Elite Bloat ! Or, rather a culling of bargain hunters ?

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Travel' started by anileze, Jun 3, 2015.  |  Print Topic

  1. anileze

    anileze Gold Member

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    In the recent NYT article Facing Elite Bloat...

    We knew that, didn't we ?
     
  2. A_Lee

    A_Lee Silver Member

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    Too bad they don't carry that concept throughout their entire FFP and eliminate all the ways to earn miles such that everyone and their brother is earning miles, even if they've never set foot on a plane before, and competing with the real frequent flyers for award flights. Also too bad they chose to look only at their own frequent flyers and totally alienate frequent flyers in their alliance who might want to book tickets with them. That's actually my biggest gripe with Delta. I'm not really interested in joining their FFP, but as a member of KE's FFP, I'd like to at least be able to earn a few miles on DL flights. As it is now only the most expensive earn any miles at all, and as a result they've completely alienated me so that I'll go out of my way to avoid flying them, regardless of how good they may or may not be in everything else. Thankfully there's still FFP's outside the USA that haven't caught onto this latest craze.
     
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  3. eponymous_coward
    Original Member

    eponymous_coward Gold Member

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    You realize that airlines make considerable money (very profitable money compared to the tiny margins on flying airplanes) selling miles to partners (banks, etc.), right?

    In other words, you're assuming exactly the wrong thing; that airlines actually think generating miles without flying is a bug. It's not. It's a feature. A very deliberate one for airlines, because they understand their profit and loss sheets very well.
     
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  4. uggboy
    Original Member

    uggboy Gold Member

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    ...of course with this in mind, it's the start were problems for "real" passengers usually begin, this happends when airlines don't concentrate on what they should do best.
     
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  5. A_Lee

    A_Lee Silver Member

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    Oh, I fully understand that the airlines make a lot of money selling their miles, which is why they do it. I was only mentioning that in relation to DL's statement, "Your loyalty should earn you exclusive benefits". I just don't see why they're touting the exclusive benefits on one end, while doing exactly the opposite on the other end.
     
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  6. MSPeconomist
    Original Member

    MSPeconomist Gold Member

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    It's the same problem in reverse for DL FFers traveling on KE flights. We can't earn any status miles (MQMs) at all unless we purchase DL marketed codeshares which tend to be very expensive if they're available at all. Moreover, about half of the year is blacked out for any KE redemptions using DL miles, including even the silly SkyTeam upgrades from FULL Y fares.

    Unfortunately DL and KE just don't play very well together, although we experience similar problems with other DL partners including AF and KLM.
     
  7. eponymous_coward
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    eponymous_coward Gold Member

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    Which is what, exactly? Delta's operation is likely the best in the US of the majors. Delta's making a profit. There doesn't seem to be any real deterioration in their business as a result of their changes in their frequent flyer program. I'm not sure I understand what you think the problem is.

    You don't understand why a company would market to multiple market segments as a way to generate profitable business?

    Elites are interested in more than just burning miles...
     
  8. Gargoyle
    Original Member

    Gargoyle Milepoint Guide

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    Now that Etihad bought a huge chunk of AZ, the amount of codeshares with DL has dropped significantly. I anticipate further deterioration there, since Etihad is building their own private alliance, Etihad Guest.
     
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  9. A_Lee

    A_Lee Silver Member

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    I agree that you cannot run a large company such as Delta in just trying to go after one market segment. At the same time I also realize you cannot please everyone. So there needs to be a fine line between trying to maximize your appeal to multiple market segments, and do a good job at it, rather than try to appeal to all markets and end up pleasing nobody. Perhaps Delta has found a good balance in that, though given the state of airline business in the U.S., I don't know if that's saying much. Personally I find it ironic that I can earn pretty much 100% miles across the board for economy classes flying AA and crediting to KE, when they're not in the same alliance, whereas with DL as already mentioned they don't play well together. That to me strikes me as simply being stupid. If you cannot get along well in an alliance, why stay in it? Not that I'm trying to blame any particular airline in this instance, but given Delta's size, I'd think if it wasn't their fault they'd have plenty of clout to say "you WILL do it correctly, or we're leaving." But being they allow this in my opinion stupid relationship to continue points to very weak management.

    Anyways, it's just my personal gripe, and I deal with it like I do any business that I think is acting unprofessionally - I take my business elsewhere. And if Delta's making a profit, I'm sure they couldn't care less about what some small customer as me thinks of them.

    With regard to elites being interested in more than just burning miles, I totally agree. In fact for me personally I'm more interested in many features of a FFP more than the burning miles part. But even if it's not the most important part of the program for me, I don't want to feel like I'm being ripped off, cheated, or treated poorly in that respect. If they're all just as bad, then I have to simply choose the lesser of the evils. But if there's one outstanding program that does treat their elites well across the board, then they'd be my first choice.
     
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  10. HaveMilesWillTravel
    Original Member

    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    What do politicians and corporate marketers have in common?
     
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