DL's great success: the SM tipping point is reached

Discussion in 'Delta Air Lines | SkyMiles' started by redtailshark, Mar 5, 2013.  |  Print Topic

  1. redtailshark

    redtailshark Silver Member

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    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.
     
  2. AUSsie

    AUSsie Silver Member

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    Something vexes thee.
     
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  3. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    Anyone have the cliff notes version? ;)
     
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  4. Scottrick
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    Scottrick Gold Member

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    SkyPesos suck. We already knew that. Delta apologists only just beginning to realize their ignorance.
     
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  5. kyunbit
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    kyunbit Silver Member

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    fly delta credit to alaska. It isn't that difficult. :)
     
  6. dayone
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    dayone Silver Member

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  7. redtailshark

    redtailshark Silver Member

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  8. sobore
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    sobore Gold Member

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    Enough said.
    .
     
  9. MyTravels
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    MyTravels Silver Member

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    And Hilton HHonors is gearing up to follow DL's lead in the race in the least valuable award program.
     
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  10. redtailshark

    redtailshark Silver Member

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    Now what of the DL SM death tax? Another chip. Love the way this was done, although at least DuaneSkyMiles took a measure of responsibility for this simultaneous with the actual rule change.

    This all looks very underhand compared with *wood, UA, or even Hilton who at least announced their recent devaluations months in advance.

    If the FT members who anticipated SM "death by a thousand cuts" and who don't trust the SM management are prescient for posting a few days ago about these concerns, then by that same logic my postings from 2009 qualify me as the Oracle of the Age! Muahahaha!

    From 2 Jan 2009.

    http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/delt...tter-ceos-r-anderson-e-bastian-nwa-elite.html

    I knew there was limited chance of management taking any of this seriously. Contemporary experiences like SWU fandangos and the battle of KUL convinced me that DL SM was unreliable and designed to frustrate elite members. I status matched to CO a few weeks later and I can say that the UA/CO value of my spend/travel/redemptions during the intervening four plus year period has been amply rewarding and I am very glad indeed I jumped almost immediately. I've redeemed the heck out of Star and I'm going to do it again with the juicy starmiles, the SWUs work as advertised and are usable, and the 1K line can actually fix problems.

    Halfway to MM on UA now, a status which is actually worth something...can I get there before UA devalue? Who knows, but I've already found five years of great value and limited frustration compared with staying at DL.
     
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  11. HighPlainsDrifter

    HighPlainsDrifter Silver Member

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    I’m not a Delta apologist by any means (one of the reasons I never joined FT) but there is still good value if you dig a little bit.

    Delta good strengths – in no particular order:
    1) Accessing Europe on KLM code shares: Amsterdam is a great connecting airport with good restaurants (in contrast to LHR, CDG and FRA). Also, KLM sometimes offers cheap business class buyups in AMS at the checkin counter.
    2) Delta domestic upgrades on award tickets for mid-tier gold elites
    3) A free drink voucher on the online boarding pass for elites who do not get upgraded.
    4) Free elite upgrades to the Caribbean and northern South America
    (Quito, Caracas, Bogotá)
    5) The Delta ATL–JNB route does not requires accessing South Africa via Europe. This route also has some interesting open jaw possibilities.
    6) Alaska awards to cities where Alaska has a monopoly such as Juneau.
    7) Good business elite product for transcontinentals and transatlantics.
    8) Delta Golds accrue double redeemable miles – double RDMs require higher tiers on UA, US and AA.
    9) Korean and Virgin Australia partnerships
    10) for both reward and purchased fares on codeshares operated by Air France – AF sometimes offers cheap upgrades into J a few days before checkin on A380 flights with typically large unsold J and oversold Y – usually $300-$500 one way – particularly JFK and YUL to CDG and CDG to HKG and CPT
    11) the Air France fifth freedom route LAX to Tahiti and the Korean
    fifth freedom route LAX to Sao Paulo have good availability and offer interesting open jaw possibilities
    12) Delta in business to Africa is only marginally more than Europe
    and allows a stopover and open jaw – 120K versus 100K – Africa
    iMauritius – Reunjon and Madagascar are classified as North
    Africa
    13) Delta could potentially have YQ free redemptions on Virgin Atlantic
    14) reciprocal upgrade policy on Alaska and AeroMexico for gold+ elites
    15) some Asian redemptions offer good value and Delta is one of the few US airlines with a large international hub (Tokyo)

     
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  12. redtailshark

    redtailshark Silver Member

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    There are some DL strengths - although the list you provide below can be modified by the reality of delivery as opposed to published benefits.

    e.g. # 2, FCM eliminating real complimentary UG oppos for everyone. I agree this is happening on UA and AA as well, but DL is not different. The problem is, without good UG %, the awfulness of SM and general DL management contempt and mendacity becomes much less palatable for most Medallions.

    # 4, same as UA.

    # 11, SM systemwide blackout imposed on KE redemptions means you often can't fly LAX-GRU even if KE has Skypass award inventory...

