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SDC rules change April 16; Increased restrictions incl same fare bucket availability

SDC rules change April 16; Increased restrictions incl same fare bucket availability

Old Apr 7, 13, 6:41 pm
  #586  
 
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So what happens to DL during the next recession

If DL caters to the HVC and many of us in the $15K-$35K per year leave what happens to DL when the HVC drop off big time. They beg us to come back. Too little to late. This might be a short sighted game they are playing, but then again all Wallstreet cares about is quarterly profits.

Just my opinion.
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Old Apr 7, 13, 7:50 pm
  #587  
 
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Originally Posted by bubbashow View Post
FT is full of references to people SDC to get on the flight they originally wanted (but were unwilling to pay for), and trump their chances for an upgrade.
How do you "trump" your upgrade chances doing an SDC from a less-desirable flight to the more-desirable one you rejected for price? The upgrade slot would be lower, not higher. You'd face more Medallions, not fewer.

How is this "gaming" the system?
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Old Apr 7, 13, 8:05 pm
  #588  
 
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Originally Posted by LegalTender View Post
How do you "trump" your upgrade chances doing an SDC from a less-desirable flight to the more-desirable one you rejected for price? The upgrade slot would be lower, not higher. You'd face more Medallions, not fewer.

How is this "gaming" the system?
Two different thoughts and examples, separated by the ",and". This isn't some breaking news on here.....dozens, if not hundreds of posts of folks SDC to better their upgrade chances. Dozens, if not hundreds of posts of folks SDC to a far-more circuitous routing. Dozens, if not hundreds of posts of folks SDC to a flight for which they were originally unwilling to pay.

DL saw this...DL saw more revenue....DL closed the gates and shut out gamers in the process.
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Old Apr 7, 13, 8:27 pm
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Originally Posted by bubbashow View Post
As anyone with any sense would know, ANYTHING that goes in front of listeners is filtered through a "character". It is laughable to me when I hear people getting so upset about people like Hannity and Limbaugh and what they say. WE are playing brilliant characters, and are laughing all the way to the bank, cashing in on the insanity and stupidity of others that don't realize they are reacting to a well-scripted, well-orchestrated character and not a person. It is that way throughout the business with anyone, including ME.
Exactly why your posts don't get my hide up
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Old Apr 7, 13, 8:57 pm
  #590  
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Originally Posted by Musicguy2012 View Post
Originally Posted by bdschobel View Post
I certainly agree with this. On a recent flight ATL-LAX, I was something like #19 on an upgrade list numbering 78 people. That's just insane. The 757 holds something like 190 people. And for me to be #19 was pretty surprising, too. My low fare probably explains that.

Bruce
AMEN. As in any business, you treat your high value clients better than low spenders. Basically, if you mileage run to get status, you may have flown around the globe, but if you're not making the airline the same amount as the customer who spends 4x more on regular fare on a regular basis, you shouldn't be getting the same freebies. Just like a "buy 10 get one free", they want a spend, not just a visit to the store.
If that's true then why is DL mistreating me and people like me, who are willing to spend $4-5K on a TPAC when tickets are available for $1-1.3K, by (1) eliminating the MQM bonus on M fares and (2) making it nearly impossible to find advance UG inventory TPAC? Doing this will not get them more paid J, it gets them sLUT fares rather than YBM, plus more non-revs in J. J rarely if ever sells out. Not one person on this board has ever explained how it makes sense to alienate YBM flyers.
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Old Apr 7, 13, 9:48 pm
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Originally Posted by bubbashow View Post
Two different thoughts and examples, separated by the ",and". This isn't some breaking news on here.....dozens, if not hundreds of posts of folks SDC to better their upgrade chances. Dozens, if not hundreds of posts of folks SDC to a far-more circuitous routing. Dozens, if not hundreds of posts of folks SDC to a flight for which they were originally unwilling to pay.

DL saw this...DL saw more revenue....DL closed the gates and shut out gamers in the process.
How is SDC'ing GAMING the system?!?!?!

Yeah - so what, somebody SDC's to a flight they originally wanted, but didnt want to pay the extra $100 because the L fare was sold out. If there's an empty seat on that flight, then Delta's Rev Mgt group clearly didn't price out the flight right if there are empty seats, and now that somebody is taking that flight (assuming it's an earlier flight than their original flight), Delta now has a second chance at regaining that revenue for that empty seat on a later flight, rather than just letting it fly empty. Delta wins, the passenger gets what they want, and everybody's happy. There's no gaming going on. In fact, Delta is the one who gets the bigger benefit than the supposed "gamer" as you so inaccurately call him. You're biggest assumption is that this "gamer" would buy the more expensive flight if SDC'ing wasnt an option. More than likely, that probably wouldn't happen.

