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UA Mileage Plus Adds Elite Minimum Spend  
User currently offlineUALFAson From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 715 posts, RR: 4
Posted (1 year 2 months 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 7908 times:

According to USA Today, United will join Delta in requiring minimum spends on UA-issued tickets in addition to reaching mileage threshholds to qualify for Premier status starting in 2014.

The spends are the same as DL's I believe--$2,500 for Premier Silver; $5,000 for Gold; $7,500 for Platinum; and $10,000 for 1K.

http://www.usatoday.com/story/todayi...o-elite-status-qualifying/2433545/


"We hope you've enjoyed flying with us as much as we've enjoyed taking you for a ride."
69 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently onlineAeroWesty From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 20500 posts, RR: 62
Reply 1, posted (1 year 2 months 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 7882 times:

From the source:

http://www.mileageplusupdates.com/faqs.html



International Homo of Mystery
User currently offlineLAXintl From United States of America, joined May 2000, 25062 posts, RR: 46
Reply 2, posted (1 year 2 months 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 7639 times:

Excellent   

IMO, loyalty programs should have long been tied to spending, not simply churning miles.



From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
User currently offlinetugger From United States of America, joined Apr 2006, 5502 posts, RR: 8
Reply 3, posted (1 year 2 months 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 7568 times:

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 2):
IMO, loyalty programs should have long been tied to spending, not simply churning miles.

And in my opinion it takes out almost all of.... what the fun? the skill? the interesting part of of being a true FF of an airline. It reduces it to that one thing that everything is rated in: $$$.

I think many av fans and fans of airlines and FF's in general take great joy and/or appreciation in being able to "build miles" via looking at routing and work with available deals to achieve FF levels. This move, while understandable from strictly dollars and sense approach takes much of what I mentioned out of the equation. So it is what it is and it makes sense but they will lose people with it. But I they are obviously OK with that as they are also reducing the customer benefit on the redemption side of the FF programs.

I'll miss people doing "mileage runs". Ah well, progress.

Tugg



I don’t know that I am unafraid to be myself, but it is hard to be somebody else. -W. Shatner
User currently offlineGCT64 From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2007, 1384 posts, RR: 1
Reply 4, posted (1 year 2 months 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 7550 times:

Quoting AeroWesty (Reply 1):
From the source:
http://www.mileageplusupdates.com/fa....html

Thank you for posting the definitive FAQ, gave me the answer I needed:  

"Does the Premier qualifying dollars (PQD) requirement apply to members who reside outside of the United States?
No. The Premier qualifying dollar (PQD) requirement only applies to members whose primary MileagePlus account address is in the 50 United States or the District of Columbia."

For those in the US, worth noting this caveat:
"Do taxes count as Premier qualifying dollars (PQD)?
No. Government imposed taxes, fees, and charges are not eligible for Premier qualifying dollars (PQD)"



Flown in: A30B,A306,A310,A319,A320,A321,A332,A333,A343,A346,BA11,BU31,B190, B461,B462,B463,(..50 types..),VC10,WESX
User currently offlineFlyPIJets From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 898 posts, RR: 3
Reply 5, posted (1 year 2 months 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 7505 times:

Quoting tugger (Reply 3):
I'll miss people doing "mileage runs". Ah well, progress.

Why would you need to stop mileage runs?

I mean I understand if you weren't spending $$$ with an airline you don't deserve status. But I don't understand why you still wouldn't enjoy racking up miles.



DC-8, DC-9, DC-10, F28, 717, 727, 737, 747, 757, 767, IL-62, L-1011, MD-82/83, YS-11, DHC-8, PA-28-161, ERJ 135/145, E-1
User currently offlineCOEWR787 From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 337 posts, RR: 3
Reply 6, posted (1 year 2 months 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 7441 times:

As far as I am concerned, it is no big deal since I do more than those thresholds anyway.

User currently onlineAeroWesty From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 20500 posts, RR: 62
Reply 7, posted (1 year 2 months 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 7440 times:

Quoting FlyPIJets (Reply 5):
But I don't understand why you still wouldn't enjoy racking up miles.

In most cases it'll be far cheaper to just buy miles outright than fly mileage runs, if you don't have high enough status to earn elite bonuses.



International Homo of Mystery
User currently offlinetugger From United States of America, joined Apr 2006, 5502 posts, RR: 8
Reply 8, posted (1 year 2 months 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 7440 times:

Quoting FlyPIJets (Reply 5):
Why would you need to stop mileage runs?

Mileage runs are done to get status and in general refers to doing a maximized mileage trips for the least money/time to meet the status level you want (finding that on sale trip for $99 say between SAN and LAX that gives you a minimum of 500 miles each way). As things switch to just dollars thresholds that won't be done. FF's (those desiring to be FF's) will need to do "money runs" to spend up the the required amount for status.

