Frequent Flier Community Growth: Advantages and Disadvantages

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Miles/Points' started by Canarsie, Aug 6, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. Canarsie
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    Canarsie Gold Member

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    It has been said many times that there is the potential for the frequent flier community to significantly grow beyond what it is today. Here is a quote I have heard Randy Petersen say more than once:
    Now, it is unlikely that all 91,000,000 United Airlines Mileage Plus members will become active members of the frequent flier community. However, with the intent to grow the frequent flier community with such tools as, travel “weblogs” and The Frequent Traveler University — among other things — the potential is there. After all, if the potential was not there, it would be unlikely to see and The Frequent Traveler University come to fruition.

    Let’s say that in addition to those who are already active frequent fliers, one-tenth of all United Airlines Mileage Plus members became aware, educated and interested enough in what the active frequent flier community has to offer. That translates into nine million new active frequent fliers. What are the potential outcomes and ramifications? Are we fully prepared to deal with such growth?

    If the frequent flier community continues to grow in a significant manner, we should be prepared for the disadvantages as well as the advantages of such growth. Please list and discuss the potential benefits and hindrances that could affect the active frequent flier community as a result of significant growth, as well as how we can properly prepare for them.
    goalie, adl73x, SQ LPP and 1 other person like this.
  2. rwoman
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    rwoman Gold Member

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    I think it's also important to keep in mind that some FF's who are currently active may fall off due to job/life/family changes.

    That said, I'm sure there will be growth as airlines see to gain customers, especially those who spend. DL's efforts to boost FO/GM/PM ranks this year was one of the key motivations behind my choosing to remain a DM vice PM on DL and Plat on AA. As the ranks swell, I'm sure more people will use MP, FT, and other sites as resources.

    As far as the online FF community - more bandwith and all the "stuff" that comes with running high volume forums will be in order. ;)

  3. MSPeconomist
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    MSPeconomist Gold Member

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    This is a very interesting question. I have mixed feelings here about whether it will be good for existing FFs.

    Making people more aware with more publicity and comparisons/analysis could make airlines more inclined to improve their programs and compete on FF dimensions in addition to price.

    However, if more people game the system and achieve elite levels with little spending, I predict that airlines will respond by trying to restrict benefits to such individuals, perhaps by going to an explicit spending-based FF program or perhaps by doing even more scoring of customers and offering unpublished benefits more often. Status inflation and larger numbers of elites will cause existing FF programs to be more generous.
  4. harry0233
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    harry0233 Silver Member

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    I have thought about this question for a solution is I only help out only when a person has genuine interest. Other than that, I usually keep my mouth shut. I don't want to compete with more 1Ks for my upgrades:p
    The good thing about miles and points are people don't see the power of them. Most people think it's a trap/it's hard to redeem miles. Besides, they don't know how to use them. Knowledge is power.
    The craziness of giant credit card bonus may devalue miles/points a little bit. However, due to the economy, more people are moving to pay-as-you-go (a.k.a debit cards) than credit cards( which is a good sign IMO). So we are the only few ones who know how to play the game.
    I also expect that in near future there will be way more ways to earn miles. The ability to retain a customer through a reward program is huge. How about buying a condo for 20 mil miles?;):p
    worldtraveller2 likes this.

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