when you get an email starting "we're enhancing...." do you start to feel fear?

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Miles/Points' started by estnet, Aug 4, 2014.  |  Print Topic

  1. estnet
    Original Member

    estnet Gold Member

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    After getting an email with a title "we're standardizing...,..first class" I immediately thought - more bad news. These changes were ones previously discussed here and, of course, are decreases in previous services. Then I began to think.... every time I get an email or see an announcement of an "enhancement" or "we're improving".... from an airline I begin to wonder what they're taking away now.

    Have the airlines mastered doublespeak and taught us always to expect bad when they say good?
     
  2. blackjack-21

    blackjack-21 Gold Member

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    Probably because after many years of "enhancements" from the airlines and hotels, ie., more miles/points for trip bookings, higher fares and ever increasing fees equaling fewer flights with less available, but tighter pitched seating, airline food (if available) becoming less in volume and tastes, higher standard room prices at hotel properties around the world, we've become acclimated to all that the word really means.

    Enhancement=Improved bottom lines for airlines' and hotels' annual reports all the while lightening travelers wallets, yet leaving that empty feeling and callouses on their bottoms at the same time.

    Unless of course, you want to pay for all those extra cost, applicable fee, upgradeable extras that used to be included years ago.

    Is there a term for "disenhancementing" whereby those superfine new enhancements revert to the long gone but crowd pleasing less enhanced enhancements?
     
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  3. daninstl

    daninstl Gold Member

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    When I got back to back emails today from AA and US telling me how they are "creating a consistent First Class experience" it worried me. Although it's just about the food and US doesn't really have "First" class. It's like "change" in the corporate world you aren't a good employee unless you can embrace "change". Maybe but not all "change" is good so why should we blindly embrace something that might not be a good thing.
     
  4. cchagadorn

    cchagadorn Silver Member

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    I try to skip over the puffery/doublespeak/B.S. and just get to the meat of their emails, else I feel insulted. Heck, Delta has a billboard on I-5 south of the Sea-Tac airport and every time I read "Easier to redeem" I think to myself, "and harder to earn."

    They really do themselves a disservice when they spin so much. They are almost as bad as politicians. :eek:
     
  5. estnet
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    estnet Gold Member

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    ALMOST as bad as politicians?????
    In my book ....worse:mad::(
     
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  6. WilliamQ

    WilliamQ Gold Member

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    Debatable. :)
     
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  7. Terry Yap

    Terry Yap Gold Member

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    the airlines probably employ an army of spin doctors :p
     
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  8. lapointdm

    lapointdm Silver Member

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    Airline speak is getting rather predictable. Enhancement always means the opposite..
     
  9. blackjack-21

    blackjack-21 Gold Member

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    Hotel speak should also be included, with their enhancements to their earning and burning rates for rewards.
     
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  10. JCellieur

    JCellieur Member

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    In order to feel as if something has been taken away from you, wouldn't you have had to enjoyed many years of preferred service? Not exactly sure everybody is in 'that' camp. All I try to do is look at things and make decisions moving forward with the information I've been given. Case in point.

    Legacy carriers ( U, D & A) basically give you the same service as SW , SP and F with some perks tossed in if you stick with one.

    So now they are saying well we appreciate you sticking with us but we can't continue to do X at this price point, so you, traveler, have a choice. Stick with me under the new terms or try your luck with SW,SP or F inside the US.

    As for major international travelers, especially if you're subsidized by some third party or other gig, who really cares what you think.

    That would be like Jim Morrison giving people on the internet free "advice" about being a lounge lizard.

    All very interesting and entertaining but not really apropo.
     
  11. blackjack-21

    blackjack-21 Gold Member

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    Not all of us are "major international travelers" nor are we subsidized by employers paying for our trips, both airfares and hotels, in full. Now retired, I've been flying on commercial airlines since about 1959 or thereabouts, and I can still remember more comfortable seating, even on those old DC-6's and -7's and beyond, with full, edible meals in coach, and even those small five-cigarette packs on the trays. All of that at a reasonable cost for the times, and without all those extras such as "fuel surcharges", security fees, and so much more addons, including "airport improvement fees" as they have in Canada.