Quoting AeroWesty (Reply 7):
In most cases it'll be far cheaper to just buy miles outright than fly mileage runs, if you don't have high enough status to earn elite bonuses.

 checkmark 
Why waste time and go through hassles at the airport etc when it is easier and less time to simply buy the miles?

Tugg

[Edited 2013-06-18 09:03:09]


I don’t know that I am unafraid to be myself, but it is hard to be somebody else. -W. Shatner
User currently offlinedelta2ual From United States of America, joined Dec 2007, 620 posts, RR: 1
Reply 9, posted (1 year 2 months 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 7302 times:

On the one hand, I am glad to see this. Those people that spend the most should get the perks. The standby lists for upgrades are too long. I wonder if they should just get rid of the mileage requirement all together. This new system is a step in the right direction, but won't this potentially hurt someone who takes a very expensive international trip (meeting the $ threshold) but doesn't quite have the miles?


From the world's largest airline-to the world's largest airline. Delta2ual
User currently onlineAeroWesty From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 20500 posts, RR: 62
Reply 10, posted (1 year 2 months 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 7100 times:

Quoting delta2ual (Reply 9):
This new system is a step in the right direction, but won't this potentially hurt someone who takes a very expensive international trip (meeting the $ threshold) but doesn't quite have the miles?

It's still a frequent flyer program, not a frequent spender program. It should be based on miles. If they want to add a spending qualification, so be it, that's a separate issue.

Who will get hosed: Those buying tickets which have UA or partner airline segments, but the ticket is plated on another airline's stock. Those won't count towards PQDs.



International Homo of Mystery
User currently offlineredzeppelin From United States of America, joined Feb 2012, 572 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (1 year 2 months 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 7040 times:

It was only a matter of time. AA can't be far behind.

Quoting delta2ual (Reply 9):
but won't this potentially hurt someone who takes a very expensive international trip (meeting the $ threshold) but doesn't quite have the miles?

I think that they still want to reward loyalty, and the easiest way to recognize loyalty is by counting flight segments or miles. So I guess the guy who buys a Global First ticket to HKG will be the one who is still doing mileage runs to get status next year, while the rest of us will be couning pennies instead of pounding on gcmap.com to figure out which route is longer. As for the comment about buying miles being cheaper than doing the run, I doubt that the cash spent to buy miles will count toward the spend requirement. And purchased miles don't typically count for qualification either, except during the occasional end-of-year promotion.



Coming Up: BZN-MSP-ORD-FCO-VIE-CDG-SLC-BZN
User currently onlineAeroWesty From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 20500 posts, RR: 62
Reply 12, posted (1 year 2 months 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 6873 times:

Quoting redzeppelin (Reply 11):
As for the comment about buying miles being cheaper than doing the run, I doubt that the cash spent to buy miles will count toward the spend requirement.

You're correct, but part of the deal with mileage runs was earning cheap spendable miles. Now that spend thresholds will be difficult for those flying on cheap tickets to meet, it will make it more difficult to earn miles this way for a low price. The elite bonuses which bring RDM levels down to 2¢ or less won't be part of the equation unless you have other flying or the CC waiver working on your behalf.

Better off to buy miles using the award accelerator or other means if you just want cheap miles to turn into premium class international award tickets.



International Homo of Mystery
User currently offline777STL From United States of America, joined Dec 2004, 3610 posts, RR: 3
Reply 13, posted (1 year 2 months 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 6811 times:

I don't see this as a bad thing. The spending limits aren't extravagant and if you can't meet those, you have no business being an elite anyway.


PHX based
User currently offlinelindberghflyer From United States of America, joined Feb 2013, 28 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (1 year 2 months 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 6777 times:

This really ups the ante for AA to do the same. If they don't, they are very likely to end up with the dregs of the ff world-the people who DL and UA shook out of their programs. Having these people, plus having the low-rev AAdvantage elite members (and soon dividend milers) will significantly degrade AAdvantage. When you combine this with changes like the a319 being only 9f, you can see how AAdvantage could become highly undesirable for high revenue frequent fliers (outside of Dallas and Miami at least and excluding people who pay for F ALL the time).

User currently offlineRDH3E From United States of America, joined Mar 2011, 1648 posts, RR: 3
Reply 15, posted (1 year 2 months 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 6767 times:

Quoting AeroWesty (Reply 10):
Who will get hosed: Those buying tickets which have UA or partner airline segments, but the ticket is plated on another airline's stock. Those won't count towards PQDs.

It looks like if you buy your ticket on United.com and get a 016 ticket you will get your PQD's.

"You will earn Premier qualifying dollars (PQD) on most:
Flights operated by United, United Express, or Copa Airlines
Flights operated by a Star Alliance® or a MileagePlus partner airline and issued on a United ticket (ticket number starting with 016)
Economy Plus purchases"


User currently onlineAeroWesty From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 20500 posts, RR: 62
Reply 16, posted (1 year 2 months 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 6710 times:

Quoting RDH3E (Reply 15):
It looks like if you buy your ticket on United.com and get a 016 ticket you will get your PQD's.

