Delta Q&A Meeting with Execs - NOTES

 

Old Jun 28, 09, 10:28 pm
  #61  
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Originally Posted by StayingHomeIsBetter View Post
...Bottom line... while I am gratified to see that DL did not tinker with the upgrades, I cannot envision this as a "gift" to the FF community. DL had to see that maintaining the status quo was to DL's financial advantage... or changes would have been made.

Perhaps they saw the likely mass exodus of elites that would have resulted as what it would have been... a tremendous "cost" to DL.
DL has had a lot of practical experience already in that area. About 8 years ago they eliminated upgrades for sLUT fares and -- after 3 years of denial & the SaveSkyMiles.com movement -- they were forced to backtrack. Just imagine what the aftershock would be if they cut upgrades for YBMHQKLUT.

At least I would hope that someone at DL has a memory that goes back farther than 2004.
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Old Jun 28, 09, 10:35 pm
  #62  
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Originally Posted by Gargoyle View Post
So it's a mix of second and third tier. Jackson MS, Lubbock, Austin. I guess OAK and SNA would be 2-1/2 tier. (and I've been to all of those)

Doesn't really matter, you're still arguing whether apples are better than bicycles; they two business models are completely different, and they serve very different markets. Might as well compare Ryanair with AF; what's the point?
You'll also find the legacies (including DL/NW) serving many/most of those same "third tier" airports. So your point in bringing that up is ... ?

If you don't like my criticism, please explain how DL/NW will ever be profitable with any degree of consistency.
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Old Jun 28, 09, 10:35 pm
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This one had me laughing about short memories when I read it:
"- First Business Unite to integrate ONE LOYALTY PROGRAM, TWO AIRLINES".

Except for OnePass being ONE (hence the name) Loyalty Program for Two Airlines way back in 1988: CO and EA.

How quickly they forget.
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Old Jun 28, 09, 10:37 pm
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Originally Posted by MarkXS View Post
This one had me laughing about short memories when I read it:
"- First Business Unite to integrate ONE LOYALTY PROGRAM, TWO AIRLINES".

Except for OnePass being ONE (hence the name) Loyalty Program for Two Airlines way back in 1988: CO and EA.

How quickly they forget.
& in between was Flying Blue for AF & KL.
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Old Jun 28, 09, 10:52 pm
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Originally Posted by MikeMpls View Post
& in between was Flying Blue for AF & KL.
I thought that was just a statement on the attitude of their FFers when flying with them after the recent changes.
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Old Jun 28, 09, 10:52 pm
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Originally Posted by MikeMpls View Post
You'll also find the legacies (including DL/NW) serving many/most of those same "third tier" airports. So your point in bringing that up is ... ?
It's like the difference between a full service hospital and the cardiac checkup clinics in strip malls. One has to be everything for everyone, and always be prepared, stocked and equipped to do anything. The other has cherry-picked a very profitable niche, they just have to do one thing extremely well. When they succeed, they peel profit off the community hospital, making it even harder for that hospital to make a profit.

Returning to the original subject, something interesting was explained about issues surrounding partner awards. Incorporating those in the award tool adds massive complexity and latency, since they have to hook into the partner reservation systems and search availability in real time, then combine that data with the availability on their own metal. Some of you database/IT people can probably explain why that is rather difficult to pull off satisfactorily.
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Old Jun 28, 09, 10:54 pm
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Originally Posted by MikeMpls View Post
& in between was Flying Blue for AF & KL.
Onepass used to be one loyalty programme for two airlines until Copa bought Aerorepublica. Now it's one programme for three airlines and, of course, we are screwed, because the only Skyteam member with decent S. American coverage has had to leave the alliance due to CO.

They also forgot about Miles and More, which is one loyalty programme for God-knows-how-many airlines.

And Asia Miles, and probably a number of other FFPs which I am not familiar with.

But what do you expect from the people who will happily admit to benchmarking against United?!?!?
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Old Jun 28, 09, 11:01 pm
  #68  
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Originally Posted by ADLFO View Post
I thought that was just a statement on the attitude of their FFers when flying with them after the recent changes.
The expression in that context is not exactly Flying Blue. I guess we can all be thankful that DL declined AF's offer to buy into the company.
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Old Jun 28, 09, 11:02 pm
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Originally Posted by graraps View Post
But what do you expect from the people who will happily admit benchmarking against United?!?!?
No, I think Jeff said just the opposite, that DL was going to lead. The statement about Global Services (in casual dinner conversation) was just to help describe in a very general way part of what the 4th tier benefits will be to FTers since we generally know many of the benefits of other FFer programs.
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Old Jun 28, 09, 11:25 pm
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Originally Posted by Gargoyle View Post
Returning to the original subject, something interesting was explained about issues surrounding partner awards. Incorporating those in the award tool adds massive complexity and latency, since they have to hook into the partner reservation systems and search availability in real time, then combine that data with the availability on their own metal. Some of you database/IT people can probably explain why that is rather difficult to pull off satisfactorily.
It may be difficult, but is it impossible? It must consume a huge amount of rep time on the phone with people trying to sort out these itineraries. It might be a multi-million dollar expense to write the code, but it would save that much in labor costs within just a few years IMO.
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Old Jun 28, 09, 11:27 pm
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Originally Posted by ADLFO View Post
No, I think Jeff said just the opposite, that DL was going to lead. The statement about Global Services (in casual dinner conversation) was just to help describe in a very general way part of what the 4th tier benefits will be to FTers since we generally know many of the benefits of other FFer programs.
I wasn't talking about them mentioning UA over the 4th elite tier, much as I think it's not really that useful- I mean, what's the difference between silver and gold anyway?

