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Did we bring the devaluation of MP on ourselves?

Did we bring the devaluation of MP on ourselves?

Old Feb 24, 20, 8:40 pm
  #1  
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Did we bring the devaluation of MP on ourselves?

At a party and of course the topic of FF programs came up and turns out many people were United FF.

The topics were initially the good old days. Some great stories. Someone reminiscent how they got 10,000 miles because his nuts (in first class) weren't warm, I recalled how I got 100,000 miles once because my flight to Hawaii was delayed three times. Then we started talking about all the ways we gamed the system (but fairly of course, nothing illegal): Inheriting status for award tickets was discussed as a great perk for gifts to underlings, booking tickets with connections in cities with great *A partner lounges etc. Essentially taking good advantage of the perks UA gave us.

Then the topics moved onto the devaluation and general degrade of MP.

But I couldn't help thinking aren't the two sets of topics connected? Since we over-used the benefits UA gave us, they of course devalued the program.

So did we bring the devaluation upon ourselves? Perhaps if we didn't go overboard with our uses of MP it wouldn't have been devaluated?

Thoughts?
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Old Feb 24, 20, 8:43 pm
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Originally Posted by usedtobeimportant View Post
At a party and of course the topic of FF programs came up and turns out many people were United FF.

The topics were initially the good old days. Some great stories. Someone reminiscent how they got 10,000 miles because his nuts (in first class) weren't warm, I recalled how I got 100,000 miles once because my flight to Hawaii was delayed three times. Then we started talking about all the ways we gamed the system (but fairly of course, nothing illegal): Inheriting status for award tickets was discussed as a great perk for gifts to underlings, booking tickets with connections in cities with great *A partner lounges etc. Essentially taking good advantage of the perks UA gave us.

Then the topics moved onto the devaluation and general degrade of MP.

But I couldn't help thinking aren't the two sets of topics connected? Since we over-used the benefits UA gave us, they of course devalued the program.

So did we bring the devaluation upon ourselves? Perhaps if we didn't go overboard with our uses of MP it wouldn't have been devaluated?

Thoughts?
No.

United is in a position of power due to consolidation of the industry. They donít have to be as nice to maintain their customer base as they did with 7-8 big competing airlines. The government of the United States is responsible for your diminished benefits not you.
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Old Feb 24, 20, 9:06 pm
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Originally Posted by travelinmanS View Post
No.

United is in a position of power due to consolidation of the industry. They donít have to be as nice to maintain their customer base as they did with 7-8 big competing airlines. The government of the United States is responsible for your diminished benefits not you.
Okay. But then did our behavior cause the consolidation of the 7-8 competing airlines into what we have now?

I couldn't help thinking (even at the time) how much benefit I got from being a 1K. I remember flying 150K miles per year and getting enough FF points to fly the entire family every year to anyway: i) Australia in Y, ii) Hawaii in F iii) Europe in J. It was crazy good.
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Old Feb 24, 20, 9:12 pm
  #4  
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Originally Posted by usedtobeimportant View Post
So did we bring the devaluation upon ourselves? Perhaps if we didn't go overboard with our uses of MP it wouldn't have been devaluated?
No. UA simply wants to maximize the profits. The devaluation is intended by UA.

Take UDU/EUA/CPU as an example, MP elites are only entitled for the upgrade when there are availabilities. So the upgrade is within UA's sole control that none of use can go overboard.

Yet, the true value of CPU has been heavily criticized as UA sells these upgrade for TODs. So to say the devaluation is based on overboard would not be logical.

UA wants this to happen, so that it looks like a delusion.
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Old Feb 24, 20, 9:50 pm
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Sure, we brought this on ourselves, to the extent that (1) we vote in US elections and selected representatives who chose to allow industry consolidation; and (2) we contribute to GDP and allowed the legacy carriers to prosper in a strong economy.
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Old Feb 24, 20, 9:58 pm
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Originally Posted by usedtobeimportant View Post
At a party and of course the topic of FF programs came up
That's always my cue that the party's nearly over...
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Old Feb 24, 20, 10:09 pm
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While there is no doubt less need to increase customer loyalty given fewer options, there is definitely a point to be made regarding the devaluation of RDMs. The huge amounts of credit card bonuses, use of churning mechanisms and travel blogs teaching the public how to stretch the use of their miles has definitely led to the devaluation of RDMs for award flights. Yes the industry made those rules and the CC institutions played a huge role in that, but I wonder what's the overall impact of the online community making many of these perks and tips/tricks 'mainstream' to the online public. I definitely believe that popular bloggers (that make money based on points-driven credit card referrals) are cannibalizing their own industry, meanwhile taking away some perks that used to be reserved for the savvy hobbyists. Whatever the cause, it's clear that this industry-restricted practice of getting anything for free has its days numbered.
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Old Feb 24, 20, 11:05 pm
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Originally Posted by travelinmanS View Post
No.

United is in a position of power due to consolidation of the industry. They donít have to be as nice to maintain their customer base as they did with 7-8 big competing airlines. The government of the United States is responsible for your diminished benefits not you.
I say the relentless drive for "shareholder value" is a contributing factor. There's a point at which the investors and analysts interested in short term gains force cuts even while billions of dollars of profit are being made. Why have $4bil if you can have $4.2bil?

And also, credit card earnings and churning devalue the points.
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Old Feb 24, 20, 11:29 pm
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Originally Posted by travelinmanS View Post
No.

United is in a position of power due to consolidation of the industry. They donít have to be as nice to maintain their customer base as they did with 7-8 big competing airlines. The government of the United States is responsible for your diminished benefits not you.
And I might add that United is listening, and has been since 2011 to the analysts and talking heads on wall street. They stress cuts and lowering costs to maximize profits quarter to quarter. United (and now AA) lacking the quality of management of Delta or Alaska, have been unable to see the value of a good reputation and brand value moving forward, and as a result have trashed their brands. Gutting the milage programs while also gutting service quality is short term silly, it is long term destructive. Both United and American have been financially under-performing compared to AS and DL, and when the downturn hits, they are going to miss the loyalty they used to have from a large amount of business.
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Old Feb 25, 20, 1:15 am
  #10  
 
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MP was a crazy good value for those of us who regularly bought cheap longhaul fares. Sadly crazy good values do not last.
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Old Feb 25, 20, 1:41 am
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All FF programs were crazy good value. Recently , airlines have decided to take care of share holders instead of customers, that all. Don't blame the victims. May be someday the airlines will learn how to take care of both.
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Old Feb 25, 20, 2:33 am
  #12  
 
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gamers definitely share the blame
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Old Feb 25, 20, 6:06 am
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Originally Posted by mctaste View Post
gamers definitely share the blame
agreed. Adding more miles through unnecessary stops could well be said to be gaming it, but taking advantage of the features is not.
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Old Feb 25, 20, 6:11 am
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"It's never us. It's always them..."
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Old Feb 25, 20, 6:43 am
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I remember back in the day when American and braniff was having a fare war in dallas. it was killing both of them. the AA president called the braniff guy and said you raise your fares a hundred dollars and the next day we will raise ours a hundred. the braniff president recorded and released this conversation. who's fault is a fare war? over capacity? ff miles were born in over capacity. the airlines have gotten a handle on capacity now and have been devaluating ff miles ever since. however, this corona virus thing could bring BIG incentives as travel falls off.
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