Skymiles Change Rumor?

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Old Mar 25, 12, 6:52 pm
  #1096  
 
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Originally Posted by bubbashow View Post
For that, I thank you. I do not monitor how many posts are made. My passion on this topic reflects my passion on what I believe an elite program should be. I have chatted with a FT member through this who spent over 100,000 on 17 trips. I believe he deserves far-more perks than I. I, however, fly a lot. I HATE what DL has done to the Elite program and see a possible revenue-based earning and redemption scheme the solution to the problem that DL has created.
You have passion for a loyalty program where you "just" need 300K miles for a BE award ticket? Good for you, and if this turns out to be true, congratulations on the enhancement of your miles.
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Old Mar 25, 12, 6:56 pm
  #1097  
 
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Originally Posted by blug View Post
You have passion for a loyalty program where you "just" need 300K miles for a BE award ticket? Good for you, and if this turns out to be true, congratulations on the enhancement of your miles.
More-important to me is who gets the Elite benefits, not redeeming BE awards (though admittedly, I have had ZERO trouble getting low-level BE awards when I want them).
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Old Mar 25, 12, 7:00 pm
  #1098  
 
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Originally Posted by nsx View Post
I think Southwest did as much as it could for HVCs with RR 2.0 within the limitations of its hard product. As you note, that's not enough except in special cases.
.
I agree, and that is probably what will maximize results for Southwest. Most SW fliers are our "kettles" who fly once every few years and don't care about FF programs. The SW program is designed to try to attract a second tier who will pay more in exchange for getting to fly for free on personal time.

I do know that the changed has chased away a lot of the flies 2-3x a year + Credit Card types however.

IMHO Mainline "elites" tend to be people that fly much more often and would rather pay for cheap domestic tickets on vacation in exchange for the better hard product while flying for work.

However when we do want to use our mileage it's for Intl J travel because it would otherwise be unrealistic for us on our own dime.

Since there is no upgrade class nor trans-oceanic flights on Southwest, the calculus is understandably very different.
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Old Mar 25, 12, 7:03 pm
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Originally Posted by mother- View Post
I agree, and that is probably what will maximize results for Southwest. Most SW fliers are our "kettles" who fly once every few years and don't care about FF programs. The SW program is designed to try to attract a second tier who will pay more in exchange for getting to fly for free on personal time.

I do know that the changed has chased away a lot of the flies 2-3x a year + Credit Card types however.

IMHO Mainline "elites" tend to be people that fly much more often and would rather pay for cheap domestic tickets on vacation in exchange for the better hard product while flying for work.

However when we do want to use our mileage it's for Intl J travel because it would otherwise be unrealistic for us on our own dime.

Since there is no upgrade class nor trans-oceanic flights on Southwest, the calculus is understandably very different.

I sure hope DL isn't stereotyping WN flyers like those on this board who have never been on a WN flight between business (eg DTWMDW, LAXSFO, DALHOU) centers. I have seen more "obvious" (and I hate that word choice) business travelers on WN than on any other airline. DL will be horribly surprised at the results in ATL if they are.
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Old Mar 25, 12, 7:13 pm
  #1100  
 
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If all this turns out to be just a rumor than it sure is gonna be funny. Especially for all the folks who are writhing on the floor in a panicked state over all this!
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Old Mar 25, 12, 7:17 pm
  #1101  
 
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Originally Posted by sectflyer View Post
If all this turns out to be just a rumor than it sure is gonna be funny. Especially for all the folks who are writhing on the floor in a panicked state over all this!
Let me volunteer to be the first to be publicly embarrassed by my concern if this ends up "just being a rumor."
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Old Mar 25, 12, 7:21 pm
  #1102  
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Originally Posted by pitbulllover View Post
HVC on AA is Concierge Key, not AAirpass - that is a whole other program.

Fact: Most companies are now focused on targeting, acquiring and retaining those customers that add most to the bottom line, not necessarily volume. That is above and beyond the airline industry.

