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AA Lost A Customer For Life (AA didn’t renew my CK)

AA Lost A Customer For Life (AA didn’t renew my CK)

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Old Jan 15, 19, 7:00 am
  #76  
 
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Originally Posted by Mike Rivers View Post
They reward people who fly a lot, continuously. They don't have any love for people who have flown a lot and for one reason or another, have slacked off. I always thought that there should be a "legacy" class for someone who, say, has been at an advanced flyer level for 10 continuous years - not all the perks, but maybe offer early boarding, or a free checked back, or even a few free drink coupons.

But, no; no fly, no favors.
They actually prefer people who fly less but pay more. AA has plenty of lifetime levels that can be attained.
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Old Jan 15, 19, 7:38 am
  #77  
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This is OP here. I have enjoyed reading all the posts. Some harsh. Some sympathetic. I have spent my career in Marketing management positions and I understand the “value of a customer” and I understand “customer retention”. My belief is that AA does not. In spite of what some have asserted, I DID qualify for CK each and every year (spending between $50K-$100K each year in premium cabins). Thankfully I am healthy again and I am back flying again, with two overseas r/t first class flights already this year; not on AA however. My main point is that I stuck with AA over decades through thick and thin, through their best and worst times and this loyalty is of no value to AA going forward. There is no “soft landing” and to me, that is a major marketing faux pas. I continue to spend what I had previously spent but it’s just not going to be on AA. I’m not moaning but just sharing a story of how I think AA, with all their sophisticated metrics (helix and “eagles” and the like), they miss big opportunities to retain valuable past (and future) flyers! Thanks for all the comments!
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Old Jan 15, 19, 7:51 am
  #78  
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In that case, you will soon enough be in your chosen carrier's equivalent of CK. Or perhaps you will become a "cord cutter" and simply fly whatever makes the most sense for you on a particular trip. That is what gives the carrier marketers nightmares, having to compete for your dollars on a ticket-by-ticket basis.
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Old Jan 15, 19, 7:55 am
  #79  
 
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You had a business relationship with AA

The people at AA are not your friends. They don't do things "because they like you" or because "you try hard" or because "you really like them". They do things - like offer certain levels of status and perks - based on how much money you spend with them and how often you fly. The rules of the program are clear. You acknowledge that you didn't meet the requirements. AA responded the way I would expect them to.
I can completely understand that you *want* special consideration based on your loyalty. And I can also completely understand your willingness to change/move from AA to UA.
I can also completely understand that for AA to offer special consideration to its millions of customers is untenable. The next reasonable question to ask is: should AA provide special consideration for hardship cases, and if so, for which specific tiers and for what specific reasons? And lastly AA needs to ask themselves, does doing so impact their P&L in either direction noticeably in the short term, medium term, or long term? I can't answer those questions, but I can only assume that the folks running AA somewhat have their collective sh*t together, they do after all, manage to mostly successfully operate a massive airline on a daily basis, so there is some level of competence there.
To quote a song, sometimes there's "you and me and we just disagree." Hopefully both parties are extracting their maximum value/utility with their choices.
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Old Jan 15, 19, 8:09 am
  #80  
 
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Originally Posted by UAfreqflyer View Post
This is OP here. I have enjoyed reading all the posts. Some harsh. Some sympathetic. I have spent my career in Marketing management positions and I understand the “value of a customer” and I understand “customer retention”. My belief is that AA does not. In spite of what some have asserted, I DID qualify for CK each and every year (spending between $50K-$100K each year in premium cabins). Thankfully I am healthy again and I am back flying again, with two overseas r/t first class flights already this year; not on AA however. My main point is that I stuck with AA over decades through thick and thin, through their best and worst times and this loyalty is of no value to AA going forward. There is no “soft landing” and to me, that is a major marketing faux pas. I continue to spend what I had previously spent but it’s just not going to be on AA. I’m not moaning but just sharing a story of how I think AA, with all their sophisticated metrics (helix and “eagles” and the like), they miss big opportunities to retain valuable past (and future) flyers! Thanks for all the comments!
The most important thing is that you are healthy again. Everything else is secondary. Upgrades, meals, PDB, lounge access - meaningless in the scheme of things, health is all that matters. That right there is your CK.
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Old Jan 15, 19, 8:11 am
  #81  
 
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Originally Posted by userX View Post
So, you take OP's point: A CK qualifier for 10 years running should - would, you believe - get a little consideration here.

