Skymiles Change Rumor?

Old Mar 24, 12, 4:13 pm
  #1006  
 
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Originally Posted by blug View Post
Well, they are good at making money. But that doesn't make them respectable. There are tons of legal but unethical, contemptible and low-class ways to make money.
Quite frankly, and in my opinion, I think I will focus my negative energies on those companies who legally and unethically nearly sent this country into a new winter....the airlines....and Delta?? ummm, on the unethical scale, not so much.

While I cannot speak for you, I have generally been treated, ethically, respectfully....and we have an agreement....I give them my money...and they get me from point A to point B, in safety....and varying levels of comfort depending on my ability to pay with whatever resources are at my disposal. It is all up to me.

Last edited by ATLCDG; Mar 24, 12 at 4:19 pm
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Old Mar 24, 12, 4:27 pm
  #1007  
 
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Originally Posted by ATLCDG View Post
While I cannot speak for you, I have generally been treated, ethically, respectfully....and we have an agreement....I give them my money...and they get me from point A to point B, in safety....and varying levels of confort depending on my ability to pay with whatever resources are at my disposal. It is all up to me.
This begs the question, how many people give airlines their money...and they (the airlines):
1) get me from point A to point B, in safety
2) provide miles in the process.

I will readily admit, that DL will lose 70% of my total segments / 60% of my BIS MQM flown in 2011 and 2012 should point 2 be omitted. And by that I don't mean I add in an extra 1 or 2 stop overs. These are actual flights meaning a drop in the number of times I step onto a plane by 70%.

I am guessing that flyer like myself are a minority and I am sure DL could find ways to find replacements, but if nobody take my slot, it means less revenue for DL. That is the type of risk management that DL has to take into consideration.

Last edited by DHalltheway; Mar 24, 12 at 4:47 pm
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Old Mar 24, 12, 4:56 pm
  #1008  
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When Southwest changed their program, they made a claim to the effect that it was an improvement for most of their customers. This was true: Most customers fly so infrequently that their credits would expire before they reached the necessary count of 16.

I can see DL making a similar claim. For the infrequent flyer, the current program offers negligible value. A cash balance program (points being nearly equivalent to money) actually rewards very infrequent fliers, which miles programs don't do so well.

Naturally FTers, who were mostly winners who gamed the old system, become losers under the new non-gameable (is that a word?) system. So we will raise quite a fuss. The airlines know this and they don't really care.
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Old Mar 24, 12, 5:03 pm
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Originally Posted by ATLCDG View Post
Quite frankly, and in my opinion, I think I will focus my negative energies on those companies who legally and unethically nearly sent this country into a new winter....the airlines....and Delta?? ummm, on the unethical scale, not so much.

While I cannot speak for you, I have generally been treated, ethically, respectfully....and we have an agreement....I give them my money...and they get me from point A to point B, in safety....and varying levels of comfort depending on my ability to pay with whatever resources are at my disposal. It is all up to me.
Yeah, different people have different focuses and interests. If the most important thing to someone is safety and comfort, sure, DL is pretty good.

But considering all DL have done over the years to make SkyMiles redemption notoriously difficult (availability, calendar, award chart, routing restrictions, fuel surcharge, international originating surcharge, blackout dates, most partners can't be booked online etc) and keep bragging "more ways to redeem frequent flyer miles than any other airline" and "You can be the boss of your miles and let them work for you", well, not so much.
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Old Mar 24, 12, 7:26 pm
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The airlines should not care just about most of their customers. They should care about those customers whose incentives could be affected the most by the program. If points are equal to cash, then customer loyalty is not encouraged that much, and their incentives to be loyal are not affected much. On the other hand, having a miles based program can significantly affect the incentives of the road warriors to stay with the given program even if a competitor's program occasionally offers better cash prices. And even for the infrequent customers, DL miles don't expire, and they can collect them via credit card purchases and other promotions, and so that the free ticket is not that far away.

Originally Posted by nsx View Post
When Southwest changed their program, they made a claim to the effect that it was an improvement for most of their customers. This was true: Most customers fly so infrequently that their credits would expire before they reached the necessary count of 16.

I can see DL making a similar claim. For the infrequent flyer, the current program offers negligible value. A cash balance program (points being nearly equivalent to money) actually rewards very infrequent fliers, which miles programs don't do so well.

Naturally FTers, who were mostly winners who gamed the old system, become losers under the new non-gameable (is that a word?) system. So we will raise quite a fuss. The airlines know this and they don't really care.
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Old Mar 24, 12, 8:01 pm
  #1011  
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Originally Posted by DHalltheway View Post
You are correct, my bad for calling someone with no status a medallion.

