Wish List for GS2012

Old Nov 10, 11, 11:35 am
  #1  
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Wish List for GS2012

Various US reps have admitted that they spend a lot of time on this forum in an unofficial capacity. I'm starting this thread in hopes that one of them will send it over to the Marketing folks... I love Grand Slam, and I would be truly sad if it didn't make a 2012 appearance. But I could love it more with a few small changes. Here's my "wish list" of how to make Grand Slam even more awesome in 2012. Feel free to add your own!

-More transparency. The weekly emails following the sweeps are great, but I'd love to be able to log into my account at any time, and see exactly which transactions counted as a hit. Maybe something posted after the emails were generated but before I checked my account; maybe I'm not sure if something counted as a hit even if it's posted to my account. Being able to see exactly what counted, at any day and any time, would be a HUGE improvement!

-Registration confirmations. Send me an email when I register so I don't have to screenshot it, register 4 times "just in case," or feel cheated when my registration didn't stick in the database and I'm without a screenshot to back up my claim!

-More involvement on social media. Good request for US in general, too. I had such high hopes with the "pre-hit" for taking your baseball picture and tweeting it over. I thought surely this was the year when US got involved in social media. But sadly that was a one-off. Having more chances to earn hits via social media would be a lot of fun plus it would (hopefully) dilute all of the scathing feedback on the US facebook page. That page needs all the positive feedback it can get because it is one seriously unhappy place. Give me a hit and I'll write all sorts of nice, happy things to dilute the rants!

-Increased hit count from Shopping Mall. I'd much rather buy a few more things that I truly need than go rent a car for an hour. Put a bounty for merchants you've not shopped before-- for example, you can earn 4 hits by shopping with 4 different merchants, and a bonus free hit if 2 of those you've never used before. From a merchant standpoint I think they really get the short end of the stick because it's only one hit and dozens of merchants competing for our business; compared to rental cars, there's 6 hits and far fewer companies, so each company has a better chance to get a slice of the pie

-Increased hit count from Dining. Same as with shopping, let me do multiples and give me a bonus/free hit for dining with new restaurants. I don't usually charge restaurant bills--- those go on debit card--- so I don't follow DM Dining except once a year when GS comes out. And every year I am surprised at how many places in my neighborhood are on that list. Give me an incentive to go try them out!

-A bigger bonus for getting to 40 hits. I'd aimed for 40 this year and might still pull it off, but a last-minute, unexpected change to a hotel reservation (without notice, the hotel went from being a Wyndham to an Accor) leaves me potentially one short. With just a few days left, I'm considering dropping some car rentals because 5k PQM and 10k RDM don't really inspire me to cough up $40 for flowers I only need to replace my runaway Wyndham. And this suggestion doesn't mean "Make 36 hits worth less." It means "Make 40 hits worth more."

-A slightly lower minimum earn for hotels to count. Yes, I know this was done to close the loophole of no-shows at cheap Wyndhams, but it also made the night I stayed at a Hampton in Covington, GA not count. I can't help but think there is a balance in there somewhere--- maybe someone can find it?

-This is my favorite: a hit for actually flying on US. Allow multiples, please! I usually book in advance, and US' promos usually don't extend to bookings already made, so they'd be getting some more money from me. I'd much rather take a flight for no reason than go rent a car for 10 minutes. Don't ask me why because I can't explain it. The flight is more expensive and takes longer to transact. But it would be very nice if US would integrate actually flying into the promo. To me, it'd be two birds with one stone: a grand slam hit (or several) and a mileage run. I'd love for it to be system-wide but if US wants to use it as marketing for new routes, or an opportunity to fill up underperforming routes, so be it.

That's all I can think of for now All in all, I just love this promo. It's always a lot of fun (even if it is a lot of work), and it's quite lucrative. I hope US agrees and keeps this promo up for years. If they can fine tune it to make it even more fun, then that's just icing on the cake!

Last edited by dcpatti; Nov 10, 11 at 11:47 am
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Old Nov 10, 11, 4:10 pm
  #2  
 
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I agree about the hotel hit threshold being too high. The 200 mile minimum put a lot of your partner hotels at a disadvantage for their budget properties. IHG Holiday Inns and Expresses, Marriott Courtyards, Hilton Hamptons and SPG Four Points would have lost out to the Choice and Best Western properties in the same category. A 100 mile minimum would give an even playing field for all your hotel partners to compete for our business.

Please bring back Accor, they have great coverage in places like South America where other hotel chains have fewer option, especially in smaller towns.

There were some of your partners that didn't participate. I hope next year, we will see DM Daily Deals, Magazine Mileage Awards (pay cash and get miles for subscriptions) and your new partner Pet Food Direct --even people who don't have pets would buy stuff to donate to shelters who are in desperate need to feed animals.

