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Need advice..contacting corporate re: "soft landing"

Need advice..contacting corporate re: "soft landing"

Old Jan 3, 19, 7:22 pm
  #1  
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Need advice..contacting corporate re: "soft landing"

So, for the last year and half I have been out of work. I recently just got a new job traveling 50% and already have more than 5 trips booked on DL. I will drop from Plat to Silver (Lifetime) in Feb. I anticipate that I will be at least Plat if not Diamond by the end of the year flying mostly domestic with 1-2 International trips. Is there some department to contact in corp to ask if them would extend me a challenge or soft landing? I am going to loathe dropping to silver after more than 17 years as either Plat or Diamond.
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Old Jan 3, 19, 8:52 pm
  #2  
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my advice would be to use a better thread subject line. you're more likely to get good responses since a lot of people won't click on vague threads
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Old Jan 3, 19, 8:55 pm
  #3  
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Originally Posted by gaugeguy View Post
So, for the last year and half I have been out of work. I recently just got a new job traveling 50% and already have more than 5 trips booked on DL. I will drop from Plat to Silver (Lifetime) in Feb. I anticipate that I will be at least Plat if not Diamond by the end of the year flying mostly domestic with 1-2 International trips. Is there some department to contact in corp to ask if them would extend me a challenge or soft landing? I am going to loathe dropping to silver after more than 17 years as either Plat or Diamond.
AFAIK DL won't do challenges if you have any status at all with them.

I'd ask. However, i would doubt you'll get a yes unless you can show purchased, non-refundable tickets that would put you over in next few months. I wouldnt expect, nor ask for anything higher than Gold. You get STE+ benefits at that level and is more realistic IMO than PM. (DM is not realistic at any level, they're trying to trim the DM numbers as it is)
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Old Jan 3, 19, 10:15 pm
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Originally Posted by gaugeguy View Post
So, for the last year and half I have been out of work. I recently just got a new job traveling 50% and already have more than 5 trips booked on DL. I will drop from Plat to Silver (Lifetime) in Feb. I anticipate that I will be at least Plat if not Diamond by the end of the year flying mostly domestic with 1-2 International trips. Is there some department to contact in corp to ask if them would extend me a challenge or soft landing? I am going to loathe dropping to silver after more than 17 years as either Plat or Diamond.
Book as much in January as possible, get your immediate C+ UGs... or, maybe if you're lucky you can find a DM to gift you GM. But, I've not seen that kind of fishing work well unless you know people.
When I had several thousand dollars worth of upcoming flights that would put me into a new bracket and tried calling I got nowhere with it, you're long history may give you better luck but I seriously doubt anyone can do it for you. Does your new employer have corporate points or whatever they're called? They might be able to get the Medallion status for you.
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Old Jan 3, 19, 10:21 pm
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Originally Posted by pvn View Post
my advice would be to use a better thread subject line. you're more likely to get good responses since a lot of people won't click on vague threads
Mod Note: Thread title edited for clarification
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Old Jan 3, 19, 11:04 pm
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I'm not sure I follow ... I understand you did 17 years as a Plat or Diamond, but you also received the due benefits during that same time, yes?

I'm genuinely curious, why would you expect a company to grant you a level of status and benefits that you haven't currently earned based on their requirements?

Again, I understand being a loyal customer for 17 yrs, but there are many of those out there ... is there a particular reason why you feel you should be gifted status without earning it?
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Last edited by Loadmaster; Jan 3, 19 at 11:15 pm
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Old Jan 4, 19, 7:04 am
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Originally Posted by Loadmaster View Post
I'm not sure I follow ... I understand you did 17 years as a Plat or Diamond, but you also received the due benefits during that same time, yes?

I'm genuinely curious, why would you expect a company to grant you a level of status and benefits that you haven't currently earned based on their requirements?

Again, I understand being a loyal customer for 17 yrs, but there are many of those out there ... is there a particular reason why you feel you should be gifted status without earning it?
🙄🙄🙄

Have you considered that there is value to Delta outside of the published requirements by endearing loyalty? It costs Delta virtually nothing to grant a soft landing and could lead to more revenue as the OP might be willing to pay a premium for upcoming travel to utilize the higher medallion benefits. Itís the same sort of thing when Delta waives a ticket change fee when you have an unexpected problem force you to make a change.

In my case, I was granted a MQD waiver as I vastly exceeded the MQM requirements, had demonstrated past loyalty, and was only a few thousand away from the $250k. I was resigned to being a PM and paying for J tickets with other airlines/alliances if the price and/or routing was better. Since DL gave me the waiver, I booked a J trip on them instead of AA.