But I do believe that you only need to move over 1 decimal as I think DL has more than 10 million FO/GM/PM/DM. Especially with rollover and ways to earn non flying MQM.
The numbers we heard right after the merger and at the DL ATL DO were about 86,000,000 SkyMiles members and a total of about 2,000,000 elites. The precise numbers are closely guarded. DM is supposed to be about the top 2% of elites, which would be 40,000, very close to the numbers reported when DM first started.
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Old Mar 24, 12, 8:33 pm
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Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
The numbers we heard right after the merger and at the DL ATL DO were about 86,000,000 SkyMiles members and a total of about 2,000,000 elites. The precise numbers are closely guarded. DM is supposed to be about the top 2% of elites, which would be 40,000, very close to the numbers reported when DM first started.
When you say elites, at the time, I am assuming you mean PM & DM because GM was only considered ST elite last year am I right?

Never the less, if you include all the FO & GM with the elites (PM & DM), I won't be surprised to see 10 million people or somewhere close to that figure.
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Old Mar 24, 12, 8:49 pm
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Here we go again...

Anyone remember 'old' miles before Skymiles and the mess that made as the various 'protections' faded away. It made me switch to CO/NW just before the frog woke up and SOS was born.

Guess history really does repeat itself.....

Oh - its probably a good time to reconsider Mileage Runs and delaying any big spend on your DL Amex for MQM and so on. I think I'm going to switch back to using the Amex MR card again. Usually I only do that after hitting the MQM max but at this point the value of MQM is suddenly a big question mark.

Last edited by pmaddock; Mar 24, 12 at 9:03 pm
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Old Mar 24, 12, 9:01 pm
  #1014  
 
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Originally Posted by Deadtail View Post
Link?
You've seen in this thread an (supposedly) internal memo from DL, slides from investor day that seem to corroborate this, SEC filing information that supports this, job postings and while I wish I could share more here, a friend of mine who is in DL management has confirmed that these changes are coming. While I recognize that the speculation automatically on this board becomes "someone told someone who embellished the story to make it sound a certain way," if you read back in some of my posts where I have referenced my friend at DL, I have been very consistent for MONTHS now that things were about to change based on things he has told me that I was requested not to repeat. This is for two reasons. First, if I were to share specifics, it may be obvious to the DL readers of this board to track that information back to him and I don't wish to endanger his job. Secondly, I don't want to breech his trust as I appreciate the information he shares with me. However, now that the information is starting to show up here, I think it's fair game to confrim from a very reliable source (and again, one I have been citing for months), that this is coming. Unfortunately, with my friend not being in the SM division, even he is unsure how extreme the changes will be but he has been directly involved with meetings evaluating interdivisional implementation of the new rules. But, he has confirmed to me that everything he has read in this thread seems to be consistent with what is coming.

Believe my thoughts or not, I could care less. But, when these changes are announced in the relatively near future, don't be the one leading the pack saying "I wish someone would have warned me" or "I wish I had believed that DL would do this to us."
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Old Mar 24, 12, 9:10 pm
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Originally Posted by DHalltheway View Post
When you say elites, at the time, I am assuming you mean PM & DM because GM was only considered ST elite last year am I right?

Never the less, if you include all the FO & GM with the elites (PM & DM), I won't be surprised to see 10 million people or somewhere close to that figure.
No, had nothing to do with ST elite or ST+ elite. That (2 million number) was the total number of DL medallions that was floated. I'm sure there has been some inflation of the ranks since that time, but I would guess it would not be even close to 10,000,000 total DL Medallions.
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Old Mar 24, 12, 9:14 pm
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Originally Posted by dcline414 View Post
This sounds like an excellent idea! Please let us know what response you get.

I have told a few 100% travel folks in ATL about these rumors and several are going to burn down their miles, just in case. My motto always is, if you've got em, burn em! Why bank when you can use and enjoy the benefits... ESPECIALLY since they could be devalued at any time.
So, of the 10-12 people I talked with in the MCO SC tonight. 2 were there on AmEx day passes, the rest were paid members or DMs (the majority of the 10-12). Of those, 2 claimed to have even ever heard of FT. None of the 10-12 were aware that there were rumors that DL was moving toward a revenue based system. However, unlike the thoughts in this thread, the concensus was that people were not nearly as up in arms as folks are here. The vibe from the SC was that SM is just a FF program. And, that as long as benefits were dispensed by 'medallion' or 'elite' level that most people, even in a revenue model, would fall out about the same as they do right now and that the impact to individual flyers would likely be minimal, though some that buy full F tix might move up a bit in the stratification system. All though that the folks siting in an airplane seat several times a week regardless of spend would still be at the top of the new system. Not a single person said "that's it, I'm moving my business to UA, WN, AA, etc." More than anything the common comment was "that's interesting."

