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DL Tested Removing Capacity Controls for Awards on DL Domestic & Intl BizElite Trips

DL Tested Removing Capacity Controls for Awards on DL Domestic & Intl BizElite Trips

 
Old Jan 16, 06, 6:49 am
  #1  
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DL Tested Removing Capacity Controls for Awards on DL Domestic & Intl BizElite Trips

I seemed to have missed this, but our host Randy Petersen stated something that I must have missed but certainly should not have:

http://flyertalk.com/forum/showthread.php?p=5135222

Apparently in August 2005, DL "tested" this out. Was there discussion of this in this DL forum?

In any event, I hope DL decides to consider the results of the test and think about implementing such as a competitive edge.

Last edited by GUWonder; Jan 16, 06 at 6:52 am
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Old Jan 16, 06, 8:29 am
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Originally Posted by GUWonder
I seemed to have missed this, but our host Randy Petersen stated something that I must have missed but certainly should not have:

http://flyertalk.com/forum/showthread.php?p=5135222

Apparently in August 2005, DL "tested" this out. Was there discussion of this in this DL forum?

In any event, I hope DL decides to consider the results of the test and think about implementing such as a competitive edge.
I think this was in the fall of 2004...I am trying to find the thread. If it happened again in 2005, I am not aware of it.
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Old Jan 16, 06, 8:34 am
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This is the best one I can find for now. Anyone with better search skills is welcome to find a better link.

http://flyertalk.com/forum/showthread.php?t=355411
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Old Jan 16, 06, 8:40 am
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Originally Posted by indufan
This is the best one I can find for now. Anyone with better search skills is welcome to find a better link.

http://flyertalk.com/forum/showthread.php?t=355411
Interesting and thanks. I thought our FT host was referring to "testing" in August 2005, while the thread to which you referred was in September 2004.

Was this "testing" a repeat then or something else?
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Old Jan 16, 06, 8:44 am
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Originally Posted by indufan
I think this was in the fall of 2004...I am trying to find the thread. If it happened again in 2005, I am not aware of it.
In the thread I posted, Randy Petersen is talking about August 2005 "testing" -- unless there was a typo and he is considering (or was considering) presentining DL with a 2005 award in 2006 for DL activity in 2004. That kind of 2005 award presentation in 2006 for DL activity in 2004 seems a bit more convoluted.

From January 6th, 2006:

Originally Posted by Randy Petersen
An early leader might be Delta SkyMiles, which in 2005, is the first program to at least "test" a concept to change the way that these programs view award redemption. InsideFlyer was the first to detect that in August last year, they "tested" for 2 1/2 weeks no controls at all for award redemption. This was for first and coach awards domestically and BusinessElite on international flights. The simple idea that an airline would be "testing" such a concept shows some promise.

Last edited by GUWonder; Jan 16, 06 at 8:49 am
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Old Jan 16, 06, 8:47 am
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Originally Posted by indufan
This is the best one I can find for now. Anyone with better search skills is welcome to find a better link.

http://flyertalk.com/forum/showthread.php?t=355411
I think you have found it. I remember because I posted in that thread that I easily changed the flights I had to Rome, that were only 8 months away, to exactly the ones I wanted.

So what happened after the test? They decided to increase capacity controls instead?
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Old Jan 16, 06, 8:53 am
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Originally Posted by Richard1148
I think you have found it. I remember because I posted in that thread that I easily changed the flights I had to Rome, that were only 8 months away, to exactly the ones I wanted.

So what happened after the test? They decided to increase capacity controls instead?
Or did they "test" it again in August 2005 for 2 1/2 weeks? Or was DL simply loading up system changes in August 2004 to cover a 2 1/2 week trial period observed by some in September 2004?
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Old Jan 16, 06, 9:35 am
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Originally Posted by GUWonder
Or did they "test" it again in August 2005 for 2 1/2 weeks? Or was DL simply loading up system changes in August 2004 to cover a 2 1/2 week trial period observed by some in September 2004?
It seems to me that if it had been tested again in 2005, someone here would have noticed it like in 2004. I don't recall seeing any posts about it. Maybe we should ask Randy to clarify whether he meant 2004.
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Old Jan 16, 06, 9:39 am
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This was mentioned in the DL forum in the past few weeks. I was surprised how few people said something about it.