Fact: Those that are truly HVC (think beyond Medallion status) on DL rarely invoke most of the advertised benefits of Medallion status (SWU usage, comp. upgraded, free bags, etc.). It makes sense to add a level that recognizes and adds true benefits to these people.

Most of the people on this thread that are complaining are likely those that are already complaining of bloated elite ranks. I don't get that, but that is a whole other thread to begin with.

Many current 'elites' are NOT profitable to Delta. They pay for subsidized tickets (LUT) and demand all the benefits. The former may add to revenue, but the latter further takes away from the bottom line. I'm not sure why that is so hard to admit and/or comprehend.
See here.
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Old Mar 25, 12, 7:24 pm
  #1103  
 
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Originally Posted by MR_MAMA View Post
This is not a rumor, it's happening!
How do you know that. I bet you don't!
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Old Mar 25, 12, 7:30 pm
  #1104  
 
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Originally Posted by nsx View Post
************************************************** ****
Possible enhanced earnings for high fares


Let's look at this from the airline's point of view. How does the airline benefit?

I have a pretty good idea how Southwest benefited from its new program. High-fare customers earn MUCH more than in the old program and have an easier time redeeming for free travel. All indications are that more people are buying high-fare Southwest tickets now. I believe that this was the airline's one crucial motivation for the new program.

How will a revenue-based program make DL more attractive than it is now for high-fare customers? That is almost certainly DL's focus in developing a new program. Merely making high fares more rewarding than low fares is not sufficient if you drive away both high-fare and low-fare customers! The new program MUST be superior to competitors' offerings for high-fare customers. (And yes, Southwest's program accomplishes this for business travelers choosing a carrier for a short-haul flight.)

Southwest achieved its objective by creating very high earning rates for high fares. Top fare plus top status (50 flights per year) gets you a 40% effective rebate. That's unbeatable by non-FTers. If DL offers earning rates in this ballpark, its new program could be a financial success.

*************************************************
Transition Fears

I have finally read the whole thread, and I see that nobody has raised my concern about the transition. Everyone seems to be assuming that DL will convert existing miles to points. I agree that this is the fairest way to proceed. Yet no other airline making this transition has done this! All the transitions include provisions which preserve the breakage factor for old program credits.

Look at Southwest's transition and be afraid. Be very afraid. You may have a short window to use new points to top off your old miles for an award, competing for a limited inventory of award seats.
Oh I have nightmares of the transition, that is why I am planning to burn 1 million miles this year.

But your insight into the situation is interesting, and while 40% rebate does present a nice number I honestly can't see that happening.

Originally Posted by GYEWorldTraveler View Post
Very nice post. I too am most concerned about the transition and how things switch over if they do opt to go with the revenue based rewards program. I don't mind the idea of a revenue based program and I have always wondered why airlines haven't gone that route from the get go. What scares me is what happens to the 1+ million miles that I have? I would hope that if the program is going to switch over January 1 to the new earning system that we would get some communication soon and be made aware of the conversion process or how much more time we have to redeem the miles we have.

At the end of the day I think I'm a pretty rational person so you can flame me if you want but I've always thought that it was pretty sad that I could buy a LAX-JNB ticket as a DM and pay $1000-1500 and earn over 45k miles for the trip. Even with horrible redemption rates (as people often complain about) that is good enough for a mid-level award ticket in the US or a FC ticket in the US at low level or a flight at low level to northern South America. I just think that is nuts. I fly one trip and get one free. A domestic US ticket for 40,000 miles probably is worth anywhere from $300-800 (depending on when you book), a FC domestic ticket at low level probably is worth $700-1200 and a ticket to northern South America is probably around $600-1500. This is just one example of why I think the mileage system is severely flawed and too rewarding.

