My "Dear John" letter to Delta

Reply

Old Oct 1, 17, 6:06 am
  #16  
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Boston, MA
Programs: DL PM, Hyatt Globalist, Marriott Plat
Posts: 1,569
Originally Posted by Qwkynuf View Post
I get why people are upset that something has been taken away, and completely agree that if another airline (or hotel, or car rental company, or coffee chain, whatever) serves their needs better, they should absolutely switch.

What I don't understand is the need to pen an opus announcing that decision, and justifying it to the world.

Maybe it's just me.
It seems to touch of "Delta isn't going to read this, but I want someone to read what I wrote, so here!"

You want to compare Delta's raising the MQD waiver to $250k with AIG's writing half a trillion $ in credit default swaps?
The point the poster was making was pretty clearly speaking truth to power as opposed to saying they were comparable. Delta's made bigger mistakes that don't come close to AIG writing credit-default swaps and still qualify comfortably as mistakes; you might also argue that the bulk of their profitability comes from a decrease in oil prices which they have very little control over (refinery aside).

I am not holding my breath though - I was a 2.0MM guy from NWA that somehow got changed to 930K back in the day. Never heard word one, even though I was exactly the customer they would want -- 6x a year in Biz to Asia.

No opus, just left, burned my Skymiles before they took everything away, and went to other carriers.
Not suggesting that you should have thrown a hissy fit and posted on FT, but Delta wrote off 1.1 million miles you'd flown and you didn't even try to contact them once?
steveholt is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Oct 1, 17, 6:12 am
  #17  
 
Join Date: Apr 2016
Location: BNA (Nashville)
Programs: HH Gold, Marriott Gold
Posts: 2,183
I think it is important to let corporations know that their decisions have a negative affect on your loyalty. And as someone who was loyal to DL for as long as you were, it is important that they get this feedback. It will probably not change the decision, but no successful company is going to be happy with losing loyal customers. If they don't get feedback, then how will they know the extent of the cost of the decision?

It might not matter, but it is important to let corporations know how their decisions impact your loyalty.
ATOBTTR likes this.
bitterproffit is online now  
Reply With Quote
Old Oct 1, 17, 6:15 am
  #18  
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Boston, MA
Programs: DL PM, Hyatt Globalist, Marriott Plat
Posts: 1,569
Originally Posted by FirstInFlight View Post
The hard truth is that, although many Delta employees make you feel welcome and important and that you are part of the "Delta family," this is a corporation run by MBA types who get large bonuses based on profits. The local gate agent may know you by name, but the decision-makers in Atlanta do not know and do not care who you are. They have developed an algorithm that they believe will maximize profits. They are also aware that the other major airlines are following suit. So, the lesson here is to stop thinking that this is a two-way street and that loyalty begets loyalty. You should look at every decision from the perspective of what is best for you - under the rules in place today. Do not assume that any loyalty will be returned. AA and UA will be no different overall - but if there is a specific policy that helps you on one airlines more than on another do what is best for you. This is like a referee's instruction in boxing - protect yourself at all times.
Also: which airline isn't run by MBA types?
steveholt is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Oct 1, 17, 6:18 am
  #19  
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 279
I think Delta misses the point.

Loyalty programs are there to inspire loyalty. If this benefited me greatly I would of course by excited to see my upgrade changes go up and the ranks of similar situated flies thinned. I might even go as far as to say that there is really a counter intuitive brilliance to deltas move as super elite fliers will now feel more special. More over, I admit I like the perks of flying as a diamond and I will pay for them. Not to the extent that delta thinks though.

The idea that this wont hurt delta is nonsense. The idea that delta has smart people running it and wont make a mistake is even more BS than I can think of. Netflix had a lot of smart people too - how did that work out for them? Just because I went to an ivy league school doesn't mean I am not capable of being stupid.


Now, here is how it hurts:

Delta doesn't have to worry about me jumping ship, I will still fly them. I just wont fly exclusively. I will now be WFBF. I won't have status on any airline. I will selectively poach your diamond first class seat. You won't notice at first, but as more and more people like me start buying the op up or out right fare you will see your upgrades dwindle.

While this sounds good for delta due to increased revenue, the problem is I am no longer married to delta. AA and UA will see business too. I have flown them, and they are fine airlines with a better schedule sometimes. I will just fly them more. As Delta makes us less and less appreciated we in turn will care less and less to fly them. It really is a vicious circle. When they devalue FF or Medallion programs to the point they no longer have value to us as consumers then they put themselves into the unenviable position to have to compete on price.

On that note, I have been divorcing myself from Delta for this year. I normally spend about 20k traveling out of my own pocket. I did some checking, and by cutting delta out about half the time my airfare spend fell to 10k. That means I was paying a 10k premium for Diamond. Now some who spend OPM may see no big deal, but I have to say the sky club and the occasional upgrade are not worth 10k. Not even close. And since I get almost no miles relative to that now the free trips do not even make up for it.

