The United mile bubble of 1988 - parallels to current deval

Discussion in 'United Airlines | MileagePlus' started by MileCards, Nov 7, 2013.  |  Print Topic

  1. MileCards

    MileCards Silver Member

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  2. Newscience

    Newscience Gold Member

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    Interesting article about 1988. As recently as 2004, AA had first class seats from the East Coast to Hawaii for 60 K apiece or 2 for 100 K. The good days!
     
  3. ChrisUNC

    ChrisUNC Silver Member

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    But isn't it much easier to accumulate miles today than it was back in the 1980s? (I'm asking, not asserting). If ease of earning is factored into the value equation, the 'net' devaluation may not be as bad as it looks on the surface.
     
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  4. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    Yes. Dramatically so. The number of partners available is huge compared to virtually nil from 25 years ago.
     
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  5. 8MiHi

    8MiHi Silver Member

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    Getting miles from actually flying was easier with many double and triple mile incentives, 1000 mile minimum for elite in the mid 80's, great bonus miles (50% for Bronze, a level attained after 15K in the mid 80's and 20K later) and the like. CCs and other partners did start in the 80's, but they were nothing like what you see today. I think the reality is that many fliers simply did not join or participate in the FF programs at the levels we see today.
     
  6. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    Bonus miles for elites and 2x/3x promos from time to time still exist today; there is one going on right now. That hasn't change too much. Partner earning rates today are orders of magnitude higher than they were 25 years ago.
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2013
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  7. MileCards

    MileCards Silver Member

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    Didn't play the game then but this excerpt from one of the newspaper articles makes it sound pretty Wild West

    "And Midway Airlines, which uses a point system instead of miles, gives a flier four points just for signing up with the program and another if the traveler applies for a Diner's Club charge card. Five points entitles a paying coach passenger to bring along a companion for nothing, so a Midway ''frequent flier'' can win a free ticket without ever boarding a plane."
     
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  8. jfhscott
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    jfhscott Silver Member

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    Well, this is, at a minimum, interesting.

    But way back then, most miles were BIS, not so much today. A 2013 market basket of goods which would score 25000 on my MP card (or 37500) on some UA cards, would have scored 15000 miles in 1989. And, face it, UA C international is far better than it was in 1989. The fundamental point is that point earning has improved, and in some aspects, what one buys has improved too (think flat bed C). I'd love to see an analysis which accounts for (and exactitude is not required) such changes.
     
  9. Misplaced Texan
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    Misplaced Texan Gold Member

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    Good article. While these changes suck, they weren't unexpected and the next devaluation won't be either.

    Miles don't earn interest and are an inherently inflationary currency. Burn 'em if you got 'em.
     

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