Revenue based makes things more clear, consistent and predictable, if it truly goes to a rebate type system you cannot complain about award redemption, youll only be able to complain about airfares. Seems from a customer service standpoint that after the initial pushback it would require much less maintenance and see far fewer complaints....especially if the other legacies go the same route which I'm sure would happen within the 12-24 months after DL does (if they do).
Originally Posted by GYEWorldTraveler View Post
Fares have been $1000-1500 in the past two years....I have flown the route several times...right now all airfares are higher. And I was not strictly talking about MRs, I am talking about taking THAT trip. I don't think I would ever consider doing a weekend in Y with only a couple hrs in JNB....thats a bit ridiculous. I don't have the time or desire to fly an intl MR like that.......so I think you missed the point of my post. I think DL probably does worry about what I just pointed out...otherwise they wouldn't be considering a revenue based FF program.

To possibly help you better understand here is a scenario:

A:
Happy Delta Flyer buys a J class ticket LAX-LHR for $8,000. As a DM Happy Delta Flyer earns 16,066 flown miles, 8,033 Class of Service Bonus miles and 20,083 DM bonus miles for a total of 44,182 total RDMs.

B:
Happy Delta Flyers buys a T class ticket LAX-JNB for $1,500. As a DM Happy Delta Flyer earns 20,770 flown miles and 25,963 DM bonus miles for a total of 46,733 total RDMs.

In scenario B Happy Delta Flyer is getting more RDMs for a lot less spend than scenario A. You can bet the house that DL wants passenger A's enjoying more benefits than passenger B's. With the current mileage based FF program it is difficult to differentiate for DL because both passengers are DMs. A revenue based FF program would address this issue.

I wish they would transition into this by just adding a 5th tier that is revenue based and then from there they could transition the program if it was a general consensus that it was a necessary action. However, with the company doing well and appearing healthy right now it is a bit of an interesting move (in my opinion). I feel many people on this boards pain and hope that it is only a rumor but from a business standpoint I understand why a revenue based program would be attractive. I guess there really is no good time to introduce it though....
Originally Posted by GYEWorldTraveler View Post
Why would I compare discount J to discount Y? All I am doing is comparing two types of passengers. One is a Business passenger who travels to LHR for business Sun-Thurs, the other is a DM going to JNB booking a couple weeks out. The LHR pax is LAX-JFK-LHR because that seems to be the best routing to get BE on all flights (as opposed to domestic F). All I am trying to show is that there are different types of passengers and while both DMs on paper DL probably would like to reward passenger A more than passenger B. Right now I don't think DL is rewarding its top spend DMs as much as they would like to and likely (in the companies eyes) rewarding the high mileage, lower revenue DMs more than they would like.

I really feel for the GMs, PMs and DMs that pay $600-1000 every week to fly from smaller cities and on CRJs and don't get the UGs they probably deserve. The proposed new system would likely help this segment of medallions that spend a lot but fly less miles than an international commuting DM. I think a lot of good could come from this type of change.....and having talked with some people that have been invited to the focus groups I think one huge positive that may be coming is a more usable SWU (with lower fare requirements), improved mileage upgrade abilities and more cash + miles (points) options. But I won't argue that LUT passengers likely won't have it as good as they do now
I agree with you that this is what DL wants to do and in some ways it makes logical sense to do it. However, a little part of me wonders if that is a good move because it chases away revenue from weekend warriors.

It is essentially a benefit for someone who contributes 100K a year, but don't forget, like anything DL has introduced as an enhancement of late, it is not necessarily a good thing.

Originally Posted by TheMadBrewer View Post
With flights I have booked (and paid for since I am one of those scum who spend $10K+ a year of my own money on LUT fares) I will be within spitting distance of requalifying for DM. If there is no news one way or the other by June or so I will look elsewhere (since a match/challenge then will generally take one thru Feb 2014).

Dear Old Mom lives in ATL so a couple of visits there on DL would put me over -- but then again I used to fly LAX-MSP-ATL with no problem so LAX-DEN/IAH-ATL or LAX-DFW-ATL or even LAX-PHX-LAX would be a piece of cake.