Yes, that's why I pointed out that those likely to get hurt the most will be those who get plated on another airline's stock. Some people, like those who go through corporate travel agents, don't have the luxury of directing their tickets onto 016 stock.



International Homo of Mystery
User currently offlinekgaiflyer From United States of America, joined Jul 2008, 4263 posts, RR: 1
Reply 17, posted (1 year 2 months 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 6638 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Quoting tugger (Reply 3):
And in my opinion it takes out almost all of.... what the fun? the skill? the interesting part of of being a true FF of an airline. It reduces it to that one thing that everything is rated in: $$$.
Quoting 777STL (Reply 13):
I don't see this as a bad thing. The spending limits aren't extravagant and if you can't meet those, you have no business being an elite anyway.

So, we see there are two sides to every argument.

Now, I have intention, whatsoever, of ceasing mileage junkets -- that is, flying to places I would never travel to otherwise in a million years because the fare-for-mileage balance is just right. Or flying somewhere and back with the same flight crew for the same reason.

So unless they start specifying the buying of tickets from United.com exclusively, I'm still in business.


User currently offlineLAXintl From United States of America, joined May 2000, 25062 posts, RR: 46
Reply 18, posted (1 year 2 months 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 6624 times:

Quoting AeroWesty (Reply 10):
It's still a frequent flyer program, not a frequent spender program.

Its a loyalty program at the end, and not all customers are created equal simply because they rack up infinite number of low value miles.

Its nice to see airlines circling back and refocusing their programs on being able to differentiate better who is who amongst their client base.
Other industries have long figured out its good to equate spending with rewards.

Quoting AeroWesty (Reply 16):
Some people, like those who go through corporate travel agents, don't have the luxury of directing their tickets onto 016 stock.

Oh common. I hardly expect a US company to have their travel department issue tickets on Air Canada or something. Sure there might be exceptions, but if one travels UA they will ticket on UA.

Anyhow corporate travel is another world, as FF benefits are often part of the deal and not subject to all the normal earning rules anyhow.



From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
User currently onlineAeroWesty From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 20500 posts, RR: 62
Reply 19, posted (1 year 2 months 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 6612 times:

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 18):
Sure there might be exceptions, but if one travels UA they will ticket on UA.

We were talking about tickets with mixed carriers. If you fly to Europe on Air Canada and return on United, would you expect to be ticketed on AC or UA stock? I would expect it to be AC.



International Homo of Mystery
User currently offlineCubsrule From United States of America, joined May 2004, 22867 posts, RR: 20
Reply 20, posted (1 year 2 months 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 6555 times:

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 18):
Its nice to see airlines circling back and refocusing their programs on being able to differentiate better who is who amongst their client base.
Other industries have long figured out its good to equate spending with rewards.

I agree with that, but the implementation (like DL's plan) seems to fly in the face of all of the talk about metal-neutral alliances. If I fly to Europe on LH and back on UA, I now really need to ticket both halves of that trip on 016 stock. It didn't used to matter as far as Mileage Plus was concerned.

Shouldn't UA be rewarding spending on flights on which UA gets the revenue (either through operating the flight or through ATI) regardless of the booking/ticketing channel? If I sleep in a $200 room at the Marriott tonight, Marriott doesn't much care if I bought it on marriott.com or called the hotel directly and booked; my rewards points are the same either way. That's not the same in the airline industry.



I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
User currently offlineLAXintl From United States of America, joined May 2000, 25062 posts, RR: 46
Reply 21, posted (1 year 2 months 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 6551 times:

Quoting AeroWesty (Reply 19):
We were talking about tickets with mixed carriers. If you fly to Europe on Air Canada and return on United, would you expect to be ticketed on AC or UA stock? I would expect it to be AC.

Suppose anything can happen, but plating has a commission aspect also, so if you have a UA corporate travel account, I would think they would try hard to continue ticketing on UA.

As a company if you are ticketing randomly across many airlines the revenue is not being accrued which can impact being able to meet required contractual revenue thresholds.

Frankly, I don't think this is a issue. A company with UA travel contract will ticket on UA to earn its own benefits, with the employees in return gaining theirs.
And again, I will mention, FF benefits are often part of corporate contract and not always subject to all the normal earning rules anyhow.



From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
User currently offlinetugger From United States of America, joined Apr 2006, 5502 posts, RR: 8
Reply 22, posted (1 year 2 months 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 6552 times:

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 18):
Its a loyalty program at the end, and not all customers are created equal simply because they rack up infinite number of low value miles.

But the thing is one of the key, critical elements of loyalty programs is to be future oriented. They should not just focus on those than buy and can afford higher fare buckets now, the idea is to grow your customer, get them hooked and locked into your airline when they are young and poor and just flying their buts of as cheaply as possible (for their jobs, for fun, whatever). So that as they grow in income and ability and care more about comfort an the other perks that an airlines offers, they will stick with that one carrier and give their big money to them.

