Loyalty no longer worth it ?

Old Feb 3, 14, 9:27 am
  #1  
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Loyalty no longer worth it ?

DL have made being loyal to them too complicated and not worth it. My wife and I have bounced around between GM and PM with an occasional year of silver. Upgrades have been rare but we get them occasionally. Are rarely able to use companion tickets or other bonuses. Primary benefit has thus been early boarding, small discount on EC TATL, and getting folks in northern MN on the plat line.

AMEX DL Reserve card got us in to Sky clubs (when we traveled together) and a few MQM's, though many years we'd only take the first batch and then switch to Flexperks for the remainder (usually about 9 mos).

With DL flights usually more expensive than UA, fewer direct flights so we get a connection no matter who we fly, fewer upgrades, possibly more difficulty getting status due to MQD's, and now the loss of skyclub access for the 5 or 6 times a year we'd us them, loyalty is seeming too complicated and not really worth it anymore. At least for those of us who don't want to devote gobs of time figuring out DL's and AMEX's systems and what we have to do to get some little scrap from them.
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Old Feb 3, 14, 9:29 am
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Thanks for flying with Delta...enjoy your future travels whatever your destination may be.
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Old Feb 3, 14, 9:31 am
  #3  
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Delta has been giving the shaft to it's FF's for quite some time.

Stockholm syndrome? Battered wife syndrome?
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Old Feb 3, 14, 9:39 am
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I don't believe in loyalty to a business entity. DL's only loyalty is to increase revenues and profits. The only reason they have elite benefits is because it's a marketing and customer retention tool. Those who believe in loyalty to a business deserve to be fleeced.

Even if you're happy with DL, you should still run the numbers now and then to make sure you're getting a good value compared to the market.

To the OP, you may be better off looking at VS or AS for a FFP program and SPG for affinity card use.
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Old Feb 3, 14, 9:56 am
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I dropped my Delta American Express card a few years back, largely because of Delta's continued mileage devaluation moves. I get 50-60,000/miles year on Delta from flying. Why should I pay $90/year for a card that gives me even more miles that I'll have a tough time redeeming?
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Old Feb 3, 14, 10:06 am
  #6  
fti
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Originally Posted by motytrah View Post
I don't believe in loyalty to a business entity. DL's only loyalty is to increase revenues and profits. The only reason they have elite benefits is because it's a marketing and customer retention tool. Those who believe in loyalty to a business deserve to be fleeced.

Even if you're happy with DL, you should still run the numbers now and then to make sure you're getting a good value compared to the market.
I couldn't have said it better myself. People need to realize that the only reason to be loyal is for personal benefit. I read more and more stories of people paying a premium just to fly their "favorite" airline and honestly, I shake my head.
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Old Feb 3, 14, 10:31 am
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I remain loyal to Delta because:

1 - They have the best operations on the LGA->ORD route which is where I do 80% of my travel.

2 - Stellar customer service willing to work with you when issues arise (ymmv, but i'm still turned off by the time I had a ticket on AA RUT->BOS->MIA where the RUT->BOS leg was cancelled and they could only fly me out 2 days later, when I ultimately decided to just drive to Boston they charged me $125 for the privilege of taking one less flight).

3 - Skypriority. As someone who is ineligible for pre-check, being able to get to the airport 45 minutes in advance and quickly check my bag and go through security is a huge advantage for me.

Is it worth an extra $200 on a short flight, probably not. Is it worth paying 10-15% more to fly Delta over AA or Jetblue, absolutely.

As an anecdote, am flying LGA->PTY on a first class award ticket in March. Most of our travel group is flying UA nonstop EWR->PTY for $475. One Delta 'loyalist' in the crew is paying $850 to take Delta with a stop in Atlanta. To me, thats absurd. He's GM, but $375 and a layover is not worth the 4000MQM and possible upgrade.
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Old Feb 3, 14, 10:57 am
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Of course you believe in loyalty to corporations...

Do you drink Coke or Pepsi? Dewars or Jack Daniels? Drive a Ford or a Chevy? Stay at Hilton or Westin? Target or WalMart?

We all have preferences, prejudices and personal requirements. Delta suits my travel needs 99% of the time. I have over 1M miles in my account and don't care if I use them at all. Vote with your feet, go to what you like and need. But for me, as a Southerner, we drink Coke and fly Delta.
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Old Feb 3, 14, 11:14 am
  #9  
 
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Originally Posted by motytrah View Post
I don't believe in loyalty to a business entity. DL's only loyalty is to increase revenues and profits. The only reason they have elite benefits is because it's a marketing and customer retention tool. Those who believe in loyalty to a business deserve to be fleeced.

Even if you're happy with DL, you should still run the numbers now and then to make sure you're getting a good value compared to the market.

To the OP, you may be better off looking at VS or AS for a FFP program and SPG for affinity card use.
Why go from the frying pan to the fire?

If FFPs are only marketing/customer retention tools, dumping DL for VS/AS won’t be particularly helpful to the OP. All of them do it, no?

This OP has it right. Run the numbers, do the math, and see if it makes sense. OP did this and learned the benefits are coming up short vs the costs. If more did it, a lot fewer would be chasing these marketing benefits.
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Old Feb 3, 14, 11:24 am
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Originally Posted by Sez_Who View Post
Why go from the frying pan to the fire?

If FFPs are only marketing/customer retention tools, dumping DL for VS/AS won’t be particularly helpful to the OP. All of them do it, no?
My take is the OP is moving towards buying whoever is cheapest for any given flight. By that logic you would want an FFP that credit from a wide number of airlines and can redeem from a wide number of airlines.

