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Moving/Sharing My Business/Loyalty to/with Other Airlines

Moving/Sharing My Business/Loyalty to/with Other Airlines

Old Oct 28, 18, 6:43 pm
  #1  
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Join Date: Apr 2007
Programs: Alaska Airlines MVP Gold 75K
Posts: 475
Moving/Sharing My Business/Loyalty to/with Other Airlines

I've been 75K since the program started and spend between $10K and $15K per year with AS but between the loss of the partner network, the lack of saver awards domestically, and the laughable availability of U space, I'm out. My first big step was to fly to Japan non-stop on an ANA 787 rather than AS partner JAL, which was almost twice the price for a 1-stop with a miserly 30% RDM earning rate on AS.

Domestic flying out of SEA from here on out will be on a mix of Southwest and AS, depending on frequency of service and price.

Sorry AS, but after years of exclusive loyalty to you and your partners I've decided that you've degraded your Mileage Plan program to the point that you no longer deserve my exclusive business. You've become just like the majors in actual customer experience, even if on paper you still look better. I suspect it's only a matter of time until more folks catch on.
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Old Oct 28, 18, 7:24 pm
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: SEA
Posts: 12
Yours is the rational solution. The emotional valence of frequent flyer programs, Alaska's included, does not equal the benefit -- for almost every flyer (I'm a years-long MVP gold)
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Old Oct 28, 18, 7:29 pm
  #3  
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: SFO
Programs: AS more so than UA these days
Posts: 1,581
The writing's been on the wall for years now, starting with the actions of the Big 3. Anyone who hasn't become a free agent at this point is either tied into a corporate contract, or has a misplaced sense of loyalty. There's also the issue of being hub captive, which is why I flew almost exclusively with UA for over 25 years.

No offense, but with that kind of spend you wouldn't even make 1k at UA now, and even 1ks are realizing this game is a losing proposition. When most of the benefits can just be bought with a premium fare and redemption of miles becomes increasingly difficult, what's the impetus for that kind of loyalty?

I fly about 50% now on AS, 25% on UA and the balance on whomever has the best schedule and price. Enjoy your newfound freedom!
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Old Oct 28, 18, 7:40 pm
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: SEA
Programs: DL FO, Hilton/Marriott Gold, Accor Silver
Posts: 2,028
Originally Posted by IStream View Post
My first big step was to fly to Japan non-stop on an ANA 787 rather than AS partner JAL, which was almost twice the price for a 1-stop with a miserly 30% RDM earning rate on AS.
I've brought this up a few times, but this was a big factor in my switch to DL. With them at least I'm guaranteed 100% MQMs on flights on their closest partners, though I have to make sure I'm hitting MQD requirements for qualification too, But since AS doesn't split out distance and spend, I get poor earnings across the board for cheap partner economy fares. My 2016 travels would've gotten me just shy of 50k EQMs if distance credited the same as it does for AS flights, but I wound up with only about 35k, even with some AA flights before the earning rates dropped for them.

I completed a DL status match last month and have FO until 01/2020. My plan until then is to rely on them for most domestic travel until then and redeem for J from various programs for my international trips. After that, I'm probably just going to wing it as a free agent with a DL Amex for the benefits (which are basically what you get as an FO minus the upgrades and preferred seating).
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Old Oct 28, 18, 7:43 pm
  #5  
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: SFO/SJC/OAK, formerly DCA/IAD
Programs: DL PM + Reserve Card
Posts: 302
Makes total sense. I'll be MVP next year, but won't be making much effort to keep it. Especially with the addition of JetSuiteX for flights from the East Bay to SoCal, lost a lot of incentive to keep this going.

I've already gotten some good paid F deals on UA out of SFO that would require connections in SEA on AS, but have no intention of qualifying for any status on United. Plus it's great to pick routes by aircraft - would rather do a 777 or 787 from EWR than a 737 from JFK that will need a tech stop in winter. I guess I'm going to be a no Slimline frequent flyer more than an airline frequent flyer.
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Old Oct 28, 18, 8:03 pm
  #6  
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Posts: 4,823
Originally Posted by NoLaGent View Post
The writing's been on the wall for years now, starting with the actions of the Big 3. Anyone who hasn't become a free agent at this point is either tied into a corporate contract, or has a misplaced sense of loyalty.
I certainly don't have any loyalty to any airline.. but it still seems to me that I should pick an airline, at least for the year. I only fly enough to get status with one airline. If I split it up then I have status with none... and that means no free econ+ seats, no free checked bags, among other things.

Now, it's not clear which one I should pick... but I think I'm better off picking one. The status still has a fair bit of value, I think. If I flew 100k+ miles per year I'd just get gold on both UA and AS and be done with it (based in SFO) but I just don't fly that much.
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Old Oct 28, 18, 8:43 pm
  #7  
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: SFO
Programs: AS more so than UA these days
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Originally Posted by VegasGambler View Post
... and that means no free econ+ seats, no free checked bags, among other things.
Originally Posted by NoLaGent View Post
When most of the benefits can just be bought with a premium fare...
Your point is valid, of course, but everyone's situation is going to be different. For the vast majority of my travel, I buy the P/Z fares outright, so for me it just doesn't make sense to be anything other than a free agent at this point. Life is much less stressful for me that way then worrying about where my PQMs or PQDs (on UA, at least at this point) are and end of the year MRs.
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Old Oct 28, 18, 9:09 pm
  #8  
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Posts: 4,823
Yeah I used to buy first class fares too. But at this point the quality of first has dropped to the point where I don't think it's worth paying for.

