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Discussion in 'General Discussion | Miles/Points' started by uggboy, Aug 9, 2012.
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|| Silver Status Loses Its Luster for Frequent Fliers ||
Makes for some interesting reading!
Best benefit for low tier elites disappears, this causes the low tier elite to disappear.
.....and disappear they do, on both sides!
What's really happening is that the lowest level elite tiers are being replaced by CC holders. The perks are still there, but the airline gets paid up-front for the miles by the CC companies instead of when the passenger books the ticket.
Interesting. Just learned that status also affects award availability with some airlines.
Silver's been bad for a long while no matter the program.
But at least with UA, you do get better boarding than the MileagePlus explorer -- BG 3 version 4.
But if you get the ClubCard, you also get 3.
Really if you want any decent benefits you need at least Gold. Want upgrades, you need at least Plat.
Or buy a full-fare ticket, that puts you first in line.
I can understand this trend, but then I also don't understand it as well.
25,000 miles or 30 segments is still a decent amount of flying. It is easy to rack up 25,000 miles flying across oceans a couple of times a year, but it is a much more difficult task to accumulate 30 segments hopping around the midwest. The article says 6-10% or an airlines flyers are elite, which is still a relatively small slice of the flying public.
If you want people to carry your credit card, add some extra benefits for silver for holding the card. Silver w/no card no E+, but Silver w/card you can get E+ at booking. Maybe others have insight why this wouldn't work.
I do 25-35,000 a mile on domestic and north america. Largely on my own dime. I'll pass 50,000 this year thanks to a vacation in Hawaii.
With the rumors that DL may be transitioning to a revenue based system, perhaps this will all be moot in a few years. I'm a Plat on AA, but most of my flying is transcon or transpac-- I'm sure there are AA Golds (who could be flying over 25,000 miles-- like those who are at 40,000 but decide it's not worth it to do mileage runs to top off their EQMs at the end of the year) who get their status flying mostly short hops, and spend far more time in the airport and contribute more revenue than I do. It's unfortunate that they are now stuck boarding with all the Citi credit card holders.
I imagine that you are willing to pay some more $$ to fly on your preferred airline. I think that airlines want to encourage behavior that encourages people to actively choose their airline.
My thing with devaluing silver is that those people will start to be more price sensitive rather than less. I don't have any actual #'s, so it is tough to guess. But, I have always been curious to know:
How profitable is a silver?
How profitable is a credit card holder?
How profitable is a gold, platinum, 1k, etc?
The airlines should be encouraging each elite flyer to bump up the profitability just a little bit, and find ways for that to happen.
I I don't think the Explorer card, that is used at booking, gets to pick an E+ seat, at booking. As the wife and I are both Silver and used the Explorer card to pay for the booking, E+ was not opened for us to select seats. Am I missing something here, or are you mistaken?
hopscotch1 was suggesting perks, not stating facts.
That's right. I was just suggesting benefits.
I don't know the numbers, but if only 6% or your customers are silver or above. That is a really small slice, and could probably don't deserve benefit reductions.
I just don't think that is the way to treat your 'best' customers.
I did. Up until last year I would only book flights through Air Canada, but all the changes to the program over the past two years had me question that loyalty. Now I try to stay with Star Alliance partners, but credit back to aeroplan just the same.
Still getting the status, just Air Canada isn't getting the $$$ anymore.
The Hawaii trip is a good example, there and back in J with United. $1800 cheaper than Air Canada.
Last year, I had 39 segments with UA, and earned about 40k EQMs Today, I get only 25% bonus, I can't book E+ when I pay, and UA has had huge integration problems at SFO. I have 3 segments booked from now to the end of the year, and it's because AA, VX and WN don't fly these routes.
I meanwhile am already re-qualified for AA EXP; I have made a free ticket on WN+, and I've been on VX several times. I miss UA, but I sure don't miss the back of the crowded, perenially-late SFO-LAX route, and why the heck would I bust my butt to get to silver anymore? I have a better shot at an aisle seat with a good pitch on WN! Sure, I'd like to accumulate more MP miles, but not at the expense of making travel even more of a drag than it already has become. Nope, UA--- you left me. I find I'm rather enjoying 100% bonuses on AA, $10 for early boarding on WN, and VX having planes so new that they actually take off on time. I've booked 270,000 Miles worth of First and Business travel over the next year using UA Miles for flights on Qatar, Singapore and Thai, and I'm MOST pleased to be burning these with only a few seats on UA, to get to a gateway.
All of this was made "possible" by UA cheapening Silver Status, making me re-examine why I strive to be "elite". I'm headed where the grass is greener---- and it really is.
I'll miss you, UA, but I'll get over it.
I am gold but may come up short this year for maintaining GOLD on UA. I don't have much choice as my base is EWR. I have been using PHL more and flying US crediting back to UA. Might have to use those credit card special miles to maintain the gold as there is not much value in sliver any more.
Silver has become so diluted that I think the jump from Silver to Gold is bigger than the jump from General Member w/ credit card to Silver.
Silver status has never amounted to much in most loyalty programs, as the benefits have always been minimal to nonexistent.
One benefit that was truly worth something but has been taken away was guaranteed access to United's roomier EconomyPlus (TM) seats for Premier Silvers at booking.
Hilton Honors Silver status is so insignificant that it is awarded to anyone who signs up for the no-fee HHONORS AMEX card (maybe others too).
Limited free checked luggage and priority boarding are somewhat worth something but these perks have also been diluted for Silvers by a plethora of flyers who now enjoy the same benefits through credit cards...
There's one "Silver" that is actually more valuable now: AS MVP. (Has new benefits on AA, still has 50% RDM bonus. Did lose a bag on DL.)
I've been UA silver for years and only for the E+ seat choices at booking and two free bags when flying trans-Atlantic, which I do 3-4 times per year. Since BOTH of those benefits are now gone, I will be gold soon, and next year will use credit all my UA flights to US miles, and give them a try. But I'll probably decide that the 30-40K I fly per year are better spread out among whoever has the best prices, schedules, etc. at the time, and I can afford to pay for upgrades on whatever carrier I happen to be on. In the past, I've paid up to $250 more to take UA over another carrier to keep loyal, but I'm pretty sure those days are gone. UA almost NEVER has the best prices anymore, by far.
Frankly, the benefits of silver, such as they are, are still worth enough to me to bother with the status, though I will be gold by the end of the year.
I couldnt agree more. I have been flying delta for years. Mostly domestic but usually just get Silver. do about 25-30k per year, and thats mostly East coast so number of flights is 10-15 RT per.
They have taken away the elite access at security check-in, priority boarding, forget about an upgrade. I really dont even know what I get anymore. I have recently started to fly other airlines where I can cab get cheaper flights. I think I would be better off with an AMEX Platinum with its access to lounges, Free International Business or 1st class companion ticket, a bunch of free inflight wifi sessions, up to $200 per year in incidental fees reimbursed and priority boarding, thats better than Silver