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What would happen to M&B when StarAlliance introduce a third level above Gold

What would happen to M&B when StarAlliance introduce a third level above Gold

Old Jun 13, 18, 2:20 pm
  #1  
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What would happen to M&B when StarAlliance introduce a third level above Gold

The news from recent IATA meeting is that Star Alliance is considering of introduce a third elite level above current Star Gold. Might be Star Platinum or Star Diamond according to reports.

I can see this work with bigger airlines like SQ, LH and UA. Some of the major airline already have at least 3 elite levels like UA and CA etc.

But I don't see a third level would work with smaller airline like A3. I can see few potential arguments:
1, All Gold benefits are already top for airline like A3, it could not possibly provide more;
2, It would take a lot of loyalty for any A3 members to aim for a third elite level.

I mean, if A3 is to follow the rumoured Star Alliance change and introduce a 'platinum' tier. It would bear the costs of implementation and pay for higher cost lounges. While the current balance of Gold/Silver in terms of requalification would be broke. It is also difficult for A3 to decide how many miles/segments for current Gold to qualify for new 'platinum'.

What is your take on this issue? Will you go for the Platinum if it is introduced? or you think airline like A3 should be exempted from the alliance wide introduction of Star Platinum?
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Old Jun 13, 18, 3:53 pm
  #2  
 
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Top-tier status on other alliances mainly gives access to first class lounges and limousines.

Aegean has no first class cabin, because it's a regional airline. I don't think there is room for extra perks.
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Old Jun 14, 18, 1:41 am
  #3  
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@LacMajeur, maybe free seat selection
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Old Jun 14, 18, 3:01 am
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Similar situation to an airline like Sri Lankan which doesn't offer first class but still has a Oneworld Emerald tier in it's frequent flyer scheme. The additional benefits on Sri Lankan itself are quite limited, a bit more baggage and some extra bonus miles. The real benefits are when flying Oneworld partners that do have first class.
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Old Jun 14, 18, 5:44 am
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Maybe you are looking it backwards.


The new status will have the perks of the old gold status and maybe 25% more miles for A3 flights. And 4 upgrade coupons without booking class restriction. Maybe even free seat selection. All what gold status had just year or two ago.

And the new gold status will loss some of its perks let say just two upgrade coupons or 4 with restriction.
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Old Jun 19, 18, 4:38 am
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I don't see the appeal of silver status across the Star Alliance. So I don't known what good a third a level would do, other than devalue Gold.
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Old Jun 19, 18, 9:55 am
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In some programs Gold will essentially be Silver. Devaluation is a very real prospect.
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Old Jun 19, 18, 3:00 pm
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Originally Posted by DELLAS View Post
In some programs Gold will essentially be Silver. Devaluation is a very real prospect.
I think you are spot on with this. I very much suspect the whole point of this is to reduce the number of people who have current gold privilages. They might provide extras to top tier to make it look like an upgrade, but I very much expect the main outcome will be to reduce the number of people who get top tier and lower the benefits for those that don't. It will be difficult to justify qualifying for a higher tier on A3 but it might be necessary to get benefits equivalent to current gold across *A.

Whilst I would prefer they didn't change anything, I think there is one benefit they could change for the better that would encourage people to try and earn top tier. That is to allow better earnings rates for top tier. What I mean by this, for example, is if they gave extra tier points to top tier status holders across the whole of *A or even better gave top tier status pax points on cheaper tickets. I'm getting tired of all these fares on LH that earn nothing unless you are a Miles and More member and the extremely low earnings rates UA provides on some of it's fares. If they said some of these fares earned some or extra points for top tier members across the whole alliance rather than for individual FFP members, then it would be worth trying to earn this status even if you are a member of an FFP like M&B.
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Old Jun 20, 18, 7:39 am
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Keep in mind that having high-tier FFP members is not a goal. Its rather the opposite - it is an expense. The high tiers are there to make sure that the high spenders stay loyal.