    Many, many years ago I was told by an airline employee that ticket costs were then based on about 2.5 cents per mile, and for that cost we got comfortable seats, edible meals, no bag fees for standard bags, and some small taxes added on.

    Airlines were starting to raise charges prior to 9/11, but that disaster brought about the inclusions of fuel surcharges, baggage fees, security fees, higher taxes on tickets, "slimline seats" with less width and pitch, and loss of basic meals on longer flights, all of which differed from years ago. So yes, some of us do remember those better times, and regretfully, know they're gone forever. But we still have some choices of carriers and hotels, although at least here in NA, there's not much differentation among them, so the choosing may be more difficult and wind up based on costs, comfort, and maybe some small perks, but nothing at all like the pleasure and ease of traveling years ago, even now with the "lie-flat beds", warmed nuts, and WOW, pre-departure OJ, water, or champagne. Some airlines used to distribute hard candies or mints pre-takeoff to help relieve the ear pressure buildup that some of us experience on takeoffs and landings, which was then more appreciated then the cheap bubbly now given to "elite-seated" pax travelling on their company's dime.

    So yes, we'll remember how it used to be, with some sadness, but we'll do what we have to, choosing the best options we can, to make our travels as comfortable and still cost reasonable as possible, as difficult as that has now become. There's still some ways to use our miles/points to reduce the costs of travel to some extent, even with all the devaluations thrown at us, and those of us who have the basic knowledge of how to do so, will keep at it.
     
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  12. FormalHall

    FormalHall Active Member

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    Qatar still gives out the mints in economy; a nice touch which costs them little and can make life easier for them if fewer people, especially children, suffer from ear pressure problems.

    I would question your claim that flights were 'a reasonable cost for the times' however. I was looking at some 1960s newspapers the other day with advertisements for Pan Am and BOAC flights to the Caribbean and they were similar prices to today. What is unreasonable is the rise in change fees to $200 and similar given that costs must be far less than in the age of paper tickets.
     
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  13. blackjack-21

    blackjack-21 Gold Member

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    Yes, flights and all the extras way back when, were reasonable for the times. In July, 1968, I took my first TATL flight, as part of a package I'd put together from American Express Travel. Destinations on that just under three week trip were from JFK-MAD, then to Palma de Mallorca, on to AMS, LHR, and back to JFK. All destinations included stopovers of several days including hotels, and a rental car in both Madrid and Palma. Airlines flown on that trip included IB, BOAC, and TWA, staying in 3+ star hotels in each city. Total cost for all of the above.... US$ 442.00

    So yes, I'd say that some things, including air fares without all the added additional extras (YQ, baggage fees, security fees, "airport improvement fees", UK APD, and so many more "enhancement" costs) were lower way back when. And even though that trip was in coach seats all the way, I sat in wider, with more pitch and much more comfortable seats, with decent, edible full meals on each flight, and easier times at all the airports.

    9/11 changed all that forever, as did the airlines trying every which way to make up their losses during those difficult years afterwards, and my now "old-age-spread" has added to the seating discomfort nowadays too, but as always, YMMV.
     
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  14. MX

    MX Gold Member

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    Even according to the "creative" inflation data from the Fed, USD 442 in 1968 would be worth USD 3,039 today. http://www.dollartimes.com/inflation/inflation.php?amount=442&year=1968
    It was a great era, yet at present time I would be very hesitant getting into cars or planes built to those standards. ;)
     
  15. blackjack-21

    blackjack-21 Gold Member

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    No doubt the "creative" inflation figures are close to reality, what with airfares and their extra charges, hotel costs, car rentals, etc., being what they are now. While all the aircraft I flew on that vacation are now very obsolete, still a few of them are probably still flying....somehere. On IB a DC-8 and Caravelle, BOAC a Trident, and the return leg LHR-JFK on a TWA B707.

