What would happen to the cartel if Americans had choice like they do in Asia? Ask Cathay Pacific
Yikes. People basically want low fares is the moral-especially when frequent flyer programs are eviscerated. “Fundamental structural changes created a challenging environment” says CEO of Cathay. In other words real competitors are eating our lunch as Cathay loses $160m usd for the year.
The USaircartel is truly the shame of our nation.
So all of the crap that you complain about stripped amenities and delivering a lesser product is what people want?
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Let’s start at the beginning. Competitive air travel would not yield multi billion $ profits. You would get a modestly comfortable ride at a low price. With some tweaks, a civilized Ryanair model would work well in the US. At present, private equity demands absurd profits and everything the cartel does revolves around producing them. The result? US air travel is expensive and sucky. In Europe, Asia and even Africa folks fly sometimes thousands of miles for $50 You could still have one business airline with gargantuan prices for those who feel that’s what they want to do with their- or likely-other people’s money. The airlines paved the way for this by destroying their ff programs for 99% of Americans.
Is it true that "The airlines paved the way for this by destroying their ff programs . . . "? Well, it is certainly hard to claim that the major US airlines have not seriously devalued their frequent programs even if they haven't been totally destroyed.
From the days when what an airline mile could be redeemed for was worth two cents or more, Delta's SkyPesos are now redeemable at one cent per, about the same value as a single Marriott Rewards point (which you receive at least 10 of per dollar spent when staying at a Marriott property). It was hard enough for about the last five years to redeem for an international business or first class award ticket that fit your schedule on any of the three remaining legacy carriers (at least that was my experience and I would begin looking about six months out), and now that earning miles is becoming based on revenue, and redeeming is often no longer governed by a published chart it is bound to get more expensive and less flexible.
It's impossible to believe that this situation is what passengers "want". But that's apparently what we'll get until competition is restored.
To this day, because the media is in bed with Wall Street there has never been clear reporting of the gutting of the frequent flyer programs. Someone who was a million miler with United and had lifetime gold status earned 16,000 Miles for a premerger transcon-that has been reduced by NINETY percent: 1,600. For most Americans it is NOT EVEN WORTH it to sign up for and enter their frequent flyer program the cartel encourages/prods people to sign up because their programs are worthless for 99% of Americans.
By the way those 16k miles were earned on a $200 fare-fares today are routinely $400.
Thus where one earned 15,000 Miles for one flight and $200 today it would take $4000 and 10 flights AND redemption choices are fewer (much higher levels for superior partners, fewer partners) and miles needed higher. And not one single media story ever laid this out.
Premerger free (coach) trip to Hawaii:
Two trancons, $400
Post merger free trip to Hawaii
20 transcons, $8,000
(And of course fewer partners choices, and decimation of upgrades)
*For UA Gold Elite
And if you have miles, you better consider using them or losing them, there is no devaluation they are not considering. None.