Airlines could not care less about people flying on non-earning LH fares. These fares are there to fill seats, not to make money. They have little desire to reward these pax...because they are not making any money off these pax.

What airlines want are high-spending pax that fly on expensive fares. These are the ones that they like to reward and spend a little extra for. Because those are the pax that are actually making money for the airline, and therefore the economics allow for something extra to make sure these pax will stay loyal.
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Old Jun 20, 18, 8:00 am
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@Xandrios, I completely agree with everything you have said. I perhaps didn't state my point clearly enough. I would not expect you to get the highest Tier without flying a lot of sectors, probably most in Business class or higher. However, my point was that it would be a nice reward if they encouraged higer tier flyers who are their very best customers to use *A all the time by rewarding them just a little bit for doing so. Not enough so they get higher status on the cheap but just enough to make them feel valued.

Let me give an example. I have *G that I earn mostly through long haul business class and some intra-Europe flights (some on A3). However, I have to make a regular flight that would earn miles with *A if I was a member of miles and more but because it doesn't I usually choose to fly BA instead and pick up a few Avios. This doesn't benefit *A. Now I understand LH doesn't want to incur the cost of giving miles to A3 members, but if they know I am one of the very highest tier diamond/platinum/whatever members who might buy a business class LH ticket, why wouldn't they want to give me a few measly miles so that I come away with a good feeling about LH instead of pretty much trying to avoid them?
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Old Jun 20, 18, 8:46 am
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In the order of change if there is to be one it may not be something like an increase in the number of miles needed to qualify but it could instead be something like for gold you need your four qualifying sectors on A3 to be in paid business class. The tiers above gold on SQ and LH both have similar criteria attached to them and in fact no matter how many economy miles you fly you will never make the top tiers with only them. The top tiers on SQ and LH benefit only those airlines in financial terms and that's also the only place you get extras above *G.

If A3 moved to all four qualifying sectors in business on their own metal and increased the qualifying thresholds for anyone qualifying without the four sectors I wonder how numbers of golds would be affected. Back in the day when BD was the alternative to M&M in Europe you had to initially qualify on full fare sectors (four IIRC) before you could join Diamond Club. That was before their membership of *A so it had to be their own metal.
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Old Jun 20, 18, 10:49 am
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Originally Posted by Dover2Golf View Post
In the order of change if there is to be one it may not be something like an increase in the number of miles needed to qualify but it could instead be something like for gold you need your four qualifying sectors on A3 to be in paid business class. The tiers above gold on SQ and LH both have similar criteria attached to them and in fact no matter how many economy miles you fly you will never make the top tiers with only them. The top tiers on SQ and LH benefit only those airlines in financial terms and that's also the only place you get extras above *G.

If A3 moved to all four qualifying sectors in business on their own metal and increased the qualifying thresholds for anyone qualifying without the four sectors I wonder how numbers of golds would be affected. Back in the day when BD was the alternative to M&M in Europe you had to initially qualify on full fare sectors (four IIRC) before you could join Diamond Club. That was before their membership of *A so it had to be their own metal.
You seem to forget that A3 is a Greek and not a "European" or "American" airline. Having 4 C class flights would exclude a lot of Greek residents from even becoming gold while most high tier members would be coming from other countries. I doubt that this is what A3 has in mind.
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Old Jun 20, 18, 11:55 am
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Originally Posted by KLouis View Post
You seem to forget that A3 is a Greek and not a "European" or "American" airline. Having 4 C class flights would exclude a lot of Greek residents from even becoming gold while most high tier members would be coming from other countries. I doubt that this is what A3 has in mind.
No, you're quite wrong, I didn't forget that A3 is a Greek airline however it is also by that definition a European airline. I'm not sure where your reference to it being and American airline comes from, I made no reference to American airlines but perhaps you've lost the thought train in the thread?

I only made a suggestion about how things may change if a new tier was to be introduced which I think is exactly what this thread is about, it was a suggestion based on watching frequent flyer programmes over the last thirty years or so and how they evolve having held status in a number of them during that time including the top tiers of LH and SQ. Do you have some insight to A3's thinking or are you just hypothesising?

