Should STAR have a true top tier?

Discussion in 'Star Alliance' started by Canadi>n, Jul 23, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. Canadi>n
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    Canadi>n Gold Member

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    The age old debate among we top tier members in various programs where there are three elite tiers is whether STAR should have a tier above Gold. Not sure what additional benefits would be but would distinguish us from the hundreds of thousands of Golds who are really only mid-tier elites.
     
  2. mht_flyer
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    mht_flyer Gold Member

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    Absolutely... Not sure what to call it maybe Star Star :)
     
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  3. mowogo
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    mowogo Gold Member

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    While some people would think it nice, there is too much of a difference between all of the different programs to really make it viable. OW makes it viable with the First Class Lounge access for all top tiers, but when core airline AC does not offer a First Class lounge, that is a wasted benefit and added hassle. Plus, who knows if UA will actually keep the IFL when the integration is complete.

    And would you really expect LH to open their FCT to any 1K who was flying through FRA?
     
  4. Scottrick
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    Scottrick Gold Member

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    What exactly would it offer? I supposed Star Diamond or Star Platinum makes the most sense after Silver and Gold. But right now you get some priority on standby, you get lounge access, you get free bags. Is there something else the could offer that would really differentiate it from Gold?
     
  5. NYBanker
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    NYBanker Gold Member

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    Ow has this worked out with the three tiers. Mid level gets j lounge access, top gets f access.

    To the point of ac not offering f and UA's IFLs being of uncertain fate, ow has made this a non-issue. Several ow carriers are two class only, and AA's ifl (flagship lounge) only has a small number of locations in the US (like united).

    Re LH fct or sq tpr, BA has an outlier - the two ccrs - which is off limits to all but pax seated in f (and ba's unpublished premiers and golds with 5k TPs). Exceptions are made in ow for uber lounges, just as they are with star. In London and New York, the only pax in the BA first class lounges are pax not flying on BA first class!

    Ow emerald (our top alliance status) definitely gets me more cross carrier recognition than my old *A gold status (via UA 1p). Other than the lounge and checkin, emerald gets me a little extra special treatment sometimes onboard - even on my non-native carrier. Much more so then when i was star gold. I definitely don't feel diluted. Star is a bigger alliance - so you'll by default end up somewhat more diluted...but ow has it worked out the best of the three IMHO.

    (we can talk about eurocheats some other time)
     
  6. MSPeconomist
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    MSPeconomist Gold Member

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    From my perspective with SkyTeam, after the NW/DL merger (NW and KLM were great for cross-status recognition) DL created a fourth tier DM at 125K status miles and then later decreed that Gold and up (as opposed to PE/PM only and then including DM) would be SkyTeam ElitePlus, which grants lounge access on international SkyTeam tickets and biz check in lines. This was fair in the sense of making ElitePlus comparable across carriers at about 50K status miles (with qualifications based on residence for AF, etc.), but it lumps DM at 125K and up with GM at 50K, which seems unfair. There aren't many IFC lounges--AF has a fabulous one with special handling at CDG and small IFC sections at some other lounges, such as NRT, where there is champagne but it's otherwise the same and shares lavs, showers, and ancient PCs with the business class side, but access to business seats on intraEU flights would be a nice benefit in exchange for my BIS miles.
     
  7. canucklehead
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    canucklehead Gold Member

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    I think they should be called Super Star. :D

    Not sure what you can offer them - First Class lounge access, concierges like AC has, a couple of extra upgrade certs. On UA, its getting a bit crowded wrt to elite levels, GS, 1K, PremExec+, PE, Premier, 3P....

    As per current rankings, there is a delineation of benefits between PE and 1K on UA, and likewise on AC.
     
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  8. TRAVELSIG
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    TRAVELSIG Gold Member

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    I would like to see a premium tier- with some type of tangible benefit.
     
  9. I think the AC lounges are pretty good in comparison to most with the exception of LH and SQ first class lounges. The AC international lounges could easily be upgraded to service Super elite and equal from other *A carriers. As it is AC does offer free booze, free internet and showers. They would need to upgrade their food offerings and have separate sections in their current lounges for highest tier fliers across the alliance.
     
