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... how do we fight back to UAL's latest devaluation of our points

... how do we fight back to UAL's latest devaluation of our points

Old May 23, 2024, 1:20 pm
  #91  
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Originally Posted by rankourabu
The GS more than likely didnt spend a single penny of his own money to acquire those 10MM miles, so the valuation is quite different.
Interestingly, a lot of GS act like they spend their own money to get GS, though
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Old May 23, 2024, 1:34 pm
  #92  
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Look, you've got a currency controlled by a for-profit business. Especially in a climate where businesses are puling out all the stops to save pennies where they can, and are incentivized to show whatever gains they can to Wall Street, the customer only makes out well in the situations where the business feels it benefits them. Let's get real - ff programs are not really about rewarding customers, at least not anymore, they are about the airlines doing what they feel they need to make money. Period. Anyone who thinks the ff program is there to benefit them, or that 'free' upgrades are there because the airlines have your best interest at heart is delisional - the carriers do it because they think this is the path to making the most money.

The alternative, by the way, is that airlines could get rid of the programs completely, maybe they would lower fares slightly (or maybe not even), and then instead of a little something, you'd get nothing except for what you get for the fare you paid for each trip, I'll take the former, thank you.

As to the answer to the OPs question, you can't really do anything. Any given customer doesn't have the sway to influence the way the airline operates in general, and you can go to another carrier, but honestly, what do you think is going to happen there. Same thing. the only variable is whether it takes a day, a month, a year, 5 years, etc. We have seen it time and time again. As mentioned above, airlines are a commodity - the times carriers have tried to appeal to an audience that would pay more to get more doesn't work (remember Vrigin America, MRTC, etc.). It can work on a sub-level, such as PE and E+ models where a small portion of people can get a bit of a premium that are willing to pay for it - otherwise, it doesn't work.

Honestly, be lucky for whatever you do get. As mentioned above, an airline run on FTer wants would be run into the ground in a short period of time - as you can't economically provide all the benefits at prices enough of the public is willing to pay. Welcome to the real world.
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Old May 23, 2024, 2:19 pm
  #93  
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Originally Posted by emcampbe
Look, you've got a currency controlled by a for-profit business. Especially in a climate where businesses are puling out all the stops to save pennies where they can, and are incentivized to show whatever gains they can to Wall Street, the customer only makes out well in the situations where the business feels it benefits them. Let's get real - ff programs are not really about rewarding customers, at least not anymore, they are about the airlines doing what they feel they need to make money. Period. Anyone who thinks the ff program is there to benefit them, or that 'free' upgrades are there because the airlines have your best interest at heart is delisional - the carriers do it because they think this is the path to making the most money.

The alternative, by the way, is that airlines could get rid of the programs completely, maybe they would lower fares slightly (or maybe not even), and then instead of a little something, you'd get nothing except for what you get for the fare you paid for each trip, I'll take the former, thank you.

As to the answer to the OPs question, you can't really do anything. Any given customer doesn't have the sway to influence the way the airline operates in general, and you can go to another carrier, but honestly, what do you think is going to happen there. Same thing. the only variable is whether it takes a day, a month, a year, 5 years, etc. We have seen it time and time again. As mentioned above, airlines are a commodity - the times carriers have tried to appeal to an audience that would pay more to get more doesn't work (remember Vrigin America, MRTC, etc.). It can work on a sub-level, such as PE and E+ models where a small portion of people can get a bit of a premium that are willing to pay for it - otherwise, it doesn't work.

Honestly, be lucky for whatever you do get. As mentioned above, an airline run on FTer wants would be run into the ground in a short period of time - as you can't economically provide all the benefits at prices enough of the public is willing to pay. Welcome to the real world.
I am going to push back slightly on the overall idea that airlines would want to get rid of programs completely.. FF programs are big money makers for airlines. If they were not making a lot of money with them, they would disband them quicker than you can say lifetime club membership.

