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Alaska confirms: 'travel hackers' killed their Emirates Offerings

Alaska confirms: 'travel hackers' killed their Emirates Offerings

Old Mar 31, 16, 6:28 pm
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Alaska confirms: 'travel hackers' killed their Emirates Offerings

Alaska confirms what many have long believed: the golden goose is being killed for profit. Blame the blogs, blame the FTUs, blame FlyerTalk, blame ourselves.

IMHO the constant refrain of bloggers hanging out in premium Emirates cabins has come home to roost.

Why is Mileage Plan making this change?
Alaska’s premium Emirates awards have long been known as an exceptionally good deal. With the rise of “travel-hacking,” intended to exploit Mileage Plan’s award routing rules, coupled with below-market award levels, our previous award levels were unsustainable. The new award levels enable Alaska to continue to offer Emirates Business Class and First Class as a redemption option.
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Old Mar 31, 16, 6:40 pm
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Notice that Alaska didn't point out anything about how they gave people a chance to buy miles and then purchase first/business class tickets at a fraction of the price. Guess they don't want to call attention to this?
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Old Mar 31, 16, 9:03 pm
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Loved getting 5 Bank of American Alaska Airlines credit cards in ONE day. Oh...wait, thanks MMS!
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Old Mar 31, 16, 9:35 pm
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Already being discussed here: http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/alask...k-j-82-5k.html
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Old Mar 31, 16, 9:43 pm
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Originally Posted by Astrophsx View Post
Notice that Alaska didn't point out anything about how they gave people a chance to buy miles and then purchase first/business class tickets at a fraction of the price. Guess they don't want to call attention to this?
They said they'll refund any March purchases.

It's a sad day when the darling program of frequent flyers (Alaska, travel bloggers, and their muses) put the actual nail in their own coffins.

So besides Alaska sucking big time, allow me to include all the travel bloggers for killing the game. And now for editorial comment > JERKS.

What bothers me the most is all the newbies drinking all that Kool-Aid. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drinking_the_Kool-Aid

and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jim_Jones This is where the statement comes from.
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Old Mar 31, 16, 10:33 pm
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Originally Posted by dhammer53 View Post

What bothers me the most is all the newbies drinking all that Kool-Aid. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drinking_the_Kool-Aid

and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jim_Jones This is where the statement comes from.
What are you talking about?
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Old Apr 1, 16, 6:21 am
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Very interesting all around. It was AS who established their redemption levels, and Alaska acknowledges that they have always known this to be "below-market levels"...or an "exceptionally good deal" depending on which sentence you read. In general I think it's poor form to blame consumers for using a system that the company has established - no one forced AS to set up those redemption levels to begin with.

That said, however, the lifespan of "exceptionally good deals" seems to often be inversely related to the amount of publicity received...particularly publicity that appears to be bragging or similar. Someone at the company (or US Mint) will want to cut their losses or will be embarrassed and feel compelled to take action.

In this day and age it's hard to keep the lid on anything, so it's unrealistic to somehow hope that no one talks about Fight Club. Enjoy it while you can because deals come and go faster than ever. But I also find it silly that some of the same bloggers complaining were the ones helping to publicize the exceptionally good deal. Can't have your cake and eat it, too.

As for Alaska's implication that they wish they could have given advance notice but were somehow suddenly forced to take action on 31 March 2016, well of course that is bogus. It seems that they did this on purpose to send a message to those that they see as abusers of the system.
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Old Apr 1, 16, 7:46 am
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I think Alaska's statement needs to be taken with a big grain of salt. I think they were stuck in a situation where the backlash was far beyond what they were expecting and they needed a scapegoat and they went with travel hackers. We represent a statistical nonentity of mile users after all that I find it unlikely we were having much, if any, affect on them.
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Old Apr 1, 16, 8:05 am
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Originally Posted by CMK10 View Post
I think Alaska's statement needs to be taken with a big grain of salt. I think they were stuck in a situation where the backlash was far beyond what they were expecting and they needed a scapegoat and they went with travel hackers. We represent a statistical nonentity of mile users after all that I find it unlikely we were having much, if any, affect on them.
This. Easy to blame/deflect travel hackers, especially because we tend to eat our own (case in point: this particular forum).
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Old Apr 1, 16, 8:31 am
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Originally Posted by CMK10 View Post
I think Alaska's statement needs to be taken with a big grain of salt. I think they were stuck in a situation where the backlash was far beyond what they were expecting and they needed a scapegoat and they went with travel hackers. We represent a statistical nonentity of mile users after all that I find it unlikely we were having much, if any, affect on them.
I completely disagree.

If Alaska had given warning, there would have been a rush/crush of 'travel hackers' buying/churning miles and soaking up every available seat at a huge cost to Alaska. Blogs would have gone crazy with 'ACT NOW, BEFORE ITS TOO LATE!!! BUY MILES! SIGN UP FOR A CARD AT MY AFFILIATE LINK!!!'

