Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Miles&Points > MilesBuzz
Reload this Page >

What is happening??

What is happening??

Reply

Old Jul 11, 07, 4:51 pm
  #1  
Suspended
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 1,229
Question What is happening??

What is happening?

During the last year or so I have noticed that there is an overall concern of an escalating devaluation within frequent flyer programs, hotel programs in regards to ALMOST EVERY aspect of the benefits for their best /smartest clients.
Also that the 1st Class and Business Class products seem to devaluate constantly despite new seats (BA, SQ, CX) and services (FCT in FRA, Red Carpet boarding, elite fast track etc.).
At the same time fares are going down and fees/taxes and multiple other lusty surcharges go up.
High end cards have less to offer and any new ones soon devaluate as well.
What is the plan behind that?
not sure if this is the right place to place this
The so valued frequent traveler will be travelling in the future, no matter what we (The Travel Industry and/or government) do to him.
All the new technological inventions like OLCI, Mr. Chicken, e-tickets etc. seem to receive such very controversial responses and eventually will only be fully accepted after a long period of repetitive “forcing” by imposed fees for personalized service and/or the simple refusal to offer such service at all.

Is it the goal to have a willing, paying, machine / security agent obidiend, just being happy to have at least some water and food on a 12 hour flight, today iSSSS one of those 3 or more days I prepare for a cavity search before boarding a flight on which I happily agree to be downgraded and even pay for a difference or get screwed completely and wind up being completely and utterly thankful to be allowed to pay more and get home, customer??? What would be the gain of that???Any Idea`s???
SwissCircle is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Jul 11, 07, 6:07 pm
  #2  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Jul 1999
Location: ORD/MDW
Programs: AA, HH, MR elite. Fly mostly AA/WN/B6.
Posts: 18,709
Originally Posted by SwissCircle View Post
...the 1st Class and Business Class products seem to devaluate constantly despite new seats (BA, SQ, CX) and services...
Not according to Tuesday's Wall Street Journal -- there was a long piece on how F class service / amenities are more luxurious and immersive than ever. (Limos to planeside, gourmet dinners in airside lounges, etc.)

And the quality of F and J products in both Asia and Europe escalates all the time owing to fierce competition. Do you think business class seats, pitch, IFE, catering, etc. were better on BA/SQ/CX/LH/QF/etc. 25 years ago... or today?

Only in the US are these products non-competitive or degrading.

So I contest your premise. I think you are seeing the general degradation of economy class travel (with some exceptions, again, among Asian carriers) and general upgrading of premium cabin products because that is where the money is.
BearX220 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Jul 11, 07, 7:01 pm
  #3  
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: MCI
Programs: AA Gold 1MM, AS MVP, UA Silver, WN A-List, Marriott LT Titanium, HH Diamond
Posts: 46,438
Whoa big fella...let's pick a rant or two and stick with it?

(1) Airline programs: I haven't personally been hit by hard devaluation in any of my big programs. I've gotten several good UA awards in the past 12 months and have very good ones booked for this summer and fall.

(2) Hotel programs: I hear you - Starwood's massive devaluation on Feb 1 hurt, and HHonors seems to have lost control of a lot of their individual properties in terms of how they treat frequent guests. Marriott has had some minor devaluation but nothing earth-shattering. I get the sense that two things are at play: (a) the hotels don't really want more high-elite guests. The properties are sold out at profitable rates, and they are actually better off with fewer elites in the building. Looking at it from our side, frequent guests are discriminating. Looking at it from their side, we're just too damn picky and needy.

(3) F/J service. I thought it sucked 5-10 years ago on the domestic U.S. carriers, but now some are putting in flat-sleepers in J and private pods in F. Is it really getting worse? My first trip to the FCT will be in September...why is anyone ranting about that place? I hear it's great.

(4) E-tickets, Chickens, OLCI, etc.: the more the merrier. My only complaint with these tools is that there are still exceptions where they don't work. The less I have to interact with a counter agent, the better. Not sure if there's any controversy here - just lousy software development in some cases.

(5) TSA. My only issue with it is that they are understaffed everywhere. If they want to scrutinize my shoes, fine, just provide enough people and checkpoints to do it efficiently.
pinniped is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Jul 12, 07, 6:57 am
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 201
Quick question from noob - what's the reference to 'Mr. Chicken' in post 1 and 'chicken' in 3 mean? Wasn't in 'glossary'. thx
2travelfar is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Jul 12, 07, 8:01 am
  #5  
Suspended
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 1,229
Me think`s

No.

(1) Airline programs: I haven't personally been hit by hard devaluation in any of my big programs. I've gotten several good UA awards in the past 12 months and have very good ones booked for this summer and fall.