I was talking about them saying "the industry standard is this and that, and in order to achieve/exceed/etc it we need to make adjustments yada yada", when their "industry standard" consists of one airline that's both effectively bankrupt and famous for customer dissatisfaction and one that's only marginally better (in both financial and service quality terms).

It's a bit like Hyundai saying "right, we think that, compared to Lada, our cars are pretty damn fine- we only need to add better heaters because it's cold in Russia".

Last edited by graraps; Jun 28, 09 at 11:29 pm Reason: added carmaker analogy
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Old Jun 28, 09, 11:30 pm
  #72  
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Originally Posted by mersk862 View Post
My guess is they figured as to the $150m figure, it would be based on a combination of people buying First Class fares more (rather than use an instrument to upgrade) or by selling the e500s. Those e500s aren't cheap - they're around $200 for a set of 4 - it's a big revenue stream, especially since you only get 4 per 10,000 miles - on a transcon, you'd need to top-off the account, so it's either fly another 10k miles, or pay for the certs. Either way, it's another opportunity for them to either sell that F seat, or to get another person to pay up for the certs package.
It would seem to me that the logical way to work this would be to offer the domestic upgrades as free to the top elite tier from all fares, and to the other elite tiers from higher fares (say, Y/B/M/H/Q/K). Beyond that, allow all other elites to redeem segment upgrades that are acquired through purchase using miles or dollars if they want to upgrade at the window. Otherwise, once all of those have been processed, do the gate lottery and make the upgrades free at that point.

This would give an incentive to a GM to use purchased segment upgrades rather than waiting for the gate lottery, and it would drive incremental revenue to the carrier.

I saw some quote from the DO that Delta was looking to define its own way of doing things, rather than copying others. However, it seems like they are still locked into a traditional stance of either giving away all the upgrades or selling all the upgrades, rather than a slightly more complex system that would potentially enhance the revenues while still being able to claim "free upgrades for all elites."
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Old Jun 28, 09, 11:38 pm
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When DL talked industry standard, I believe they were mostly referring to AA and CO. I think DL worries more about FL and even WN before giving the first thought in regards to what UA is doing.
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Old Jun 28, 09, 11:50 pm
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Originally Posted by ADLFO View Post
When DL talked industry standard, I believe they were mostly referring to AA and CO. I think DL worries more about FL and even WN before giving the first thought in regards to what UA is doing.
even then...aren't CO still using cradle seats in business class??

If they want to benchmark themselves against somebody, and especially given their size and stated aspirations, they should look at people like LH or even their own partners at AFKL, not second-rate airlines who have long been struggling to make ends meet.
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Old Jun 29, 09, 12:33 am
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Originally Posted by graraps View Post
even then...aren't CO still using cradle seats in business class??

If they want to benchmark themselves against somebody, and especially given their size and stated aspirations, they should look at people like LH or even their own partners at AFKL, not second-rate airlines who have long been struggling to make ends meet.
I think we are talking apples and oranges. For domestic travel, it would be cost prohibitive to give SQ first class service when a majority of domestic passengers are shopping for the cheapest fare in Y. IFE is offered on a majority of the trans cons and even some shorter routes. To be competitive, they need to have a comparable product to the other domestic players. I know some will disagree, but I'll put DLs domestic hard product up against any other US carrier.

As far as international travel, I believe DL is trying. No, they aren't going to three cabins, but they are committed to the triple 7 LRs with lie flat seats and also have orders with Boeing for the Dreamliners, which, even if they aren't delivered will likely be converted to more 777 orders. Also, have you been paying attention to what AFKL has done to their elites? Yeah, we have had some setbacks at SkyMiles, but nothing, and I mean nothing like the changes made to Flying Blue.

Certainly, DL is far from perfect and the other domestic carriers shine in other areas. CO has better meal availability regardless of cabin and I love the availability of IFE on all their new 737-900s, but you'll be cramped in the back. AA has better award availabilty and I like it that you can get a one-way award. However for me to get AAs best fares, I usually have to take a turbo-prop (AT7) to Miami to connect. If I want to go through DFW on a Mad Dog, the fare sometimes triples. On DL I can almost always fly mainline, generally at a decent price, can get a meal at mealtime on longer flights, and are happy with my upgrade percentages. Is there room for improvement? Absolutly. Do I think they are heading in the right direction? Yes, I do.
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