    Looking at a trip from NA to London and Belfast later this year or early next, the cost of airfares, hotels, transfers, with no rental cars, for ten days is well over $4,000 (but now for my wife and me), and that's without the cost of meals, incidentals and other et ceteras. Using available miles and points will help bring the costs down but that's another story.
     
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  16. MX

    MX Gold Member

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    Well, if you start comparing the cost of staying in a town where the 0.01% class lives to 1968, that's a totally different story. That demographic did not exist (or at least were hardly visible) back then, and neither did the prices they generate.
     
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  17. blackjack-21

    blackjack-21 Gold Member

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    I'd suggest that there were also probably many of those 1 percenters around in London in the sixties, even though the connotation wasn't yet available that far back, visible or not.
    And I was just as surprised (shocked) at the cost of things then as I expect to be on another trip, even with a few of our trips to the UK in between.
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2014
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  18. anabolism
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    anabolism Gold Member

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    To get back to the original post's point, I feel insulted when I read such patently ludicrous writing. I think many companies (not just airlines by far) employ PR people who aren't very smart, and assume the rest of us are even stupider. That explains why they think they're fooling anybody. If they'd just be honest and direct, I'd respect them more.

    "After our recent merger, we need to increase profits to justify the huge merger expenses to stockholders, and not incidentally, trigger the huge bonuses. Because of reduced competition, we can get away with it, because, well, you don't have a lot of choice. So, we're cutting back meal service. We hope you'll keep flying us anyway, but if you don't, well, we don't care that much because our load factors are so high."​
     
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2014
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  19. moongoddess

    moongoddess Silver Member

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    There was a reason the archetypal 20th Century American family vacation was a road trip, and it wasn't because Dad just loved driving the family station wagon. Prior to airline deregulation, ordinary people couldn't afford to fly very often.

    That's something I try to remember when I'm at the airport. Yeah, today's plane are just Greyhound busses with wings. Blech! Who wants to ride in a Greyhound bus? But that's also wonderful: they are Greyhound busses WITH WINGS. For the first time in human history, average people (at least in the more prosperous nations) can actually afford to travel to distant and exotic lands. That thought kind of puts my griping into perspective.
     
  20. moongoddess

    moongoddess Silver Member

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    You're not the only one who'd find such a letter to be a breath of fresh air!

    As for the OP's question: No, I don't feel fear when I read an email that begins with "We're enhancing..." Resignation is more like it. The first two words tell me what's coming in the rest of the letter is going to suck, so from that point on it's simply a matter of learning precisely what way the company has decided to dish out the suckatude.
     
  21. cardinalkid

    cardinalkid Active Member

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    "As for the OP's question: No, I don't feel fear when I read an email that begins with "We're enhancing..." Resignation is more like it. The first two words tell me what's coming in the rest of the letter is going to suck, so from that point on it's simply a matter of learning precisely what way the company has decided to dish out the suckatude."

    Couldn't have said it any better myself
     
  22. hoglard1

    hoglard1 Active Member

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    "Enhancements" are Orwellian newspeak.
     
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  23. Dublin_rfk

    Dublin_rfk Gold Member

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    As a training ground for these looking to enter government service
     
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  24. PanAm
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    PanAm Silver Member

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    I'd rather see something like that, too. But I'm not holding my breath. Like you said, it's not just airlines and hotels that do this, many or most companies do the same. It does come off as if they think we're stupid and perhaps they do. Guess it takes a "special" kind of person to work in PR/marketing and even be able to think like this.
     
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  25. Dublin_rfk

    Dublin_rfk Gold Member

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    I agree they are a special kind of people, lawyers, politicians, pr/marketing and I am really glad there are none of those in my family.
     

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