    # 15, Both AA AA and UA MP absolutely blow DL SM away for intra-Asia award availability and costs.

    But I think the problem that is now widely perceived is that SM is not among these strengths. SM is fast becoming awful, and DL's actions undermine confidence in program integrity - how will you value SM this time next year?

    SDC change coming soon. You know this won't be good.:p

    If mileage has no value to flyers I could understand why they might prefer DL to some options. But if FFP is part of the value package, SM is just an aggravation compared with the other FFP.

    I can't believe how many hours every week that knowledgeable DL Medallions spend on the phone trying to redeem awards that ought to price, according to published SM criteria.

    Newsflash: DL DOES NOT WANT CUSTOMERS TO BE ABLE TO REDEEM AWARDS ANYWHERE NEAR LOW LEVEL AND WILL USE A VARIETY OF MEANS TO PREVENT THIS.

    Who can plead surprise when it was documented they wanted 635k from PHL to FCO, not all of which was in J...?

    These SM "changes" come once a week now that Jeff has the devaluation bit between his teeth. Don't complain when your stash of hard-flown SM is devalued overnight.

     
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  13. DiverDave
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    DiverDave Gold Member

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    I think Hilton took a huge lead when they added premium room awards. At some properties, just about every room is a premium room.

    David
     
  14. redtailshark

    redtailshark Silver Member

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    Well, here's more of the same...SDC changes will cut benefits, especially to the notorious DL DM gamers.
     
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  15. bigx0

    bigx0 Gold Member

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    You have a good list, though I only get the free drink voucher, I'd say, 20% of the time.
     
  16. redtailshark

    redtailshark Silver Member

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    Hey, lookee here, the SM changes are coming thick and fast now. What's that, three major ones in the span of a month, give or take. Those are just the ones everyone knows about, and we can all see this is the tip of the iceberg.

    1. Upgrade with miles at time of booking. Maybe only 10 city pairs today. But tomorrow, or next month....
    2.New booking classes below LUT. Presaging non-upgradeable, except with $1000s of co-pay, and reduced MQM.
    3. SDC being gutted.

    FBATR on the way. This program has less than a year to live in its current form. You heard it here first! Muahaha! Actually, in 2010...

    All the infrastructure is being put into place and being tested incrementally before the massive reversion. The worst for the apologists will be the lowering of the boom with zero notice, standard MO for DL SM as we all know.

    Hey the upside... it does mean, MQD won't mean anything because very few people will want to fly DL enough to reach worthless DM status :p

    DL simply don't care. They have crossed the rubicon and now figure they can be successful without an FFP that incentivizes any frequency business. They are right. They have no empty 738s to fill as they did in 2007-08.

    Only a mass defection of moderate-to-high value customers to OALs offering real benefit and clarifying that's why, will make them even think twice now. Probably even that won't stop the plan because they have shifted their target audience to the occasional kettles. Frequency is their enemy now. Occasional kettle buy-ups are the new target.

    Their contempt for customer views is legion. It is quite evident from the conduct of their official FT "presence."

    DL apologists: it won't be long before you really wish Michael O'Leary was at the helm. Because MOL never bs's anyone and he's much more direct and open about his plans than SM management. You'd know exactly what you would get and in good time. Also MOL delivers real value.

    This won't reverse until locos and new market entrants create a significant systemwide competitive threat.

    For those who will actually take their biz elsewhere, I'll see you guys onboard UA or AA. Make good use of the year or two you will have to actually use valuable MP and AA miles for juicy trips! For those who stay, you will soon think that 635k from PHL to FCO - not all of which is in J - is a great FBATR SM deal!

    I have one more thing to say. Or, rather Jeff does.... yes, you know well what it is.
     
  17. mattsteg
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    mattsteg Gold Member

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    1 is a non-issue in current form as far as I'm concerned. If people want to upfare at 1cpm I'm OK with that.
    2 is mostly a non-issue and just bookkeeping. The changes you posit can be implemented with or without new fare classes to a large extent. A warning sign, but not much fire to go with the smoke yet.
    3 is a very big deal if it plays out as leaked.
    FBATR is of course the killer, and item 1 could certainly be another precursor to that. I certainly prioritize burning skymiles over other currencies. The program is still plenty usable, but is closer to the edge than others.
     
  18. redtailshark

    redtailshark Silver Member

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    I'm attempting to redeem for a Shark family member. PHL to FCO. Yes, this is for real. Again. Do you realize, I can't even type this particular search anymore without laughing my ass off :D

    You here all know why. At least I hope you do. This route is world-infamous even in the annals of DL SM exploitation.

    Anyway, June 5, 6 or 8th, and I find LOW level awards in both Y and J using MP, flying LH via MUC, AC via YUL or US via LIS.

    Is it even worth logging on to DL.COM? I don't have to care, thank goodness. But wait, for the sport of it, I did just check DL.COM. A one-way search (that's what I did on UA.COM as well, that's what I need)...and it returns a lowest of 325,000 SM for an ALL-J ITIN! Woot!