Was refereeing to accumulated volume of threads in regards to a “too easy” achievement of status and the devaluation of points and miles in relation to this.

(2) Hotel programs: I hear you - Starwood's massive devaluation on Feb 1 hurt, and HHonors seems to have lost control of a lot of their individual properties in terms of how they treat frequent guests. Marriott has had some minor devaluation but nothing earth-shattering. I get the sense that two things are at play: (a) the hotels don't really want more high-elite guests. The properties are sold out at profitable rates, and they are actually better off with fewer elites in the building. Looking at it from our side, frequent guests are discriminating. Looking at it from their side, we're just too damn picky and needy.

Same as above. Don`t think most frequent travelers who spend a certain higher amount of money are too picky and needy. Having experienced a very high level of service creates a certain “being used to it” feeling and might create more disappointment when not consistently receiving it (at least my experience/feelings).

(3) F/J service. I thought it sucked 5-10 years ago on the domestic U.S. carriers, but now some are putting in flat-sleepers in J and private pods in F. Is it really getting worse? My first trip to the FCT will be in September...why is anyone ranting about that place? I hear it's great.

In regards to food I do not think there was an improvement. Seats are for sure much, much better and will improve continuously . (I remember the pictures of food presentation and serving on LH/SQ in the early seventies/eighties my parents made.)
FCT, when reading the M&M/LH threads is looks like devaluation, when comparing HON/FCT reports older than 6 month with the newer ones.

(4) E-tickets, Chickens, OLCI, etc.: the more the merrier. My only complaint with these tools is that there are still exceptions where they don't work. The less I have to interact with a counter agent, the better. Not sure if there's any controversy here - just lousy software development in some cases.

Maybe it’s the lousy software, but how come? I would certainly not pay someone for a faulty software / machine. The cost / disappointment would be too high or at least a waste of money.

(5) TSA. My only issue with it is that they are understaffed everywhere. If they want to scrutinize my shoes, fine, just provide enough people and checkpoints to do it efficiently.

Reading TSA related posts it really looks like a lot of anger towards those agents. I can`t speak for the non-elite/economy class traveler as I am using express lines or services when travelling.
Maybe there has to be more “education” towards behavior and attitude on both sides of the not so happy looking story of traveler vs TSA agent (TA/Travel Company hand out valuable information in regards to this in a way that travelers really read it and prepare accordingly / TSA agents and their executed duties as well as their; “these travelling folks are the target which has to bee protected”, I think that is their duty, interactions on site are continuously improved and controlled.


It will be interesting to see where all this leads to in the future. Will Centurion, Diamond and alike be just the above standard as mostly Platinum is today? And then the real special levels will be implemented for the more fortunate than the masses? Including real 1st Class-only flights, special immigration and security procedures and so on, so the interaction with the severely controlled masses is kept to a minimum, maybe.
SwissCircle is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Jul 12, 07, 8:37 am
  #6  
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 591
Originally Posted by 2travelfar View Post
Quick question from noob - what's the reference to 'Mr. Chicken' in post 1 and 'chicken' in 3 mean? Wasn't in 'glossary'. thx
"Chicken" is a commonly used (at least on FT) reference to "check-in" kiosks at airports.
wsflyer is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Jul 12, 07, 9:26 am
  #7  
 
Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: Toledo, OH USA
Programs: UA1K, Marriott Platinum, Hilton Diamond, Million-Miler
Posts: 535
Could we have more precise headings than "what is happening"
Lurch is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Jul 12, 07, 11:14 am
  #8  
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: MCI
Programs: AA Gold 1MM, AS MVP, UA Silver, WN A-List, Marriott LT Titanium, HH Diamond
Posts: 46,438
SwissCircle, have you thought about buying or leasing a jet? I don't mean this in a snarky way...it just sounds like you do a lot of int'l F travel and aren't happy with it or any aspect of mass-transit air travel. Seems like there are enough of those fractional-ownership programs out there that one of them might fit your needs better.

As far as the hotels, it sounds like you'd be better off selecting properties outside of the major chains - places where your desired level of service is personally delivered to every guest in the hotel. Frankly, none of MR/HH/SPG can really deliver what you are asking for - except perhaps the St. Regises and perhaps the private towers inside select Hilton/Waldorfs. If I were you, I'd avoid the places where people like me get all the benefits simply because I stay in a bunch of Marriotts and Residence Inns. Look for smaller, luxe boutiques - or perhaps the Mandarin, Ritz, or Pan Pacific brands for big-city hotels.

