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What Continental is doing and why these threads miss the point

What Continental is doing and why these threads miss the point

 
Old Sep 18, 03, 1:35 pm
  #1  
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What Continental is doing and why these threads miss the point

There will be the same number of elite members. There will be the same number of first class seats. There will be the same number of upgrades.

The elite members and the folks in those first class seats will be different people. That is the change.

If you're going to be negatively affected by the changes, that's intentional. It is not a "mistake" and you're not being screwed. If your travel plans won't reward you properly, that probably means that you're not right for the business model and should consider another carrier.

The new program changes reward higher revenue passengers and clearly are trying to attract less (if not discourage) lower fares. If you want to buy lower fares, you're not going to get an apology for the change in policy. This is intentional and I'm sorry to say, but you're probably not a desirable customer.

Continental is not in the business of keeping everyone happy. They are trying to make money and create a profit. If this means operate some smaller planes on unpopular routes, say farewell to some customers, operate less flights, buy less planes -- that's what needs to be done. Unfortunately, if this means losing a bunch of low-yield customers while getting a bunch of B/H/K/Y folks, that's probably worth it.

Sorry for the reality check. Welcome to the real world.
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Old Sep 18, 03, 1:46 pm
  #2  
 
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"There will be the same number of elite members."
That is a big assumption. Drive away a large % of your customers, are you SURE you will find a equal number of suckers to replace them?

"There will be the same number of first class seats."
That is again based on your first assumption. If reduced passenger loads require cutting flights and reducing schedules, then there will NOT be the same number of first class seats.

There will be the same number of upgrades.
Assuming your assumptions in 1 and 2 are true.
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Old Sep 18, 03, 1:49 pm
  #3  
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Sure, variable are subject to change and I wouldn't be surprised if flights are reduced or if the number of elites goes up and down while the policies get hammered out, but those are minor issues.

It's still the same point that the intention is to replace low yield elite with high yield ones and just make more money doing the same thing.
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Old Sep 18, 03, 1:49 pm
  #4  
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<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by dbaker:
There will be the same number of elite members. There will be the same number of first class seats. There will be the same number of upgrades.

The elite members and the folks in those first class seats will be different people. That is the change.

If you're going to be negatively affected by the changes, that's intentional. It is not a "mistake" and you're not being screwed. If your travel plans won't reward you properly, that probably means that you're not right for the business model and should consider another carrier.

The new program changes reward higher revenue passengers and clearly are trying to attract less (if not discourage) lower fares. If you want to buy lower fares, you're not going to get an apology for the change in policy. This is intentional and I'm sorry to say, but you're probably not a desirable customer.

Continental is not in the business of keeping everyone happy. They are trying to make money and create a profit. If this means operate some smaller planes on unpopular routes, say farewell to some customers, operate less flights, buy less planes -- that's what needs to be done. Unfortunately, if this means losing a bunch of low-yield customers while getting a bunch of B/H/K/Y folks, that's probably worth it.

Sorry for the reality check. Welcome to the real world.
</font>

Ok, so we STILL have some apologists left. Amazing.

Lets break this down one more time, for the slow learners.

1) If I have $200 to spend on a flight, I'm not flying CO. I'm flying an airline that has bigger coach seats that will give me full elite mileage credits - and I'm usually flying one with much cheaper fares on a mainline aircraft, sometimes with leather seats and TVs.

2) If I have $5000 to spend on a flight, I'm not flying CO. I'm flying any airline I choose. I choose an airline that has bigger coach seats, non-mythical awards and international upgrades that do not gouge me.

3) If I was a CO elite, I no longer fly them because they lie over and over and do not respect my loyalty and return business.

4) If I wasn't a CO elite, I have no interest in becoming one, as even their own marketing says I can have "elite for a day" benefits if I just buy a full fare.

5) If I buy a full fare, I don't fly CO - see above.

Congrats to the braintrust at Mecca, no one now has any reason to choose to fly CO beyond basic transportation from point A to point B - and with an attitude to boot.
AA and UA just had their solvency guaranteed - by the guy who was publicly rooting against them.

Amazing.


[This message has been edited by NJDavid (edited 09-18-2003).]
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Old Sep 18, 03, 1:52 pm
  #5  
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<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by dbaker:
If you're going to be negatively affected by the changes, that's intentional. It is not a "mistake" and you're not being screwed. </font>
I don't think it is a mistake either. But the people who have been loyal to Continental are definitely getting screwed. You can't take away all the former benefits from those loyal flyers and claim otherwise.


------------------
Continental Airlines and bankruptcy: The third time will be the charm!
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Old Sep 18, 03, 1:53 pm
  #6  
 
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The main point of dbaker's post still stands, even though I think he's misguided in not recognizing that the number of elites is also one of the variables which Continental is able to tweak and adjust if they wish to adjust the focus of their loyalty program.

I'm confident that Continental has made these changes after consideration and deliberation with specific goals in mind. There's room to argue that the changes won't have the desired effect, and I've read some compelling arguments along that line, but it's ludicrous to get upset over the changes themselves just because you're not part of the group that Continental wants to target for loyalty.

If Continental is able to make adjustments to OnePass that increases the number of profitable customers and decreases the number of marginal or unprofitable customers then that's a fine thing.

It's easy to understand changes that result in the system no longer rewarding a 10 segment $129 mileage run, which is hardly a profitable routing for Continental even in the best circumstances.