Alaska set those levels up to reward their BIS flyers with a nice little perk: cheap-ish award flights on Emirates. But with the cards and mile sales the hacking community was not just abusing that perk, they were gloating about abusing the perk. And would have done so harder and more had there been a sunset period.

So it WAS the hackers, not only who took so much advantage of the redemption levels that they had to raise them, but also that led to immediate implementation of them.

We need to own it when we strangle the goose that lays the golden eggs. Bloggers most of all.
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Old Apr 1, 16, 8:34 am
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Originally Posted by kokonutz View Post
We need to own it when we strangle the goose that lays the golden eggs. Bloggers most of all.
Your bias is obvious, you'd blame the bloggers for the Kennedy Assassination if you thought people would agree with you.

Do you really think Alaska management was terrified that the few thousand people who read these blogs would act a certain way? Especially as spending miles reduces Alaska's liability and they'd profit from all the mile purchases in the short term.
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Old Apr 1, 16, 8:35 am
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Originally Posted by bthotugigem05 View Post
This. Easy to blame/deflect travel hackers, especially because we tend to eat our own (case in point: this particular forum).
I don't know if you are in denial or if you're intentionally blind to this, but "travel hacking" has moved out of the shadows into the mainstream. "We" are not such a small number of folks and "we" redeem the vast majority of saver premium awards.

Have you tried booking CX at the booking window t-330 days recently? It is a competitive sport. And then there are the bloggers with their award booking services.

And "we" are not doing ourselves any favors beyond the booking process. Every time I have flown CX in the last few years, the F cabins were littered with twenty something folks wearing sloppy clothing and moronic sunglasses.

I know one can't judge a book by its cover, but it doesn't take much imagination between the volume of trip reports by bloggers, users here and the comment sections of the big blogs to know WHO is a "travel hacker" and how many there are.

And nobody should be surprised that those paying for the seats in F or even J don't want the riff raff to fly for free what they pay for in cash and for the same folks to then tie up award inventory when the paying customers want to redeem.

The game is coming to an end because "we" have been careless and smug. Deal with it.
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Old Apr 1, 16, 8:51 am
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Originally Posted by CMK10 View Post
Your bias is obvious, you'd blame the bloggers for the Kennedy Assassination if you thought people would agree with you.

Do you really think Alaska management was terrified that the few thousand people who read these blogs would act a certain way? Especially as spending miles reduces Alaska's liability and they'd profit from all the mile purchases in the short term.
Re-read the OP.

Originally Posted by kokonutz View Post
Alaska confirms what many have long believed: the golden goose is being killed for profit. Blame the blogs, blame the FTUs, blame FlyerTalk, blame ourselves.

IMHO the constant refrain of bloggers hanging out in premium Emirates cabins has come home to roost.
As a part of this community, I am to blame as well.

But it really was the FTUs and the bloggers who turned the hobby into a business and took it mainstream. For profit. And in doing so are in the process of killing the hobby.

Which is actually fine with me at this point. The only time I've flown Emirates in business I paid cash for it, and as AAExPlat says, why would I want to spend that money only to be surrounded by travel hackers!?

I don't blame Alaska at all for their increase nor the way they did it. They were being abused, and the abusers were gloating about it and begging others to pile on. They put an immediate stop to it. As they should have in that situation. <shrug>
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Old Apr 1, 16, 8:55 am
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Originally Posted by CMK10 View Post
We represent a statistical nonentity of mile users after all that I find it unlikely we were having much, if any, affect on them.
The last part of this statement is certainly not the case. While the number of people using miles for premium partner cabins are a small fraction of overall people using miles, the cost of this former group is assuredly much, much, much larger than being considered inconsequential.

There is a reason that airlines devalue international partner remdeptions, but keep domestic rates almost entirely untouched - it's not because international redemptions are such a "nonentity" that no one will notice the change.
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Old Apr 1, 16, 9:17 am
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Originally Posted by kokonutz View Post
...But with the cards and mile sales the hacking community was not just abusing that perk, they were gloating about abusing the perk.
Agree 100%. Not only that - the bloggers were constantly reminding people
about the possibilities. Selling the dream. How many average newbies
or "regular" hackers were on the fence? "Really? Can I get 90000 Alaska miles?
That's a lot! And I don't even fly Alaska, ever."
- "Of course you can!!! It's EASY. Just click my links! You can get 5 cards
in one day!!!!!"

Those greedy sleazy so-called bloggers have destroyed the game.
And they are destroying people's minds making it sound like Krug and caviar
is the "real" travel...

If everything was kept under control, used in moderation, we would still
be having all the perks and options. Go on an amazing trip 3 times a year
and enjoy "free" travel. But it wasn't enough, the real goal suddenly
was to fly F around the world 5 times in one month and get free caviar
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