I don't think your desired experiences are gone forever - I just think they're gone from the mainstream brands because they now seek to appeal to a much broader market than, say, 30-40 years ago. Airlines and hotels are commodities to most people, so the service has become somewhat bland.

As for me, I rarely flew before about 1990 or so, so I don't know what it was like. Maybe that's a good thing: I flew primarily coach for many years, and only now do I fly a mix of premium cabin and economy for int'l travel. So I still look forward to a J trip to Europe - and I'm really looking forward to LH F and the FCT this fall. Whatever it is now, it'll be far better than what I'm used to.
pinniped is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Jul 12, 07, 11:17 am
  #9  
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: MCI
Programs: AA Gold 1MM, AS MVP, UA Silver, WN A-List, Marriott LT Titanium, HH Diamond
Posts: 46,438
Originally Posted by wsflyer View Post
"Chicken" is a commonly used (at least on FT) reference to "check-in" kiosks at airports.
And he also has cousin, Mr. Online Chicken. Sort of a virtual bird...

One time I accidentally told my wife to go see the Chicken when she was stuck in Chicago. "Uhhh...I'm sorry...I mean the automated check-in kiosk."
pinniped is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Jul 12, 07, 11:28 am
  #10  
Suspended
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 1,229
Originally Posted by pinniped View Post
SwissCircle, have you thought about buying or leasing a jet? I don't mean this in a snarky way...it just sounds like you do a lot of int'l F travel and aren't happy with it or any aspect of mass-transit air travel. Seems like there are enough of those fractional-ownership programs out there that one of them might fit your needs better.

As far as the hotels, it sounds like you'd be better off selecting properties outside of the major chains - places where your desired level of service is personally delivered to every guest in the hotel. Frankly, none of MR/HH/SPG can really deliver what you are asking for - except perhaps the St. Regises and perhaps the private towers inside select Hilton/Waldorfs. If I were you, I'd avoid the places where people like me get all the benefits simply because I stay in a bunch of Marriotts and Residence Inns. Look for smaller, luxe boutiques - or perhaps the Mandarin, Ritz, or Pan Pacific brands for big-city hotels.

I don't think your desired experiences are gone forever - I just think they're gone from the mainstream brands because they now seek to appeal to a much broader market than, say, 30-40 years ago. Airlines and hotels are commodities to most people, so the service has become somewhat bland.

As for me, I rarely flew before about 1990 or so, so I don't know what it was like. Maybe that's a good thing: I flew primarily coach for many years, and only now do I fly a mix of premium cabin and economy for int'l travel. So I still look forward to a J trip to Europe - and I'm really looking forward to LH F and the FCT this fall. Whatever it is now, it'll be far better than what I'm used to.

Nah, no private jet here as I think the emissions are way too high for its purpose.
Why would I avoid places people like you (so, what are people like you alike) stay. Are you a bad/evil person, if not no reason to avoid you .
I am not saying that I consider all the aforementioned as true as well. It were just observations mainly made trough travel and the threads on this forum.
Cynisim has unfortunately become a companion over the years...
SwissCircle is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Jul 12, 07, 12:40 pm
  #11  
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: PDX
Programs: Alaska Airlines, CO Emeritus, United kettle, Ural Airlines Wings, Hilton, National
Posts: 979
Originally Posted by SwissCircle View Post
Nah, no private jet here as I think the emissions are way too high for its purpose.
Why would I avoid places people like you (so, what are people like you alike) stay. Are you a bad/evil person, if not no reason to avoid you .
I am not saying that I consider all the aforementioned as true as well. It were just observations mainly made trough travel and the threads on this forum.
Cynisim has unfortunately become a companion over the years...
My god.. its gotten so bad we can't afford proper readable fonts!!
Derrico is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Jul 12, 07, 4:56 pm
  #12  
 
Join Date: Mar 2000
Programs: Hy-Vee Fuel Saver
Posts: 403
Originally Posted by Derrico View Post
My god.. its gotten so bad we can't afford proper readable fonts!!
It is "Turquoise" font color, which is hard to read on a white background. I got a color-change bookmarklet (a little button of javascript on my bookmarks toolbar) from a site called "Bookmarklets for Zapping Annoyances" or something like that. I press the button and turquoise becomes black.

Originally Posted by Lurch View Post
Could we have more precise headings than "what is happening"
Arguments occasionally arise about subject lines like this; someone will complain and then someone else says "who are you, the internet police?" and it goes downhill from there. It could be worse--there's a board I've been reading for five years that has old-timers that do this all the time--in the past few days there have been threads labeled "Have you noticed?" and "Hmm...Interesting". Since the board is worth reading, I just grin and bear it.
scruffy is offline  
Reply With Quote

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread