My "Dear John" letter to Delta

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Old Oct 1, 17, 10:15 am
  #31  
 
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Airlines arenít loyal to their customers in my opinion and donít get why some are ultra loyal to them.
I fly Delta mostly for now because it has the best schedule for my needs.
If I were to move I would change to what best fot my needs.
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Old Oct 1, 17, 11:12 am
  #32  
 
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Originally Posted by sydneyracquelle View Post
Why not simply open a bank account in Canada, Mexico or a Caribbean island? No more MQD requirement. Problem solved.
From what I've read, it is a lot more complicated than that. Even if you managed to acquire a local address (say, a friends house) don't you think Delta would notice that your flights don't start/end there?
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Old Oct 1, 17, 11:30 am
  #33  
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I find that airline and hotel relationships last about 4-5 years. Then something in my life changes, and something in the travel industry changes, and it's time to switch. I think it's healthy for everyone.

Which I switched to DL 11 months ago, I never got the DL credit card. I decided I was better off continuing to earn SPG and MR points than to fall for a scheme (MQD waiver) which might change on a dime. As long as AF/VS PE earns 150% MQM and 20-25% MQD, I know I can make Gold without thinking much, and Platinum with some planning around expensive work trips.

I think it's healthy to have a few programs going. As much as I like DL, B6 is too easy to use on one of my routes (ORD-FLL), and WN still gives me the flexibility of no cancellation fee. And I still fly the program from which I last escaped (AA) because sometimes the late nonstop home is still the best option even if the seat is miserable and the delays keep rolling.
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Old Oct 1, 17, 12:57 pm
  #34  
 
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Originally Posted by FlyingBeanCounter View Post
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?
Delta does not care if you are loyal and you shouldn't care if you fly them. You should fly the carrier that best meets your needs. What is being offered under the guise of a loyalty program should be considered in your evaluation of the overall package. DL offers what they think will maximize profits, not what they think someone should be rewarded for past business. When I was flying 150+ biz domestic flights/year, the number of flights, direct destinations and handling during IRROPs were important. DL offered things that made me give them business, and they did so to get me to spend with DL in the future, but that didn't mean they gave a crud about my loyalty. When DL no longer met my needs, I left for over two years, going to FL. DL didn't miss me and I didn't feel disloyal. DL just wasn't making sense for my needs at that time, given their being more expensive and giving me little in return for my business when compared to FL. That changed. I came back.

DL obviously thinks what someone spends is an indicator what what he/she will likely spend in the future. Spend is not being rewarded, it is being used to predict future spend. That's why there has been a shift from tracking just miles flown to tracking spend; it's obviously the better predictor of future spend.
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Old Oct 1, 17, 1:05 pm
  #35  
 
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While I understand the OP's letter and maybe even agree with some of the sentiments, the letter reminds me of this:
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Old Oct 1, 17, 3:13 pm
  #36  
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Originally Posted by estedman View Post
I don't get all the hubalub about the AMEX cards. I don't have one and will make DM in about a month, already at 18000 for MQD.
The AMEX waiver doesn't bother you because you don't need it like others do (I don't either). If DL took away something that you relied on, you might understand what all the hubalub was about.
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Old Oct 1, 17, 4:06 pm
  #37  
 
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Originally Posted by CJKatl View Post
Delta does not care if you are loyal and you shouldn't care if you fly them. You should fly the carrier that best meets your needs. What is being offered under the guise of a loyalty program should be considered in your evaluation of the overall package. DL offers what they think will maximize profits, not what they think someone should be rewarded for past business. When I was flying 150+ biz domestic flights/year, the number of flights, direct destinations and handling during IRROPs were important. DL offered things that made me give them business, and they did so to get me to spend with DL in the future, but that didn't mean they gave a crud about my loyalty. When DL no longer met my needs, I left for over two years, going to FL. DL didn't miss me and I didn't feel disloyal. DL just wasn't making sense for my needs at that time, given their being more expensive and giving me little in return for my business when compared to FL. That changed. I came back.

DL obviously thinks what someone spends is an indicator what what he/she will likely spend in the future. Spend is not being rewarded, it is being used to predict future spend. That's why there has been a shift from tracking just miles flown to tracking spend; it's obviously the better predictor of future spend.

While the whole idea of maximizing profits for delta seems reasonable (we all maximize something) I still think some here miss the point completely.

there is simply no way that sky miles is not a way to reward past behavior and shape future purchases. That makes it a loyalty program, and it has worked well in the past. There was a time when I would only look at delta and make my schedule fit around them because the value I got out of their program far exceeded the costs of non-optimal flights and higher fares.