Nothing is expected certainly, but that decision by Delta has already had a revenue positive benefit that likely outweighs the expense associated with DM benefits over PM benefits that I earned.
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Old Jan 4, 19, 7:10 am
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Exactly. I have shown years and years of loyalty. A soft landing for someone who was out of work for a while costs them nothing. My only problem is trying to find the right person to contact to ask the question.
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Old Jan 4, 19, 8:46 am
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Originally Posted by gaugeguy View Post
Exactly. I have shown years and years of loyalty. A soft landing for someone who was out of work for a while costs them nothing. My only problem is trying to find the right person to contact to ask the question.
To play devil's advocate, it doesn't "cost them nothing". Of course there's the argument they'd get more revenue by you buying more fares by having status (the reason for the programs) but yes, it cost them something if you utilize benefits. If you check bags that you now get the baggage fee waived versus would have had to pay due to being a lower status with less baggage allowance, that cost DL money. If you are given C+ at booking and get it for free, that prevents someone else from "buying" that seat otherwise. If they give you RUCs, that's a time you may not buy-up to FC. If you access a lounge (rather than pay an entry fee) and consume resources (food and drinks) in the lounge, that cost DL something. These costs might well be rounding errors in DL's accounting and expenses but it still technically cost them something, not "nothing".

Plus, if you've already booked 5 trips on DL without getting this soft-landing, you've already told DL you're willing to fly them and rebuild towards status without them even giving you a soft-landing. DL might well also say your "soft-landing" for years of loyalty is the "complimentary annual" FO status for 1MM, which guarantees you at least Silver Medallion status even if you never step foot on the plane. Yea, I realize compared to GM, PM, or DM, that FO status is can seem pretty meager but even FO status is enough to take traveling/flying from miserable to bearable with access to preferred seats, priority check-in, better protection in IROPS, etc.
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Old Jan 4, 19, 9:03 am
  #10  
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Of course there is a cost to DL. It may not be an outright cash expenditure, but there is a branding and goodwill issue with other customers who are competing for a limited number of perks. It goes without saying that none of this matters in the context of any one customer. But, if DL effectively expands the universe of qualifications for a given status level (that is what a "soft landing" is), it is then accused of a devaluation.

I would not suggest buying a lot of non-refundable tickets. Nobody here can say whether that motivates DL to see you as a candidate for a "soft landing" or whether DL identifies such a person as already loyal and thus not requiring a sweetener.
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Old Jan 4, 19, 9:54 am
  #11  
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DL might decide whether or not to give you such a gift based on their analysis of the costs and benefits to DL, but status also carries some zero sum benefits. If DL gives you PM and you then get an upgrade, the cost of your status is really being paid by the GM who is next of the upgrade list and thanks to you lost out on the last FC seat.

This is why I'm against any soft landings, MQD DM exceptions, and other special treatment that results in the reallocation of earned published elite benefits.
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Old Jan 4, 19, 8:49 pm
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Originally Posted by gaugeguy View Post
So, for the last year and half I have been out of work. I recently just got a new job traveling 50% and already have more than 5 trips booked on DL. I will drop from Plat to Silver (Lifetime) in Feb. I anticipate that I will be at least Plat if not Diamond by the end of the year flying mostly domestic with 1-2 International trips. Is there some department to contact in corp to ask if them would extend me a challenge or soft landing? I am going to loathe dropping to silver after more than 17 years as either Plat or Diamond.
I went through the same combinations years ago Top level for many years, partially retired at Lifetime Silver and the bleak days settled in for the few flights I booked. The first year I didn't make the top grade Delta sent a warm letter granting me one more year at the top gratis. I didn't ask for it so I have no idea who and why they did it. In your case i realize that the pain of only Silver will hurt for the first months of your heavy flying again (obviously you will at least make Gold before the end of this year)
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Old Jan 5, 19, 4:10 am
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Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
This is why I'm against any soft landings, MQD DM exceptions, and other special treatment that results in the reallocation of earned published elite benefits.
I could not agree more.

To the OP - man up and do your time until you earn the desired status the same as the rest of us.
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Old Jan 5, 19, 6:19 am
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Originally Posted by gaugeguy View Post
I have shown years and years of loyalty.....
And you enjoyed top tier benefits during those years and years. If you don't fly for a year (for whatever reason), you don't get to enjoy those benefits. Seems pretty clear cut. So I agree, man up, do the time, and you'll be back at top tier before you know it.

To answer your question, I have no idea who you should contact. Best of luck, though.
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Old Jan 5, 19, 6:32 am
  #15  
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Air carriers do not reward past loyalty with status. Rather, they purchase future loyalty with status.

It is simply that the past is usually a good predictor of the future, so it is the system used. But, don't believe for a second that DL or any other service provider is offering you status because it wants to thank you for spending money you have already spent.
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