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Is anyone else starting to question their loyalty to CO?

Is anyone else starting to question their loyalty to CO?

 
Old Nov 26, 10, 9:32 am
  #1  
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Is anyone else starting to question their loyalty to CO?

I have been a loyal CO flier for many years and in the past have paid a few more $$ to fly CO because I felt they offered me more than the other carriers did. In the past year, I would have to say CO has pretty much bottomed out and became just like every other carrier and I feel there is still more to come. For me, my upgrades were important and those have decreased this year with all these buy ups, the Amex relationship is also important and that is going away. Little things like pillows in first, blankets anywhere, and a sad bob program (why would I buy a Jenny-0 slider??), charges for premium drinks in F, all started to bother me. Of course the most recent announcement about 100,000 fliers being higher on the upgrade list in the future made me feel my Platinum status was become worth much less. Now there is there rumor of selling ELR seats to everyone at time of booking, is yet another annoying take away from my benefits. I agree that CO has the right to make money, but how they do it is eating away at my benefits. I made plat for 2011 already and status matched to DL and have been flying them for the last 2 months. I have not yet made my decision but I have to say DL has been much better than expected. My upgrades are 9/10 and inflight service has been excellent. I do hate ATL, so that will be a big challenge as IAH was great to connect in. Is anyone else feeling this way?
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Old Nov 26, 10, 9:49 am
  #2  
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Very much so, and my concern is this the downhill trend you describe may infect UA, which, IMO has been on an uphill trend for the past 2-3 years.

CO hasn't been my primary for a few years now as a result of some of their prior actions, although I maintained status in them as a secondary program up until this year. For well over a year now, I've found the benefits so lacking that CO only gets my revenue if I have a CO voucher to burn, or if I find a mistake fare.

I also agree with your assessment of DL. They've taken very good care of me in IRROPS, upgrade rates have been healthy, and customer service has been excellent.
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Old Nov 26, 10, 10:11 am
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: NJ, USA
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yes, fewer upgrades and we have been using Cont CC for everything to get points. Now it is so much harder to use the points to upgrade to first or get a first reward

I am looking forward to using the E+, if that goes...........................
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Old Nov 26, 10, 10:30 am
  #4  
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Years Ago...

I went freelance years ago. What is happening to you happened to me in 2005-06, when I went 0 for 25 on upgrades as a Gold.

Do not regret my decision one bit.

CO has changed itself so that the rewards for loyalty are virtually insignificant.

At EWR, my home airport, kettle security is usually faster that elite security.

I even had one flight which boarded non-elites before elites because there were so many more elites than non-elites, the GA was afraid boarding elites first would make us late.

Starting in December I will be able to reserve an ELR seat for a few bucks when I book my ticket.

Of course, I still can't hold a seat in the preposterously named "elite zone," until OLCI, but I find the back of the bus usually less crowded and most of the kettles a little friendlier and less grizzled than most of us road warriors.

In coach, where most elites sit too, there is virtually no difference between being elite or kettle. We both pay for meals, alcoholic drinks and IFE.

Perhaps the only tangible difference is that I have to pay to check bags, but I always only bring cabin luggage when I fly CO.

This is the bold new reality of CO, once the industry's most admired and best product, relentlessly dismantled into mediocrity by Larry Kellner and Jeff Smisek.

Given CO's uncomfortable, cramped Y cabin, in many respects I would put the coach experience on CO today right at the very bottom of the ladder with US.
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Old Nov 26, 10, 10:30 am
  #5  
 
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CO or E+ ?

For the last 2 TATL I have opted for guaranteed E+ on UA rather than fly on CO. The extra few inches of leg room is important to an over 6footer like me
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Old Nov 26, 10, 10:32 am
  #6  
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Originally Posted by killaypirate View Post
For the last 2 TATL I have opted for guaranteed E+ on UA rather than fly on CO. The extra few inches of leg room is important to an over 6footer like me
Same here.

How would you feel if Smisek decides to get rid of E+?
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Old Nov 26, 10, 11:31 am
  #7  
 
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My airline loyalty is always based on my nearest airport. When I lived in DEN, ORD, and IAD/DCA, I mainly flew Untied. When I was in BOS/MHT, UA still worked pretty well along with the occasional US flight through CLT or PHL. When I moved to NYC, CO was a much better choice, and was not *A at the time (DL LHR flights from JFK also had much better timing...). Now that I'm moving to RDU, I'll have to consider as to whether domestic connections via IAH and int'l connections via EWR are going to be worth it. DL has been ramping up at RDU, so they may be my best bet, and I can likely hit diamond with them fairly easily, but most certainly plat.

When they meld OP and MP eventually, I'll be very near MM status, so that will likely have to be considered as well.
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Old Nov 26, 10, 11:31 am
  #8  
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I am but it's for a variety of reasons - mostly CS. Seems to have gone down hill for the last year or so and being the end of the year, ig I'm going to switch, now's the time.

Not going to make a rash decision though.
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Old Nov 26, 10, 11:32 am
  #9  
 
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Originally Posted by TWA Fan 1 View Post
Same here.

How would you feel if Smisek decides to get rid of E+?
I echo 1bentley's sentiments. Also being over 6ft, if the new UA cuts E+, that's the last straw for me - I'll defect, and I won't look back.
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Old Nov 26, 10, 12:09 pm
  #10  
 
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Originally Posted by channa View Post
Very much so, and my concern is this the downhill trend you describe may infect UA, which, IMO has been on an uphill trend for the past 2-3 years.