I don't know, but certainly reasonable for OP to ask, and to feel some measure of disappointment at negative response. After all, the whole point of loyalty programs is to reward loyal customers. Anybody who qualifies as CK 10 years running, as OP claims, is a seriously loyal customer. It seems exceptionally shortsighted, not to say "straight up stupid," for the company to risk that relationship for a year of CK status.

Interesting to see you say here, "Yeah, they wouldn't actually." especially as so many people throwing shade on OP for whining..
I'm not saying whether he definitely would or wouldn't have been renewed. I am saying there would have been more correspondence leading up to a supposed 10 year CK having a significant decrease in travel. Do you not think anyone at AA is looking at the numbers throughout the year, and might ask a "why?" Everyone that is downgraded from CK is going to whine. That is the nature of it. You are taking away something from someone that more than likely still flew an unbelievable amount. Oftentimes more than what was flown the year prior in which they earned CK. In the end it is a numbers game. While X member might have done $xxxx, member Y did more $$$$. Mbr Y gets it the majority of the time. CK is not to reward loyal customers. It is to reward high value customers. If you have been EP for 20 years in a row, that is fantastic, but the guy next to you that has "spent" $75k and has a high profitability in his first year of flying has a significantly better chance at CK.
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Old Jan 15, 19, 8:12 am
  #82  
 
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Does seem a bit insensitive and not very personalized to be dumped like that.

Not anything like this but when I quit working, and thus stopped flying (QR Priv Club) as much for both work and pleasure, I scraped around in CX PE with my QR status lingering so I was often upgraded to J on the Eastbound TPAC flights. Alas, one day I received my new QR FFP card in the mail. Burgundy. It sucked big time but that's life.

Good luck man, hope your back is alright, that's what's important. Get back on the horse that threw ya' and no doubt, you'll be back in the exalted status again.
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Old Jan 15, 19, 9:38 am
  #83  
 
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I empathize and understand OPs frustration. What I don’t understand is the emotional response of bailing on AA. I broke my leg in a taxi accident a few years ago and was out of work for seven months and only achieved gold status. I sucked it up and soldiered-on and was back on top the following year. There are reasons why I fly AA and not UA or DL and those reasons didn’t fundamentally change in the wake of the accident and not having upgrade ability for a year while obtaining status again. I’m sure OP had reasons for staying with AA for over a decade even if this event has left bad feelings but now that OP is back to traveling again, CK status will once again be offered. Not sure DL or UA will offer any better perks.


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Old Jan 15, 19, 9:45 am
  #84  
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Originally Posted by UAfreqflyer View Post
This is OP here. I have enjoyed reading all the posts. Some harsh. Some sympathetic. I have spent my career in Marketing management positions and I understand the “value of a customer” and I understand “customer retention”. My belief is that AA does not. In spite of what some have asserted, I DID qualify for CK each and every year (spending between $50K-$100K each year in premium cabins). Thankfully I am healthy again and I am back flying again, with two overseas r/t first class flights already this year; not on AA however. My main point is that I stuck with AA over decades through thick and thin, through their best and worst times and this loyalty is of no value to AA going forward. There is no “soft landing” and to me, that is a major marketing faux pas. I continue to spend what I had previously spent but it’s just not going to be on AA. I’m not moaning but just sharing a story of how I think AA, with all their sophisticated metrics (helix and “eagles” and the like), they miss big opportunities to retain valuable past (and future) flyers! Thanks for all the comments!
If you’re 1K for life, certainly there would be incentive to shoot for GS for life (and you can’t get EXP/CK for life on AA the same way).

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Old Jan 15, 19, 11:47 am
  #85  
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I work in process management. The trend is to automate decision making and workflow because ultimately it's cheaper. What that means is "one offs" become extremely difficult to process and are looked at very harshly. After all what's the sense of spending million dollars on automated workflows to have everyone ignoring them. No one wants to explain why they aborted the workflow. AA is far from the only company that has moved in this direction.

