Internal Memo Regarding Plat Upgrades Changes sent Out

 
Old Sep 4, 03, 8:39 pm
  #1  
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Internal Memo Regarding Plat Upgrades Changes sent Out

I Spoke with a very nice DL reservationinst tonight, she said they received an internal memo today stating that "Rules governing the timing of Platinum upgrades and the fares from which upgrades can occur will NOT change Jan 2004"

"The Current Policy governing 500 Mile upgrade points will change Jan 2004"

So it looks like the changes are starting to happen, she was nice enough to read the internal memo to me twice, I got as much as I could. Interesting.
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Old Sep 4, 03, 8:54 pm
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I assume they will either give back unlimited upgrades to PM's or increase the number of MSU's to be credited on 1 1 04 (currently 20). This would make sense to me. Can't wait to hear the official announcement.
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Old Sep 4, 03, 9:18 pm
  #3  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
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I've already left. I'll only get about 47K MQM's this year, and since I'm "gold" for life, no reason to try to get 50, let alone 100.

I switched to United, as American does not serve Charleston SC. Very happy with United. I used to love Delta.

Now, so many changes would have to be made, and even if somehow equal, would have a hard time switching back. Upgrade policy is one thing, MQM's are the other.

For me to consider coming back, I'd need (4) North America upgrades per year or 40 500 mile upgrade points in addition to the 40 you'd earn anyway. Or unlimited 500 mile upgrades.

Second, I'd have to earn 1:1 MQM's on the minimum fare flights.

Third, I'd have to be able to upgrade any fare domestically. There's the rub, I think. Delta had me paying K fares and above regularly, paying $500- $600 for my fares, when I could be buying $300 - $400 fares like I do now. Of course, now I get to upgrade 100% on United at time of purchase, and 100% on Delta with a 24-hour time limit. If they change to unlimited upgrades and include the cheap fares, but only 24-hours in advance, that's good and bad. More upgrades than United, but not at time of purchase. I like to know I have got the seat.

Also, on United, I can upgrade companions. I did this six times this year on United, four of the times at purchase, and two of those were big international trips. Not being able to upgrade companions on Delta (i.e. lack of North America upgrades or transferability of 500-mile upgrades) would be a disadvantage.

Third, now that Delta has me buying LUT fares, I expect 1:1 MQM's like I get on United. I won't switch back without it.

I know segments are important to some Plats, but doesn't matter for me.

Somehow, I feel like whatever is being alluded to is too little too late, especially for those of us who made our decision shortly after the changes were announced.

It's not like we didn't try and get their attention earlier this year - but the lack of bookings from me and lots of other Plats has to have been noticed in Atlanta headquarters.

Billy


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Old Sep 4, 03, 9:24 pm
  #4  
 
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I reread the original post many times; I am still confused. Does that mean that the rules will not change, i.e., all changes already programmed will be implemented as planned OR does it mean no changes will be made in 2004 to the 2003 rules, i.e, unlimited upgrades.

It is late; can someone please explain which way this is meant?

thanks,
marc
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Old Sep 4, 03, 9:34 pm
  #5  
 
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Here is the official, unofficial wording of the message:

Upgrade Alignment - No Change for G/Z

Rules governing the fare applicability and confirmation timing of Platinum Medallion Upgrades (PMU's) and upgrade mileage awards will not change on Jan. 1, 2004, as previously announced. The current policies governing these upgrades will remain in effect until further notice. The policies governing 500 Mile Upgrade points will change on Jan. 1, 2004 as planned.


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Old Sep 4, 03, 9:36 pm
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The way I got it...and I am not sure...is that Plat's will be able to upgrade at the time of purchase on K or higher, the 100 hour rule is gone (which the reservationinst said she personally was dreading since 100 hours is a unusual time frame for having people call to upgrade).

But it looks like the Unlimited Upgrade might be gone and we will be paying for our upgrades.