I find your post quite bizarre.
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Old Jun 20, 18, 7:29 pm
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Let me try to explain what I mean!

First of all, you are comparing A3 to SQ and LH. Very, very different kind of airlines! While A3, regional airline, flies zero long hauls, SQ has no domestic ones and LH is one of the leading airlines in the world in terms of fleet size, network, number of passengers, etc.. Second of all, hardly any domestic route of A3 (yes, yes, by now all flown by OA) has business class. Thirdly, even a University professor's salary (one of the highest paid public service employee in Greece) with more than 30 years service is about 2500 €/month after taxes. How could (s)he afflrd C? Finally, having a -full time- job is a dream in Greece for many with an unemployment rate of about 20%. In other words, four flights in C per year is something that very few people can afford.

My point is then that a requirement of the kind would have as an effect that hardly any Greek resident would qualify for gold membership in M+B. Of course, if the rationale behind such a move would be to lower the overall number of golds, I agree, this would certainly work.

PS You obviously didn't notice that I included European and American in quotation marks. I indirectly wanted to stress that most people participating in discussions of the kind here are definitely not regular passengers of A3 but of other airlines that simply use M+B and I certainly did not mean that SQ was a US airline. If this is what made my post bizarre to you, apologies for being... eccentric
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Old Jun 21, 18, 2:40 am
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It may be my impression since I do not have any reference stats, but there is an increasing number of pax flying about half a dozen times per month intra-Europe. This is in part due to that many people in Europe nowadays work in different locations than their partners/family live, and commute regularly back home, and in part due to that they also travel quite regularly for business. (This is at least my case and the case of many colleagues, but this may well be sampling bias )

Each year I gather on average around 60K miles on *A, sufficient to reach Gold on most *A FFP, apart perhaps from M&M and MileagePlus. With better planning and selection of flights I could perhaps go up to 80K. Yet that would be more expensive, and still not enough to reach Diamond/Platinum, especially since I don’t do more than a couple of long-haul segments (or at most 4-5 if I have planned a holiday outside Europe). The reason I choose to pay an extra 40+ euro per segment to *A carrier such as SK, A3, or LH compared to an LCC for an almost identical product is not the free coffee or tea that SK offers or the free small meal that A3 (still) serves, but rather the *G benefits I enjoy. I can arrive relatively late at the airport, check-in without queuing for 40 mins, and board without having to be queuing at the gate for another 40 mins, before even the process starts. If I have a layover I can relax or work at the lounge. And when I get to my destination I save another half an hour or so of waiting if I have checked luggage.

This is an attractive package. Removing or "enhancing away" some of those benefits to build-up the higher *A would make it less attractive, and in turn start making those extra euros on top of the price that LCCs (such DY or U2 offer) sound like a bad deal, at least when it’s me and not my employer paying.

What is more confusing to me is that in *A there is currently only a single functioning tier, since *S is basically meaningless. So if *A wanted to achieve further differentiation, wouldn't it make more sense to boost Silver, and at the same time make Gold more harmonized across alliance members (like OW Sapphire, for example), a bit better, and a bit more difficult to achieve, before creating a new alliance-wide tier that is significantly harder to reach?

Originally Posted by KLouis View Post
You seem to forget that A3 is a Greek and not a "European" or "American" airline. Having 4 C class flights would exclude a lot of Greek residents from even becoming gold while most high tier members would be coming from other countries. I doubt that this is what A3 has in mind.
I do not know if this close to what KLouis had in mind. Many of my wife’s Greek colleagues are entrepreneurs or business travellers who live in Greek islands and fly almost weekly to ATH or SKG for work-related purposes. Yet each other flights gives 200 or at most 500 miles, while they often cost more than 100 euro. Depriving these pax from their Gold benefits would simply make them turn towards the cheaper emerging competition, such as SkyExpress or Ellinair. Similarly, many intra-Nordic pax may switch to DY or WF (although the latter is still a part of EB), or even the fast trains.
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