Finally, most high level elites fly AA because they are hub captive or fly AA based upon corporate agreements and contracts. Is a time stressed business traveler from Miami or Dallas going to start connecting every flight through ATL? Don't think so. The "huge run" off imagined by FFs over what they see as deteriorating FF benefits is just that. Their imagination. Doug Parker "knows why you fly (AA)".
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Old Jan 15, 19, 12:26 pm
  #86  
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When one loses status (especially a CK for 10 years) AA should have communicated their appreciation of his loyalty, perhaps a personal letter to that effect. In any event since he did achieve EXP status, he should have received a (new) EXP card.
It doesn't cost AA extra to be "nice"...but this is not the m.o. of the "new" AA.
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Old Jan 15, 19, 12:27 pm
  #87  
 
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I feel bad for the OP. I hope your health situation improves.

But I gotta side with AA. So many people take these statuses as rights, not privileges. If you made 10 years as CK, then odds are you should have no trouble remaking in the future. But its really not fair to say well if (insert life issue here) you can keep your status. Unless they make a CK for life program, you gotta earn it just like everything else.

Also not to pry, but AA has more visibility into this situation than us. They have all of the metrics, and decided that they weren't going to float you the CK. I dont really understand the anger here directed at AA. I would be mad I lost the status, but id understand it.
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Old Jan 15, 19, 1:12 pm
  #88  
 
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Originally Posted by dhodory View Post
, but I can only assume that the folks running AA somewhat have their collective sh*t together, they do after all, manage to mostly successfully operate a massive airline on a daily basis, so there is some level of competence there.
.
you are right that this is a business relationship - my issue with your argument is the quoted part above. AA has cut guidance yet again and from a financial standpoint seems to be aimlessly wandering around while its peers forge ahead.

IMO, AA is now too focused on the "here and now" and are making horrible long term decisions, including not making exceptions that cost them little, but pay off handsomely in the future. Giving an extension to CK really doesnt cost AA much and it keeps a future big spender happy. Doesnt it cost 10 times more (or ballpark) to sign a new customer for revenue equivalence than keep an existing one?

when you step out of your lane to help someone out, they usually reciprocate. An example first hand is an oil company was taking a bloodbath in 2014 with the falling prices and a vendor went the extra mile to defer some fees and renegotiate others. It cost the vendor some lost profits but when things came back, they cashed in spectacularly.
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Old Jan 15, 19, 1:30 pm
  #89  
 
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Oh My

"Lost a Customer For Life" seems quite over-dramatic after such a long relationship.

Airlines are rotten companies that care nothing about their customers these days so why lose these long earned relations only to start from scratch at the next competitor who will not treat you any better?
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Old Jan 15, 19, 1:35 pm
  #90  
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Originally Posted by UAfreqflyer View Post
This is OP here. I have enjoyed reading all the posts. Some harsh. Some sympathetic. I have spent my career in Marketing management positions and I understand the “value of a customer” and I understand “customer retention”. My belief is that AA does not. In spite of what some have asserted, I DID qualify for CK each and every year (spending between $50K-$100K each year in premium cabins). Thankfully I am healthy again and I am back flying again, with two overseas r/t first class flights already this year; not on AA however. My main point is that I stuck with AA over decades through thick and thin, through their best and worst times and this loyalty is of no value to AA going forward. There is no “soft landing” and to me, that is a major marketing faux pas. I continue to spend what I had previously spent but it’s just not going to be on AA. I’m not moaning but just sharing a story of how I think AA, with all their sophisticated metrics (helix and “eagles” and the like), they miss big opportunities to retain valuable past (and future) flyers! Thanks for all the comments!
The problem that I see here is that you seem to be treating it as something other than a business relationship with AA wanting to get your money. It was successful in that it seems to have got you to make irrational decisions on spending money with AA. You stopped spending money with it and so stopped offering the inducements. AA never had any feelings of loyalty to you - it is just a business

How can there be a soft landing? there is either holding CK or not holding CK. You still have EP status and if you continue to throw money at AA, I suspect that it will review and grant CK again.

Why you stopped spending the money doesn't really matter - Rather than be angy, if you realised that your spend was down below the expected levels to renew the CK statis, would you not have been expecting to lose it ?

Last edited by Dave Noble; Jan 15, 19 at 1:43 pm
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