Yes, you must care for your higher dollar customers. But loyalty programs are supposed to lock in those that are currently "lower value" and create loyalty into the future.

I am not saying what is being done is wrong or anything like that, but that these "cheap seats" people are very important to loyalty programs.

Tugg



I don’t know that I am unafraid to be myself, but it is hard to be somebody else. -W. Shatner
User currently offlinecv990coronado From South Africa, joined Nov 2007, 337 posts, RR: 0
Reply 23, posted (1 year 2 months 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 6509 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

$10000 for the top level seems incredibly low. This can't be much more then the cost of a business class ticket from the US to Asia or Europe plus on flight in the US. Hardly what I would call a top level frequent flyer.


SSC-707B727 737-741234SP757/762/3/772/WA300/10/319/2/1-342/3/6-880-DAM-VC10 TRD 111 Ju52-DC8/9/10/11-YS11-748-VCV DH4B L
User currently offlineredzeppelin From United States of America, joined Feb 2012, 572 posts, RR: 0
Reply 24, posted (1 year 2 months 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 6470 times:

Quoting RDH3E (Reply 15):
You will earn Premier qualifying dollars (PQD) on most:
....
Economy Plus purchases

I spy a differentiator! The new DL program does not count spending for Economy Comfort seats. Perhaps they'll match? It's a bit easier to pay over $100 for Y+ on a TATL if I know that money will count toward earning status.



Coming Up: BZN-MSP-ORD-FCO-VIE-CDG-SLC-BZN
User currently onlineAeroWesty From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 20500 posts, RR: 62
Reply 25, posted (1 year 2 months 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 6643 times:

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 21):
And again, I will mention, FF benefits are often part of corporate contract and not always subject to all the normal earning rules anyhow.

And again, I will mention that we were talking about a specific subsection of flyers, which I further qualified as to whom I believed it would apply to. As a reminder:

Quoting AeroWesty (Reply 10):
Who will get hosed: Those buying tickets which have UA or partner airline segments, but the ticket is plated on another airline's stock.

Not everyone has a UA account. I'm perplexed why you're making a mountain out of a molehill on this issue. Some people will be negatively affected by the rule changes. Simple.



International Homo of Mystery
User currently offlineLAXintl From United States of America, joined May 2000, 25062 posts, RR: 46
Reply 26, posted (1 year 2 months 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 6659 times:

Quoting tugger (Reply 22):
loyalty programs is to be future oriented

Putting a spend requirement is future oriented.

It provides incentive to buy up, not simply seek out deep discount fares, but into higher fare buckets. Combined with some other restrictions or benefits it can encourage people to buy into those higher buckets as they get value back in return now.

Same things go for international travel. For example, if I needed to go to Far East for work, as a elite I could buy an upgradable economy ticket (W class or higher) for $1,800, or just directly get the discount business class ticket for $2,600. Knowing spending counts, I might as well hang onto the miles or upgrade certificate and forget about playing the upgrade lottery and just buy the seat directly.

Quoting cv990coronado (Reply 23):
$10000 for the top level seems incredibly low.

  

One or two full premium tickets and you are at $10k easy



From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
User currently offlinetugger From United States of America, joined Apr 2006, 5502 posts, RR: 8
Reply 27, posted (1 year 2 months 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 6766 times:

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 21):
Suppose anything can happen, but plating has a commission aspect also, so if you have a UA corporate travel account, I would think they would try hard to continue ticketing on UA.

As a company if you are ticketing randomly across many airlines the revenue is not being accrued which can impact being able to meet required contractual revenue thresholds.

Frankly, I don't think this is a issue. A company with UA travel contract will ticket on UA to earn its own benefits, with the employees in return gaining theirs.
And again, I will mention, FF benefits are often part of corporate contract and not always subject to all the normal earning rules anyhow.

With my company, a top tier multi-billion dollar corporation, you are required to go with the lowest cost option for travel. In the last two years I have flown 84k miles but been booked on six different carriers: WN, AA, UA, DL, US, AS. I have next to no ability to build real loyalty with any carrier. Once upon a time (about 5 years ago now) we could essentially stick with one carrier relatively easily but new tools and rules have been put in place to force most travelers into the lowest fares for a trip no matter what. Only VP's or higher get to really "break the rules" and book a preferred (as in personally preferred) carrier.

Really annoying if I do say so myself.

Tugg



I don’t know that I am unafraid to be myself, but it is hard to be somebody else. -W. Shatner
User currently offlinemercure1 From French Polynesia, joined Jul 2008, 1359 posts, RR: 2
Reply 28, posted (1 year 2 months 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 6609 times:

I think this is good idea for airlines.

Make programs similar to hotels, or even supermarkets where spending component helps determine benefits/rewards.

I think many airline programs are spending based already in the US. Southwest, Jetblue, Virgin are all like so no?