Now, it seems so much easier. Go to chase/amex site, pick a flight and class of service and voila! easy travel. I don't worry about accruing miles - they dont matter and free trips are almost impossible at this point unless I have millions of miles (I dont anymore) or I have ultimate flexibility. Upgrades are shrinking as well. Quite frankly the only thing left I value that comes with diamond is the sky club. That is real handy for me as there is one in my home airport (DEN).

I love delta as an airline. I wish I could still be loyal to them. They however seem to find a way to not be loyal to me. If a business associate stabbed you in the back like that, would you continue to do business with them? I guess if you had to. There are choices though. Which makes the whole thing moot.

Others won't see that. If I was still traveling on OPM then I wouldn't care about this. In fact, I would probably be pretty happy as the perceived issues with too many diamonds go away. More upgrades should be available (but wont) and the sky clubs should in theory be less crowded.

None of that will come to fruition. The mistake that any loyalist makes is believing that delta (or what ever company) won't screw them next. Please - if everything about profits here is half true delta would screw anyone on this board if they thought they could get ahead. Is that the kind of business partner you want?
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Old Oct 1, 17, 5:53 pm
  #38  
 
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Originally Posted by FlyingBeanCounter View Post
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.And if delta doesn't care if I am loyal, then why should I care if i fly them?
I wasn't just referring to in-cabin service (that can be subjective), but cancellations, on time performance, IROPs handling, etc. It wasn't a huge difference, but enough to make me want to try out the competition.

Also, I didn't make this clear, but DL's schedule out of my home base fits my needs rather well at the moment, so that's another factor.
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Old Oct 1, 17, 8:43 pm
  #39  
 
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I’m voting with my feet much like the OP. Amex will lose a huge spend from me (100-150k) and DL will lose $10k in MQD from me.

Next year I’ll have 70k in rollover. I’ll spend $25k on an Amex and have PM for 2019. I’ll use the entire year to surf the competition with a status match and have PM has a backstop while I get my barings.

I get lifetime Gold with my MM so sure DL will still get some biz while I torch my banked SM.
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Old Oct 1, 17, 8:52 pm
  #40  
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Originally Posted by JesseRohr View Post
... lifetime Gold with my MM
when did that change? MM is complimentary annual Silver
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Old Oct 1, 17, 10:25 pm
  #41  
 
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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..
Let me expand on that. There's a HUGE difference between what the CEO says to us as customers and what he says to us stockholders during the quarterly conference call. Believe me, if he could get away with it, Delta would make Spirit look luxurious!
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Old Oct 2, 17, 5:58 am
  #42  
 
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Originally Posted by gigglypug View Post
[A]ny current Diamond with a spend between $12,000 and $14,999 is better off elsewhere....
Hmmm. So basically this is a differential spend of $2,999 or less, probably less.

Now, over on another thread we have some people talking about "manufactured spending," such as overpaying your taxes by $200K, in order to save $800 to reach Diamond.

And I have to wonder, if you're spending $100K or more on AMEX already, as the good poster in that case claimed, is it really worth sending $150K over to the IRS for two months, to purportedly save $800? Why not just spend the money on Delta by flying more?

Not to mention, my investment account yields a good chunk of that amount purportedly saved.

As well, having just spent a good $1332 on upgrades on AF, I've been calculating what the GUCs as a benefit are worth. Certainly, the spending difference. And certainly-- the easy way (for those who don't have the time to fly more) is to just purchase F, or at least higher fare classes, to make up the difference.

While I may appreciate the OP's cathartic moment, I'm not sure it makes logical sense...

Last edited by kthomas; Oct 2, 17 at 6:19 am
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Old Oct 2, 17, 6:46 am
  #43  
 
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Originally Posted by jrl767 View Post
when did that change? MM is complimentary annual Silver
Lifetime gold is 2MM. Maybe that's what the poster meant?
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Old Oct 2, 17, 6:47 am
  #44  
 
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Originally Posted by fliesdelta View Post
I wasn't just referring to in-cabin service (that can be subjective), but cancellations, on time performance, IROPs handling, etc. It wasn't a huge difference, but enough to make me want to try out the competition.

Also, I didn't make this clear, but DL's schedule out of my home base fits my needs rather well at the moment, so that's another factor.
The schedule makes the most sense. I would pay more for a good schedule at this point.

I appreciate the IROPS handling, but I lose that anyway. As a diamond I never worried. There was a noticeable drop off when I was Platinum in IROPS handling.

But as most indicate, it is moot. Delta will lose some, gain others and strengthen somes resolve that delta is the best ever. Funny how we discuss allocating who should be treated the best when there are some many other big problems in the world.
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Old Oct 2, 17, 2:22 pm
  #45  
 
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Originally Posted by Orange County Commuter View Post
Lifetime gold is 2MM. Maybe that's what the poster meant?
Correct.
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