With my pattern, being LAX based, my only non-stop it to ATL --or AMS on the KLM codeshare. On AA or UA I could do direct to LHR (which I do once a year) or on the UA/LH codeshare to FRA (multiple times a year). I also fly to ZHR once or twice a year so LX (*A) works there as well. Oh, and occasions flights to the Great White North to visit relatives so AX (also *A) works -- some of them wonder why I haven't visited in the past couple years as DL canceled some of the NW flights I used to take...

It is a shame because I have come to like the on-board Delta service (outside of JFK based international crews) -- it's the website (where I was twice charged $300+ more from the fare I accepted when I clicked "purchase") and the untrustworthiness of the corporation in general.

I know you Delta die hards don't want to hear this, but in all the years of NW I never got a response from a TTU that was non-sensical. With DL I never have gotten a response that made sense -- until at least the 2nd try and mostly the 3rd. I'm sure I'm towards the low end of the DM "value score" but I would still think that rates a human reading my questions/complaints. I average about one non-praise TTU a year -- and I never have received any miles or vouchers due to a complaint in 25+ years of NW/DL flying. I did get 2500 miles for helping a FA verify that GoGo wasn't working on a JFK-LAX flight last year -- unsolicited on my part, I was happy to help and the only "service recovery" I can remember. I'm including this only to rebut those who will say I'm one of the complainers who are causing mileage inflation.

If I don't see a clear statement from Delta by the end of June that status earned in 2012 will be honored in 2013 -- under the current rules -- then I will be gone. Yes, it's only $10K or so a year but it is all money that I earn (no expense account for me) and I will not give it to a company that I cannot trust -- and recent history has used up any benefit of the doubt they may have.

I'm sure my self-inflated worth comes from a conversation with a NW exec many years ago -- those based in MSP/DTW/MEM had little choice -- somebody not hub captive was valued because it was an explicit choice on my part.

</rant off> too many excellent Franconian beers this evening

Added: I usually don't wear tin foil hats but as one who occasionally as redeemed SM for AF J (and once used an SWU to upgrade to J) this "IT glitch" is disconcerting. If it really was an "IT glitch" that wouldn't preclude a DL agent of a certain level calling an AF agent to get it done -- especially for a member of the nominal top one or two tiers of elites. This says to be that either AF is unwilling to accept what DL is offering or DL is unwilling to pay what AF requires. I don't have a problem with that but we should be told.
I feel for you.

Especially the IT glitch

Originally Posted by jsmith50 View Post
I had a very interesting email this afternoon from AmEx...called them earlier in the week seeking their comments and to see if they would bite and confirm changes. They transferred me to their travel line who recommended I send an email to an internal person there who they believed might know more.

My questions: are there changes coming that would effect miles and specifically MQMs earned as an AmEx cardholder; how vested is AmEx in the decision-making process at DL since the program are integrated; in the event there are changes, how will gained miles from AmEx be valued/converted?

Without cutting and pasting the response, it basically says the following:

1. They have no comment on changes coming in the SM program. However, the message says that AmEx has no plans to change the way that MQMs are accumulated with their cards or the value of those MQMs and the email specifically says that "mileage may continued to be redeemed for award travel beginning at 25,000 eligible miles per round trip for domestic travel within the United States." (part of me wants to respond and ask how to find those tix now!)

2. The message specifically says that the AmEx-DL partnership may be modified at any time with mutual agreement between both parties.

So, while there are no clear answers, it makes me wonder if we will continue to accrue SMs the same way and at the same rate that we have historically or if 25,000 miles may have a completely different meaning and value in the new SM program.
Thanks for sharing

Originally Posted by avidflyer View Post
While I generally agree with everything you said there is one major point you are leaving out: It is their game and their rules. If they did not "sell" benefits based on mileage people would not have an expectation of those benefits. I have said it a million times: FF programs are going away. I will play the "game" (Different than gaming) as long as they are dealing the cards.