User currently offlineLAXintl From United States of America, joined May 2000, 25062 posts, RR: 46
Reply 29, posted (1 year 2 months 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 6586 times:

Quoting tugger (Reply 27):

In other words your company does not have major travel loyalty to any airline, it just seeks the cheapest fare on the open market.

So at the end, such moves by DL or UA does not change much for many like you, as you don't even accrue the required miles let alone the dollar value.

But look at it from an airlines point of view. Why should they reward such lack of loyalty? If you/your company instead agreed to give a single airline the bulk of business, then the rewards could follow. It becomes a more win = win.



From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
User currently offlineSIA747Megatop From Singapore, joined Apr 2012, 295 posts, RR: 0
Reply 30, posted (1 year 2 months 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 6623 times:

$10,000? Is this in all classes of travel? At Singapore Airlines to gain access to the PPS Club one must spend S$25,000 exclusively in Business, First or Suites cabins. This only gives you access to Business Class check-in and lounge access. In order to enter the top tier (Solitaire) one must be a PPS Club member for 5 years. This will open up the First Class benefits.


Would you like fries with that? I didn't think so.
User currently offlineRDH3E From United States of America, joined Mar 2011, 1648 posts, RR: 3
Reply 31, posted (1 year 2 months 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 6476 times:

Quoting SIA747Megatop (Reply 30):
$10,000? Is this in all classes of travel? At Singapore Airlines to gain access to the PPS Club one must spend S$25,000 exclusively in Business, First or Suites cabins. This only gives you access to Business Class check-in and lounge access. In order to enter the top tier (Solitaire) one must be a PPS Club member for 5 years. This will open up the First Class benefits.

Keep in mind this is to get into the highest level you can "buy" your way into. This doesn't include Global Services, which from my understanding you must spend or control the spend of at least $200,000 and/or be in the top 1% of all spenders at the company, or be a high ranking politician etc. Point is, the highest level at UA is invite-only.


User currently offlineUALFAson From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 715 posts, RR: 4
Reply 32, posted (1 year 2 months 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 6400 times:

As I said in the thread when DL introduced this, I'm surprised that airlines are choosing to implement a system like this now, and not back in the days of $99 coast-to-coast one way fares.

I know taxes aren't included, and so that knocks a few bucks off the average fare, but given today's higher ticket prices, it seems like it would be pretty difficult to reach 25,000 miles WITHOUT spending $2,500. There may be a few people who manage to hit the miles but still fall short on the spend if you get lucky with super-advance-purchase tickets; however, you'd still have to buy several of them, so why does the airline want to "punish" fairly loyal fliers?

I'm curious as to how much this really weeds out the elite ranks and/or drives additional revenue versus the bad PR it creates...



"We hope you've enjoyed flying with us as much as we've enjoyed taking you for a ride."
User currently offlinetugger From United States of America, joined Apr 2006, 5502 posts, RR: 8
Reply 33, posted (1 year 2 months 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 6366 times:

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 26):
Putting a spend requirement is future oriented.

It provides incentive to buy up, not simply seek out deep discount fares, but into higher fare buckets. Combined with some other restrictions or benefits it can encourage people to buy into those higher buckets as they get value back in return now.

You are missing the point and that is not how people book. We all well know that people go to the lowest cost option almost all the time when it is their money. Only when you spend someone elses money, as in travel for business, do people seem to pay more willingly (and in my case, no the company will not pay that upgrade fee, the employee would have to).

You want to build loyalty early on, get the passenger to begin to see value to keep flying with the one airline and FF miles do that and then begin to encourage the flyer to perhaps spend a bit more to keep their service level. Bu that really kicks in later as spending power increases.


Quoting LAXintl (Reply 26):
One or two full premium tickets and you are at $10k easy

That only works for those that have the money and they aren't looking at the FF miles as much as the service and value (city, schedule, etc) they are getting for that flight. Loyalty might be a factor for the convenience for someone in a lower fare but for those that buy those upper fares they already get through security faster and have more access to more perks in the airline simply for buying that class of ticket.

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 29):

And for that low value frequent business flyer?
In other words your company does not have major travel loyalty to any airline, it just seeks the cheapest fare on the open market.

Actually we have contracts with every airline I mentioned except WN. But even with that everything is attempted to be competitive to reduce cost. But yes, we don't have any loyalty to any ONE airline as we don't need to, we're big enough to get their attention no matter what. If they don't deal with then they are not "favored" with easy ticketing. WN is this way, they don't do any special deal with us and so you need to get separate permission to use them (which happens often enough as they are either the best option schedule/city-wise or the lowest cost).

Tugg



I don’t know that I am unafraid to be myself, but it is hard to be somebody else. -W. Shatner
User currently offlineCubsrule From United States of America, joined May 2004, 22867 posts, RR: 20
Reply 34, posted (1 year 2 months 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 6306 times:

Quoting tugger (Reply 33):
Only when you spend someone elses money, as in travel for business, do people seem to pay more willingly (and in my case, no the company will not pay that upgrade fee, the employee would have to).

