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Medallion punished for booking Basic Economy?

Medallion punished for booking Basic Economy?

Old Mar 31, 18, 9:35 am
  #1  
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Medallion punished for booking Basic Economy?

I'm wondering if anyone else has had a similar experience.

I'm only a lowly Silver, but I have noticed that when I book basic economy I usually get a seat assigned(that i cannot change) at the time of check in. And then immediately prior to boarding there are usually a few people from the standby list that get booked into Comfort Plus seats. I feel like the early assigned seat completely eliminates any chance of getting one fo the extra comfort plus seats.

Maybe I'll stop checking in prior to arrival at the airport.
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Old Mar 31, 18, 9:42 am
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Originally Posted by David Carabetta View Post
I'm wondering if anyone else has had a similar experience.

I'm only a lowly Silver, but I have noticed that when I book basic economy I usually get a seat assigned(that i cannot change) at the time of check in. And then immediately prior to boarding there are usually a few people from the standby list that get booked into Comfort Plus seats. I feel like the early assigned seat completely eliminates any chance of getting one fo the extra comfort plus seats.

Maybe I'll stop checking in prior to arrival at the airport.
Delta is very clear about the basic economy seat when booking. Here are some FAQ pulled from the website:
Can Medallionģ Members Select A Seat Assignment If They Purchase A Basic Economy Fare?
All passengers who select a Basic Economy fare, including Medallion members, will not be able to select seats until after check-in, including Preferred Seats or Delta Comfort+ seats. If a Basic Economy seat is not available, a seat request card will be issued and can be used to clear security. Your seat will be automatically assigned at the gate.
Can Medallion Members Select Complimentary Delta Comfort+ Or Complimentary Preferred Seats On A Basic Economy Fare?
Basic Economy fares are not eligible for paid, complimentary or discounted Delta Comfort+ or paid or complimentary Preferred Seats, regardless of Medallion or other elite status, while Medallion Members can still receive these benefits by purchasing a Main Cabin fare.
Are Complimentary Upgrades Available For Medallion Members Who Purchase A Basic Economy Fare?
Basic Economy fares are not eligible for paid or complimentary upgrades, regardless of Medallion or other elite status. However, Medallion members can still receive Unlimited Complimentary Upgrades when traveling on a Main Cabin fare
Do Medallion Members Receive The Same Benefits On A Basic Economy Fare Compared To Other Main Cabin Tickets?
Basic Economy fares are not eligible for paid or complimentary upgrades, paid, complimentary or discounted Delta Comfort+, paid or complimentary Preferred Seats and are not eligible to make ticket changes including Same-Day Confirmed or Same-Day Standby travel changes, regardless of Medallion or other elite status.
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Old Mar 31, 18, 9:45 am
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You are not being "punished", you bought a cheap fare and that is that.

But you might be right about not checking in till the airport. If they are out of assignable seats by then, it will go to the gate. And you might have better luck in getting a decent seat as seats open than you would be assigned the last Y- seat,
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Old Mar 31, 18, 10:57 am
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Originally Posted by exwannabe View Post
You are not being "punished", you bought a cheap fare and that is that.

But you might be right about not checking in till the airport. If they are out of assignable seats by then, it will go to the gate. And you might have better luck in getting a decent seat as seats open than you would be assigned the last Y- seat,

Delta is very clear about what you get with basic economy, but let's be clear: punished is the right word.

The relative loss for a Medallion to book basic economy is greater than a regular passenger (due to loss of ability to do a free same day change or get C+ seats or preferred seats like exit rows - I would say F upgrades but those are so rare as to not be a consideration, even for a Diamond). Basic economy fares are a de facto way to extract additional money from Medallions that historically they could not extract due to charging a common fare structure. It is a way to essentially charge a fee to use benefits that historically were given to Medallions for free and is, quite frankly, the largest Medallion devaluation in Delta history.