I love Patti's social media idea too, please give more options for people who are time rich but cash poor to get hits by doing some activity that promotes US Airways but doesn't cost money!
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Old Nov 10, 11, 5:15 pm
  #3  
 
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The main problem with multiple dining or shopping hits is that they can be done cheaply. Great for us, but not so great for US, who doesn't want to give 110K for 40 iTunes. If they allowed more hits, they'd probably also introduce a minimum of miles required for it to count, like 30 for a dine. Failing to set limits like this is what burned UA on their Month of Miles and resulted in belated rule changes and a lot of unhappy customers.

The advantage to the current setup is that it's cheap to get into, but hard to master. You can get 3K for free or 10K for a few dollars, but getting to 100K or more requires a minimum of several hundred dollars spend.

Yes, it would be great for it to be even cheaper, but this lessens the incentive for US to keep running it.

The partners might consider promoting it themselves. I was actually surprised to see a banner at Teleflora's site promoting the miles plus one Grand Slam hit. As far as I know, this is the only partner that's mentioned it.
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Old Nov 10, 11, 7:57 pm
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Agreed on most counts. But for Hell's sake, please don't make me join Facebook to do anything for GlandSlam. I've managed to keep that site out of my life so far, and I don't intend to change that.

Double agreed on the hotel minimums. I'm on a biz trip right now and last night I had to stay way outside the city just to stay at an Embassy Suites. There's a Hampton Inn that's way closer to where I needed to be, and in fact costs much more than the Embassy Suites, but it wasn't enough for a hit. It's kind of ridiculous to have to stay at a CHEAPER hotel in the same chain just to get a hit.
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Old Nov 10, 11, 8:11 pm
  #5  
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Originally Posted by TimesTwo View Post
Agreed on most counts. But for Hell's sake, please don't make me join Facebook to do anything for GlandSlam. I've managed to keep that site out of my life so far, and I don't intend to change that.

Double agreed on the hotel minimums. I'm on a biz trip right now and last night I had to stay way outside the city just to stay at an Embassy Suites. There's a Hampton Inn that's way closer to where I needed to be, and in fact costs much more than the Embassy Suites, but it wasn't enough for a hit. It's kind of ridiculous to have to stay at a CHEAPER hotel in the same chain just to get a hit.
If anything I think next year will be harder and more costly. As for Hotels sorry but GS never demanded anyone stay at any particular chain. So a very cheap LaQuinta, or Choice or Best Western would have gotten anyone 250 miles and a hit
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Old Nov 10, 11, 8:19 pm
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Originally Posted by craz View Post
If anything I think next year will be harder and more costly. As for Hotels sorry but GS never demanded anyone stay at any particular chain. So a very cheap LaQuinta, or Choice or Best Western would have gotten anyone 250 miles and a hit
Fair enough, but I'm in a small southern city with fewer options. My point is that I paid LESS for a hotel to get a hit than if I could've stayed in a more convenient hotel in the same chain. So $$$ itself isn't the issue.
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Old Nov 11, 11, 4:38 am
  #7  
 
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I would like to see hotels and rental cars combined into a possible 12 hits. That gives people more flexibility. Some people can't rent cars because of age, disability, etc. But they may stay more in hotels. So make it 12 max hits of hotels and/or rental cars. If you can get all 12 hits from hotels, then those who can't rent a car through no fault of their own are not punished and don't start the Grand Slam at a net -6 disadvantage for possible hits.

If this isn't doable, have maybe 6 possible hits from the shopping mall with 6 different merchants. You can keep the $1 hits down by saying minimum $10 or something.

Having a better scoring system in real time online would also be huge. The old Northwest promotions had great accounting throughout the promo. There's no reason US could not do the same.

I also like the hit for flying US Airways and why not one for using US Airways Vacations? They do have some great Vegas deals.
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Old Nov 11, 11, 7:48 am
  #8  
 
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Thumbs up Great Ideas!

Agree 110% on the transparency/communication idea! Sorry, but a tiny red bit of text appearing in the middle of a page does not a proper registration confirmation make. I never even got any sweep emails. Plus, for every item in your miles earning list they already have 'checkmarks' for Bonus and Preferred...why not a 'Confirmred GS Hit' column?

I also like the idea of adding multiplicity to the DM dining hit - between that and the Thanks Again/Restaurant.com hit, I discovered a few really good places near me I otherwise would have never tried. I understand that it would be unreasonable to allow multiple super cheap hits, and it would suck to lose the possibility of one cheap hit - so why not a tier system? That's what the GS is all about, right? so for example, say you could get 4-5 hits total from DM dining, but for each hit after the 1st, you had to go to a different place and meet a gradually higher min spend (say $0/$15/$30/$45 or something). GS participants win because we have the opportunity for more hits without it being ridiculously cheap (important for US), and local merchants win because they get new people coming in and trying them out (and returning, assuming they are good!)