That issue is almost entirely fixable if the carrier so chooses. Plenty of companies have "bought" 500 mile AA upgrades by purchasing tickets for their employees, since the 500 mile upgrades are a free benefit for gold and platinum AAdvantage members. Plenty of companies have "bought" upgrades to Economy Comfort on DL or Y+ on UA by virtue of having bought refundable tickets for their employees. I could continue with the list, but you get the idea.



I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
User currently offlineLAXintl From United States of America, joined May 2000, 25062 posts, RR: 46
Reply 35, posted (1 year 2 months 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 6252 times:

Quoting tugger (Reply 33):
You are missing the point and that is not how people book. We all well know that people go to the lowest cost option almost all the time when it is their money.

I'm not missing the point at all.

One of the fundamental jobs of a loyalty program is to help push people along for the benefit of the company by providing a carrot(s) to try bend that lowest cost mentality in this case in order to earn whatever benefits. There is a clear dollar price attached now to such perks.

You essentially said the exact same thing in your paragraph below.

Quoting tugger (Reply 33):
You want to build loyalty early on, get the passenger to begin to see value to keep flying with the one airline and FF miles do that and then begin to encourage the flyer to perhaps spend a bit more to keep their service level. Bu that really kicks in later as spending power increases.

The spending requirement is nothing different than what for example the LCCs are doing. As an example look at Frontier with their 3 fare buckets.
Yes you can always go the cheapest fare, but if you want to have a bit more comfort, or benefits, you buy up to a higher fare.

Here with the spending thresholds as employed in other sectors like hotels, the major airlines are finally and rightfully linking spending to benefits.

Quoting tugger (Reply 33):
That only works for those that have the money and they aren't looking at the FF miles as much as the service and value

Then go by 20 tickets at $500.

The point is the thresholds are not very hard to reach. The $2500, $5000, $7500, or $10,000 spends are pretty minor.
If anyone flew 100,000 miles and earned 1K with under $10K spend they must have done it with ridiculous $299 transcons.

Anyhow as DL is doing UA is allowing folks that spend $25,000 annually via their co-branded credit cards to forget the spending thresholds except for 1Ks. So spending ~$2k/month is another very simple option to earn elite level.



From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
User currently offlineDesertFlyer From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 515 posts, RR: 0
Reply 36, posted (1 year 2 months 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 6269 times:

How are people getting Silver for less than $2500? I fly for work and pleasure, and barely hit Silver, but I definitely spend more than $2500 in a given year.

User currently offlinecosyr From United States of America, joined Jul 2012, 386 posts, RR: 0
Reply 37, posted (1 year 2 months 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 6156 times:

it says on the base fare. What is to stop them from saying $200 for the fare and $200 fuel surcharge, so you only get credit for half, not to mention the ever increasing taxes and govt fees that earn nothing on?

I wonder why they say the credit card waiver of $25000 is only for 2014. Sort of a trial,or do you think it will become perminant? Or are they just trying to soften the blow for the first year so people get used to this new requirement?

I hope they'll allow $25k between all my cards, since I have 3. I'll spend that much, but not on one alone. I suppose it's too much to ask for Pres Plus to just have the requirements waived.

Also, since Y+ purchases count, they should also count club membership and these new annual subscriptions. Just a thought.


User currently onlineAeroWesty From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 20500 posts, RR: 62
Reply 38, posted (1 year 2 months 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 6168 times:

Quoting tugger (Reply 33):
You are missing the point and that is not how people book.

  

Say if in my example of the split AC/UA ticket above, it's worth $2,000 each way in a lightly discounted Economy class. That's 40% of the way PQD-wise to Star Gold with UA. My workplace is also a multi-billion dollar enterprise as well, and we have a lowest fare rule too.

Our travel agency will return a list of various options to choose from, and we may select a preferred carrier/itinerary within a specific $ value, depending upon domestic or international travel. For example, I may reject the lowest-cost connection at SLC on DL if UA has a connection via DEN that's within a reasonable fare difference, without requesting an override.

If I'm getting credit for the UA flights in my above example, even if not on UA stock, that would give me incentive to choose UA flights when possible on other trips, including trips I pay for. Without it, there'd be less of an incentive to pick United for my next trip to Denver or Des Moines if it isn't going to do as much towards loyalty, since I missed out on the UA flights ticketed on AC stock.

The message UA is sending us is that they only consider us elite if we fly UA on UA-issued tickets. Any other UA flying or partner flying is chopped liver. We'll see how that works out for them in the long-term.



International Homo of Mystery
User currently offlinekgaiflyer From United States of America, joined Jul 2008, 4263 posts, RR: 1
Reply 39, posted (1 year 2 months 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 6143 times:
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Quoting LAXintl (Reply 18):
I hardly expect a US company to have their travel department issue tickets on Air Canada or something. Sure there might be exceptions, but if one travels UA they will ticket on UA.

