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First Class Monetization, or FCM: The Definitive Thread

First Class Monetization, or FCM: The Definitive Thread

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Old May 14, 15, 7:41 pm
  #2326  
 
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Originally Posted by sethb View Post
Only the fact that it's gone back and forth every few years since deregulation.



It's cheap to get travelers. It's expensive to get loyal customers. Somebody who's willing to buy a DL ticket because it's $5 less than someone else? Sure, they're easy to get. They also require that DL continue to underprice. Someone who's willing to buy a DL ticket despite it costing $100 more than someone else? That's not so easy to get, and is a hell of a lot cheaper to maintain than to acquire. But as we've seen, DL doesn't have that much of an eye for the future.
The problem is that when the chickens come home to roost, current management will have left with huge financial packages and the damage to Delta won't be their problem. They only care about current earnings - not about the future. That will be the next CEO's problem.
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Old May 14, 15, 8:15 pm
  #2327  
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Originally Posted by sethb View Post
Only the fact that it's gone back and forth every few years since deregulation.



It's cheap to get travelers. It's expensive to get loyal customers. Somebody who's willing to buy a DL ticket because it's $5 less than someone else? Sure, they're easy to get. They also require that DL continue to underprice. Someone who's willing to buy a DL ticket despite it costing $100 more than someone else? That's not so easy to get, and is a hell of a lot cheaper to maintain than to acquire. But as we've seen, DL doesn't have that much of an eye for the future.
Don't confuse things with logic.

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Old May 14, 15, 8:52 pm
  #2328  
 
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Originally Posted by gooselee View Post
It's a fair argument. But...I would say that if the planes are full, someone is still paying that price, and DL may not care where that money is coming from as long as it ends up with them.

In the future state, perhaps all the loyalists who left DL have been replaced by people who left other airlines, and are now loyal to DL.

I honestly can see it both ways, but if I had to lean in one direction, I'd say that the airlines are more or less trading "loyal" customers, not gaining or losing them.

And, they potentially make more money when flying around lower or non-elites that they need to provide fewer benefits to.
You are not taking a few things into account. 1)that the reason why it's so full is because of delta loyalists. One only needs to look at the huge upgrade lists in each flight. While most on FT travel a lot and maintain DM or PM status, just getting to silver is no small feat.

2) the cost of bags, C+, bennies, are more than made up by the loyal member who pays slightly more each ticket to remain with delta and not just take the cheapest flight and does not take up so much time with the GA/on-line support/marketing and advertising.

3) there is a balance that delta is dancing around. They tried it in NY and got the big hand slap on transcons.

I work with folks who have loyalty all over the board. I no longer suggest delta to new hires. I am going to see what they do to the program this year. If the devaluations continue....I'm gone. And I won't look back when the airlines get back into the red. Whomever I switch to, will also try and keep me as a frequent flyer when that day comes.
I do love the delta people...great airline with crappy ff program.
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Old May 14, 15, 9:21 pm
  #2329  
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Originally Posted by sethb View Post
They're spending (in this case) $50 for SDC flexibility both ways. For a non-medallion, it would cost $50 for SDC each way (if it were available).
So what? Even in FC, there's no waiver of the $50 fee to SDC for those without sufficiently high elite status.
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Old May 14, 15, 9:29 pm
  #2330  
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Originally Posted by jamesteroh View Post
Or New Orleans?
If you're starting in ATL, MSY or Florida in the summer can't be that much worse, can they?
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Old May 15, 15, 8:46 am
  #2331  
 
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Originally Posted by Readynow View Post
Not sure if it was people spending the $300 or RUG, but it confirms that the value of unlimited medallion upgrades is very very low.
$300 for an upgrade is pretty HIGH...
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Old May 15, 15, 10:21 am
  #2332  
 
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Originally Posted by Esltroy View Post
You are not taking a few things into account. 1)that the reason why it's so full is because of delta loyalists. One only needs to look at the huge upgrade lists in each flight. While most on FT travel a lot and maintain DM or PM status, just getting to silver is no small feat.

2) the cost of bags, C+, bennies, are more than made up by the loyal member who pays slightly more each ticket to remain with delta and not just take the cheapest flight and does not take up so much time with the GA/on-line support/marketing and advertising.

3) there is a balance that delta is dancing around. They tried it in NY and got the big hand slap on transcons.

I work with folks who have loyalty all over the board. I no longer suggest delta to new hires. I am going to see what they do to the program this year. If the devaluations continue....I'm gone. And I won't look back when the airlines get back into the red. Whomever I switch to, will also try and keep me as a frequent flyer when that day comes.
I do love the delta people...great airline with crappy ff program.
Excellent points, but there are also counterpoints:

1) I find myself quite frequently on flights that are full by only have 10 people on the UG list. It depends on time and market. I fully admit I don't know the larger trends across the board for all flight at all times, but I know that IME, the length of UG list varies greatly but the filled capacity of the flight seems to be consistent.