This hurts delta, and it does not help existing diamonds. I don't think this will float to the level of stupid netflix had but it is certainly a stupid way to proceed. Why didn't delta just create a "super diamond" and make a fifth tier like 360? I guess we will never know.
spc354 and jjmiller69 like this.
FlyingBeanCounter is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Oct 1, 17, 6:33 am
  #20  
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Harrisburg, PA / Savannah, GA (when home!)
Programs: DL-Diamond; UA-Silver (moan); Hilton-DIA; Marriott-PPE; IHG-Plat; NC-Exec Elite
Posts: 548
and when you experience the awesome product that is United, you'll be even happier.

Trust me, That grass is not greener
GRALISTAIR likes this.
mdaecher is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Oct 1, 17, 6:38 am
  #21  
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: miami, florida
Posts: 994
Why not simply open a bank account in Canada, Mexico or a Caribbean island? No more MQD requirement. Problem solved.
sydneyracquelle is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Oct 1, 17, 7:05 am
  #22  
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: RDU
Programs: DL(PM), UA(Silver), Marriott(Ti), HH(Gold), Hertz(PC)
Posts: 2,007
Originally Posted by FlyingBeanCounter View Post
Loyalty programs are there to inspire loyalty.
Sure, but my point is that while the loyalty program might generate some loyalty, a good product works even better for that.

What keeps me flying Delta isn't the Skymiles program, but how I've been treated as a customer: the upgrades and perks are appreciated, but I value getting to my destination as planned even more. So far, Delta seems to be doing a better job at that than some of its competitors. In a few cases when their flights weren't going to work as planned, they put me on AA (when they still could) and UA, even. I suppose being a PM might have had some bearing on that, but I don't know for sure.

I was an AA flier for a good long while, and some years back I started to notice that the value was decaying. I flew a few segments on DL and UA, and preferred DL so I switched my business to them. The Skymiles program as it was then didn't really have an effect on my decision.
fliesdelta is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Oct 1, 17, 7:09 am
  #23  
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: ATL
Programs: DL:PM, Marriott:P/LTP, Hilton:G, NatCar:EE+, Hertz:PC
Posts: 8,736
Originally Posted by FlyingBeanCounter View Post
I think Delta misses the point.

Loyalty programs are there to inspire loyalty.
No, this is a marketing program. They don't care about our loyalty, only what we are going to spend with DL in the future. It's a modern S&H Green Stamps without the books and actual bad taste in your mouth.

Originally Posted by FlyingBeanCounter View Post
The idea that this wont hurt delta is nonsense. The idea that delta has smart people running it and wont make a mistake is even more BS than I can think of.
Leo and friends made some similar types of decisions years ago that drove the airline into bankruptcy.
CJKatl is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Oct 1, 17, 7:35 am
  #24  
 
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 2,318
Originally Posted by CJKatl View Post
No, this is a marketing program. They don't care about our loyalty, only what we are going to spend with DL in the future. It's a modern S&H Green Stamps without the books and actual bad taste in your mouth.



Leo and friends made some similar types of decisions years ago that drove the airline into bankruptcy.
I realize that it's good for our egos to think it was the frequent flyers that drove the airline to bankruptcy, but I am not sure the facts support that model LOL!
Orange County Commuter is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Oct 1, 17, 7:56 am
  #25  
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: MSP
Programs: DL DM, PMNW 1MM, DL 1MM
Posts: 490
Originally Posted by DavidDTW View Post
Isn't that how the world works these days? Everyone knows their opinion is the right one, everyone who disagrees is completely wrong, and everyone needs to tell everyone else exactly why.
Isn't that what the Internet and forums like this is for? What's the point of having Flyertalk when you can't state an opinion, agree or disagree ?
jjmiller69 likes this.
Frogbone is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Oct 1, 17, 8:22 am
  #26  
pvn
Suspended
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: MEM
Programs: Starbucks Green Card
Posts: 5,431
Sure, opinions are great, but the "delta miscalculated, didn't consider that I would be mad about this and leave, thus dooming the company" takes are pretty tiresome.
pvn is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Oct 1, 17, 8:46 am
  #27  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: PIT
Programs: DM life is over 2MM PM now & NW MillionAir Wyndham Rewards Plat -Hotels.com Silver -Accor Silver
Posts: 15,385
Originally Posted by DavidDTW View Post
Everyone knows their opinion is the right one, everyone who disagrees is completely wrong
You're WRONG!!!

CJKatl likes this.
davetravels is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Oct 1, 17, 9:03 am
  #28  
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 279
Originally Posted by fliesdelta View Post
Sure, but my point is that while the loyalty program might generate some loyalty, a good product works even better for that.