It's not the same thing, but I've purchased codeshare tickets -- all flights operated by UA but written on 037 stock. So I know such things are done.

Quoting AeroWesty (Reply 19):
If you fly to Europe on Air Canada and return on United, would you expect to be ticketed on AC or UA stock? I would expect it to be AC.

Been there done that. The ticket would be written on 014 ticket stock -- not 016 ticket stock.

Funny story. I flew out of YYF in March with BC's Justice Minister and several of his subordinates on an AC Jazz flight. Since I booked AC using my UA FF # and I'm a 1-K, I got to board even ahead of the government of British Columbia.


User currently offlineMSPNWA From United States of America, joined Apr 2009, 1933 posts, RR: 2
Reply 40, posted (1 year 2 months 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 6117 times:

It's always humorous watching the legacies backtrack on their FF programs in an attempt to reign in years of excessive benefits that diluted the program. And this looks like another case of sheep following the leader, even if it's into danger. I don't see them as having done their homework here. The changes by DL and now UA affect only a very small percentage of members, but the ones it does affect are the very type that need a loyalty card to fly your airline. Basing it off of both miles and dollars disproportionally affects travelers in highly competitive routes--the very routes loyalty programs are designed for. Take the silver level here for UA. It's not difficult to book 5-6 highly competitive transcons in advance and not make the dollar requirement. So you take your business elsewhere. Sure they're cheap fares, but those cheap fares keep the planes full and the profit flowing. It just doesn't make sense when you break it all down, and frankly that shouldn't be surprising. History has shown that airlines haven't made many smart decisions. Reward loyalty based on miles OR dollars. Not both. Don't add unnecessary complexity that disproportionally rewards certain customers and penalizes others.

User currently offlinekgaiflyer From United States of America, joined Jul 2008, 4263 posts, RR: 1
Reply 41, posted (1 year 2 months 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 6062 times:
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Quoting MSPNWA (Reply 40):
Don't add unnecessary complexity that disproportionally rewards certain customers and penalizes others.

Unless you really intend your FF program to be an exclusionary, private club only for those buying the highest-tier fares.


User currently offlinegaystudpilot From United States of America, joined Dec 2007, 453 posts, RR: 7
Reply 42, posted (1 year 2 months 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 5973 times:

The big three US airlines -- AA, DL, and UA -- are chasing after building and maintaining a greater share of high margin, premium passengers (as are a lot of non-US carriers). Therefore elite status should be based on spend with the airline, not mileage. However, I do not believe published dollar thresholds should be used. Instead elite tier qualification should be based on revenue ranking of all customers. For example:

Top 1% - Global Services
Top 5% - Premier 1K
Top 10% - Premier Platinum
Top 15% - Premier Gold
Top 20% - Premier Silver

If your spend with UA falls within the top 5% of all spenders, then you hit Premier 1K.

Obviously at least a few things would have to be worked out... 1) the percentages would have to be modeled out and may fluctuate from year to year; 2) if and how to account for spend on partner/alliance airlines; 3) what to do for customers based outside of the US; and 4) how to account for other program partner miles, e.g., credit card points, that play apart in UA's MileagePlus revenue stream.


User currently offlinetugger From United States of America, joined Apr 2006, 5502 posts, RR: 8
Reply 43, posted (1 year 2 months 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 5837 times:

Quoting kgaiflyer (Reply 41):
Unless you really intend your FF program to be an exclusionary, private club only for those buying the highest-tier fares.

That is what GS and similar programs are for, they should not mix loyalty programs with these "high value customer" programs. And remember a lot of the high value customers started out "low value" and came to favor an airline due to a loyalty program and the benefits involved.

Quoting gaystudpilot (Reply 42):
However, I do not believe published dollar thresholds should be used. Instead elite tier qualification should be based on revenue ranking of all customers.

How does that build loyalty?

Those criteria are simply the benefits that automatically accrue to the top earners/spenders. I can go to any airline and buy F and get most of those perks. GS and the similar programs are about the only perk that accrue based on other elements (typically by invitation based on an internal set of standards).

The idea, the goal of a loyalty program should be to build loyalty toward an airline among a large population of passengers out of which will emerge the critical high value passengers that everyone seems to want. If they don't build loyalty then it will just become another free for all battle based on who offers what for what price. The airlines to not want to do to high value customers what has already occurred at the lower ranks ("Who will give the most for the least" which is what happens when "loyalty" disappears).

Tugg

[Edited 2013-06-18 13:59:31]


I don’t know that I am unafraid to be myself, but it is hard to be somebody else. -W. Shatner
User currently offlineLAXintl From United States of America, joined May 2000, 25062 posts, RR: 46
Reply 44, posted (1 year 2 months 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 5689 times:

Quoting AeroWesty (Reply 38):
The message UA is sending us is that they only consider us elite if we fly UA on UA-issued tickets. Any other UA flying or partner flying is chopped liver. We'll see how that works out for them in the long-term.

