Flying Blue Platinum Ultimate Status

Reply

Old Sep 10, 18, 4:55 am
  #1456  
 
Join Date: Jan 2017
Posts: 185
Originally Posted by San Gottardo View Post
They will react, I can assure you that.
Yes, they do - now already;

But for my part the psychology behind is a bit wicked by now: they react and are consequently on a personal basis 'nicer' to me, but not in general to the entire ULTI group. My level of embarrassment to 'complain' is in the meantime so high that I stopped pushing as my pushing for a better program can be easily misunderstood as 'pushing for personal benefits', which is not what I intend and never have done.
travelbits is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Sep 10, 18, 4:34 pm
  #1457  
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: HAG
Programs: ST E+, *G, some hotel gold...
Posts: 1,522
Originally Posted by San Gottardo View Post
However, I and others with similar travel patterns aren’t usually bothered by that: I almost never check luggage, and the seating algorithm works so well that I always end up in one of the priority seats anyway, including blocked neighbouring seat.

So, yes, it’s „arrogant“ in attitude, but it’s a no-harm-done non-event in 99% of cases.
Yes, but then again - the idea of as stress-free travel as possible - is the one thing I hate about flying LH Group as a *G/M&M FTL, compared to AFKL or even some other *A airlines like LO.
Sometimes, I know in advance I will have baggage, in those times, it's usually just fine to book a classic fare (except those times it's literally impossible, because reasons... like trying to use an OTA to force J/Y combo on a multicity/openjaw... but I am getting OT).

Other times, however, I might not know until last minute. I expect that it very much could have happened to any of you - just before you leave for the airport, someone tries to give you a parting gift of a bottle of wine, or some homemade jam.. Now, when flying with Skyteam - all I have to do is check a bag in. For free, with my card. No problem at all. When flying LH Group, I'd be SOOL. Having to deal with either declining the gift (which in some cultures could be a huge faux pas), or the annoyance and stress of arranging a payment for extra bag on short notice.
nldogbert likes this.
Fabo.sk is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Sep 10, 18, 7:44 pm
  #1458  
Hyatt Contributor Badge
 
Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: San Francisco, CA
Programs: Flying Blue Platinum, JetBlue Mosaic, Hyatt Diamond, Hilton Diamond, Marriott Gold Elite
Posts: 1,235
Arranging a payment? Is it extremely difficult to pay for a bag?
caliform is online now  
Reply With Quote
Old Sep 11, 18, 9:04 pm
  #1459  
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Champaign, IL
Programs: AF/KL FB Ultimate Platinum, UA MileagePlus
Posts: 260
Originally Posted by San Gottardo View Post
Is HON more difficult to obtain? Arguably yes. But I take the reasoning the other way around: if I did all the flying on air France and KLM that gets me HONCircle, what would I get with them? A program where I’d still stand in the same long lines on Monday morning at 2F, use the same lounge (maybe with the benefit of the zoo-type exposure that comes with the benefit of not having to fight for space), take the same bus and ride the same train in 2E, and so on. That’s the real difference.

A few years back, the Spiegel published an interesting article about how we perceive things, illustrating their point with concrete examples in our everyday life, e.g., what we think of the car that we own. While one customer would squawk about his car because after eight years of service he had to replace the windshield wipers (the nostalgia for car equipment built to last forever), another would praise his car because he only has to go to the dealership twice a year to get it maintained. It is all a matter of perception (and of expectation). Being accustomed to the plebeian conditions of long hauls, the additional attention, the possibility to get upgraded regularly with miles, the safety net of the Travel Assistant team, all by virtue of the Ultimate program, have clearly made my flying experience more pleasant. Conversely, anyone used to a more lavish service, either on the ground or in the air (or both), will, I suppose, have a different perception.

San Gottardo, while I do understand the point that you are trying to get across, I must also emphasize that, inasmuch as I am concerned, the level of stress associated to flying has diminished significantly since I became Ultimate. Although I do agree that the service is far from flawless, I must also acknowledge that my stress has been assuaged, as I rely on the Travel Assistant team to anticipate irregularities and find reasonable options to address them. Barring one very unfortunate circumstance, they never failed me. I have come to be content with the offer, even though every now and again I inveigh not so much against the program per se, but against how it is implemented at the different stages of my travels, from check-in to in-flight service. There is evidently ample room for improvement.