Another hit partner that would be great to see would be a charity of some sort. With GS going on right before the holidays, how awesome would it be to get the FF community aggressively donating to a group providing meals for the needy (yeah, people can and do give on their own, but you'd be amazed how much even a tiny bit of incentive drives up donation rates, especially given the game-like atmosphere of the Slam)

And while this next one isn't really addressable directly by US, please, please, please have your tech dept whip your partners into line! The OM debacle potentially could have been averted if your web team had a powwow with the OM tech team (bring the engineers to the party - even if we do dress a little funny sometimes!) It is frustrating when you go to a partner's website, and you never really are sure if you are going to get credit for the hit (did I click the right link? did my DM # get accepted properly? did a cookie get cleared somewhere by mistake?). Some (Teleflora, NetSol, for example) did really good, others not so much. This could even be addressed by your toolbar to make up for uncooperative partners.

Also, this was my first year doing the GS, and I had a blast and am already planning out a strategy for next year...so my #1 request is to bring back the GS in 2012!
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Old Nov 11, 11, 8:57 am
  #9  
 
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I love the Grand Slam, I've participated every year and have 39 credited hits so far this year, with two car rentals (Budget and Thrifty) left to post.

I enjoyed reading the ideas everyone has had and agree that a lot of them would be a great addition to GS2012. One thing I did enjoy this year was trying Best Western instead of my usual HIX/Hampton mix for roadside hotels. I took a combination timeshare/roadtrip through Minnesota and Wisconsin early in the GS, and after finding out the change in the hotel criteria, made the switch from PC properties to BWs. One was very nice but the service was lacking a bit, another good for an overnight and not much else and finally, a 2 night stay in the MKE airport one which was an absolute gem. I would have never stayed at any of them otherwise, so it was an enlightening experience for me.

My one hope for a future GS, whether 2012 or beyond is either an option or a superbonus made up of PQMs. Since the business downturn, my travel is just enough to make Silver, but leaves me well short of Gold. I made it to Gold last year due to the HSJ, but this year even with the added PQMs in the GS, I will again fall into the twilight zone of having 35K PQM miles and 45 or so segments. The difference between the two levels in some ways is almost as great as non-elite to Silver, so it's definitely something I want to keep. Even something to 12.5K PQMs would help (halfway to the next level) since it brings the Buy Up into play as an alternative to a Christmas/New Years mileage run.
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Old Nov 14, 11, 4:08 pm
  #10  
 
Join Date: May 2008
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If the folks in Mesa read this forum I'd make this suggestion. Reward US flyers. Maybe increase the reward interval to 5 hits from 4. Offset this by providing a 25% bonus to DM elite members. Net result is no change in the GS program for your best customers but more difficulty/expense for those that get 100k US miles, use them to fly on Thai or Swiss, but never set foot on US metal.

Also offer credit for US flights taken, 1 hit for domestic west, 1 for shuttle, 1 hit for Europe etc. - modeled after the H/S/J promotion.
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Old Nov 14, 11, 5:44 pm
  #11  
 
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Originally Posted by TimesTwo View Post
Agreed on most counts. But for Hell's sake, please don't make me join Facebook to do anything for GlandSlam. I've managed to keep that site out of my life so far, and I don't intend to change that.
+1 I don't do facemask, I don't twit, I don't want to start just for a mileage promotion.
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Old Nov 14, 11, 7:45 pm
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Originally Posted by dwcatty View Post
+1 I don't do facemask, I don't twit, I don't want to start just for a mileage promotion.

+1. Enough with the social media nonsense already.
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Old Nov 14, 11, 8:07 pm
  #13  
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
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Brand Loyalty & More $$$ for US Airways

If anyone at US is reading this, please don't stop doing this promotion. After a particularly bad experience with your airline recently, I never ever wanted to fly on it again. But with the lure of these easier-to-obtain miles, I'm now actually *excited* about flying with US again. And isn't that, plus the loads of $$$ I have spent with you and your partners, part of what benefits your company about this promotion? So, please keep it coming! And thank you!
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Old Nov 15, 11, 8:00 am
  #14  
 
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US airways vacations as a hit. Took a trip to PR at the end of septemeber and couldn't get a hotel hit, because it was booked through US airways not the hotel we were not eligable for miles.
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Old Nov 15, 11, 8:19 am
  #15  
 
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[QUOTE=TimesTwo;17429434]Agreed on most counts. But for Hell's sake, please don't make me join Facebook to do anything for GlandSlam. I've managed to keep that site out of my life so far, and I don't intend to change that.

I agree, If you must involve social media then have a separate promotion for it.

ralph
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