But the reason they can make money is the perception that the miles and benefits are valuable. If they devalue the miles and benefits too much, then the incentive to accumulate miles, use credit cards, etc all diminish. It is a balance that needs to be maintained.
The cost / benefit analysis works both ways.
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Old May 23, 2024, 5:04 pm
  #94  
 
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Once you have worked through, denial, anger, and negotiation ( this thread) the acceptance of the new world order comes

> no award J travel except for top tiers
> award travel for the rest will be economy only

top tier spend requirements will continue to climb at 10% per year, in jumps
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Old May 23, 2024, 5:34 pm
  #95  
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Originally Posted by goodeats21
I am going to push back slightly on the overall idea that airlines would want to get rid of programs completely.. FF programs are big money makers for airlines. If they were not making a lot of money with them, they would disband them quicker than you can say lifetime club membership.

But the reason they can make money is the perception that the miles and benefits are valuable. If they devalue the miles and benefits too much, then the incentive to accumulate miles, use credit cards, etc all diminish. It is a balance that needs to be maintained.
The cost / benefit analysis works both ways.
Correct. To be clear, not saying that the airlines would want to, or would, get rid of them. Again, they are there because they make the airlines money. In other words, giving [more] loyal pax these benefits, which yes, do cost the airline some money, aren't there because the carriers have things they want to give away, but because giving those things gives more $, in the end, to the business.

I suspect the carriers will keep pushing the balance, to see how little they can give away while still retaining loyalty from profitable customers.

Originally Posted by LaserSailor
Once you have worked through, denial, anger, and negotiation ( this thread) the acceptance of the new world order comes

> no award J travel except for top tiers
> award travel for the rest will be economy only

top tier spend requirements will continue to climb at 10% per year, in jumps
I disagree the no award J travel except for top tiers will happen. They can basically already do this via inventory already. However, I can't imagine there are situations where they wouldn't want the flexibility to offer J awards to nobodys where it makes sense. It's not going to be every flight on every route, but in low demand periods/flights where they aren't selling all J/F seats, but they have the opportunity to get some miles off a balance sheet. If UA can't sell the last J seat on route XXX-YYY anyway, sure, they can send out the seat empty and save a little bit on variable expenses, or they can charge [a likely inflated] number of miles for someone to get the experience they weren't going to pay for anyway, and get those miles off the books. In that case, it is a win-win for them.
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Old May 24, 2024, 9:11 am
  #96  
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Originally Posted by emcampbe
I disagree the no award J travel except for top tiers will happen. They can basically already do this via inventory already. However, I can't imagine there are situations where they wouldn't want the flexibility to offer J awards to nobodys where it makes sense. It's not going to be every flight on every route, but in low demand periods/flights where they aren't selling all J/F seats, but they have the opportunity to get some miles off a balance sheet. If UA can't sell the last J seat on route XXX-YYY anyway, sure, they can send out the seat empty and save a little bit on variable expenses, or they can charge [a likely inflated] number of miles for someone to get the experience they weren't going to pay for anyway, and get those miles off the books. In that case, it is a win-win for them.
I think we've already pretty close to the no award J travel except for top tiers position. Up to and including 2023 it was still possible to secure J seats to Europe during off-peak travel season with both legs confirmable at purchase with a MUA. Twenty years ago I did it regularly six months out, again not during peak season. This past January on my annual February trip to MUC, the best I could do is secure the outbound leg at purchase. While in Europe, I watched every possible return and realized that my MUA wasn't going to clear, so I bought up before <T-72. I will be pleasantly surprised if I can repeat this year's performance next year, but I'm not holding my breath.
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Old May 24, 2024, 9:56 am
  #97  
 
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Originally Posted by halls120
I think we've already pretty close to the no award J travel except for top tiers position. Up to and including 2023 it was still possible to secure J seats to Europe during off-peak travel season with both legs confirmable at purchase with a MUA. Twenty years ago I did it regularly six months out, again not during peak season. This past January on my annual February trip to MUC, the best I could do is secure the outbound leg at purchase. While in Europe, I watched every possible return and realized that my MUA wasn't going to clear, so I bought up before <T-72. I will be pleasantly surprised if I can repeat this year's performance next year, but I'm not holding my breath.
I agree with you, moreso because the devaluation has actually increased the value of Platinum to be able to get IN pricing. If I remember correctly, this can save about 100k UA on some routes? I'm only silver and spending 200k on EWR-NRT seems wild...but 100k I'd definitely bite.
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Old May 24, 2024, 10:23 am
  #98  
 