The last time I paid for F was a trip to hawaii last year. my flight back was a red eye and they didn't even load pillows in (this was a VX plane but run by AS). What am I paying 2.5x the fare for if they are too cheap to load up 8 pillows for the F seats?
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Old Oct 28, 18, 10:52 pm
  #9  
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Originally Posted by IStream View Post
Sorry AS, but after years of exclusive loyalty to you and your partners I've decided that you've degraded your Mileage Plan program to the point that you no longer deserve my exclusive business. You've become just like the majors in actual customer experience, even if on paper you still look better. I suspect it's only a matter of time until more folks catch on.
Originally Posted by Moebius View Post
The emotional valence of frequent flyer programs, Alaska's included, does not equal the benefit...
I was MVP Gold for years too, but moving away from SEA plus the implosion of the partner network tore it for me as well. The stripping-down of the AS customer experience is just the cherry on the anti-sundae. The thing is, walking away from elite status feels like a big loss at the time, but not long after you snap out of it, you look back as a free agent and wonder what the hell you were thinking, spending all that time, money, and effort in pursuit of such minimal / illusory benefits. And they amount to less today than ever, at AS and everywhere else.
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Old Oct 28, 18, 11:10 pm
  #10  
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Programs: Alaska MVP Gold, Hilton Diamond
Posts: 310
I recently requalified as MVPG for next year. The mailer they sent almost made me laugh because of the discrepancy between the marketing speak (so many benefits!) and the actual experience of flying AS (seemingly impossible to use them).
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Old Oct 28, 18, 11:11 pm
  #11  
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Juneau, Ft Lauderdale, Whitehorse, and mostly 2A or 3C. Never, EVER 4 though.
Programs: AS MVPG + BR, DL GM, Hertz Pres Circle, Natl Emerald Exec, HHonors Diamond, Marriott Silver
Posts: 3,453
I've decided to not push for 75K, and I could easily make it for this year, but with the lackluster response from Alaska over the recent re-seating issues, I'm going to change my travel habits. And its mostly because we have yet ANOTHER cycle of seating changes come up as the Airbii get reconfigured to the new F and Y seating.

My flight on Tuesday was it. I was going to "kill" myself with 2 crappy layovers, including one with a 4 hour nap in Seattle.... but the fact I paid for a K fare to GET the exit row (so I could work) was the trade off & told by res and Twitter I get nothing. Now I'm flying United, and in Economy Plus.

I'm at Gold for next year and I'm OK with that, until we get devalued, again. Which will happen. However, I don't have a choice to jump to Delta since we don't get them year round.

I really miss the Alaska of 2010.
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Old Oct 28, 18, 11:26 pm
  #12  
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: SF Bay Area
Programs: DL GM/PM, AS MVPG75K, Hertz Pres Circle, AA Plat/UA "Premier Emeritus"
Posts: 32
Originally Posted by UAPremierExec View Post
I've decided to not push for 75K, and I could easily make it for this year, but with the lackluster response from Alaska over the recent re-seating issues, I'm going to change my travel habits. And its mostly because we have yet ANOTHER cycle of seating changes come up as the Airbii get reconfigured to the new F and Y seating.

My flight on Tuesday was it. I was going to "kill" myself with 2 crappy layovers, including one with a 4 hour nap in Seattle.... but the fact I paid for a K fare to GET the exit row (so I could work) was the trade off & told by res and Twitter I get nothing. Now I'm flying United, and in Economy Plus.

I'm at Gold for next year and I'm OK with that, until we get devalued, again. Which will happen. However, I don't have a choice to jump to Delta since we don't get them year round.

I really miss the Alaska of 2010.
This coming from the person who was telling me in one breath to fly ANZ to LHR *and* do what I can to get MVPG this year?! LOL

(Also, IIRC you had it with AS back in August too. Are we all suckers for punishment?)

This thread is exactly what I needed to see to feel better about stepping off the elite status rollercoaster...or attempting to. It's SO addicting to play the game.

The only thing I will miss is not having access to an elite phone line when things go south. (This applies to DL and UA only -- being 75K on AS, I've experienced some of the most lackluster to flat-out offensive customer service on the phone this year.) Being on hold for 30 seconds vs 30 minutes (or more) is something I wish I could just pay for.

Actually, that's a question for all the experts here: if you book a ticket in J or F and there's a delay/cancellation and you call an airline, will you be stuck in the general member queue?
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Old Oct 28, 18, 11:52 pm
  #13  
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Juneau, Ft Lauderdale, Whitehorse, and mostly 2A or 3C. Never, EVER 4 though.
Programs: AS MVPG + BR, DL GM, Hertz Pres Circle, Natl Emerald Exec, HHonors Diamond, Marriott Silver
Posts: 3,453
Unfortunately, the variance between MVP and MVPG is enough to attain MVPG.

However, ANZ in J is beyond amazing. You will be broken forever.
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Old Oct 29, 18, 12:53 am
  #14  
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: BNA/LAX/BWI/SZX/SIN
Posts: 615
The seat change fiasco this week and the tepid non-response from Alaska to restore seats will probably drive me away after this year. Too bad, I really enjoyed my time, however short, with AS.
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Old Oct 29, 18, 10:18 am
  #15  
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Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: SEA, but up and down the coast a lot
Programs: OneSky Alliance Elite+ with Zirconium and oak leaf cluster, Braniff Unobtainium
Posts: 17,489
I’ve sampled some DL F on the West Coast. If you enjoyed those tight AS F seats from a few years ago where the person in front of you was almost in your lap if they reclined, you’ll love DL F. Direct tV and high speed usable GoGo was nice though. You’re getting snack baskets on LAX-SEA. No polenta or kale flavored chips spotted.

Given the reports on AA Project Oasis F (sounds like ugh) once AS has usable WiFi they may actually be the hard product leader for non-transcon F, unless you just HAVE to have IFE.

https://onemileatatime.com/american-...class-737-max/



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