If I understand you correctly, the real stumbling block is whatever causes stress to the traveler. I wholeheartedly agree with you. I note, however, that irrespective of the efforts of the Ultimate program management to alleviate the stress induced by long waits at passport control and security check, or by the noisy environment of the lounge (or even by the class of service on board), these efforts can be thwarted hands down by external obstacles over which the airline has no leverage. For instance, it would be so easy to introduce a fast track at CDG 2G to expedite entry in the international zone, were the airport administration a tad more cooperative.

In stark contrast with KLM at AMS, AF has really improved the lounge experience for its Ultimate clients at CDG in recent months (especially at 2E/L and M). The private space, away from the rumble of the jungle, offers a quiet, stress-free environment, conducive to get some work done. It is admittedly not the P lounge, but accessing the latter has proven a lost battle, even though the number of Ultimates transiting daily through CDG is rather limited (over a year period, I only met two in total at the AF lounges, but my statistics is just as limited).

Still, I am confident that there is a machine-learning component in the process, and that the overall Ultimate experience will progressively correct itself towards more consistency and improved adaptation to the needs of the ultra-frequent-flier. It may just take longer than we anticipated.
Macaron54 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Sep 12, 18, 4:51 am
  #1460  
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: CDG/AMS
Programs: FB Plat for life, FB PC, M&M FT, Hertz 5*, Mas Gold, Best Western Diamond (+ many low tier cards)
Posts: 2,680
Originally Posted by Macaron54 View Post
Still, I am confident that there is a machine-learning component in the process, and that the overall Ultimate experience will progressively correct itself towards more consistency and improved adaptation to the needs of the ultra-frequent-flier. It may just take longer than we anticipated.
Well, according to what I've read the machines in AMS aren't learning that well
Zembla is online now  
Reply With Quote
Old Sep 12, 18, 5:10 am
  #1461  
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Champaign, IL
Programs: AF/KL FB Ultimate Platinum, UA MileagePlus
Posts: 260
Originally Posted by Zembla View Post
Well, according to what I've read the machines in AMS aren't learning that well


Good one! The training set is evidently insufficient. Let's go for deep-learning .
Zembla and Goldorak like this.
Macaron54 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Sep 12, 18, 1:02 pm
  #1462  
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: French riviera, France
Programs: Nice Airport Premier Plat, Flying Blue Platinum (Skyteam E+), Le Club Accor Plat
Posts: 103
Hello !
The topic is so long, all my apologies if the answer already exists. I checked before though the search feature.

At this moment I'm not so bad on my personal XP counter for reaching Ultimate (excel file of course).
I need to know if the "Extra XP bonus for Discount Pass" for Abonné holders is included on UXP counter ?
Each France metropolitan flight I have this extra +2XP, finally +2 +2 +2 +2 +2 +2 +2 +2 +2 .... it's a big amount !!

Best
NickoSnow is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Sep 12, 18, 2:31 pm
  #1463  
 
Join Date: Feb 2017
Posts: 51
Originally Posted by NickoSnow View Post
Hello !
The topic is so long, all my apologies if the answer already exists. I checked before though the search feature.

At this moment I'm not so bad on my personal XP counter for reaching Ultimate (excel file of course).
I need to know if the "Extra XP bonus for Discount Pass" for Abonné holders is included on UXP counter ?
Each France metropolitan flight I have this extra +2XP, finally +2 +2 +2 +2 +2 +2 +2 +2 +2 .... it's a big amount !!

Best
yes it is ! You get 8UXP for a return ticket
good luck by chasing the ULTI status
Bullspread is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Sep 14, 18, 1:14 pm
  #1464  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
Accor 25+ Badge
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Paris, France
Programs: AF/KL Flying Blue Platinum for life Ultimate, UA Mileage plus, Le Club Accorhotels platinum
Posts: 11,948
Angry HKG