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Originally Posted by Warriorconcept
If I remember correctly, this can save about 100k UA on some routes? I'm only silver and spending 200k on EWR-NRT seems wild...but 100k I'd definitely bite.
Save 100k relative to dynamically (and outrageously, IMO) priced redemptions that few would pay for?
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Old May 24, 2024, 10:38 am
  #99  
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Originally Posted by halls120
I think we've already pretty close to the no award J travel except for top tiers position. .
*using United miles, maybe.
But thankfully the world of miles is bigger than MileagePlus
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Old May 24, 2024, 10:42 am
  #100  
 
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Originally Posted by tth6133
Save 100k relative to dynamically (and outrageously, IMO) priced redemptions that few would pay for?
Hence why I agreed that J award recemptions are becoming more for top tier members (discounts via IN).
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Old May 24, 2024, 10:43 am
  #101  
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There is a huge difference between "no award travel" and "no award travel for tiny amounts of miles that make it feel free".

Using a baseline 1 cpm valuation, a $2,000 one-way J ticket on EWR-NRT is not a deal you write home about but it is far from an expensive fare. What I really think is dying here is the inflexible award levels leaving behind unrealistic deals, and the consequent high that comes from hunting for them.
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Old May 25, 2024, 7:51 am
  #102  
 
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Originally Posted by findark
Using a baseline 1 cpm valuation, a $2,000 one-way J ticket on EWR-NRT is not a deal you write home about but it is far from an expensive fare. What I really think is dying here is the inflexible award levels leaving behind unrealistic deals, and the consequent high that comes from hunting for them.
$4K roundtrip EWR-NRT while not expensive is not quite distressed, more like a discount advance purchase price. I personally have no interest in accumulating/holding/spending on a credit card to redeem at that level. But no reason those J award levels can't co-exist with the traditional I award, if they sell some of the 200K award level it increases their profit and they don't have to completely remove the "distressed inventory" I awards. For the moment I think they know they can't do away with I saver award level completely as much as they would like to, there are too many other options in the market.
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Old May 25, 2024, 9:00 am
  #103  
 
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The top tier customers are driven by network and IRROPS handling andUA does well here. The business value of being in time exceeds M+ value by 100-1000x so its not even in the noise for such travelers. I use mine to fly family amd friends places.
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Old May 25, 2024, 11:54 am
  #104  
 
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Originally Posted by jsloan
Even on the margins, you see the same effect most passengers who are willing to pay for PE or J dont appear to distinguish greatly between different PE or J products...

...Personally, Im fine with that: I want a cheap fare and enough room to sit my rear end. Thats why I tend to fly UA, and thats why I dont care if they make further cuts to the lounges I rarely use, or the catering I rarely eat, or whatever else.
And lest we forget, the airline industry at-large is very, Very, VERY close to pulling the trigger on releasing unbundled Business Class fares on longhaul routes from North America. Some carriers -- such as the ME carriers -- have already deployed them. Post pandemic travel patterns have affirmed there's a large market of premium leisure flyers who will buy J seats outright rather than play FF upgrade games.

Even United recently sent out surveys to test the waters on this.

It's just a matter of which TATL/TPAC alliance grouping(s) will blink first and roll out the fares.
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Old May 25, 2024, 2:14 pm
  #105  
 
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Partner redemption are hard to redeem across all alliances. Airlines have figured that they want to sell their own miles vs have Avianca be the star alliance consolidator. This allows them to charge variable and higher rate for mileage redemptions.

There are still some good redemption options on UA metal. I just booked a transcon trip in domestic J for 30k points each way for 2 seats. Not much higher than the ancient 25k each way saver level, and way lower than the common 100k each way that we see now. Cash fares are $1k each way in J and $500 each way in Y.

Diversify your source of miles. Have some across the major carriers, have some in transferable currencies. UA miles won't be the best deal for every trip. Best way to protect yourself is to keep them as Chase UR and transfer them as you need them, but the PQP you earn on cobrand card purchases will ensure they sell a good amount of miles to those playing the game.

Unfortunately canceling your chase cards aren't going to move the industry away from this path. If UA is behind on their mileage sales to chase, all they need to do is some targeted promos. I maxed out my q2 promo and found some great redemptions. If they sweeten the pot for q3, I would be a buyer of more points through cobrand point spend.
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