Status Match Epidemic, or....?

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Miles/Points' started by Gaucho, May 10, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. Gaucho
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    Gaucho Gold Member

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    I dont know if its just me, but.... is the airline & hotel industry "suffering" an epidemic of status match promotions...? I would have expected there to be more threads about crying murder & status/benefit dilution due to the avalanche of new high & top tier members, etc......

    Please discuss.
     
  2. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    Matches are only a problem if folks use them. And if you are using one then you are not using the old one (at least not as much). It is a relatively zero sum game.
     
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  3. viguera
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    viguera Gold Member

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    I think all these companies know that they need to find a way to keep the existing revenue but also bring in revenue from new customers.

    And the bottom line is that an elite with AA (as an example) has a much better chance of bringing new revenue to United than someone that just walks in from the street without status anywhere.

    Of course the problem for the companies is that there's no penalty for leaving your current preferred airline (or whatever) and jumping ship to someone else. It's not like cell phone providers that count on termination fees to keep you from taking your business elsewhere.
     
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  4. MSPeconomist
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    There is a penally if providers enforce the "once in a lifetime" rule or ask for a fee. The worst cases are those that grant the benefits of the new status during unlimited challenges, so that people can repeatedly request a challenge when they have an upcoming trip, take the benefits during that trip, and then disappear.
     
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  5. viguera
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    viguera Gold Member

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    Yeah but I think in the end it devalues the program to loyal customers, whether there's any kind of penalty or not. At the end of the day you have people that fly with one carrier and go out of their way to stay with a particular hotel chain, sometimes when it's not the best option, just because they want to attain/retain that status.

    For that carrier or chain to offer the same benefits instantly to someone off the street is almost a slap in the face to a loyal customer.

    But it's a business... and while airlines/hotels spend a lot of money keeping elite customers happy someone that is a proven repeat customer of a competitor is too attractive a target to pass up, I suppose.
     
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  6. Gaucho
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    Gaucho Gold Member

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    I was kind of thinking along these lines.....
     
  7. MSPeconomist
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    Of course, the other side of this is that if I, as a high tier elite, were to consider switching, not getting comparable status from the beginning would probably be a deal breaker unless I could purchase the status benefits that matter to me for a reasonable price. I'm thinking upgrades and club floor rooms as I have airport lounge access pretty well covered anyway.
     
  8. meFIRST

    meFIRST Silver Member

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    I won't speak of the abuses (status matches) as advertised on the other forum. Unethical. Immoral. Dishonest. But that's a different topic
     
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  9. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    I think that's fundamentally it...

    And airlines/hotels also give out perks to certain people that aren't available to everyone else who paid their way. Whether it's elite status for select employees of corporations who sign a lucrative contract or whether it's kickbacks for event planners or (donning my flame retardant suit here) free status upgrades and other valuable perks to folks who attend events like the Megados.
     
  10. desamo

    desamo Gold Member

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    Actually, I'd argue that those are perhaps more useful to the company in question than many of your other categories, because they are a) people who clearly choose to travel (rather than people for whom it's more of a drudge); b) people for whom that next perk may be meaningful enough to have them change loyalty or pursue higher loyalty levels.

    A lot of people think UA's Premier Silver really means nothing in the current environment, but I've already gotten enough out of it to make me want to get to Gold this year.

    1) CPU twice, once on a long flight difficult to get an upgrade on.
    2) Free baggage to the level I usually pack, though I haven't used that so much yet.
    3) Extra RDMs were enough to get my son's GF out to SFO this weekend without having to buy miles, changing the equation about whether or not it was cost-effective for her to come.
    4) More E+.

    The year is yet young, too.
     
  11. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    Nah....

    You get some good publicity out of it, but the real customers you want to attract aren't the 150 people who show up on the party junket.

    Thank goodness you didn't speak of it. :rolleyes:
     
  12. desamo

    desamo Gold Member

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    I was actually surprised at how many people I met at FTU who traveled fewer miles per year than I do (25k is typical for me).
     
  13. meFIRST

    meFIRST Silver Member

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    Too late. Why not - I'll say it here

    1) Photoshopping screenshots and faux 1K / GS cards, and requesting a match
    2) Setting up 2 AA accounts, under the same name, different address (obviously) and receiving 16 SWUs from AA
    3) Matching wife/partner/spouse that was attained though MM benefit, only to get an additional 8 SWUs

    Have these people no shame? Most of these creatures are on that other forum. A combination of the wild west and a zoo amusement theme park.

    I will say this. When Doug Parker finally dismantles AAdvantage, the s-h-i-t will finally hit the fan.
     
  14. tommy777
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    The outreach of forums like Milepoint and FT is a lot less than most people think, we represent such a small percentage of the frequent travelers and the people who commit fraud by sending in copies of fake credentials I suspect is very low.

    I don't think that status matches have any significant impact at all and it's a service that's very helpful when people move to markets their current carrier doesn't cover.
     
  15. legalalien
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    legalalien Gold Member

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    My concern is status matches that don't have to be earned. If all I have to do is fax a copy of my current statement, then I will do it 'just in case', for those occasions when I am forced to fly non-preferred airline or stay at a non-preferred hotel. Enough people do that and their occasional stays at 'my' chain or flights on 'my' airline might have an effect on availability or quality of my elite perks.
     
  16. Gaucho
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    Dont airlines monitor boards like FT and maybe even this one...? If so, I assume it would not be too hard to catch the crooks gaming the system with status match hanky-panky, or...??

    Also... I still cant believe that folks would be faking credentials to get a status match and the be idiotic enough to go out on FT and report their success... if this has happened, there are some sick minds out there that apparently want to get busted.... :rolleyes:
     
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  17. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    And my preference would be if they got busted at some far away airport right before they start the return trip on an award ticket. :D
     
  18. dayone
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    dayone Silver Member

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    Bragging and self-importance seem to be celebrated on FT.
     
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  19. newbluesea
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    Most certainly..... look at the content of the posts by the members with highest post count.

    One particular individual over there who just happens has the highest post count on the BA board flies about one a year (in coach to boot) has not even one single, solitary posting on a lodging chain/hotel, rental car or any such board and spends his time bragging how great BA is:rolleyes:
     
  20. MSPeconomist
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    I'm always amazed when people do this, including talking about getting as many elite status levels all at once just because they think they can. Folks forget that many of these are once in a lifetime offers so they are closing off the possibility for later when they really need and can use the status match.
     
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  21. desamo

    desamo Gold Member

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    United has a line where status can be verified, so it's possible this wouldn't work.
     
  22. viguera
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    viguera Gold Member

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    Yeah but this goes back to a question I myself asked when Miles & More was doing a similar match...

    If you're AA (or United, or whomever) and a competitor wants to verify the status of one of your elite flyers you tell them to go jump in the lake. Or at least that's what I would do, considering that the only possible reason for this verification is to offer them status and steal your business.

    That's why a lot of these things only require "proof" in the form of a screenshot or a scan of a card.
     
  23. MSPeconomist
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    My reaction is almost the opposite: If a competitor asks me to verify the status of someone that they're considering matching, I would always lie and say they're top tier or whatever so that the competitor wastes resources on someone who will not become a good customer.
     
  24. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    What's the real purpose of that status verification line, other than to provide a service to competitors poaching your elites? *A lounge agents don't seem to call it to verify *G status...
     
  25. MSPeconomist
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    However, when airlines or hotel chains have a policy of only matching status from a short list of programs, one does wonder whether they have established a few bilateral agreements to verify status for each other. Otherwise it's hard to see why some programs will match status from some close competitors but not others.
     

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