New Ways to Calculate Frequent Flier Miles Lead Some to Book Fares Late

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Miles/Points' started by rwoman, Mar 20, 2014.

  1. rwoman
    Original Member

    rwoman Gold Member

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    WSJ: New Ways to Calculate Frequent Flier Miles Lead Some to Book Fares Late

    The article mentions JetBlue and Soutwest, but the comments (including mine) largely focus on DL.

    Many will, of course, still try to game the system in the pursuit of miles, spend, etc.

    I think the perspective is different depending on who is paying for the travel. As I was quoted, I'm not likely to pay $3500 for a J TATL fare...not when I could go more places for that amount! My job will continue to look for the lowest fare possible; I'll continue to make every effort to avoid Ryanair. :eek:
  2. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    Sounds about right to me. Reading this piece, I found nothing to like about the revenue-based system (RBS for short, henceforth). One thing that comes out loud and clear is that travelers who are addicted to miles and whose trips are on their company will start to bend company rules [read: cheat] in order to keep their current level of RDM earning. I cannot see that as a great development. Then there is this:
    I drew attention to the above and if it sounds familiar that's because it goes directly the substance of a recent exchange, in which I had made the following statement in relation to DL's RBS:
    which was followed by:
    and I said:
    DL is making promises but I believe that when their RBS is implemented, it will be a rude awakening for many if not most SM loyalists. At least Mr. Steve Howarth has been warned and now "expects to spend his own money more often for tickets for his four children on family trips." Why would anyone stick with DL if jumping ship to AA or UA would enable them to keep affording those tickets for the kids on family trips like during the good ol' days?
  3. dstober

    dstober Gold Member

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    I can see how this could cause some people to try to game the system and really up the competing agendas that people have between doing the right thing by the company and rewards for dealing with biz travel. :eek:
    Do you all see this statement from the article as corporate spin?
    Anthony Black, a Delta spokesman, said although the airline will issue fewer miles under the redesigned program, it will make more award tickets available at lower mileage redemption levels. So while Mr. Howarth will earn fewer miles, he'll spend fewer miles to get free tickets. Miles will become more valuable and travelers like Mr. Howarth will have an easier time claiming awards, Mr. Black said.
  4. flyforawg

    flyforawg Silver Member

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    Yes. Spin for people too lazy or incapable of thinking for themselves (meaning they believe whatever they read or are told by supposedly more intelligent people).

    I expect miles and status to compensate somewhat for the hassle that is business travel. I want to feel like I'm getting something for the time away from home/friends/family. If things go RBS (hat tip NYCUA1K) , then you reward corporate cheaters to my detriment. It will truly be a loyalty killer for me as when the miles/benefits go away, I will reduce travel because it's not an addiction for me. It's a hassle. I will spend the minimum amount on personal tickets with whatever airline has cheapest in that case instead of sticking with my airline where I have loyalty. Will end up taking a lot more non stop flights as that will also be a huge factor which could reduce my client on site time as some routes I fly have only 1 non stop a day and not at the most convenient time.

    I could go on with a few more scenarios, but that sums up my thought process of pure cost/benefit analysis on my part. If airlines have metrics that prove out, I guess I don't fall into that demographic.
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2014
    NYCUA1K likes this.
  5. Wandering Aramean
    Original Member

    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    You already got a bonus for high fares if you waited until the last minute; it just wasn't quite as pronounced. And people who purposefully violate company policies like that just to get the points deserve to be fired.

    As for who will earn more or fewer miles, we all know that some will do better with the new rules and some will do worse. I analysed 15 routes last night and came up with a variety of routes and average fares where customers will do very well without changing a thing.


    1) Delta has made it clear for a long time now that they care about HVCs. Someone who is "loyal" isn't necessarily a HVC. Also, they aren't really necessarily loyal.
    2) If Mr. Howarth is typically booking 6 flights SLC to somewhere domestic at the 40k level (240k) and can now get them at the 25-35k level (150-210k) then the 20% loss on the earning side (57k by his calculations) isn't as significant.
    3) If he's really earning 300k/year flying domestically that's a lot of time on planes.

    If he's a Diamond and normally earns 300k/year (and we assume that excludes CC earning, though I'm betting it doesn't) and he expects to only earn 240k under the new rules then that's ~$20k spend to fly 125k miles. That's a decent CPM range (~16cpm) but probably not really in the HVC category which I'd say is 20-25+ at least.
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2014

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