[This message has been edited by ThisDJ (edited 09-04-2003).]
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Old Sep 4, 03, 9:41 pm
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FRom what UDH posted, this doesn't pertain to MSUs (V) at all!!!!!!!!!

marc
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Old Sep 4, 03, 10:04 pm
  #8  
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They were planning on changing PMU stuff on Jan 1st??? That's a new one which although now rescinded bothers me VERY much.
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Old Sep 4, 03, 10:07 pm
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hfly:

It is in the published changes...alignment of MSU, PMU, and miles upgrades timelines and fares.

marc
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Old Sep 4, 03, 10:25 pm
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My garsh...four months left in the year and Aunt Vicky is just now deciding the time might be right to win some fools back.

To entice Va. Ave. to budge in the least at this point DL marketing must be serving up some very unpleasant data to top management right now.

Very interesting - but still very glad I'm strictly on the sidelines for this one.
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Old Sep 4, 03, 10:31 pm
  #11  
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Everyone, please read what UDH posted: For domestic (segment) upgrades (according to his info) there will be NO CHANGE in what was already planned for 1/1/04. The policy change apparently relates only to PMUs and upgrades redeemed using miles, not anything to do with our routine segment-based Medallion domestic upgrades.
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Old Sep 4, 03, 10:49 pm
  #12  
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This is obviously up for interpretation, but the way the reservationist read it and maybe UDH will clear it up, is that next year Plat's will be able to upgrade their fares at time of purchase from a K or higher (just like now), but we will be paying for these upgrades at that time?
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Old Sep 4, 03, 11:17 pm
  #13  
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GM's are still screwed and have no reason to stay unless there are massive rollbacks. In addition, as many of us have already switched carriers, they would have to extend our status for another year to entice us to stay.

What a shame!
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Old Sep 5, 03, 2:45 am
  #14  
 
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<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by ThisDJ:
This is obviously up for interpretation, but the way the reservationist read it and maybe UDH will clear it up, is that next year Plat's will be able to upgrade their fares at time of purchase from a K or higher (just like now), but we will be paying for these upgrades at that time?</font>
I can live with that. I don't like using all of the FF miles I earn to pay for upgrades, but for me, time of booking upgrades on a Q/K are important. I know I seem to be in a minority on this.
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Old Sep 5, 03, 6:43 am
  #15  
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FWIW (which may not be much), this Gold has 0 MQMs YTD.

Delta and other loyalty programs may see the need to realign benefits with a new competitive environment.

But perhaps their models were/are insufficiently dynamic? As a customer I also see the need to realign my business decisions with a new competitive environment among FF offerings. I go to the carrier that offers me the most for my money.

That goes for hotels too. Some here may have seen the announced changes over at Starwood where only bookings made through a travel agent or the Starwood websites will be eligible for elite benefits (no bookings through opaque sites -- but also no regular bookings through Expedia, Travelocity, etc.). Starwood thinks they can change the rules and all of their elites will just act differently. Instead, their elites will decide whether the new rules suit them or not...

I noticed something ironic as I looked over at the changes that Alaska is contemplating. They're trying to get $25 or $35 extra revenue per first class seat next year. So they're considering lots of things, including ending confirmation at time of booking (or perhaps only on high fares) and they're considering an upgrade surcharge among other items.

Domestic first class simply does not sell these days. International premium cabins? Sure. But very few pay for domestic F. The usual numbers bantied about are about 10% of domestic F seats go to revenue F tickets.

Delta already had found what Alaska is now looking for -- a way to generate marginal revenue on their domestic F product. The requirement to buy K fares to upgrade!

A platinum would certainly buy K in order to confirm the upgrade at booking.

A gold would buy K to have a good shot at the upgrade.

But now, with the number of upgrade certs so limited, it doesn't make sense to pay for a K fare except on those few flights that you'll be able to use upgrade certificates! And even then, the lower fares are eligible for upgrade albeit slightly later in priority.

So while I would always pay for a K fare before, if I were even still flying DL I'd only pay for a K fare ~ 20% of the time or less. There goes the marginal revenue for that domestic F product!

DL has blown up their model, and has become uncompetitive. Sure, maybe if I lived in ATL I'd still fly DL. But even that depends on where I was flying. Frankly, if Airtran served my destinations as an ATL based flyer, I'd consider them -- their elite status for life is certainly a tempting offer!

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