Basic economy fares did not lower the average Delta fare - they simply became the new low fare. So yes, punished is the right term.
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Old Mar 31, 18, 11:06 am
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Punished is the wrong term. OP purchased a ticket which included certain features which are clearly described in plain English. He got what he paid for. That is definitionally not punishment.

Whether the ticket OP chose to purchase represents good value is a different question. But, if the ticket is not good value for OP, he should not have purchased it.
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Old Mar 31, 18, 11:09 am
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Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
Punished is the wrong term. OP purchased a ticket which included certain features which are clearly described in plain English. He got what he paid for. That is definitionally not punishment.

Whether the ticket OP chose to purchase represents good value is a different question. But, if the ticket is not good value for OP, he should not have purchased it.
You can play games with language, but punished is not the wrong word to use here.

Medallions suffer greater restrictions than the average passenger when buying an E ticket. This is, de facto, a punishment. Just because it is clearly stated does not mean it is not punishment.
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Old Mar 31, 18, 11:40 am
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Originally Posted by ethernal View Post
Medallions suffer greater restrictions than the average passenger when buying an E ticket.
Please elaborate
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Old Mar 31, 18, 11:53 am
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Originally Posted by pvn View Post
Please elaborate
seems like the argument here is that medallions get all the terrible things about basic economy, plus they donít get any upgrades or preferred seats that they are normally used to. In essence, besides the additional miles over kettles, they are basically a kettle for the day.
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Old Mar 31, 18, 11:57 am
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Originally Posted by pvn View Post
Please elaborate
Not sure if sarcastic or not because it's pretty obvious, but I will elaborate (assume Platinum or Diamond when I refer to Medallion):
  • Basic economy passengers lose the ability to do a same day change at a cost. Medallions lose the ability to do a same day change and lose the ability to receive a $75 discount.
  • Basic economy passengers lose the ability to pay for a Preferred seat at cost. Medallions lose the ability to select a Preferred seat and lose the ability to select one for free.
  • Basic economy passengers lose the ability to pay for a C+ seat at cost. Medallions lose both the ability to pay up for a C+ and also lose the ability to select available seats for free.
  • Basic economy passengers lose the ability to pay up for a F seat at cost. Medallions lose both the ability to pay up for a F seat and to upgrade into one for free.
  • Basic economy passengers and Medallions both lose the ability to do changes for a fee. This is an equal loss.
  • Basic economy passengers and Medallions both lose the ability to select non-preferred seats. This is an equal loss.

Medallions have additional restrictions. You have to decompose the option to, e.g., pay for a seat versus the option to pay for the seat and effectively receive a discount for it (i.e., it being free in the case of an upgrade). These are two separate set of restrictions. Medallions face greater restrictions. I am not sure why I have to spell this out.
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Old Mar 31, 18, 12:13 pm
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Originally Posted by ethernal View Post
You can play games with language, but punished is not the wrong word to use here.

Medallions suffer greater restrictions than the average passenger when buying an E ticket. This is, de facto, a punishment. Just because it is clearly stated does not mean it is not punishment.
Calling it a "game" is exactly why you can't see the forest for the trees.

From the customer perspective, all that matters is value. "Am I receiving the service I want for a price I am willing to pay?" Nothing more and nothing less. If a freebie UG to C+/F is part of your value proposition than BE is poor value. If paying the lowest price possible to get from A to B is your value than BE is good value.

Your bottom line proposition that BE is a devaluation of Medallion status simply ignores the fact that people choose to fly BE. Medalions choosing to purchase BE have devalued themselves and have nobody to blame but themselves. Unless saving some money matters and bearing in mind that what a ticket used to cost is irrelevant.
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Old Mar 31, 18, 12:28 pm
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Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
Calling it a "game" is exactly why you can't see the forest for the trees.

From the customer perspective, all that matters is value. "Am I receiving the service I want for a price I am willing to pay?" Nothing more and nothing less. If a freebie UG to C+/F is part of your value proposition than BE is poor value. If paying the lowest price possible to get from A to B is your value than BE is good value.