If only I could find the thread.
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Old Jan 16, 06, 9:44 am
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Last edited by vinnmann; Jul 30, 07 at 3:00 pm
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Old Jan 16, 06, 9:45 am
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Originally Posted by Richard1148
It seems to me that if it had been tested again in 2005, someone here would have noticed it like in 2004. I don't recall seeing any posts about it. Maybe we should ask Randy to clarify whether he meant 2004.
Without a doubt a clarification would be useful.

I also recognize that airlines do some things that are not noted in threads on FT but impact some FTers and others nonetheless, but don't know if this is one of them. In any event, at least some of the cat is out of the bag.

I hope DL does not intend to "test" such things from time to time to merely figure out how to tweak capacity controls to more readily separate us from our miles on terms that are less customer-friendly. Such "testing" could be used for that purpose too, but given the customer approach of the new management of SkyMiles perhaps this was a test to see if it is financially feasible in scrapping capacity controls on its own metal.

Last edited by GUWonder; Jan 16, 06 at 9:48 am
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Old Jan 16, 06, 11:27 am
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I posted in the "Only Randy Peterson" forum that I didn't think DL deserved any awards for this as it was only a test. The time to give them an award is when they move to no capacity controls as a permanent feature of the SkyMiles program, if it ever happens. Randy believes an award would encourage DL and others to continue testing and give the idea more consideration.....FWIW, I tend to doubt it.

In thinking about DL's test further, it's not clear what they were really testing. I believe the claim was to see if they could meet current award demand without capacity controls. Of course, since the test was not advertised until after the fact, whatever results they received are of questionable usefulness. People were/are operating under the assumption that awards are capacity controlled and thus likely tend to book much further out than they would if capacity controls were lifted. In fact, if DL did lift the controls, a number of people might switch their airline of choice to DL, increasing the number of miles awarded and the number of redemption requests. Not clear how they could correct for this in the results. If the test had been advertised, it would have skewed the results as well since everyone and their brother would have tried to book awards.
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Old Jan 16, 06, 11:37 am
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I think waving the flag that DL "tried it" could be useful. And to that end, an award that raises this flag would be useful from a customer advocacy perspective.

That said, I don't know if DL made an explicit decision to do this and what their motivation was for doing such. Was DL motivated to do this as part of a trial run to "test" lifting award capacity controls? Was DL motivated to do such to tweak the capacity controls to strip us of our miles more readily? Or something else? I don't know.
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Old Jan 16, 06, 12:12 pm
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Originally Posted by MileKing
I posted in the "Only Randy Peterson" forum that I didn't think DL deserved any awards for this as it was only a test. The time to give them an award is when they move to no capacity controls as a permanent feature of the SkyMiles program, if it ever happens. Randy believes an award would encourage DL and others to continue testing and give the idea more consideration.....FWIW, I tend to doubt it.

In thinking about DL's test further, it's not clear what they were really testing. I believe the claim was to see if they could meet current award demand without capacity controls. Of course, since the test was not advertised until after the fact, whatever results they received are of questionable usefulness. People were/are operating under the assumption that awards are capacity controlled and thus likely tend to book much further out than they would if capacity controls were lifted. In fact, if DL did lift the controls, a number of people might switch their airline of choice to DL, increasing the number of miles awarded and the number of redemption requests. Not clear how they could correct for this in the results. If the test had been advertised, it would have skewed the results as well since everyone and their brother would have tried to book awards.
Wow, this is the proverbial catch 22. Yes, if Delta switched to unlimited SkySaver, nearly every frequent flyer in the game would switch to them. But then, the planes would be so full of free seats, no one would be able to buy a ticket. But, it's a moot point, if they did it, it would take the competition about a day and a half to match it but I am sure right now that is something no one in the industry wants to happen.
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Old Jan 16, 06, 12:20 pm
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Years ago, in the days of EA/CO One Pass, gold elites (the highest level at the time) were allowed to book award travel completely free of capacity controls.

Now if DL were to allow their top level medallions (PMs) to book award travel free of cap controls, that would be a benefit worth striving for.
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