I don't fly DL exclusively, but I still fly DL when it make financial sense. I need a place to put the earned miles, preferably one that could act as a nexus point to a number of airlines I would fly. Airlines that are not affiliated with a major alliance are a good candidate. The OP would be wise to plug their BIS numbers into those programs to see if they compete.
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Old Feb 3, 14, 12:08 pm
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I have seen a bunch of threads lately with Loyalty in the title... sometimes it makes me want to make popcorn

I am loyal to Delta and I believe I have been shown appreciation from Delta for that loyalty. My definition of loyalty is not "what I can get out of this business relationship", but rather a mutual respect where we both are able to get what we need. I receive awesome customer service (especially in IRROPS) and some perks, they receive my business. Do I wish that some perks would benefit me more? Sure! Does Delta wish I would buy the Full Y fare or F, or fly twice as much as I do? Absolutley. However, there is a happy medium in which we both benefit.

For me loyalty from Delta is not the "things" I get (upgrades, free bags, Tiffany GC, etc), but the overall treatment that I receive from Delta. Do I wish they would do somethings differently?? Yes. I do believe the standard of customer service that they have afforded me has been incredible.

I fly out of the small airport in Green Bay. EVERY Delta agent at GRB knows me by my first name (it seems like I am a DYKWIA, but I am really not). Who doesn't like that?

I think there are many folks who believe loyalty is "How much free stuff can I get", and the possibility of an upgrade becomes an EXPECTATION of an upgrade...it must be SHENA if it does not occur.

I try to keep my expecatations low on the things that really do not matter (upgrades and the brand of booze in the SKY Club are two examples). Granted, I do like to sit up front, but at the end of the day, I would like a safe flight, arrive in a resonable time, be treated well and be appreciated. Everything else is a bonus. This keeps my spirits generally good when flying.

Different strokes for different folks...and I know upgrades and booze and redemption miles are important for others...and that is their perogative.

Just my view...

Thanks for reading!
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Old Feb 3, 14, 12:41 pm
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Loyalty, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder (or beer holder)...I remain loyal to DL because I believe of the US legacy carriers that they offer a better hard product and soft product that what is otherwise available. I don't do it for the FF mile accumulation, I don't do it for the status, I don't do it because they offer the lowest price.

As has been discussed ad nauseum at this point in the SC enhancements and SC membership options thread, yes this is a major change to some. Others, like myself, are excited to see what the new enhancements and higher price point offer. I too am a Reserve card holder. I've complained to DL and to AmEx about the changes to the value of my Reserve card and I am seriously thinking about dropping it in favor of a non-branded AmEx Platinum card. However, I still have a DL Gold card for accumulation of miles should I want to the mileage not to mention hotel CCs.

I would agree that loyalty to any business is a mistake and I demonstrated that a couple years ago when, to me, it looked DL had made one too many critical customer service mistakes and did a status match to UA and found myself back flying DL nearly 100% of the time. I just never completely felt comfortable at UA. I didn't like their plane interiors, I didn't like the soft product, it just wasn't enough to win me away from DL. Now, if there were another viable option, I would consider that in a heartbeat if I felt like I could get a better product at a lower price point or even a better product at a slightly higher price point.

Just my 2 cents...
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Old Feb 3, 14, 1:04 pm
  #13  
 
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Location: Just relocated to Phoenix, so I guess that does it for Delta for me
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Lots of interesting thoughts here. When I lived in LA I flew a number of airlines because hardly any flew direct everywhere. Most of my miles were earned on AA. When I moved to ATL I flew AA enough to make my 1MM then switched to Delta. I initially liked them because they fly direct just about everywhere. That for me is worth 15-20% higher fares. Having status gets more perqs like going through the priority security line (now pre-check) and getting on the plane early. I like the Delta Amex Platinum card because of the extra MQM's and now the waiver of MQD's, and I do use the companion ticket every year so the fee is a wash. And I'll soon have 2MM so the "annual" GM will continue to let me have those even if I slow down my flying after I retire.

All in all when I think about it I'm only loyal for personal reasons. If I lived in Chicago or Dallas I would no doubt fly another airline because of all the direct flights.
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Old Feb 3, 14, 5:54 pm
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Originally Posted by lovecabo View Post
All in all when I think about it I'm only loyal for personal reasons. If I lived in Chicago or Dallas I would no doubt fly another airline because of all the direct flights.
In the end, that's what most do... choose an airline that works best for each of us, if there is one. Obviously an important element is how frequently we fly, i.e, how often and how much we are able to use these benefits we earn.

Personally see this 'loyalty' thing as a bit one sided but hanging in for the longer term as long as the bennies are at least as good as my costs and expectations. Oh, and the other airlines are worse.
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Old Feb 3, 14, 6:14 pm
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I never get upgraded on my weekly DTW-LAX roundtrip trek but I think it has still been worth it...free Economy Comfort as long as I book a decent amount in advance and it isn't all taken already, free food item / drink as long as I print my ticket at home, and a ton of miles of which I've used roughly 100,000 on three separate trips that saved me from spending about $1500.

I flew American for a bit because they had a better schedule for a few months and honestly their planes suck, I faced delays seemingly every week, and the redemption of miles is less valuable out of a Delta hub like DTW.

It sucks not getting upgraded ever I guess but it's become more of a treat when it does happen. And all I really want is a comfortable ride without delays and I've gotten that fairly consistently.
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