And so what if some people SDC to get a better upgrade chance?! Again, this costs Delta NOTHING (and may even benefit them as it did in the above example), and makes their Diamond/Plat customer happy. Hardly "gaming" the system or putting Delta at a loss or disadvantage.

If you really believe that Delta stopped this because people were "gaming" the system, you may need to re-evaluate your logic. Delta is trying to gain more revenue from the "gamers" - as they know they wont be able to squeeze out any more out of them. Chances are most of them were business flyers that had to stay within a specific range, or were on personal travel, therefore price sensitive. They're hoping to squeeze out more revenue out of the people with deep pockets - and unfortunately I think Delta will find that those people don't exist en mass like they believe, and instead will only lose more revenue by losing some of their more devoted flyers.

Last edited by Canarsie; Apr 10, 13 at 12:24 am Reason: Removed unnecessary content.
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Old Apr 7, 13, 11:44 pm
  #592  
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Originally Posted by StayingHomeIsBetter View Post
BTW... for the record, I have never taken a mileage run. I did once purchase a relatively expensive last minute ticket to fly RT from PHL to BWI to get the last two required segments for a two free FT ticket award promotion.
So you purchased a flew a trip that was above and beyond your ordinary travels solely to gain a benefit given to frequent travelers?

GAMER!!

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Old Apr 8, 13, 2:12 am
  #593  
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Originally Posted by hnewman View Post
If DL caters to the HVC and many of us in the $15K-$35K per year leave what happens to DL when the HVC drop off big time. They beg us to come back. Too little to late. This might be a short sighted game they are playing, but then again all Wallstreet cares about is quarterly profits.
Henry: it's not you and your level of spend that DL is looking to drop, it's those who spend much less than that, yet retain top tier status that they are looking to reduce benefits for. In the process are they alienating folks like you and me with some arbitrary and sweeping rule changes (72 hour rule, SDC water down, death tax, etc.), yes.

When the next recession hits, DL will likely scale back existing programs ans schedule, they are NOT going back to the model of rewarding people for how much they fly, they will be more profitable rewarding people for how much they spend.
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Old Apr 8, 13, 5:51 am
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Originally Posted by itsaboutthejourney View Post
Henry: it's not you and your level of spend that DL is looking to drop, it's those who spend much less than that, yet retain top tier status that they are looking to reduce benefits for. In the process are they alienating folks like you and me with some arbitrary and sweeping rule changes (72 hour rule, SDC water down, death tax, etc.), yes.

When the next recession hits, DL will likely scale back existing programs ans schedule, they are NOT going back to the model of rewarding people for how much they fly, they will be more profitable rewarding people for how much they spend.
I am not so sure. The SDC and other issues are pushing me and others I know in this spend range to think about alternatives even though we are hub hostages. SDC hits us very hard. I am heading east 3 weeks in a row and given meeting times hope to SDC home earlier. I know I can do it this week, but after that who knows. All of this depends on what AA and UA do for both what I would call mid-tier spenders like me and HVCs. I think this might be my last year at DL and I will be looking around to see if I can find a small patch of green grass. Darn I miss NW.

Henry
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Old Apr 8, 13, 8:19 am
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Originally Posted by hnewman View Post
I am not so sure. The SDC and other issues are pushing me and others I know in this spend range to think about alternatives even though we are hub hostages. SDC hits us very hard.
I'm sure that is (or will be) true for some individuals, but Delta no longer needs to care much about any particular individual (except the absolutely highest spenders and/or key influencers) now that it is part of a troika. With little competition, Delta wants to lower the cost of acquiring and retaining customers. Skymiles (any FF program, really) is one of Delta's main channels for doing something (acquiring and retaining) that it now feels will happen organically (i.e., via the hard product) anyway often enough to fill the seats.

By and large, hub captives will continue to fly the airline of which they are the captive because no matter how little "love" the FF program gives, I strongly believe that not having to connect is a much bigger consideration in the minds of people choosing which airline to fly on than being able to easily change to an earlier flight.