  10. Canadi>n
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    Canadi>n Gold Member

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    We had a separate SE room in the old LHR MLL until SK and TG started using the lounge and it was never resurrected in the London Lounge co-operated with AC and SK.
     
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  11. Sean Colahan
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    Sean Colahan Gold Member

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    Star Platinum
     
  12. GUWonder
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    GUWonder Silver Member

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    A third alliance elite level would not be a surprise but it might turn out to be a disappointment, as it won't necessarily be better for most of the current lot of customers; and as most of the issues that would get some *G customers to think a third level would be worthwhile for them as customers will probably end up not too far removed from where they are with how Star Gold status works or doesn't now.
     
  13. NYBanker
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    NYBanker Gold Member

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    Very funny.
     
  14. tommy777
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    tommy777 Co-founder

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    Not all OW airlines offer First Class, just like Star Alliance, but still, they are able to offer something better than the regular Star Gold lounges for high mileage flyers.

    I think it's a great idea, but because of the size of Star compared to OW, the super duper elite level should probably be at 125K at least.

    Yes, I expect Lufthansa to let in these elites in to their First Class lounges if there was such a level, just the same way that BA lets OW 100Kers in to their First lounges.

    Oh, and United will keep International First and their lounges
     
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  15. violist
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    violist Gold Member

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    Should there be an accommodation for the likes of me, who will make
    100K on one Star partner and 50K on another?
     
  16. Jimgotkp
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    Jimgotkp Gold Member

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    I would like to see this happen but I don't see it happening anytime soon....
     
  17. TRAVELSIG
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    TRAVELSIG Gold Member

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    BA doesn't let OW passengers into the Concorde Room unless they are flying BA F or are Premier Card Holders (and it is not that easy to get a Premier card).
     
  18. tommy777
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    tommy777 Co-founder

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    No, that's too hard to keep track of. But it would be a great incentive to put all your eggs in one Star basket.

    That's one lounge globally. Lufthansa and BA has plenty of F lounges around the globe.

    At the end of the day, I don't see it happening either. Star is in a situation that they are so big they don't have to make a huge effort to stay competitive on this front
     
  19. ande777emt
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    ande777emt Gold Member

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    In many stations where BA operates, they run their own F lounges as opposed to LH, who only maintain FC lounges/terminals at FRA, MUC, and JFK. In most other places, LH uses existing lounges versus BA who maintains their own lounge.

    In Asia I can see the advantage as SQ, TG, NH, or OZ has something of a first class lounge in most major Asian destinations. LX also has separate F/C sections in many of their lounges outside the EU, however their F section isn't really an F lounge as opposed to BA's F lounges where there's notable differences between them and the C lounges.

    If *A were to do this, I think they would really need to step up their F lounge game (IFL's are borderline pitiful) to make this a globally meaningful benefit.
     
  20. Canadi>n
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    Canadi>n Gold Member

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    I would expect the same would be true of LH and its FCT at FRA (unless flying LH in F). But it also has two FCLs in the main terminal buildings that are more convenient to non-LH gates. And SQ has an outer and inner area of its FCL and we'd be kept in the outer area (unless flying revenue F on SQ). For Thai, we'd not be entitled to the massages or cart ride (again unless we're flying TG in F), but otherwise have access to the Royal Orchid (?) Lounge. Similar accommodation could be easily made with NH and OZ F lounges.

    Each partner would determine what tier requirements would be, or if they'd even offer such a corresponding tier (I'm thinking of smaller ones like Aegean and BD) since many still only have two elite tiers corresponding with STARSilver and STARGold.

    If we split our credits between two STAR carriers, we'd have to decide which one to favour for top tier, though many of us could still qualify for this tier in more than one program.
     
  21. harry0233
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    harry0233 Silver Member

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    Im in favor of a top tier with access to first class lounges, first class checkin, etc. I doesn't devaluate current program and add recognition to the top high value customers. It's a win-win situation for all the parties.

    I agree with your point. However, competition is increasing(for example: star has just failed the deal with the India market while ow got it) so I think they eventually will need to do sth to retain customers. I won't hold my breath though
     
  22. unityofsaints

    unityofsaints Active Member

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    In one word: No ;)
     

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