I have flown to HKG this week (AF J). Both flights super full all classes, including P, and this was like that several days before each flights as per Expertflyer.
On the good side, the service has been top notch both ways with chief pursers and J FA going the extra mile and providing extra attentions to please me. Very nice flight experiences, sincerely.
On the bad side, I fear that the ground staff in HKG has joined the dark side of the force, or at least the ones that were on duty on the day of my return flight. While this station has always provided very good Ulti service with escort through security and immigration to the lounge and then from lounge to plane (pre-boarding), it was first declined saying that it was done only for P, bla bla bla unless they receive special instructions from HQ bla bla bla. After a couple of arguments, I asked the agent to check with his supervisor. The supervisor came and reluctantly did half of the job after insisting. When I said half, I mean that she escorted me till past immigration and security and not even to the lounge and she asked « you’ll go to the plane by yourself, right ? ». I didn’t insist as I was tired of all that.
Consistency, training, training and training...
Goldorak is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Sep 15, 18, 1:13 am
  #1465  
 
Join Date: Feb 2017
Posts: 51
HKG
i flight that route quite regularly but I admit that I usually opt for CX which offers to me a more consistent service in J with more flight attendants. I feel me bettter served in J as One World Sapphire (Gold) versus AF in J as ULTI member 🙄
As I do my check in in the town and use the express MTR, I never went to AF counters when I flew with them but security control were always quite express there before the night flights.
Besides that when I have to check in luggage (which I avoid!), I am now fed up with the waiting time at 2E.
Arrivals at Roissy 1 or terminal A lead to much shortened delivery time in the morning .

But indeed Goldorak, your recent experience shows again the low level of consistency of the ULTI prog
Bullspread is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Sep 15, 18, 9:04 pm
  #1466  
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Champaign, IL
Programs: AF/KL FB Ultimate Platinum, UA MileagePlus
Posts: 260
Originally Posted by Goldorak View Post
I have flown to HKG this week (AF J). Both flights super full all classes, including P, and this was like that several days before each flights as per Expertflyer.
On the good side, the service has been top notch both ways with chief pursers and J FA going the extra mile and providing extra attentions to please me. Very nice flight experiences, sincerely.
On the bad side, I fear that the ground staff in HKG has joined the dark side of the force, or at least the ones that were on duty on the day of my return flight. While this station has always provided very good Ulti service with escort through security and immigration to the lounge and then from lounge to plane (pre-boarding), it was first declined saying that it was done only for P, bla bla bla unless they receive special instructions from HQ bla bla bla. After a couple of arguments, I asked the agent to check with his supervisor. The supervisor came and reluctantly did half of the job after insisting. When I said half, I mean that she escorted me till past immigration and security and not even to the lounge and she asked « you’ll go to the plane by yourself, right ? ». I didn’t insist as I was tired of all that.
Consistency, training, training and training...

Well, that sucks. Out of the different outstations I transit through, I thought that HKG was one of the most effective in enforcing the directives for Ultimate PAXs. I never had any quibble or matter to complain about. I will be there next Friday and let you know whether your feedback has been heeded. Stay tuned for more...
Macaron54 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Sep 15, 18, 11:05 pm
  #1467  
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Programs: Eurostar Carte Blanche, SBB-CFF-FFS GA-AG, SNCF Grand Voyageur LeClub
Posts: 5,718
Since ground assistance is the topic, what are your experiences at CDG? Still nothing at 2F, how about 2E? The "fast fast lane" at CDG was a temporary solution, or is this still around? And how about departure? Any assistance/escorts there?
San Gottardo is online now  
Reply With Quote
Old Sep 16, 18, 3:21 am
  #1468  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
Accor 25+ Badge
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Paris, France
Programs: AF/KL Flying Blue Platinum for life Ultimate, UA Mileage plus, Le Club Accorhotels platinum
Posts: 11,948
Originally Posted by San Gottardo View Post
Since ground assistance is the topic, what are your experiences at CDG? Still nothing at 2F, how about 2E? The "fast fast lane" at CDG was a temporary solution, or is this still around? And how about departure? Any assistance/escorts there?
There has never been any assistance at 2F.
In 2E, the situation is still the same : assistance/escort through immigration is provided on departure and arrival until 2pm. After 2pm, on departure, it’s up to the goodwill of the check-in agents. AF introduced that in April 2017 as a temporary solution but we made clear with AF that removing this perk would be a huge mistake as this is the most tangible Ulti perk.
Outside that, whatever the terminal, there is assistance provided in case of risk of mIsconnection, but this is hit and missed and not always done in the most efficient way. But sometimes, it can be great.
Goldorak is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Sep 16, 18, 4:09 am
  #1469  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Hong Kong
Programs: FB AF Silver, BA Gold
Posts: 10,536
Originally Posted by Goldorak View Post
I have flown to HKG this week (AF J). Both flights super full all classes, including P, and this was like that several days before each flights as per Expertflyer.
On the good side, the service has been top notch both ways with chief pursers and J FA going the extra mile and providing extra attentions to please me. Very nice flight experiences, sincerely.
On the bad side, I fear that the ground staff in HKG has joined the dark side of the force, or at least the ones that were on duty on the day of my return flight. While this station has always provided very good Ulti service with escort through security and immigration to the lounge and then from lounge to plane (pre-boarding), it was first declined saying that it was done only for P, bla bla bla unless they receive special instructions from HQ bla bla bla. After a couple of arguments, I asked the agent to check with his supervisor. The supervisor came and reluctantly did half of the job after insisting. When I said half, I mean that she escorted me till past immigration and security and not even to the lounge and she asked « you’ll go to the plane by yourself, right ? ». I didn’t insist as I was tired of all that.
Consistency, training, training and training...