So in my mind, Delta and the other airlines were (in the past) trying to influence the "free agent" business traveler located in a non-hub (for any airline) city who could choose any reasonably-priced flight on any airline. But now that there are only three choices, Delta (and United and American) just doesn't have to dazzle and beguile and give away the product any more. It will get its share anyway. It is now trying to influence the free agents on hard product things like IFE and wi-fi and lie-flat BE.

Last edited by amanuensis; Apr 8, 13 at 8:27 am
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Old Apr 8, 13, 8:43 am
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Originally Posted by amanuensis View Post
By and large, hub captives will continue to fly the airline of which they are the captive because no matter how little "love" the FF program gives, I strongly believe that not having to connect is a much bigger consideration in the minds of people choosing which airline to fly on than being able to easily change to an earlier flight.
The SDC thing really has me thinking about bailing since there are only 2-3 flight per day to MSP from my main travel spots given the DL cutbacks. I can see where ATL and SLC people would not but we have become a secondary hub.
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Old Apr 8, 13, 12:26 pm
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I think BamaGirl and itsaboutthejourney raised good points. Delta is investing, it just not always go to the right places. I actually do see eye-to-eye with BamaGirl regarding the (serious) deficits in IT investment. It is not as visible, but it is as viable. When the SDC changes come in (and rest assure, they do and we will all be sad), there would be alot of things that would go wrong, including- paid FC SDC:
Most people don't know the differences between UP fare and F. DL.com sells them the same, and on the implementation of SDC changes, this would make them upset.
I actually do pay for those fare occasionally and allow my fellows to do so on our budget, when possible (FWIW, upcoming bookings include:A/P/I domestic tkts, Z/D/I TATL/TPAC tkts W TATL and one reward ticket.So, I will not consider myself a 'gamer'. But I probably had, and will have, also VXELUT tkts.). They (fellows), and I, will be surprised, and concern when we'll attempt SDC and can't do it-- not because of the rule changes (which are terrible), but because the technology would not recognize those fares correctly. It would mean- extra time with CS (which cost money), frustrated clients (also cost money over time), upset gate agents, and lots of manual overrides (exceptions) that someone would need to put in.
This is an example of a place that IT is critical, even though it is not visible to public. We'll leave aside the discussion of the award calendar any many other past due functionality elements of delta.com
I think delta is investing, but it seems like each section of delta works on its own. So, there is lack of coordination or even understanding of how one change affects all other sections. And worse than that, it seems like there is a lack of care (each section does not care about the applications to other sections, just on the applications on its internal performance measures, for whatever they are)
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Old Apr 8, 13, 2:34 pm
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DL is testing the limits of its HVC courtship. "The average FT'er" has no real option other than hammering away on the new boundaries right here.

The airline leaked SDC rules so far ahead it suggests that feedback - even rash and petulant - has influence. Minimizing risk is a tactical imperative. I feel they're still hedging their bets.
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Old Apr 8, 13, 3:07 pm
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Originally Posted by LegalTender View Post
DL is testing the limits of its HVC courtship. "The average FT'er" has no real option other than hammering away on the new boundaries right here.

The airline leaked SDC rules so far ahead it suggests that feedback - even rash and petulant - has influence. Minimizing risk is a tactical imperative. I feel they're still hedging their bets.
LT,

So, at T-one week, would you bet, for, or, against, an implementation of the new SDC next Tuesday? If not, by the end of April??
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Old Apr 8, 13, 3:15 pm
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I don't think I am personally a "gamer" by most people's definition, and while several of the current changes won't hurt me at all, I did like the ability to SDC for flexibility. To my best recollection, I never used it to obtain a lower fare. The reasons I didn't do that were usually simple and logical. First, I could never count on availabilty on any different flight as most of us know from experience that IROPs can zero out availabilty for days on some routes. Second, there is a substantial risk to losing an upgrade when utilizing SDC on a coach fare. Now on JAX-ATL, that really isn't a problem, but in the case of JFK-SLC, I do start to care about that upgrade. So, forgive me if I think that the amount of "gaming" to a lower fare via SDC is really that problematic to DL. I think one would be short sighted not to realize where DL is going with all of this. While I may not be the main target of DL's cuts to its FFer program right now, if these changes are accepted by the general medallion population without much blowback, then I am probably in that next level to be hit. For those who are much higher HVCs, you'll probably be fine, but then again...

Last edited by Canarsie; Apr 10, 13 at 12:12 am Reason: Removed now-deleted quoted content.
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