2) Again, I have no data to back this up, but I feel like many FTers greatly overestimate the number of travelers, even elites, who will pay more or take inconvenient routings/schedules just to maintain loyalty/status. I would actually venture that most elites in all programs get there "naturally" - that is, they simply travel enough or maintain consistent enough patterns that always choosing the best price/schedule/routing gets them status without them having to go out of their way to use one airline/hotel over another.

3) Agree that it's a balance. I don't have the information nor am I smart enough to know the answer. I'm mostly just trying to point out that there is a clear path of reasoning behind FCM and the airlines' choosing to give less attention to their elites these days. Whether that strategy pays off in the long run...I don't think any of us has that answer.

I think the difference here is that many FTers make purchase decision based on what gets them the best miles and path to status. Most others, including myself and most of the people I know, make purchase decision based on cost vs. product, where product primarily includes routing, schedule, and service.

In a situation where DL costs $5 or $10 more to fly vs. AA/US/UA for the same route, same # connections, and essentially same schedule, you end up with three types of people - from my experience, this is the order from biggest group to smallest:
1. People who just buy the cheapest fare and don't look back.
2. People who will buy the higher DL fare because they like DL's planes and people better and have had positive experiences in the past.
3. People who will buy the higher DL fare because they want those miles and status.

I believe that outside of FT, #3 is actually a very, very small group, which is why the airlines are focused on the people in 1 and 2.
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Old May 15, 15, 12:46 pm
  #2333  
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Originally Posted by Vuelos View Post
$300 for an upgrade is pretty HIGH...
Depends on the airports, but SAN-DTW yes.

I've seen $150 for SAN-JFK go begging.
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Old May 15, 15, 1:17 pm
  #2334  
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Last night BOS->DTW on an H fare, I was offered $98 and declined; wound up #6 when the doors closed. #4 was sitting next to me in E+, he was offered an $89 upgrade. A plat colleague (#23?) was offered $198 and declined.
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Old May 15, 15, 1:21 pm
  #2335  
 
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H fare and you didn't get it? Ouch.
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Old May 15, 15, 1:22 pm
  #2336  
 
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F cheaper than C+

Just booked a flight for my wife for next month (MCO-ATL-IAD roundtrip). After purchase it showed C+ available for each segment for $29 (wife is also GM). But F was available for $97 total. Bought the upgrade for her. It seemed like a reasonable deal and clincher was the fact she has 36 minutes in ATL on way up and closest seat at this point was about 8 rows back.
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Old May 15, 15, 1:26 pm
  #2337  
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Was looking at the seat map on my DTW/MDW/ORD/DTW trip for memorial day and was given a buyup opportunity of $418. No brainer to decline that one LOL. Weird thing is there are 2 seats sold on the DTW/MDW trip and 6 of the 12 seats are sold in First on the ORD/DTW return. Why would someone pay on that route???? It's an hour flight and IF you get a PDB you could get three drinks max.

If Delta can sell that upgrade for $418 RT I have no issues sitting a C+ for that trip
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Old May 15, 15, 2:33 pm
  #2338  
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Originally Posted by miraclebear2003 View Post
Just booked a flight for my wife for next month (MCO-ATL-IAD roundtrip). After purchase it showed C+ available for each segment for $29 (wife is also GM). But F was available for $97 total. Bought the upgrade for her. It seemed like a reasonable deal and clincher was the fact she has 36 minutes in ATL on way up and closest seat at this point was about 8 rows back.
and now that she has a ticket in F, she can SDC to any earlier MCO-ATL flight with an open F seat to improve that 36-min connection
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Old May 15, 15, 2:41 pm
  #2339  
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Originally Posted by jamesteroh View Post
Was looking at the seat map on my DTW/MDW/ORD/DTW trip for memorial day and was given a buyup opportunity of $418. No brainer to decline that one LOL. Weird thing is there are 2 seats sold on the DTW/MDW trip and 6 of the 12 seats are sold in First on the ORD/DTW return. Why would someone pay on that route???? It's an hour flight and IF you get a PDB you could get three drinks max.

If Delta can sell that upgrade for $418 RT I have no issues sitting a C+ for that trip
The taken seats might be connecting, e.g. by someone flying J TATL.
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Old May 15, 15, 2:47 pm
  #2340  
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Originally Posted by sethb View Post
The taken seats might be connecting, e.g. by someone flying J TATL.
That's possible going out but returning I don't land until almost 9 p.m. so there wouldn't be that many connections leaving that late. If I was on a paid J ticket I would be allowing myself more time for a layover in DTW.
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