Sauro-Jeff surveils the wastelands of Isengard (here) and Mordor (over there) and he sees the DL apologists are in hiding now. SM is widely recognized to be so awful that it's hard to find anyone, even those who clung to hope two or three years ago, who feel it incentivizes their flying. The USA Today story tells us nothing new, but it does popularize the reality of the hollow SM program. Look at the proliferation of threads on FT and here about award redemption...well, by now, we know what they all contain...why can't I find x,y or z? AM to CUN @ 90k instead of 60? Can't price out SIN, error 7007, agent tells me KE is blacked out, CZ isn't an SM partner, AM doesn't fly to GDL, and numerous other totally fabricated stories that have nothing to do with published redemption policies, and everything to do with agent metrics - get the problem off the phone ASAP using any means other than a hangup. And, don't you love the random 21 hour ATL layovers DL.COM introduces in a last-gasp effort to disincentivize you from actually booking that single LOW tier award to DUB over the summer, the one that took you 4.5 hours to generate with repeated single sector searches and constant reference to EF or KVS on the second screen? These problems are all rooted in the logic associated with a notorious discovery..... yes, you know, 635k SM from PHL to FCO, not all of which was in J. Remember: "We've been working behind the scenes to give you that flexibility..." "You asked for...and we're giving them to you!" Muahahaha! That's right! This is awesome! Jeff: I'll script and direct your next vid, the one in which you come clean and tell the leeches and DL DM gamers what you really think of them and how you're defeating them. You would get more approval of that, than you do these others. Because we all know, it's the truth. I'll send you a script. The phrase "glitch" has now worn thin even on the ears of former SM apologists. Who know full well that the deliberate obfuscations to redemption - of which there are very many now - are anything but "glitches." Sure, maybe they were not designed into the system, but the gratifying collateral for Jeff's minions is that the ratio of redeemed SM to zero-revenue seat usage, or "revenue displacement" as Jeff's models no doubt incorrectly term it, rapidly grows. DL is greatly emboldened. They have not been called on their bait-and-switch tactics yet, although they're certainly upwind of a DoT complaint on the SM earnings for "unpublished fares" being applied arbitrarily to DL.COM or DL SMS channels among other things. As before, I don't think DL's hard product is trash. I do think SM is trash. It has reached the point that even Medallion status fails to incentivize flying on DL, because it's value-free or even a hassle to obtain the stated and limited benefits. And the patronizing response of the DL reps on FT is grating to almost everyone. Talk about fake cheese and the three redemption levels, and ignore the signs of corporate malfeasance like the DL.COM shena where rwoman and others are being ripped off WRT published conditions, and then hide DL's classic attempt to introduce new conditions into the email to justify not only what they're doing, but what it about to come tomorrow..... What it means is that DL has boldly gone where no legacy has gone before. And they are bold. It's an FFP, Jim, but not as we know it, not as we know it.... (0:46-50) even Avios are preferable and for that Dilbertian system to incentivize paid sectors in preference to another airline, well, that's how low it has sunk. Muahahaha! From an exploitative biz viewpoint. Jeff must be congratulated. It's only taken three years to degrade SM from somewhat worse than competing FFP, but still comparable in its order of magnitude to AA, US and UA, to a useless and infuriating shell game whose pointlessness is featured in USA Today. This is faster than anyone except him could have believed possible. Now that I've delivered an analysis of SM, it's time to redeem another J itin on Star carriers for stated mileage levels.....while UA MP still delivers what it promises on the tin. For the moment, you may say...yes, but I live in the moment and demonstrably, that system works well.