What keeps me flying Delta isn't the Skymiles program, but how I've been treated as a customer: the upgrades and perks are appreciated, but I value getting to my destination as planned even more. So far, Delta seems to be doing a better job at that than some of its competitors. In a few cases when their flights weren't going to work as planned, they put me on AA (when they still could) and UA, even. I suppose being a PM might have had some bearing on that, but I don't know for sure.

I was an AA flier for a good long while, and some years back I started to notice that the value was decaying. I flew a few segments on DL and UA, and preferred DL so I switched my business to them. The Skymiles program as it was then didn't really have an effect on my decision.
Funny, I noticed DL decaying at the same rate. I suppose it is the old familiarity issue. The more familiar one is with something the more likely one is to find fault.

Different strokes I guess. I don't see a commodity as being worth anything more than market price. You do. Delta is lucky people like you are in the world.


Originally Posted by CJKatl View Post
No, this is a marketing program. They don't care about our loyalty, only what we are going to spend with DL in the future. It's a modern S&H Green Stamps without the books and actual bad taste in your mouth.
If Sky miles is a marketing program, why does it reward spending behavior as if it is a loyalty program? I guess you would have to explain to me the difference - they look like one and the same.

Also, if Delta doesn't care about our loyalty then why have a program at all? there are plenty of airlines that compete on cost alone where there is no program (Indigo in india for instance). It seems an unecessary expense if delta doesn't care about loyalty.

And if delta doesn't care if I am loyal, then why should I care if i fly them?
FlyingBeanCounter is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Oct 1, 17, 9:17 am
  #29  
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 390
Dear OP:

Every change any airline makes, or doesn't make, someone doesn't like it.

I'm not Diamond, but if I was, I'd probably want fewer people in the tier. United was smart to not have a waiver and so was AA. DL ultimately decided to continue the credit card waiver but at a very high threshold.

If you are a DM and only spending $12K, you aren't making the requirement. Everything who is always on the cusp of making a tier, always wants a waiver. Do you realize that the average DM isn't spending $15K, but probably significantly more. Maybe its $25K or $30K etc. Your $12K probably isn't close. You'll find the same situation at all the airlines. The minimum is there for a reason. The average is always much higher.

DL (and UA and AA) has to compete against Spirit, Frontier, Allegient, Sun Country, JetBlue, Southwest, Alaska etc. Let's take the first four. They generally offer a far inferior product. tiny legroom, crazy fees, carry on restrictions, no meaningful loyalty program, terrible operations, etc, but customers jump ship all the time to maybe save a buck or two.
Southwest, runs a good airline, but doesn't have upgrades, won't interline (bad during cancellations), and doesn't give as much compensation when things go wrong, doesn't get you overseas or to Hawaii or even an option for more legroom. And you'll likely have to pay for $30 for priority boarding to hope to get a good seat.

You say that United's Economy Plus is like Comfort but it's not quite as nice. There's no free drinks or snacks. If you really want the legroom, just spend the $20. If you are really spending $12K a year, just cough up $20. The airline didn't add legroom just to give it all away. Oh, and hope you enjoy paying for the United Club; and Clear and all the other perks DL offers.

Everyone wants something for free. I'm tired of reading everyone's first world problems.

Maybe you can write a letter to Delta (or United) and tell them how much you appreciate the help they are providing in Puerto Rico right now. #priorities
ScroogeMcFlyer is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Oct 1, 17, 9:55 am
  #30  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 5,643
Originally Posted by FlyingBeanCounter View Post

Delta doesn't have to worry about me jumping ship, I will still fly them. I just wont fly exclusively. I will now be WFBF. I won't have status on any airline. I will selectively poach your diamond first class seat. You won't notice at first, but as more and more people like me start buying the op up or out right fare you will see your upgrades dwindle.

While this sounds good for delta due to increased revenue, the problem is I am no longer married to delta. AA and UA will see business too. I have flown them, and they are fine airlines with a better schedule sometimes. I will just fly them more. As Delta makes us less and less appreciated we in turn will care less and less to fly them. It really is a vicious circle. When they devalue FF or Medallion programs to the point they no longer have value to us as consumers then they put themselves into the unenviable position to have to compete on price.
You're where I went years ago. I can buy F/J from anyone and as soon as you start shopping around you realize there's a lot of times where someone else is cheaper/better. DL is a business. They don't actually care about your loyalty.

Originally Posted by ScroogeMcFlyer View Post
Everyone wants something for free. I'm tired of reading everyone's first world problems.
Extracting/maximizing benefits and complaining about first world problems is the whole point of this website.
jjmiller69 likes this.
motytrah is offline  
Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Search this Thread