Continental's made adjustments, and time will tell if their projections bear out, but I daresay that these decisions were made with access to far better and more detailed information than we in the flyer community have and I have to assume that there's logic behind the intent.
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Old Sep 18, 03, 1:55 pm
  #7  
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dbaker assumes (I think mistakenly) that frequent flyers come in only two flavors - always full fare and always discount fare. Although there are some of each, many more FFs fly a broad mix of fares, and no airline will ever get a full fare out of someone they treat like crap when they buy a discount fare. Simple as that. That is yet another reason the mileage based loyalty schemes developed the way they did.

As an EXP, AA treats me like royalty no matter what my fare is that day.

FFs will not stand for the "what have you done for me TODAY?" treatment; FFs want to be recognized for their annual contributions to their preferred airline.
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Old Sep 18, 03, 1:56 pm
  #8  
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<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by Nugget:
... and I have to assume that there's logic behind the intent.</font>
The logic behind the intent is Gordo-the-liar's belief that he can just butf**k his elite flyers with more enhancements and they'll just take it like lemmings...again.

Wrong-o oh lying one (referring to Gordo, of course). Look at the backlash already, and it's only day 2.


[This message has been edited by NJDavid (edited 09-18-2003).]
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Old Sep 18, 03, 1:58 pm
  #9  
 
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<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by NJDavid:
[B]
AA and UA just had their solvency guaranteed - by the guy who was publicly rooting against them.
B]</font>
Yes, I agree. I will probably split my flying between them and thus have elite privileges (even though probably worth less than they are generally assumed to be)
on OneWorld and Star Alliance and hence on just about every airline in the world.
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Old Sep 18, 03, 2:00 pm
  #10  
 
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Here's why CO's policy change doesn't make sense...if I remember correctly, this argument was explained very succinctly by "thesilb" at one point.

I am a CO Plat who flies about 75-80k per year on CO, and I usually fly either US or AA for 25k per year to have back-up elite status.
I buy a lot of Y and J tickets because my corporate travel is usually on short notice. That probably accounts for about 40-50k of the 100k miles I fly a year. I also fly another 40k miles on somewhat short notice (3-10 days) which sometimes wind up as Q,L,T, or whatever and sometimes wind up as V,K,H, etc. Lastly, I fly 10-15k miles on personal travel on cheap fares.
I book through a corporate travel agent and have no access to the booking class, but typically have good latitude in choosing my carrier.

The value of all my business travel is that I get treated well on my personal travel.
Since I can't trust CO to give me full credit for my flights and may wind up not qualifying for top tier and then getting reduced benefits, why give them any of the high yield business.

I have no ability to choose a higher fare class to comply with CO's directive and have no incentive to buy the $2000+ last minute ticket with them anymore. I'm leaning towards moving all of my travel to AA at this point.

If they don't want me for all of my business, which is booked as soon as I know my schedule, I'm not going to bother giving them any of my business...
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Old Sep 18, 03, 2:03 pm
  #11  
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<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by johnsmith:
If they don't want me for all of my business, which is booked as soon as I know my schedule, I'm not going to bother giving them any of my business...</font>
Bravo! The tremendous miscalculation of the idiots in Houston - all summed-up in one little sentence.
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Old Sep 18, 03, 2:03 pm
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<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by FWAAA:
dbaker assumes (I think mistakenly) that frequent flyers come in only two flavors - always full fare and always discount fare. Although there are some of each, many more FFs fly a broad mix of fares, and no airline will ever get a full fare out of someone they treat like crap when they buy a discount fare. Simple as that. That is yet another reason the mileage based loyalty schemes developed the way they did.

As an EXP, AA treats me like royalty no matter what my fare is that day.

FFs will not stand for the "what have you done for me TODAY?" treatment; FFs want to be recognized for their annual contributions to their preferred airline.
</font>
How does Continental's system not continue to reward a high revenue traveler when they're on a leisure fare?

Even with the 2004 system, elites get benefits regareless of what fare they're on. It's just that you probably hvae to earn that status on higher fares.

I expect to continue personal travel on coair and receive the same benefits that I get when I'm traveling on my high rev business fares.
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Old Sep 18, 03, 2:05 pm
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<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by NJDavid:
The logic behind the intent is Gordo-the-liar's belief that he can just butf**k his elite flyers...</font>
You know, David, even though you seem incapable of looking at an issue without personalizing it the rest of us are quite capable of doing exactly that. Including the management at Continental.

It may shock you to learn that people hold a differing opinion than you don't necessarily hate you. And when things don't work out the way you wish, it doesn't mean there's a conspiracy against you personally.

Bethune wants to run a profitable airline. Changes have been made that Continental believes will lead them to profitability.

Causing you distress wasn't a primary motivator for them. When you rant and rave in paranoia, it just makes you look ridiculous.
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Old Sep 18, 03, 2:07 pm
  #14  
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If it's money CO is after, why not adopt the FF model of the old-new National Airlines? 1 point per dollar spent, period, irregardless of miles. That would make a whole lot more sense than a bunch of double-talk about enhancements. It's exactly that load of bollocks that gets people like David so riled up.

------------------
Continental Airlines and bankruptcy: The third time will be the charm!

[This message has been edited by OttoGraham (edited 09-18-2003).]
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Old Sep 18, 03, 2:07 pm
  #15  
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<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by dbaker:
How does Continental's system not continue to reward a high revenue traveler when they're on a leisure fare?

</font>
By looking at the fare basis of the ticket before issuing the upgrade.

By announcing that they will only give 50% EQM on those fares, making it harder to ger elite status the following year.

By promising me that my upgrade will clear 5 (or 3 or 1) day in advance while full well knowing (per Kellner's own admission) that they were only actually giving the "promise" of an upgrade and not an upgrade at all.

By holding a media circus to exclaim that they will now give me what they already promised me, then trying to slip these takeaways under the radar.
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