I don't think that outstations can play the law of large numbers.
HKKG now has one flight per day. If they have 4 F pax they don't have the staff for other Ulti. And the evening departure is the most busy time for third-party staff as this is the time when most European flights depart, as well as many to Australia and America.
With all due respect, this thread spends a lot on escort service and I understand that it can be useful (although not much needed at HKG where you will never take more than ten minutes to clear security+immigration). But I don't see how AF can guarantee the service at outstations. Setting the expectation that you will always get it is unrealistic and not a sufficient reason to get "mad" .

BTW Goldorak, the typhoon is slowly moving away but it was a bad one. Five out of eight of my big trees are down. Flooding is bad. Hope that HKG did not get damaged like KIX. Update: HKG just announce that it will resume normal operation in the morning. Great news.

Last edited by brunos; Sep 16, 18 at 4:19 am
brunos is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Sep 16, 18, 8:04 am
  #1470  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
Accor 25+ Badge
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Paris, France
Programs: AF/KL Flying Blue Platinum for life Ultimate, UA Mileage plus, Le Club Accorhotels platinum
Posts: 11,948
Originally Posted by brunos View Post
I don't think that outstations can play the law of large numbers.
HKKG now has one flight per day. If they have 4 F pax they don't have the staff for other Ulti. And the evening departure is the most busy time for third-party staff as this is the time when most European flights depart, as well as many to Australia and America.
With all due respect, this thread spends a lot on escort service and I understand that it can be useful (although not much needed at HKG where you will never take more than ten minutes to clear security+immigration). But I don't see how AF can guarantee the service at outstations. Setting the expectation that you will always get it is unrealistic and not a sufficient reason to get "mad" .
We are not talking about large numbers here. How many Ulti does an outstation see ? One once in a while. And, as I said, HKG was one of the station that was providing consistently good service to the Ultimate members and in the same conditions as of today (i.e. one flight late evening), so nothing different last week vs previous occasions.
Indeed, this thread is talking a lot about escort and expedited services. Why ? Simply because this is the most important benefit (along with reserved lounge area) for very frequent travelers like Ulti/HON/etc. Most of the rest is in the nice-to-have category. And this needs to be provided as a consistent perk and not just sometimes, if the weather is nice or if the agents are in a good mood that particular day. To have now “tested” a very significant number of airports since I am Ulti, I can tell you that it is just a question of goodwill and professionalism under the management of the station manager. I have seen outstations with limited ressources providing extraordinary/top notch service while some others with plenty of staff and at non-peak times did not want to move a finger remaining on super lazy mode. What made me upset in HKG is that it was a “consistent” station until now.

Originally Posted by brunos View Post
BTW Goldorak, the typhoon is slowly moving away but it was a bad one. Five out of eight of my big trees are down. Flooding is bad. Hope that HKG did not get damaged like KIX. Update: HKG just announce that it will resume normal operation in the morning. Great news.
happy to know that you are safe.
Goldorak is offline  
Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
 
  • Ask a Question
    Get answers from community experts
Question Title:
Description:
Your question will be posted in: