changes on 4/1/09: Who is leaving and when [merged]

Old Jan 10, 09, 9:36 am
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changes on 4/1/09: Who is leaving and when [merged]

After the changes to the FB program have been communicated and knwoing that AF-KL will not re-consider any time soon, I am wondering how you folks are going to address this insult?

I am in the situation of being @ year 5 of PE and with the current changes I see no option to maintain PE for another 5 years to reach LTPE (which was the original plan).

Hopefully with travel through 3/31 I will be able to get to 55k and the rest should fall in place, but for 2010 I will get a status match on *A or maybe the new Delta, if I want to remain within ST. FB is done for me, for good, no return.
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Old Jan 10, 09, 9:52 am
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I already left over a year ago and have never looked back. Best decision I ever took.

What does Lifetime Platinum Elite mean anyway?

Few elite benefits remain and award tickets have a zero or negative value.
Flying Blue may not exist in another five years.
FFPs may be for the most part a thing of the past for all airlines in as much time.

For North Atlantic travelers like ourselves the reciprocal upgrades on NWDL are already coming to an end.

Most programs are putting more and more emphasis on unpublished customer priorities within or next to the elite levels (such as the DL "we love, we love you not" logic). At the same time FB calls us PE for Lifers "public relations elites", presumably because we are also treated as less than real Platinums in the upgrade logic as my upgrades were never worse until the year I qualified for PE for Life, despite my flying that year again exceeding threshold.

The only way to qualify for PE in the coming years is going to be as a captive corporate account flyer who isn't influenced by FB and figures any reward is better than nothing OR through BOTH flying substantially more and paying much more (and/or usinge a French Amex card to charge tens of thousands of company expenses) in return for...well, in return for what, exactly?
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Old Jan 10, 09, 9:57 am
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First, I don't take it as an insult. It's a "too personal" feeling of being insulted. I take this as a business decision, they stated that they don't value my business as much as they used to, and were less inclined to reward me for choosing them. As a result, I also put less value in the miles I can get from a ticket. Therefore, I'll certainly recompare all the FFP and airlines according to my travel pattern before deciding, and it's quite apparent that neither FB, nor AF, will be the best choice for me anymore.

Existing flights will make me Plat in 2009 anyway. I am currently still considering my options for flight to Asia, that I could start crediting to another program (in order to get a status match or at least a fast track in the second semester).

I will use this time to consider the following:

1. Evolution of the P product (not only at CDG but also and especially onboard) to see if it becomes really better to justify the increase (unlikely, but you never know)

2. Evolution of other FFB in Skyteam, as they'll certainly follow the AF/KL example, because crediting my domestic flight to a non-french FFP would net me enough segments to qualify at the same level I'll be able to reach with FB and its increased thresholds for French-based members. I will, for example, examine how switching to OK+ and a regular Amex instead of a AF/Amex would benefit me.

3. Evolution of other airlines' product and FFP on the routes I am interested in, because switching to another alliance altogether could be more beneficial. I'd lose the front seats in domestic economy flights, but they last 45 to 75 minutes, so I guess I can live with it.

It's certain that the new program doesn't bring any incentive for me to select Skyteam flights anymore.
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Old Jan 10, 09, 9:58 am
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as already mentioned elsewhere, I have more or less left. As most of us say, no need to bother anymore, and my mostly inner-European, paid by myself, flights will be decided first by fare, then schedule, and perhaps for a couple of euros the lounge access.
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Old Jan 10, 09, 10:24 am
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Flying Poo left me when FD was eliminated, even if I didn't realise it at the time. It's just the matter of my somewhat embarassingly high miles balance that keeps me involved.

If only the clunky online award booking system would allow me to book what I want when I want it, that wouldn't be a problem.
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Old Jan 10, 09, 10:31 am
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I have left too...from Gold to no flights since Feb. 08. Haven't missed it....just have to find a way to use up the rest of my miles without spending a ridiculous amount on "fuel surcharges."
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Old Jan 10, 09, 10:33 am
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Af elites sans mexico and usa based will still get upgrades on the new delta.
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Old Jan 10, 09, 10:47 am
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Originally Posted by airphone View Post
Af elites sans mexico and usa based will still get upgrades on the new delta.
Source?
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Old Jan 10, 09, 10:55 am
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It's certain that the new program doesn't bring any incentive for me to select Skyteam flights anymore.
flights will be decided first by fare, then schedule, and perhaps for a couple of euros the lounge access.
Fare, schedule and maybe miles. KLM is always like two times mor costly than my choices (BA/SAS for London/Ireland and Lufthansa/SAS/Chech for rest of Europe).

Last year I made gold on KLM flying only ONE roundtrip and one single segment on a multi carrier initiary. The rest of the flights were skyteam partner flights (mostly Chech). That is, I only use Flying Blue to put my SkyTeam points on, and hopefully I will sooner or later find an awardticket that will not ruin me on "fuel and tax".

So far this year is all my planned flights on Star Alliance
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Old Jan 10, 09, 11:12 am
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What annoys me most about the Flying blue changes is the fact that it has become more 'expensive' to earn miles, and at the same time, more 'expensive' to spend miles due to redemption inflation for business and first redemptions. This is double inflation, and isnt equitable for members.

Taxes are crazy - on an intra european mileage award, I was quoted 200+ taxes for one person for an economy ticket from Ireland to Germany via CDG. When 'free tickets' cost 200 it is a waste of time earning miles for redemption, and membership for me is more for the benefits of easy transit through CDG, lounge access, and hopefully being better looked after if and when things go wrong.

The lowest award taxes are on non AF/KL flights. DL for example have sub 75 return surcharges on transatlantic flights and can be booked online.
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Old Jan 10, 09, 12:07 pm
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I cut almost all my Skyteam flights after several dismal customer service or inflight product experiences with DL and AF respectively. I only flew them when I had to in 2008.

The changes to Flying Blue certainly only entice me to burn the few remaining miles asap, I certainly will not credit any other flights to Flying Blue in the future.

For the time being, the grass is much greener on the other side (be it on the other side of the pond with the US-based FF programs, or Star Alliance).
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Old Jan 10, 09, 1:41 pm
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I have stopped considering the FFP as an incentive to choose an airline for some time already. More important are schedules, routes and product. These changes have no impact on my flying pattern that will continue to focus on AF (primary) and BA (secondary) for intra-European business class travel, and a combination of AF, CX and NH for my (unfortunately) limited travel to Asia.
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Old Jan 10, 09, 3:02 pm
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Fair point, Jouy, but we have to hit them where it hurts. I have been mildly peeved with FB for some time, but have valued their good points such as half-price OW awards in Europe, and the Promo Awards. Certainly, I use KLM because of their useful far reaching number of destinations in the UK. But there are alternatives. All you who have left, I can understand it. What we need are those hard core FB flyers out there to hit them where it hurts. Because if you do, they will eventually reconsider.
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Old Jan 10, 09, 3:03 pm
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I'm more or less stuck with KL for my CPH-AMS shuttle (in economy), as their schedule suits me best, but after April 1st I shall book longhaul flights (in business) based on schedule and price. Once I am more familiar with the in-flight and ground products offered by other airlines, this may become a factor as well.

As a LTPE I need not worry about requalifying, and the Privium ClubLounge not only beats the competion at AMS hands down, but is available regardless of airline flown too.

Johan
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Old Jan 10, 09, 3:08 pm
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Another good reason to boycott AF anyway, is this ludicrous mess that just happened at CDG. Probably a number of people will do what they can to avoid AF and CDG after that. He he.. goodee
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