New elite qualification rules for 2019

Old Oct 4, 18, 6:40 pm
  #1  
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Join Date: Jun 2018
Location: SCL
Programs: LATAM Pass Black
Posts: 42
Thumbs down New elite qualification rules for 2019

I just got an email from LATAM letting me know the new rules for elite qualification from 2019. There won't be more special segments or elite milles to qualify. The only thing just matters is the money you spend.

However, the worst part of all of this, is that you'll need to spend 18,3k to re-qualify/get the Black tier instead the current 11k. For platinum, you'll need 10k instead 6k. I think this will cause a huge impact on frequent flyers.

What's your impression? Why do you think LATAM is changing the rules in its FF?

Source: https://www.latam.com/es_cl/latam-pa...as-elite-2019/

*This change only applies to South America (Chile, Brazil, Argentina & Perú).
Thack is offline  
Old Oct 5, 18, 5:47 am
  #2  
 
Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: SCL
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Excellent news ! It just saved us tons of money for upcoming travels 2019. If we had any doubts before, now we are definitely off LATAM's hook. Competitor have been already offering much better prices (especially in business), and given that LATAM is still such a mess in terms of ongoing merging process there is certainly no reason to fly exclusively with them anymore (at least for us). I have no idea in which universe their revenue management department lives, perhaps they do have a bit better understanding of the market. But the new rules will probably eliminate the vast majority of loyal flyers. Luckily the competition on the market of international flights is slowly growing. The time will tell.
Carolinas is offline  
Old Oct 5, 18, 7:37 am
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
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This is crazy.

LATAM also is distancing a lot from OW by requiring mostly LATAM flights for this. I wonder if their JBA with AA goes through, how this would be impacted.
dbasulto is offline  
Old Oct 5, 18, 8:08 am
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Santiago
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Argentina and Peru "only" need 70.000 points, instead of 110.000 points. Seems crazy to raise the criteria for Black with 50%...
cphflyer_EB is offline  
Old Oct 5, 18, 8:16 am
  #5  
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: SCL
Programs: LH FTL, LATAM Black, KL Gold, UA Premier Platinum
Posts: 106
Oh yes, this is breaking news!

Okay, positive things first: the new system of "Qualifying Points" (congratulations on the third measuring unit after km and miles in less than two years!) is indeed much more straight forward than the messy combination of miles, segments and spendings currently in place. Also, it is nice to see that flights on OW partners are (again) at least partially counting towards qualification, since in 2018 alliance loyalty was utterly useless for this purpose.

However, that´s definitely it for the advantages!

No doubt it is the mid-tier elites who are taking the biggest hit! Increasing the Black threshold by almost 70% and expecting that you spend close to the average Chilean GDP per capita on flights with basically one carrier, who have decided to continue their race to the bottom service and amenity wise, is just INSANE!

Furthermore, it looks as if international travellers are now being "punished" with a lower earning factor. For sure, there must be some "clever" revenue algorithm behind it (less upgrades, less people generating lounge costs, etc.), but I find that this does not encourage to choose LATAM over other (OW) companies. International traffic out of SCL (not sure about the other LATAM hubs) is stagnating and LATAM are adding their pinch of salt to it. On the other hand, I am pretty certain that the higher factor for domestic flights is a bit of a "paño frío" (sorry, I am helpless with an English equivalent) for the many domestic commuters to potentially keep their status for another year before they start declining the ladder.

Well, for myself as a self-payer, 2019 will probably be the last year of Black-hood, unless LATAM really up their game exponentially and give me good reasons NOT to shift a good part of my business elsewhere... but I highly doubt that.

Basically, Platinum is the new Black and many people will just have to kiss good-bye to the cherished privileges of the past (in first place to the unlimited upgrades - as long as these will still exist). I am curious to see what changes are in the pipeline for the different elite benefits, because this is just a matter of time... and a very short time for sure.
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SenSCL is offline  
Old Oct 5, 18, 8:38 am
  #6  
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Originally Posted by SenSCL View Post
Basically, Platinum is the new Black and many people will just have to kiss good-bye to the cherished privileges of the past (in first place to the unlimited upgrades - as long as these will still exist). I am curious to see what changes are in the pipeline for the different elite benefits, because this is just a matter of time... and a very short time for sure.
For sure, I think the perks for each tier will change too. (And I think for worse). Let's see what happens...
Thack is offline  
Old Oct 5, 18, 9:00 am
  #7  
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
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Originally Posted by cphflyer_EB View Post
Argentina and Peru "only" need 70.000 points, instead of 110.000 points. Seems crazy to raise the criteria for Black with 50%...
Colombia even less as it was previously, 62100(4 LA segments) for Black but with 4 special segments it is only 31000 points that would be needed; 31200(4 LA segments) or just 35 segments for Platinum. Even Paraguay is lower, Platinum requires 24 segments.
Anyone changes to AY Plus for segments? OWS 46 and OWE 76 segments.
Jaenks is offline  
Old Oct 5, 18, 11:12 am
  #8  
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
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Originally Posted by Jaenks View Post
Anyone changes to AY Plus for segments? OWS 46 and OWE 76 segments.
Interesting to see such differences across OW. But having OWE status from another carrier, doesn't help much for a LATAM flyer. Preferred seat selection, priority and lounge access only. Nothing about upgrades....
dbasulto is offline  
Old Oct 6, 18, 3:02 am
  #9  
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
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Originally Posted by dbasulto View Post
Interesting to see such differences across OW. But having OWE status from another carrier, doesn't help much for a LATAM flyer. Preferred seat selection, priority and lounge access only. Nothing about upgrades....
Isn't this lack of upgrade situation the same with other OW airlines. Do you get upgrade on AA if you are JAL or CX elites? I don't think so. This is also true for ST and *A -- airlines usually upgrade their own elites first (if upgrades ever happen) and not partners elites.
Mama is offline  
Old Oct 6, 18, 1:32 pm
  #10  
 