    [​IMG]
     
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  19. mattsteg
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    mattsteg Gold Member

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    You may have liked my result better, with a coach segment...

    In all seriousness, if I needed to fly that day and had to do it on slymiles, I'd just get to JFK by other means and book the AZ nonstop.
     
  20. HighPlainsDrifter

    HighPlainsDrifter Silver Member

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    Agreed, Its getting hard to defend these guys. They make major changes without any sort of advanced warning and seem the least engaged of the legacies with the frequent flyer community. My two cents:
    1) SDC change as rumored will hurt Delta because many use it to avoid weather delays before an official weather waiver is issued. A stranded Diamond is an unhappy Diamond.
    2) MQD will put Delta and Amex Travel at odds with many of their largest corporate customers. It also leaves Delta at a strong disadvantage in hubs such as LA and NYC which often have competitive coach fares well below the .10 cpm threshold. MQD will also be a challenge for a company whose IT is so bad that it often can't handle such basics as account login or ticket sales let alone the award calendar. If the other legacies do not match I see this getting backed off in a couple of years.
    3) FCM is here to stay across all the majors and is not a total disaster. The old model of selling a few flexible fare first class seats at 10x coach and filling up the rest of the seats with elite upgrades or nonrevs is being supplemented with 2x and 3x public kiosk upgrade offers. The airlines make more money this way and now have a motive to keep or expand the number of rows in first class and improve service. The old model may have been better for top tier elites percentagewise but also resulted in gradual deterioration and cutbacks where everyone loses. I'm getting fewer upgrades this year but on the other hand Denver to JFK now has BusinessElite often priced very reasonably.
    4) On Asian awards (#15) I should have been more specific. Delta has some great awards and availability out of Honolulu to Asia. 40K/70K in coach/business roundtrip to such cities as Hong Kong, Manilla and Shanghai with a stopover in Tokyo on Delta or Seoul on Korean if you wish, as well as an open jaw.


     
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  21. DiverDave
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    DiverDave Gold Member

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    Not 635K? Grab it!

    David
     
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  22. redtailshark

    redtailshark Silver Member

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    I would snap this bargain up...but I only have ~160k SM. And I don't really even know how I have that many considering how little I've flown DL these past two years.

    The 325k deal is better than 635k, not all of which was in J. But that's the lowest offering whereas the 635k was one of a range - not quite the highest, either.

    Is SM better than it was in 2010 because I couldn't find a 670k award? Or is it worse because the lowest award is 325k? Either way it's got to be

    [​IMG] BEST IN CLASS [​IMG]

    [How do I get the stars to expand to match the font?]

    As for the Asia award situation mentioned by HighPlainsDrifter, it's true that MP demands 5k more for HNL-Asia than SM, in theory, if LOW can be found. However, the MP awards are vastly more valuable than similar SM ones because of the almost-infinite routing and layover possibilities on Asia Star partners, and because LOW is much more easily found.
     
  23. redtailshark

    redtailshark Silver Member

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    Heyyyy David, DL flyyyers! Oppa Jeff Robbo style! I've got it! :D

    DL SM is...

    [​IMG]BEST IN CLASS[​IMG]
     
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  24. redtailshark

    redtailshark Silver Member

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    And now... another nice stealth enhancement buried under the avalanche of outrage with the SDC and Death Tax rescissions....Jeff is a master at hitting below the belt while the Medallion audience is distracted:

    "No Medallion Milage Bonus on some of SkyTeam?"

    What next? Muahaha! Like I said, the SM management team has the bit between their teeth and will swing at you every day or two. FUBAR next year anyway. Why care?

    They will ultimately defeat themselves but not because people stop flying DL. Consolidation takes care of that, so there is no longer a need to incentivize people to fly using SM. However FFP are profitable entities and the profitability of SM is based on the promise - dream - of actual travel. If all customers treated SM as worthless tomorrow morning and didn't apply for AX, rent cars with SM bonus, use cross-polluted SPG, then the SM empire would collapse and AX and other affiliated merchants who'd invested in the worthless scrip would be the ones fighting DL for recovery of gigantic eternally-unrealizable liability.
     
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  25. redtailshark

    redtailshark Silver Member

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    Wow! Even for Jeff, the rescissions are coming thick and fast and, as always with DL, with no notice.

    Now, sneaky adjustments to the SM earnings chart reveal - since last night - no Medallion bonus mile earning on SkyTeam partners. In addition to the reduced MQM above.

    How can anyone be surprised?

    What next - tomorrow morning: FUBAR IS HERE! You have MORE CHOICE! etc.

    Remember, the SM management team's mantra: "Give it to the DL DM gamers! Everyway, everyhow, as soon as possible! Oh, and talk about fake cheese and how we have "social media presence" and don't forget to include the key statement: "It was a hard decision, but it was the right one!"

    Let me check PHL to FCO again....
    What is it? See above. Even those Jeff-stars aren't big enough!
     
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