I also agree with your assessment of DL. They've taken very good care of me in IRROPS, upgrade rates have been healthy, and customer service has been excellent.
I'll agree, with UA, they always seem to be going the extra mile for elites, and constantly improving their service and offerings.

I on the other hand have had numerous lousy experiences with DL, and being MSP based, sometimes I have little choice but to fly them. This year my employer has really pushed *A though, so I've gotten to fly SQ, OZ, LH, NH, LX, TG, and AC in addition to UA, and I will say elite treatment in *A by carriers is pretty good (compared to skyteam elite treatment, no real experience with OW elite, AA gold, but that's obtained via 2-3 Int'l C trips/yr).

DL is improving though, mountains in the last 3 months. If UA goes the way of CO in elite treament, in particular treatment during IRROPS, I'll probably fly DL alot more, or try find an excuse to use AA and maintain UA elite status by EQM's on other *A carriers.
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Old Nov 26, 10, 1:06 pm
  #11  
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Unlike Brendog, I don't base my loyalty on proximity to a hub; I lived in Houston for over four years and was loyal to Northwest up until a few months before I moved to New Jersey. I switched to CO because of service issues with NWA; I am abandoning CO for the same reason--recurring service problems.

I certainly don't begrudge CO for finding new ways to generate revenue; I applaud it. If the relationship moves from one of loyalty to more transactional in nature, I end up viewing CO in a different light. I find the product to be inconsistent; I also believe that CO no longer provides value for money. OnePass is a reward program where it's hard to find rewards and a loyalty program that doesn't reward loyalty. Both AA and DL have a much more reliable product and offer a better experience for the frequent flyer. The intangibles are stronger with both programs: long after you forget how much you paid for a ticket or where you flew, I have found that positive feelings towards both DL and AA remain. Nowadays, I cringe at having to fly on CO: it reminds me of NW in the 90s. I certainly enjoyed my time with Continental and its people, but for me it's time to move on.

I have flown UA a few times in the past two years and I too have been surprised by how that airline has changed and improved--four years ago, it really was a disaster. CO had a near-death experience with similar, positive results. I don't see any point in hanging around to find out how this merger works out. In areas that matter to me, I have seen the airline decline year over year and I expect the trend to continue.
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Old Nov 26, 10, 1:22 pm
  #12  
 
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Originally Posted by 1bentley View Post
I have been a loyal CO flier for many years and in the past have paid a few more $$ to fly CO because I felt they offered me more than the other carriers did. In the past year, I would have to say CO has pretty much bottomed out and became just like every other carrier and I feel there is still more to come. For me, my upgrades were important and those have decreased this year with all these buy ups, the Amex relationship is also important and that is going away. Little things like pillows in first, blankets anywhere, and a sad bob program (why would I buy a Jenny-0 slider??), charges for premium drinks in F, all started to bother me. Of course the most recent announcement about 100,000 fliers being higher on the upgrade list in the future made me feel my Platinum status was become worth much less. Now there is there rumor of selling ELR seats to everyone at time of booking, is yet another annoying take away from my benefits. I agree that CO has the right to make money, but how they do it is eating away at my benefits. I made plat for 2011 already and status matched to DL and have been flying them for the last 2 months. I have not yet made my decision but I have to say DL has been much better than expected. My upgrades are 9/10 and inflight service has been excellent. I do hate ATL, so that will be a big challenge as IAH was great to connect in. Is anyone else feeling this way?
I posted on this several months ago; it was a very easy decision to switch over to DL, for a zillion different reasons. The fact that DL has earned the business makes things less painless.

Here's what you will realize in time...it hasn't been the CO of Gordon Bethune or Larry Kellner for some time now. That's the problem. I also live primarily in LA, so that expiring PL card is looking an awful lot like Silver, especially with the 5 zillion PPs/1Ks/GS I compete with for upgrades-on my last flight when the gate told me I was in the 20s for upgrade going LAX-IAH, that kind of said it all right there.
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Old Nov 26, 10, 1:33 pm
  #13  
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
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Yes, I am transfering my loyalty to Delta after 3 years of strictly CO. Moved 50,000 Amex membership miles, received 75,000 miles and Medallion Level. All set to drop CO and go Delta.
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Old Nov 26, 10, 2:18 pm
  #14  
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Originally Posted by artyam View Post
Yes, I am transfering my loyalty to Delta after 3 years of strictly CO. Moved 50,000 Amex membership miles, received 75,000 miles and Medallion Level. All set to drop CO and go Delta.
I have actually been top tier on CO a little longer: I switched in 1993. 2010 will be first year I haven't earned top tier status since 1994.

I think you'll be pleasantly surprised by DL; I have had a good experience on the airline--it reminds me of CO in the 90s. It can be challenging getting reward travel, but I fly mostly M and higher fares, so use miles to upgrade. If you fly at least 100k a year (or 67k on full fare), I think AA is a better deal.
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Old Nov 26, 10, 2:24 pm
  #15  
 
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Since most of my travel is business from LAX to GUM, I am stuck with Continental as my carrier. That said, if Delta considers an attack on Continental in Guam with a nonstop from LAX to GUM, I will certainly have incentive to move my business there.
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