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Changes will soon be done across all the Latam countrys. For Colombia you can all ready see that will have the same system as Chile but with lower points need it.

Paraguay seems to have the old system but now requires more premium segment than last year. Jump from 4 to 6 for black (+ miles).

The system is more easy, but it will make harder to get status since you will have to spend more money for the Status. For Chile as an example, on 2018 you need to spend 11.000 usd and get about 88.000 miles. But there is no way to spend that money and not getting those miles (SCL IPC full J will be about 1200 usd and with 4 flys you will be ready) ..... With the new system you get point for each dolar spend, but you will need to spend more, here is the math.

You get 6 points by each dolar on international fly and 9 on domestic. Lets say you fly more domestic, so lets say you get an average of 8 points by dollar. 110.000 / 8 = $13.750...If you fly more internacional lets average 7 points. 110.000 / 7 = $15.715.......even if you only fly domestic you will need more money
PABLOCO is offline  
Old Oct 6, 18, 2:37 pm
  #11  
 
Join Date: Sep 2016
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Originally Posted by SenSCL View Post
No doubt it is the mid-tier elites who are taking the biggest hit! Increasing the Black threshold by almost 70% and expecting that you spend close to the average Chilean GDP per capita on flights with basically one carrier, who have decided to continue their race to the bottom service and amenity wise, is just INSANE!
Spot on ! ^ What LATAM is doing now is absolute insanity. Increasing qualification thresholds to probably the highest levels in OW world (adjusted per capita) is truly astonishing. I totally get that airlines business is not a charity by any stretch, but I am struggling to understand the logic behind such drastic changes. The proposed new qualification criteria is anything but a loyalty program. I believe this is rather a short sighted measure designed to cut the operational costs and to boost short time profit by any means. I don't really see long term strategy here.

Chilean market cannot be compared to the ones like USA, Europe, Asia. But even over there with abundance of wealthy travelers (and general traveling audience), the rules for FFs are much more reasonable. I don't know the real numbers but I can guess the number of Execute Platinums (Emeralds) on AA is at least by order of magnitude larger than those Blacks in B.Signatures on LATAM.

Status benefits:

1. Lounges. This is just ridiculous. LATAM has basically just two really great lounges (please, correct me if I am wrong here): SCL and GRU. Lounge in LIM is non existent. Domestic lounges within Chile ? Jokes ! How much LATAM is saving by cutting off majority of flyers ? Now, one of the really nice benefits for Black was (and still is) access to great First class lounges around the world. Majority of Blacks travel international a lot (my personal observation from conversations with other Blacks). With the new rules LATAM basically discourage those who mostly travel internationally. This is insane ! Who needs Black status if you travel 100% domestically ?! There are simply no good lounges on domestic market !

2. Unlimited upgrades. Amazing perk ! Probably the best in the OW. I am 100% sure it's a matter of time it will go as well. With the new criteria it will be close to impossible to reach Black without frequent flights in J. Of course, I am sure there are folks out there who fly twice a week during 12 months, but I guess they are more of an exception. Why wouldn't LATAM regulate upgrade policy instead of dramatically cutting the whole thing ?

I don't know what to say. This is pure insanity, unless we deeply misunderstand the current market.

As SenSCL, I am also self-payer (for myself and for my workers). Until recently we were trying to stick with LATAM. It's easy to do on domestic market, where alternative to LATAM is still pretty weak. But it was really difficult to do on international routes. LATAM fares, especially in business have been mostly higher than the competitors lately. Sometimes I was taking a decision to choose LATAM anyway just to keep the status. Not anymore. I'll take advantage of my Black status in 2019 for the last time, and the same time we'll be migrating to another carriers.

We definitely do more stronger and healthy competition down here !
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Carolinas is offline  
Old Oct 6, 18, 5:54 pm
  #12  
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
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After 10+ years as Comodoro (Black) I'm saying goodbye to LanPass.. I've managed to keep both LA Black and AA Exec Plat and to be honest I'd rather have 4 or 6 confirmed Upgrades on AA rather than playing Lan's roulette. This move is clearly to get rid of the Black's that made it without generating revenue to the airline and on the other hand they have boosted the Qualifying points in domestic flights in order to keep the loyalty of frequent fliers that are now tempted to fly on the new low costs in the region.

What I will miss the most in 2020 will be the possibility to change and refund award tickets for free..

Hope one day they will figure out how much the frequent flier community are overspending and basing our purchases due to these programs.. wouldn't be surprised if they step back.

My 2 cents.
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SCLflyer is offline  
Old Oct 6, 18, 7:55 pm
  #13  
 
Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: SCL
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Originally Posted by SCLflyer View Post
After 10+ years as Comodoro (Black) I'm saying goodbye to LanPass.. I've managed to keep both LA Black and AA Exec Plat and to be honest I'd rather have 4 or 6 confirmed Upgrades on AA rather than playing Lan's roulette.
Indeed ^
Originally Posted by SCLflyer View Post
This move is clearly to get rid of the Black's that made it without generating revenue to the airline and on the other hand they have boosted the Qualifying points in domestic flights in order to keep the loyalty of frequent fliers that are now tempted to fly on the new low costs in the region..
It was true a couple of years ago before LATAM introduced the monetary requirements for qualification (6000 Elite Dollars for Platinums and 12000 for Blacks). The elites in 2018 are only those ones who have met required spending (even reaching the status on segments would still push the total spending to those numbers). Now, 12000 USD for Blacks is very close to what many other OW partners requires. And many of those partners are from much wealthier states ... That's why I cannot comprehend the logic of LATAM suddenly introducing such unprecedented conditions.

According to some rumors, AA is gonna introduce a similar increase of the qualifications thresholds soon, but US is much much bigger market with much bigger volume of passengers You can't keep blindly copying other airlines without careful adjustment to the local reality. I really don't see the logic here.

I think you could be right and LATAM might face some serious backlash on that issue.
Carolinas is offline  
Old Oct 6, 18, 7:56 pm
  #14  
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
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Originally Posted by dbasulto View Post
Interesting to see such differences across OW. But having OWE status from another carrier, doesn't help much for a LATAM flyer. Preferred seat selection, priority and lounge access only. Nothing about upgrades....
Intra Brazil is anyway Economy class only. If someone as LATAM Platinum and international route, what are the upgrade changes? Below 10%?
AY Gold gives you 4 short haul(incl.Dubai) upgrade vouchers that you can change to one long haul, Platinum gives you one long haul upgrade voucher. All in AY metal.

Originally Posted by Mama View Post
Isn't this lack of upgrade situation the same with other OW airlines. Do you get upgrade on AA if you are JAL or CX elites? I don't think so. This is also true for ST and *A -- airlines usually upgrade their own elites first (if upgrades ever happen) and not partners elites.
I got upgrade in the gate on LATAM GRU-FRA flight(TAM metal 777) from Y to J as AA EXP with very low fare price.

Originally Posted by PABLOCO View Post
Changes will soon be done across all the Latam countrys. For Colombia you can all ready see that will have the same system as Chile but with lower points need it.

Paraguay seems to have the old system but now requires more premium segment than last year. Jump from 4 to 6 for black (+ miles).

The system is more easy, but it will make harder to get status since you will have to spend more money for the Status. For Chile as an example, on 2018 you need to spend 11.000 usd and get about 88.000 miles. But there is no way to spend that money and not getting those miles (SCL IPC full J will be about 1200 usd and with 4 flys you will be ready) ..... With the new system you get point for each dolar spend, but you will need to spend more, here is the math.

You get 6 points by each dolar on international fly and 9 on domestic. Lets say you fly more domestic, so lets say you get an average of 8 points by dollar. 110.000 / 8 = $13.750...If you fly more internacional lets average 7 points. 110.000 / 7 = $15.715.......even if you only fly domestic you will need more money
I can do Paraguay Platinum in 24 segments but no reason for the next two years as BA Gold and soft landing to Silver. Should I even consider it due to the upgrades when flying anyway intra SA flights in business?
Jaenks is offline  
Old Oct 6, 18, 8:13 pm
  #15  
 
Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: SCL
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Originally Posted by Jaenks View Post
AY Gold gives you 4 short haul(incl.Dubai) upgrade vouchers that you can change to one long haul, Platinum gives you one long haul upgrade voucher. All in AY metal.
Nice. But how is that relevant to most of us based in Latin America who doesn't fly AY at all ? Not sure you can simply get into AY FF program without flying a single mile with them. And even if one manages to get a AY status by flying 100% on OW partners only, I am sure they will close that door very quickly.
Carolinas is offline  

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