While I still feel like any wholesale changes are bad for everyone. Perhaps, this thread is an overreaction in comparison to what the average flyer out there actually thinks. I'll be flying again tomorrow evening, I'll try to do another SC poll to see what another audience thinks.
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Old Mar 24, 12, 9:27 pm
  #1017  
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Originally Posted by pmaddock View Post
Anyone remember 'old' miles before Skymiles and the mess that made as the various 'protections' faded away. It made me switch to CO/NW just before the frog woke up and SOS was born.

Guess history really does repeat itself.....

Oh - its probably a good time to reconsider Mileage Runs and delaying any big spend on your DL Amex for MQM and so on. I think I'm going to switch back to using the Amex MR card again. Usually I only do that after hitting the MQM max but at this point the value of MQM is suddenly a big question mark.
Oh yeah...

Originally Posted by StayingHomeIsBetter View Post
It's possible that they might offer, as a carrot, an assurance that we can continue to use "Old Miles" under the old rules, as long as we have "old Miles."

After all, they have already used that dodge once to their advantage.

Those of us who have been around long enough will remember the last wholesale devaluation of mileage accounts. We were told then that "Old miles will always be old miles."

That lasted a few years, and then "always" took on a different contextual meaning.
Perhaps they'll figure that it has been long enough that folks who lost on the Old Miles scam are either gone or have forgotten about it.
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Old Mar 24, 12, 9:37 pm
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Originally Posted by jsmith50 View Post
So, of the 10-12 people I talked with in the MCO SC tonight. 2 were there on AmEx day passes, the rest were paid members or DMs (the majority of the 10-12). Of those, 2 claimed to have even ever heard of FT. None of the 10-12 were aware that there were rumors that DL was moving toward a revenue based system. However, unlike the thoughts in this thread, the concensus was that people were not nearly as up in arms as folks are here. The vibe from the SC was that SM is just a FF program. And, that as long as benefits were dispensed by 'medallion' or 'elite' level that most people, even in a revenue model, would fall out about the same as they do right now and that the impact to individual flyers would likely be minimal, though some that buy full F tix might move up a bit in the stratification system. All though that the folks siting in an airplane seat several times a week regardless of spend would still be at the top of the new system. Not a single person said "that's it, I'm moving my business to UA, WN, AA, etc." More than anything the common comment was "that's interesting."

While I still feel like any wholesale changes are bad for everyone. Perhaps, this thread is an overreaction in comparison to what the average flyer out there actually thinks. I'll be flying again tomorrow evening, I'll try to do another SC poll to see what another audience thinks.
Well, your survey doesn't surprise me because I know a few flyers with high status whom usually redeem DOM First class tickets for 80K and say they can't afford to redeem international tickets with their miles because they expect it to cost them about 400K per person in business class. These same people are also amazed how I am always able to redeem international business class tickets and think I have more than 10 million miles.

I just and @ them.

Originally Posted by ADLFO View Post
No, had nothing to do with ST elite or ST+ elite. That (2 million number) was the total number of DL medallions that was floated. I'm sure there has been some inflation of the ranks since that time, but I would guess it would not be even close to 10,000,000 total DL Medallions.
Oh wow!

That is really a lot less than I imagined!

Meaning medallions are only 2+% of the SM member population, so I guess anyone who spends more than 10K a year in DL is probably in the top 0.1%~0.05%.

That would reinforce that they are HVC too.

Last edited by DHalltheway; Mar 24, 12 at 9:49 pm
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Old Mar 24, 12, 9:43 pm
  #1019  
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Old Mar 24, 12, 9:47 pm
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Originally Posted by jsmith50 View Post
Believe my thoughts or not, I could care less. But, when these changes are announced in the relatively near future, don't be the one leading the pack saying "I wish someone would have warned me" or "I wish I had believed that DL would do this to us."
I believe them, there's been way too many signs over the last year or 2 that Delta management is obsessed with changes to remove the remaining possibilities of good value Skymile rewards and good values in earnings for paid flights (to put it in Flyertalk language - creation of a system where mileage runs and weekend vacations with status qualification part of the goal no longer make sense). They have an obsession with a revenue-based reward system and I'm not sure that they are willing to accept that a pure revenue-based rewards system will not achieve an increase in customer loyalty and spending that they desire. Many changes they've already made in the last few years show that they don't view the possibilities of aspirational awards as something that skymiles members value so much that it actually incentivizes them to given Delta enough additional business to increase Delta's profitability (International First Class seats of any kind not bookable for awards, SG redemption removal, systematic additions of surcharges for good-value awards such as international origin flights and V Australia flights, overnight 50% devaluation of intra-Asia awards, 72 hour award miles death penalty, and on and on.).

I'll tell you what WN's pure revenue based system has incentivized me to do - since RR2 came into being I've flown only on award travel on miles (points) earned solely from non-flying activity. I can see WN's system as having some value for folks that consistently have to buy expensive tickets days or hours before travel, but for those who are able to plan travel in advance there's really no point in flying on paid tickets more than you absolutely have to.
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