and skilled staff, both on the ground and in-air, round off my experience every time. From my point of view, A3 has always deserved the Skytrax award as a reward for investments in valuable aspects that other airlines often neglect.

In my opinion, charging any passenger for ‘up front seats’ is more than questionable and is setting A3 on track to becoming just any other carrier. Furthermore charging your own *Golds is unacceptable for me and I will not buy into this.

I would like to encourage you to adjust your new model and continue to show faith in customer satisfaction as the key to establishing long-term success.

Kind regards
I just copied and pasted it and send them an email complaint to them
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Old Feb 6, 18, 5:08 am
  #84  
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Programs: THY Elite Plus, Aegean Gold, LH FTL. Former BA Gold, Air France Platinum, Czech Gold, United PE.
Posts: 356
The net effect of the new seat charges for me is that it will add €20 to my most frequent LCA-ATH-TXL-ATH-LCA routing. Already, massive increases in Aegean fares on this route over the last 9 months have resulted in A3 becoming totally uncompetitive versus LH and OS - I have booked 10 return flights on LH from March-Dec 2018 (and none on Aegean) because their fares were typically 40% cheaper than A3. Now, the seat charges mean that it is unlikely I will fly with A3 at all from LCA to TXL. LH gives free seat reservations on all classic economy fares and I normally end up in either the emergency exit or in one of the front senator seats. Aegean are shooting themselves in the foot: If they really want to cut costs on A3*G benefits, they should increase the mileage qualification levels for gold cardholders and not play silly games with seating charges!
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Old Feb 7, 18, 5:01 am
  #85  
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: AMS / ATH
Programs: AFKL Gold, A3 Gold
Posts: 4,715
They have made some changes to the system. Existing seat reservations (done before these changes were announced) are still valid however you are now no longer able to change seats. I had an up front seat reserved for most of my economy bookings (for free, a month ago) and while last week I was able to move to other 'Up front' seats - now I am only able to move back to the regular seats.
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Old Feb 7, 18, 10:09 am
  #86  
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Join Date: Aug 2017
Posts: 45
I just reached Gold this month, and this sucks. I basically have to pay for something that I had access to as a *Silver with A3. I received the same email listing this change as a benefit for Gold members. Pathetic
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Old Feb 7, 18, 6:01 pm
  #87  
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Programs: Top Tier with all 3 alliances
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I think sending emails to A3 expressing strong disappointment about their treatment of Golds could help. Last time I sent such an email to an organization they emailed me back the next day saying that they changed the prices back, lol, I was impressed...

Companies know that for every person who writes to complain about something there are ten who thought about it but didn't bother to do it...

Last edited by nk15; Feb 7, 18 at 6:08 pm
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Old Feb 7, 18, 11:37 pm
  #88  
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Wedged somewhere between BTS and VIE ✈
Programs: Star Alliance Gold (A3 Gold)
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Originally Posted by nk15 View Post
I think sending emails to A3 expressing strong disappointment about their treatment of Golds could help. Last time I sent such an email to an organization they emailed me back the next day saying that they changed the prices back, lol, I was impressed...

Companies know that for every person who writes to complain about something there are ten who thought about it but didn't bother to do it...
Personally I think this is a bit optimistic. The way it looks to me, from comments here and reading the reply from Aegean to my complaint, is that they have decided that this will be a good 'cash cow' (a bit like BA and Cruz's beloved 'Buy on Board'). When they adopt that kind of attitude all common business sense goes out the window. Unlike for BA, I think that a loss of many status passengers for Aegean could be very dicey indeed because their business dynamics are completely different to an international airline. A lot of Aegean's success has been down to the easier Star Alliance Gold qualification, good catering, and general good customer service. I think if they change any of these elements (as they now have) then a lot of passengers who could fly with other airlines but choose to fly with Aegean (because it's been a more pleasurable experience) will start to book more convenient airlines for price, flying durations and schedules.

I'm a prime example!

Looking at my bookings for this year, I have approximately 21 hours with Aegean in economy. I always chose the exit row seats in the past but now I have the unpleasant thought of all that time in a standard economy seat. Not the end of the world, but it certainly makes me focus my mind on whether flying all the way to Athens and back to get to the UK is really worth the hassle. This week I booked 2 flights with another Star Alliance carrier, so I think I know where this is heading......

It's a shame because in many espects of what they do, Aegean really can't be faulted. It seems that they have decided to follow the general trend in European aviation of not setting the standard, but instead lowering the standard to everyone else's level. Sad.
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Old Feb 8, 18, 2:41 am
  #89  
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I must say that I am personally very surprised at the level of reaction here. It's somewhat of a contortion, though, to value these seats enough to, say, have been re-routing your travel via Athens such that you are going out of your way or adding to your travel time, apparently because of seating - but yet not valuing the seat enough to pay €8 per seat [or less, depending on your routes].
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Old Feb 8, 18, 3:03 am
  #90  
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Wedged somewhere between BTS and VIE ✈
Programs: Star Alliance Gold (A3 Gold)
Posts: 5,519
Originally Posted by irishguy28 View Post
I must say that I am personally very surprised at the level of reaction here. It's somewhat of a contortion, though, to value these seats enough to, say, have been re-routing your travel via Athens such that you are going out of your way or adding to your travel time, apparently because of seating - but yet not valuing the seat enough to pay €8 per seat [or less, depending on your routes].
Well I can see why you'd think like that, but that's not exactly what I'm saying.

Basically I enjoy flying, and if I'm enjoying the experience then I'd be happy to fly for hours on end. I've chosen A3 up until now mainly to acquire the *G status, but I've also been thoroughly impressed with the airline and product. I do admit, however, that I'm an exceptional case, and it's not in many peoples' interest to fly out of their way to get to their ultimate destination. But let's not forget which corner of the internet we are on!

Let's look at this from a point to point perspective, say someone with oneworld and Star Alliance status flying from LHR-ATH in economy. As BA has enhanced away the complimentary catering I imagine that most people would seriously consider Aegean if the price is around the same mark. Then you'd have to weigh up whether flying BA or A3 is the best option. With BA you'd get extra legroom for free but you'd have to pay for any drinks or catering - thus paying probably around the £10 mark.

The alternative to this is Aegean, which previously offered you the extra legroom free of charge, and the complimentary food and drinks. Now it's different. If you fly Aegean and wish to have more legroom you'll have to cough up £19.50. That changes a lot. Now it's a toss up between paying for the catering or the seats, depending on which carrier I choose to fly with. Before Aegean would always be a winner, but now I'm not so sure.
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