Even US DoT thinks FF programs are confusing or complex !

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Travel' started by anileze, Jun 29, 2016.  |  Print Topic

  1. anileze

    anileze Gold Member

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    http://www.travelandleisure.com/tra...e-frequent-flyer-programs-are-too-complicated

    It seems in the very narrow definition of complicated and complex, DL gets a pass, and AA gets flagged!

    I'm surprised that they woke up only when AA changed theirs.
     
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  2. eponymous_coward
    Original Member

    eponymous_coward Gold Member

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    Be careful what you ask for. You may get it. Giving people a 2% flat rebate on their fares that can be applied as if it was cash is very simple to understand and will mean you're spending hundreds of thousands of dollars to get an F flight full of Krug and caviar. ;)

    WN and VX basically have this model. Simple and it basically means "game over" as far as getting arbitrage on frequent flyer spend.
     
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  3. Counsellor
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    Counsellor Gold Member

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    :confused: Not sure where that came from. I don't see any such "request" in either anileze's post or the referenced article.

    I must be missing something?
     
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  4. eponymous_coward
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    eponymous_coward Gold Member

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    A straight rebate program (such as those offered by WN or B6) is neither confusing nor complex. It also offers almost no opportunity for arbitrage (where you stack up a bunch of $200 round-trip coach flights that turn into $30,000 F flights) that is the sine qua non of the "hobby".

    I tend to think that were the government to crack down about “complex algorithms used to determine the availability of award tickets", this would be an easy way for the airlines to "fix" that problem- there need be no algorithm if all you get is 2% back on your spend that can be used to purchase tickets.

    The current system's "complexity" is not a bug. You can't issue miles like they were Reichsmarks in 1923 Germany to anyone who can fill out a credit card application and fog a mirror, and have wide-open award availability. Otherwise nobody would ever buy a ticket to Vegas or Hawaii. There's a huge overhang in award miles that's predicated on not everybody using them all at the same time.
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2016
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  5. Newscience

    Newscience Gold Member

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    Don't expect the DOT to be able to do anything about devalued FF programs. Considering that the 3 "majors" FF programs are a shadow of what they once were, what is to be done about it? Not much. This story sounds more like overreach on the part of the feds.
     
  6. anileze

    anileze Gold Member

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    A longer piece, on a related topic in Propublica

    https://www.propublica.org/article/airline-consolidation-democratic-lobbying-antitrust

    Not that I am surprised!

     

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