Asiana Club - No more good *A options in USA

Discussion in 'Other Airlines | Asia/Australia' started by A_Lee, Mar 9, 2015.  |  Print Topic

  1. A_Lee

    A_Lee Silver Member

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    I'm a dedicated fan of OZ and Asiana Club, and use OZ every chance I get. When flying domestic flights in the USA I've always tried to book *A flights when possible, meaning US back when they were in *A, or UA. It was great because almost all economy fares earned 100% miles.

    Now as of the most recent update to OZ's earnings chart, the only UA economy booking classes that still earn 100% miles are Y, B, M, E, U, H. That wipes out all the usual cheaper tickets that I almost always bought from earning 100% miles. It is my understanding that this is all due to UA's actions. Well, I guess UA has just lost me as a customer as a result of this. Not that I was ever a great customer, but I did use them whenever I had a chance. Now I'll either just go with the cheapest ticket, or maybe AA/US and earn miles on my BA account. Not that I need them, but I've got a huge chunk of BA miles and need to have some activity every once in a while to keep my miles from expiring.

    Seems to me that more and more the airline alliances are crumbling due to the greed/cost cutting of certain airlines. In my mind it's being penny-wise and pound-foolish. I will continue to be loyal to OZ and *A carriers that I feel are "playing fairly" within the alliance, but for those who aren't, forget any loyalty on my part.
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2015
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  2. Wandering Aramean
    Original Member

    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    Alliances are doing just fine for the customers they care about, the ones who generate higher revenues for them.

    The alliances were never focused on making sure passengers traveling on cheap fares could earn lots of points.
     
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  3. A_Lee

    A_Lee Silver Member

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    For people buying expensive tickets, I assume a large percent of them are traveling for business, and often if someone other than the passenger is paying, the passenger may not have any say-so about which airline they're flying. Or in some cases the schedule is number one priority, so no regard can be given to which airline unless more than one have availability with a similar schedule. It seems to me the alliances are more geared towards individuals, looking to earn award flights, not towards corporate customers. I don't see why corporate customers would have any significant interest in airline alliances.

    Yes, airlines want to sell their expensive seats, but they also want to fill up their planes. They're not going to ever fill up their planes selling only expensive tickets. BOTH are absolutely essential for an airline's financial health. FFP's are necessary to attract customers, and alliances make the FFP's much more attractive to some. Without an attractive FFP and alliance, customers paying for tickets out of their own pockets will much more likely choose the cheapest seat, and the airline loses any loyalty they had and there is no longer any distinguishing feature of the airline to attract those customers wanting to buy cheaper seats. This is exactly what I'm seeing happening in the USA market, from my perspective. All the airlines are becoming the same commodity type products with no distinguishing features, and costs the only concern. Here in Asia, I cannot say that things are totally stable, and low-cost carriers have been making some serious inroads. But loyalty towards legacy carriers, who don't see cost as the only criteria, is still very much alive and well.
     
  4. eponymous_coward
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    eponymous_coward Gold Member

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    If they're a multinational, being able to get to and from locations that a particular partner can't get to nonstop is probably helpful. Alliances help that.

    You realize that "here in Asia", SQ has economy fares that give you 10% RDM/EQM, right, and are basically useless for earning status or benefits? CX has 25% earning fares? Most carriers outside the USA don't offer full mileage/status earning on cheap fares (OZ doesn't, either). The USA is simply moving towards to that sort of model.

    The reality is you really are buying based on price, in a market where 80+% of seats are being filled, there's really no need to incentivize the customer who is trying to hit elite status based on buying cheap fares. If anything, an airline makes MORE money selling to someone buying the cheapest fare off of Kayak than an elite buying that fare, because the airline doesn't have to do anything for the Kayaker, but does have to extend benefits to an elite. The planes get filled up either way.
     
  5. A_Lee

    A_Lee Silver Member

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    I've not checked into SQ or CX's pricing for cheap fares, but with OZ I can pay only slightly more and jump up from a 70% earning to 100% earning. Sometimes it might be 10% more for the fare, but sometimes less than 5%, so a no-brainer for me to go with the slightly higher cost fare that'll earn 100% miles. I used to fly TG a lot, and likewise with them you can pay a reasonable premium to avoid the two bottom bucket lower earning fares. In checking an upcoming trip to the States, a certain ticket on UA which until recently would have earned me 100% miles was under $300, but in selecting the lowest price ticket that'll earn me 100% miles, it's $980. To pay over 3x the price just to earn 100% miles would be totally foolish. And if I'm only going to earn 50% of the miles, it's no longer worthwhile for me to be loyal to UA just to earn those few miles.

    But my point is they're making their product a simple commodity item, not differentiated from anyone else. So they've only got price to compete on, but everyone has about the same prices. The whole point of FFPs is to create loyalty, with alliances being a big part of that. As an outsider, but frequent visitor to the USA, I see zero reason in their current business model where they're looking for any loyalty from customers like me. Sure, they may be filling their planes now, but what happens when business slows down? If they have a loyal customer base they can expect many of those customers will stick with them. Without loyal customers they'll be deserted at the drop of a hat. Perhaps I just have a problem understanding that sort of business mentality because I've always been involved with working for businesses that place a very high value on loyalty with respect to customers, suppliers, employees, etc.
     
  6. A_Lee

    A_Lee Silver Member

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    Another rant related to this same issue, but flying DL and wanting to credit to my KE account. I have a last-minute business trip that came up, and a 150-mile trip with DL being the only non-stop option. The price of the ticket is over $900 R/T and I'd normally just drive being it's way cheaper and probably even faster, but the person I'm traveling with insists and flying rather than renting a car. I figured, that at least I'd earn a few hundred miles in my KE account. Wrong! Incredible as it is to me, this extremely over-priced ticket books into L class which earns 0% miles with KE. In looking at the chart, DL is far worse than UA is in this respect, and I was upset at UA already for overdoing this. From my perspective (living outside the U.S., and using a foreign-based FFP), for flying in the US, the US carriers (UA and DL) have totally killed the alliances with respect to mile earning opportunities.
     

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