WSJ: Ranking of the Stingiest Airlines

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Miles/Points' started by rwoman, May 26, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. rwoman
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    rwoman Gold Member

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    From the Wall Street Journal:

    For Frequent Fliers, a Ranking of the Stingiest Airlines

    SW is at the top. US and DL are at the bottom. Of course mileage redemption is generally one of DL FF's biggest complaints.

    I found the following interesting: :)

     
  2. eponymous_coward
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    eponymous_coward Gold Member

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    I'm glad people think US Airways is bad, because that means there's less competition for *A awards on them. :D
     
  3. jwsky
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    jwsky Silver Member

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    I liked this artical too. It is one thing for our relatively small community to complain about lack of availability, and another to see it published in the WSJ.
     
  4. RSSrsvp
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    RSSrsvp Silver Member

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    It doesn't come as a surprise to me that DL is at the bottom. Their award search engine's programming is simply awful (I'm being polite) and as a result the recipient of constant complaints from SkyMiles members.
     
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  5. rwoman
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    rwoman Gold Member

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    Ironically, I do often find 25k or 32.5k (usually ATL or LAX to the northeast) when needed. That said, the search engine IS a disaster!
     
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  6. jbcarioca
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    jbcarioca Gold Member

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    It is odd that GOL is the only one with 100% offers. Several otehr airline3s, even DL, offer award flights at a price on almost all flights. Not the cheapest, but they are available. The report seems to stack the deck, by setting |SQ as an international generous award issuer. NOT! Sorry to shout, but check out all teh griping about SQ award availability. As usual YMMV.
     
  7. NYC_Gal
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    NYC_Gal Silver Member

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    They should do the same ranking for partner's redemption. I am pretty sure AA and US will move all the way up.
     
  8. gleff
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    gleff Co-founder

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    As I wrote on my blog, they are looking at:
    * awards searchable online
    * mostly domestic coach
    * on only the airline's 'busiest routes'

    This makes sense to draw conclusions from if you are interested in flying the carrier whose miles you have domestically on their busiest routes.

    And if you are booking in March for summer domestic travel, which is what they did as a test.

    Any 'study' that says United/Continental has much better award availability than Turkish/US Airways -- when they're all in the same alliance -- really strikes me as missing the point.

    And any study that hails Southwest as having near-perfect award availability... And how did GOL even get into this let alone with an improbable 100% success rate, while not ranking Brazilian carrier TAM?

    Meanwhile, they don't look at time of day issues, there may be 1 seat at 6am on Tuesday out of 14 flights during the day and that counts as great.

    Me, I'm interested in using my miles for international premium cabin awards, often on partner airlines, and this study says nothing whatsoever about that.
     
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  9. Sean Colahan
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    Sean Colahan Gold Member

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    Gleff had a good blog post today about this. Hopefully he will post it to this forum later today.
     
  10. gleff
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    gleff Co-founder

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    And AA has better domestic award availability than anyone... Alaska's is pretty good, just not on the true transcons. And they should look at more than coach, on comparable city pairs, over longer time horizons and not over a short booking window. At least if they want to do a study like this and have data that tells you something. It's easy to critique I understand, executing a well-designed study would be hard and clearly you don't need a well-designed study to get good press, so I guess I 'get' why they don't!
     
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  11. mowogo
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    mowogo Gold Member

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    Careful, keep going with these rants (which are completely true), people might start demanding that you run or at least support one of these valid studies :p
     
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  12. gleff
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    gleff Co-founder

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    Hey, pitch in a little cash and I'll set some grad students up to do just that...
     
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  13. mowogo
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    mowogo Gold Member

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    Isn't that the sort of thing that Milepoint could sponsor for the PR boost? ;)
     
  14. SFOPeter
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    SFOPeter Silver Member

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    The worst city for domestic is SFO... that explains a lot!

    But like gleff I only use my miles for intl'l J or F and generally a year out so don't have many problems redeeming.

    peter
     
  15. Nelumbo
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    Nelumbo Silver Member

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    Their study didn't include research on cost/award ticket. For example, one needs to spend at least $2917 (at 12 points/$) to get enough points for a domestic roundtrip ticket on WN. A frugal traveler of UA/CO/DL could get gold status (or platinum on AA) easily with such spending, and earn miles enough for at least two domestic roundtrip tickets. However, should we feel fortunate that there is still relatively small number of people like us doing these thing? Otherwise, it would be more difficult to get the value and convenience as what we have now.
     
  16. Million Mile Secrets

    Million Mile Secrets Silver Member

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    Let the rest of the world believe the results of the "study."

    That's more miles and seats for us in International First and Business class! ;)
     

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