Your bottom line proposition that BE is a devaluation of Medallion status simply ignores the fact that people choose to fly BE. Medalions choosing to purchase BE have devalued themselves and have nobody to blame but themselves. Unless saving some money matters and bearing in mind that what a ticket used to cost is irrelevant.
I am not making a normative judgement saying that BE tickets are somehow wrong or somehow a bad thing. And I am not saying that a Medallion cannot (a) buy a main cabin ticket and feel that they have received an okay value or (b) buy a BE ticket and say that they have received an okay value. Either of those things can be true. With that said, to say that basic economy tickets are not a devaluation is indefensible. One of the reasons why Basic Economy tickets exist is to be able to extract additional revenue out of Medallions. This does not make Delta evil, but it is a devaluation (effectively paying to receive benefits that were historically complimentary) - and that devaluation is enabled through incentives (and a negative incentive is just a fancy way to say "punishment").

I am unsure as to how anyone can make a reasonable claim otherwise. The only way to logically conclude that Basic Economy is not a Medallion devaluation would be to show that Main Cabin fares (when adjusted for competitive environment and input costs) have not gone up since the introduction of Basic Economy. While I do not have rigorous analysis to disprove that claim, anecdotal evidence would strongly, strongly imply that in the vast majority of markets this is not the case (i.e., main cabin fares have risen). The fact that Delta's PRASM has risen in an environment with falling input prices (fuel being a big one) strongly implies that Basic Economy ("Branded Fares") is a driver of this, especially given that it has been stated as such in investor calls.
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Old Mar 31, 18, 12:52 pm
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It's not punishment, its self mutilation book BE
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Old Mar 31, 18, 1:11 pm
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Originally Posted by ethernal View Post
You can play games with language, but punished is not the wrong word to use here.

Medallions suffer greater restrictions than the average passenger when buying an E ticket. This is, de facto, a punishment. Just because it is clearly stated does not mean it is not punishment.
Easy solution for medallions who don't want to feel like they're "being punished:" Spread your flying around to more airlines to ensure you don't reach medallion status. Then you won't be unduly "punished" when you choose BE fares. And yes, I'm serious. If one's primary goal is to pay the lowest fare, then likely that person isn't very brand loyal anyway, so may as well search all airlines for the cheapest fare overall. Nor is that person likely to place much value on medallion status, so the loss of it should be easily compensated by knowing you can always book the cheapest fare without being "punished."
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Old Mar 31, 18, 1:20 pm
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Originally Posted by ncwillett View Post
Easy solution for medallions who don't want to feel like they're "being punished:" Spread your flying around to more airlines to ensure you don't reach medallion status. Then you won't be unduly "punished" when you choose BE fares. And yes, I'm serious. If one's primary goal is to pay the lowest fare, then likely that person isn't very brand loyal anyway, so may as well search all airlines for the cheapest fare overall. Nor is that person likely to place much value on medallion status, so the loss of it should be easily compensated by knowing you can always book the cheapest fare without being "punished."
I am glad that everyone on this forum enjoys paying higher fares and being smug about it.

As I mentioned before, I am not making a normative judgement about BE fares. Delta runs a business and it is in their best interest to get Medallions to pay more for their benefits. I am not saying this is good or bad. But Delta is punishing (or, if folks are having an emotional reaction to this word, let me use "provides greater negative incentives to") Medallions when booking Basic Economy for the purpose of making them pay more money for Main Cabin fares. I don't know why people are getting so defensive over what is straight and clear reality.

And you may or may not have noticed but I do "shop around" (I am a UA Gold and lowly AA Gold in addition to being a DM). Not necessarily for the lowest fares, but as I have said on other threads, I view C+ (Y+/MCE on UA/AA) as a bare minimum requirement, and Delta is often unable to provide that due to their Y-heavy plane configurations.
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Old Mar 31, 18, 2:33 pm
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If you knowingly book the fare that does not come with features you like and then whine about it itís not the airline punishing you, you punished yourself.


whining and complaining the airline is punishing you is another example of DYKWIA behavior.
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