THAT is what FT is (or should be) about. Getting the most out of the program. "The program" is what it is until it is not....that is up to DL and it certainly looks like they are coming around to your line of reasoning.
Touche

I don't want to put my chips in half way on a texas hold em game and then find that they change it to black jack.
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Old Mar 25, 12, 7:31 pm
  #1105  
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Originally Posted by bubbashow View Post
For the first time in this thread, you and I completely agree =-). Really...I'm not a bad guy. I just hate what "elite" has become.
Yet you have total faith in the same people who made Elites a watered down mess. The same damn people who made Amex more important than flying and let everyone in the club are the ones driving this along with their consultants who will be on to the next one and won't have to stick around for the caca storm... I think you think you are being logical...
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Old Mar 25, 12, 7:35 pm
  #1106  
 
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Looking at all this I see at least 3 points that seem contrarian:

1. Rollover - if DL's really so bent on killing the 'game' why did they introduce MQM Rollover? Its probably one of the most 'gamey' aspects of any FF program.
2. History (SOS) - I can only hope that they have some memory of the previous iteration where they cramped upgrades and bent MQM towards revenue. Those moves kicked off the SOS fight and DL ended up with a series of painful reversals. Moreover CO tried to move EQM towards revenue factors and despite some work-arounds they still ended up reversing the change. Seems they got a pile of negative feedback from their bus travelers.
3. Amex - DL will have to be really careful here. DL owes Amex a lot of money that's supposed to be paid in SMs and Amex has already bought a lot of miles. The changes under speculation here will have some heavy impacts. I'm fairly sure most Amex DL Plat card holders have that card because of the MQM earning and its a major component of the DL Reserve. I'm already suspending use of my DL Amex for the moment. These changes could require a major renegotiation on terms.
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Old Mar 25, 12, 7:45 pm
  #1107  
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Originally Posted by DHalltheway View Post

Touche

I don't want to put my chips in half way on a texas hold em game and then find that they change it to black jack.

You and I both.
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Old Mar 25, 12, 7:46 pm
  #1108  
 
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Originally Posted by mother- View Post
Perhaps because it is at least as likely WRONG as ACCURATE.

Based on what information can you claim that? Did you get it from the good old 'rectal database'? (thanks FT for that term, I shall use and cherish it). At the least admit that you don't know what you're claiming any more certainly then we know you're wrong.

(BTW I base my opinion on things like Delta making $425m net last quarter, and attributing it to better load factors and cargo.)
I don't claim to shi% on here because most posters are bat-sh&t-crazy and live in some web-based world. That is another fact. However, in the course of starting-buying-selling-running a few companies and as such working across a number of industry clients - including airlines - most are starting to look at the bottom-line customers and not the volume as a whole. There are non-medallion customers that add much more to the bottom line than some DM. If you don't get that, then please go back to the bat-sh&t-crazy forum I referenced.
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Old Mar 25, 12, 7:47 pm
  #1109  
 
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Originally Posted by avidflyer View Post
While I generally agree with everything you said there is one major point you are leaving out: It is their game and their rules. If they did not "sell" benefits based on mileage people would not have an expectation of those benefits. I have said it a million times: FF programs are going away. I will play the "game" (Different than gaming) as long as they are dealing the cards.

THAT is what FT is (or should be) about. Getting the most out of the program. "The program" is what it is until it is not....that is up to DL and it certainly looks like they are coming around to your line of reasoning.
CLEARLY you have no expectations or hopes of these benefits. Regardless of stated benefits, then why does it matter...you've gone elsewhere so there it stands.
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Old Mar 25, 12, 7:49 pm
  #1110  
 
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Originally Posted by sectflyer View Post
How do you know that. I bet you don't!
I believe it's happening. The associated job requisitions and project descriptions mentioned earlier in this thread are quite real and available (or at least were) on publicly accessible job board web sites. Go back through the thread and read. If you still don't believe, I suggest you send a carefully worded email to SkyMiles customer service asking about the rumor and see if you get a denail.
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