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"SkyTeam Connect" to address "initiatives such as reciprocal upgrade policy"

"SkyTeam Connect" to address "initiatives such as reciprocal upgrade policy"

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Old Jul 18, 08, 4:07 pm
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"SkyTeam Connect" to address "initiatives such as reciprocal upgrade policy"

Caught this press release today.


SkyTeam NewsFlash – July 2008




SkyTeam, the global airline alliance partnering eleven members – including Aeroflot, Aeroméxico, Air France, Alitalia, China Southern Airlines, Continental Airlines, Czech Airlines, Delta Air Lines, KLM, Korean Air and Northwest Airlines – and three Associate carriers – Air Europa, Copa Airlines and Kenya Airways – sets itself apart by offering an exclusive experience for all passengers. Issued monthly, SkyTeam NewsFlash provides media with key updates and insights on alliance activities.

SkyTeam Connect

Last month during the IATA Annual Meeting in Istanbul, SkyTeam announced plans to launch a new initiative – SkyTeam Connect. SkyTeam will employ cutting edge technology to build an IT solution that will allow all member airlines' individual IT systems to interact seamlessly. The solution will serve as a “translator” between systems, allowing SkyTeam to streamline back-end processes and also offer customers even more benefits.

SkyTeam Connect will reduce the amount of time required to connect new members and Associate airlines to the alliance network in the future. Additionally, it will allow the alliance to generate more system transactions, improve network efficiencies and further leverage its competitive strengths. The SkyTeam Connect enhancement will also complement and support key alliance initiatives such as a reciprocal frequent flyer upgrade policy, a customer wish list topper.

“SkyTeam looks forward to implementing the SkyTeam Connect product, which will ultimately enhance SkyTeam’s seamless capabilities, improving service to its customers,” Leo van Wijk, chairman of the SkyTeam Governing Board, told media in Istanbul.

After a development phase of approximately 12 months, SkyTeam Connect is expected to roll out to all SkyTeam carriers by mid-2009. Mileage Upgrade will be the first initiative to apply the SkyTeam Connect approach.
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Old Jul 18, 08, 4:24 pm
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I wonder if "mileage upgrade" has any specific meaning vis-a-vis complimentary upgrades being replaced (excuse me, enhanced) by mileage-based upgrades.

Or, will it be merely the ability to purchase an upgrade with miles.
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Old Jul 18, 08, 4:26 pm
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Reciprocal (complimentary) upgrades are NOT at the top of my wish list. Upgrades are scarce enough at some airports. Imagine how much tougher they'll become for folks, especially GMs and FOs if the floodgates are opened.

I sure hope they think this out very carefully.

Mileage (i.e. PURCHASED) upgrades are a completely different story. These are something SkyTeam desperately needs to sort out ASAP!
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Old Jul 18, 08, 4:30 pm
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Originally Posted by jimrpa View Post
Reciprocal (complimentary) upgrades are NOT at the top of my wish list. Upgrades are scarce enough at some airports. Imagine how much tougher they'll become for folks, especially GMs and FOs if the floodgates are opened.
I have no problems if the other airline's Elites are placed on the Upgrade list at the bottom of the flying carrier's Elites. At least give me the opportunity. I've been on NW flights where F flew out empty and would have appreciated an upgrade.

Example Upgrade List on DL flight.
DL PM
DL GM
DL FO
NW PE
NW GE
NW SE
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Old Jul 18, 08, 4:30 pm
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This will more or less "work" like the Star Alliance upgrades that a number of Star Alliance carriers participate in to allow their miles to be used to upgrade across or on other Star Alliance carriers as well -- I expect them to be quite expensive and even highly restrictive, such that I'll probably not consider them myself when I can just buy discounted biz fares and RTW premium cabin fares that make more sense for me than SkyTeam "systemwide" mileage upgrades. [Perhaps SkyTeam will have more success than Star Alliance with "harmonization" given how deeply weaved together AF-KL & DL-NW are going to become.
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Old Jul 18, 08, 4:32 pm
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Originally Posted by jimrpa View Post
Reciprocal (complimentary) upgrades are NOT at the top of my wish list. Upgrades are scarce enough at some airports. Imagine how much tougher they'll become for folks, especially GMs and FOs if the floodgates are opened.

I sure hope they think this out very carefully.

Mileage (i.e. PURCHASED) upgrades are a completely different story. These are something SkyTeam desperately needs to sort out ASAP!
SkyTeam's looking at the latter (i.e., mileage "PURCHASED" upgrades) to "compete" with Star Alliance's "mileage 'PURCHASED' upgrades" (which I find to be useless for my needs given the alternatives).

If SkyTeam were also to do the former (i.e., "reciprocal 'COMPLIMENTARY' upgrades") across most/all SkyTeam carriers, then SkyTeam will have done more than I expect and actually introduced something that distinguishes itself positively from OneWorld and Star Alliance -- but I'm not counting on that.
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Old Jul 18, 08, 11:28 pm
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One could hope that part of this would deal with the 2/3 upgardes that many of us endure in lean months. There is nothing worse than flying BE into CDG and connecting into cattle class on AF, not that their Biz is much to write home about, but when some jumped up AF gate agent gets on you for two pieces of hand luggae because you are "only" flying in TEMPO, when you are connectiing from BE, you can get very unhappy very quickly.
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Old Jul 19, 08, 10:18 am
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Originally Posted by hfly View Post
One could hope that part of this would deal with the 2/3 upgardes that many of us endure in lean months. There is nothing worse than flying BE into CDG and connecting into cattle class on AF, not that their Biz is much to write home about, but when some jumped up AF gate agent gets on you for two pieces of hand luggae because you are "only" flying in TEMPO, when you are connectiing from BE, you can get very unhappy very quickly.
That's the part I agree with - If I'm using miles or a PMU to upgrade, the upgrade instrument or currency should be valid all the way through, as a one-cabin upgrade, regardless of carrier or configuration, as long as a cabin to upgrade to exists. If I'm flying PHL-ATL-CDG-LIS on DL-AF-AF, and using a PMU to upgrade, the segments should be DL domestic F, AF L'espace Affaires, AF L'espace Affaires.
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Old Jul 19, 08, 10:19 am
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Originally Posted by AndyTLe View Post
I have no problems if the other airline's Elites are placed on the Upgrade list at the bottom of the flying carrier's Elites. At least give me the opportunity. I've been on NW flights where F flew out empty and would have appreciated an upgrade.

