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Are top level elites less loyal?

Are top level elites less loyal?

Old Jun 11, 02, 8:39 pm
  #1  
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Are top level elites less loyal?

Time and time again, I see posts here which effectively say;

"when I've reached super-duper elite on Airline A, I'll start flying on Airline B and get their premium elite plus"

It seems that reaching the top elite level is just a cue for some folks to take their loyalty elsewhere. Frequent flyer schemes are supposed to promote loyalty. What do you think? Should the airlines change the way they reward frequent flyers?
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Old Jun 11, 02, 8:44 pm
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I don't think so. If I receive top level on a program, I won't switch. The reason is simple. As a top level elite, I have a much better chance of upgrading than in a program where I have no status. I would much rather sit up front than in the back of the bus.

Now, there have been times, when I have had to chose other airlines than the one where I have elite status because of better schedules or price. Especially in this economy. Our corporate travel agent is making sure we get the best price for the days and times I need to travel. I can't justify to my employer $1000 just to fly on a preferred airline.
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Old Jun 11, 02, 8:48 pm
  #3  
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<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by SarahWest:
It seems that reaching the top elite level is just a cue for some folks to take their loyalty elsewhere. Frequent flyer schemes are supposed to promote loyalty. What do you think? Should the airlines change the way they reward frequent flyers?</font>
I think Shareholder explored this question. Because there aren't many incremental benefits once you hit that top-level, some people may choose to spread out their remaining travel to other carriers to have flexibility and gain additional benefits.
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Old Jun 11, 02, 8:52 pm
  #4  
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<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by Plato90s:
I think Shareholder explored this question. Because there aren't many incremental benefits once you hit that top-level, some people may choose to spread out their remaining travel to other carriers to have flexibility and gain additional benefits.</font>
I think I shall take that as a "yes" - what should the airlines do to prevent this loss of business though?

Sorry if this has been explored before - I didn't do any research - the thought just struck me.
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Old Jun 11, 02, 9:40 pm
  #5  
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Very loyal. I'm a "top level elite" because the program serves me well. And I know what the alternatives are.
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Old Jun 11, 02, 10:00 pm
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I think those who switch to another programme after reaching super-duper elite in one are mostly those who fly enough to reach the super-duper level in more than one programme and who want to (re)qualify for both (all) programmes. There probably aren't very many who reach super-duper in one programme and then start spreading their travel so they get scattered miles but no status in a bunch of others.

Something the airlines could do to encourage "better loyalty" would be to do like KLM, i.e., whatever status miles you collect beyond what is needed for next year's qualification carry over to the following year. For example, 300k status miles qualify for 3 years' worth of 1K, EXP, etc.
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Old Jun 11, 02, 10:03 pm
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I have been a ONE airline passenger to accumulate Elite level and concentrate miles for future use. But it has gotten harder as the airlines have been verged, and my travel patterns change. I have also moved several times in the last ten years using different home base airports.

Hate to think of moving to another airline FFer, but current events are suggesting it, once again!

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Old Jun 11, 02, 10:29 pm
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The airlines used to have plateau bonuses- extra bonuses at set milestones of flight miles. These rewarded people for continuing to fly after their chosen status level was attained.

On AA the PLT bonus is 100%, and the EXP bonus is 100%, so from a mileage bonus perspective there's no reason to fly twice as many miles to hit EXP, let alone fly &gt;100,000 miles when there's nothing left to aim for. From an upgrading/service perspective, however, EXP beats PLT by quite a bit, IMHO, and I'll fly AA whenever posssible.

Then again, Flyertalkers might be a tad outside the norm when it comes to the drive to earn status on multiple airlines


[This message has been edited by landspeed (edited 06-11-2002).]
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Old Jun 11, 02, 10:49 pm
  #9  
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Sarah, we've also been discussing this topic on this thread, although we are much more wordy on that one than here!

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Old Jun 11, 02, 10:52 pm
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If you look at the statistics, a majority of the people that participate in loyalty programs are not the super duper elite. they are lower to mid-tier elites that do for the most part keep to one program/airline/alliance. The super duper elite count for only what... 5% maybe (just guessing). But on the other hand... these 5% probaly contribute a lot more revenue.

This is all just my assumption on the whole mess. Am I even close? Is there such thing as a one handed economist?

This coming from a mid-tier elite on two programs/airlines/alliances... I'll just shut up now!

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Old Jun 11, 02, 10:58 pm
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Still loyal (to CO) after all these years.

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Old Jun 11, 02, 11:26 pm
  #12  
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Does that mean you con't fall off the CO wagon?

 
Old Jun 11, 02, 11:31 pm
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R&R, as long as they continue serving Jack Daniel's, I con't, I won't, fall off the CO wagon.

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[This message has been edited by MRLIMO (edited 06-12-2002).]
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Old Jun 12, 02, 5:42 pm
  #14  
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IF I were in a situation where one airline and its alliance partners couldn't meet a good-sized fraction of my travel needs, and

IF I could be sure of reaching top-tier on my primary airline AND at least first-tier on a reasonable one for the rest of my flying,

THEN - and only then - would I suffer through the process of climbing the ladder with the second airline in addition to the primary one.

This is not emotional loyalty, though I confess that at times I feel that. This is based on the tangible benefits of status and the way I'm treated as top-tier.
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Old Jun 13, 02, 6:02 am
  #15  
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I'm top in four programmes. The reasons being twofold: No airline or alliance fits my very hectic flying requirements, and there is no great advantage of staying with a carriera after getting the top level.
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