Example Upgrade List on DL flight.
DL PM
DL GM
DL FO
NW PE
NW GE
NW SE
In the current climate, I could make a case that standby purchased FC upgrades should be processed before partner upgrades. If the economic climate weren't quite so dire, then that proposal would be fine.
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Old Nov 15, 08, 1:20 pm
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I think the bottom-line point is being missed here -- SkyTeam is effectively building an IT platform to rival StarNet and the soon-to-roll out Star Alliance IT platform. That's a pretty big deal, as it opens up almost infinite possibilities amongst the member carriers in terms of offering customer benefits (many things, like upgrades, have been stymied because of the difficulties in getting numerous and disparate res systems to communicate with each other at far more complex levels beyond those required for run of the mill codesharing/baggage handling.
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Old Nov 15, 08, 3:33 pm
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As I eagerly await learning more this myself, I have to wonder what good it will do on ST carriers that don't have any kind of a complimentary upgrade program. SU for instance NEVER upgrades you regardless of status or fare paid or what have you unless you use miles after paying a much higher fee or if/when the old $100 handshake at JFK gets you pushed up front. They don't, as far as I know in 16 years of traveling with them, oversell flights even so operational upgrades even don't apply in that case either. There might not be another ST carrier in this situation but I'm thinking that regardless of the technological platform that ST is working on they will first have to be introduceв to the idea of the complimentary upgrade to SU in the first place.

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Old Nov 15, 08, 4:00 pm
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Originally Posted by HeathrowGuy View Post
I think the bottom-line point is being missed here -- SkyTeam is effectively building an IT platform to rival StarNet and the soon-to-roll out Star Alliance IT platform. That's a pretty big deal, as it opens up almost infinite possibilities amongst the member carriers in terms of offering customer benefits (many things, like upgrades, have been stymied because of the difficulties in getting numerous and disparate res systems to communicate with each other at far more complex levels beyond those required for run of the mill codesharing/baggage handling.
Does the StarNet system also help with "award ticket filtering" in order to help the award ticket issuing airline manage costs/payments to other airlines for redemption tickets?
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Old Nov 22, 08, 3:17 pm
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OK did we all miss this?

http://www.skyteam.com/EN/aboutSkyte...r/pr141108.jsp

November 13, 2008 – SkyTeam, the global airline alliance, today announced the launch of the SkyTeam Mileage Upgrades program. SkyTeam Frequent Flyers on international flight itineraries can now use their miles to upgrade to Business class on most SkyTeam member airlines.

“The ability to earn and redeem miles has always been a key passenger benefit of alliances,” said Leo van Wijk, SkyTeam chairman. “With the launch of SkyTeam Mileage Upgrades, we are responding to passenger requests as we look to continuously expand upon the benefits we offer our customers.”

To take advantage of SkyTeam Mileage Upgrades, passengers must:

Purchase an international, published, full fare Economy class reservation on one of the 10 participating SkyTeam member airlines. The flight must be marketed and operated by the same SkyTeam carrier, as code-share flights are not permitted.

Call the award reservation line of their frequent flyer program at least three days in advance of departure to verify eligibility, check account balance and confirm if upgrade seats are available. At the current time, all requests must be made via telephone. The number of miles necessary for an upgrade varies based on the frequent flyer program to be debited and the itinerary. Passengers should visit their frequent flyer program Web site and consult the individual award charts for approximations.

If the passenger is eligible, has the necessary miles in their account and upgrade seats are available, the award reservation agents will debit their frequent flyer account and reissue the tickets with the upgrade confirmed.
For example, an Air France-KLM Flying Blue member traveling on Delta Air Lines from Paris to Atlanta on a full fare economy class ticket can use 25,000 miles from their Flying Blue account for a one-way upgrade to Business class. Once at the airport, the Flying Blue member can enjoy all of the additional benefits of Business class travel, such as additional luggage allowances, priority services and lounge access.


It appears it only works with full Y-fare tickets, but I suppose it's a start...
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Old Nov 22, 08, 3:27 pm
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Great for government employees on heavily price-discounted full-Y fares and those others on the occasional bargain full-Y fares.

Given the 3-days advance upgrade request requirement, it's useless for those of us on "last minute" purchases even when having a day or two advance notice.
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Old Nov 22, 08, 8:30 pm
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10 participating Sky Team Airlines? I count 11 carriers as full fledged members. If AF/KL are viewed as one then that explains it. If not, which one is not participating?

Not exactly easy to use but I think I'll try it next time I'm on SU internationally and see if it works...that is if they are participating.

jjglaze...how did we miss this and how did you find it? Are you a regular reader of the SkyTeam site? I guess I should be apparently!
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