Cutting a ticket under someone elses stock or codeshare can mean as much as a 15% loss in revenue for UA.

Only right to try to encourage all the money stays in house. DL did something similar by reducing FF'er mileage earnings even on some Skyteam members in favor of flying DL instead.

Quoting gaystudpilot (Reply 42):
Top 1% - Global Services
Top 5% - Premier 1K
Top 10% - Premier Platinum
Top 15% - Premier Gold
Top 20% - Premier Silver

Good concept, but it would be too hard for the customer to know where they are and set a target. Under existing levels its pretty easy to focus on flying XXXXmiles and spending XXXX money annually.

The percentage ranking would be too opaque and virtually always moving target for the individual traveller to chase after.



From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
User currently offlineredzeppelin From United States of America, joined Feb 2012, 572 posts, RR: 0
Reply 45, posted (1 year 2 months 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 5578 times:

Quoting DesertFlyer (Reply 36):
How are people getting Silver for less than $2500? I fly for work and pleasure, and barely hit Silver, but I definitely spend more than $2500 in a given year.

I can easily see how somebody living in LAX or SFO and frequently flying cheap transcon routes where the VX/B6 competition keeps prices down could miss the spend threshold by a wide margin.

In my case, I live in a relatively remote market (BZN) and work for a company that does a lot of business on the east coast. I fly DL, and every flight requires a connection, sometimes 2. If I'm going to BOS, and make connections over SLC, I earn over 5200 MQMs on the round trip. I get miles fast, but the dollars don't always add up as quickly.

My only real complaint about the spend requirement on DL is that it cheapens the rollover miles, which is one of the best things about the SkyMiles program. In the past, I was still loyal to DL after hitting the silver threshold because I knew that by flying my usual 30-35k miles per year that I would get gold every 3rd year. Now, I'll be more willing to take other carriers from time to time, because spending doesn't roll over. That particular scenario won't matter for UA, as they don't have any rollover program.



Coming Up: BZN-MSP-ORD-FCO-VIE-CDG-SLC-BZN
User currently offlineUALWN From Andorra, joined Jun 2009, 2762 posts, RR: 2
Reply 46, posted (1 year 2 months 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 5583 times:

Quoting DesertFlyer (Reply 36):
How are people getting Silver for less than $2500? I fly for work and pleasure, and barely hit Silver, but I definitely spend more than $2500 in a given year.

Traveling from Europe to the US on discounted Y fares. Next month I'll hit 50K miles for the year with 4 trips to the West Coast from BCN. My total spending will have been just over $4000 (not all of it on 016 tickets), and I'll be a happy Premier Gold for 2014. We'll see how I'll manage next year, although the PQD rule seems to apply only to residents of the US.



AT7/111/146/Avro/CRJ/CR9/EMB/ERJ/E75/F50/100/L15/DC9/D10/M8X/717/727/737/747/757/767/777/AB6/310/319/320/321/330/340/380
User currently offlineCubsrule From United States of America, joined May 2004, 22867 posts, RR: 20
Reply 47, posted (1 year 2 months 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 5500 times:

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 44):
Cutting a ticket under someone elses stock or codeshare can mean as much as a 15% loss in revenue for UA.

Is that true of ATI-immunized partners as well? If so, it would seem that UA has made a lot of false public statements.



I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
User currently onlineAeroWesty From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 20500 posts, RR: 62
Reply 48, posted (1 year 2 months 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 5459 times:

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 44):
Cutting a ticket under someone elses stock or codeshare can mean as much as a 15% loss in revenue for UA.

In a number of your posts over time, you've touted how metal neutral joint ventures work. If I were to fly LH to Europe today, I would receive the identical accrual towards elite status as if I flew on UA, no matter which airline issues the ticket.

But coming 1/1/14, even though UA and LH share expenses and revenue under their JV, I would not receive PQDs towards UA status if I flew LH on an LH ticket, even though UA would receive no more or no less money, according to the many posts here in the past.



International Homo of Mystery
User currently offlineFlyPIJets From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 898 posts, RR: 3
Reply 49, posted (1 year 2 months 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 5473 times:

So if I'm reading the tea leaves correctly...

FF progams are headed towards..

1. Money spent directly with the airline for status

This makes sense. The more you spend directly with an airline, the higher your status. I'm wondering out loud... seems any money spent directly with the airline should count. Think of it as incentivizing the fee-for-service charges that happen now.

Status changes change and/or eliminates fee-for services and mileage redemption

2. Miles accrued for redemption

If you do away with miles altogether, airlines lose the ancillary income from sources that accrue miles. And even if you do achieve a certain status, you'll still have to have miles to redeem for upgrades or award tickets.

Finally - having both will serve to keep a customer - oneway... in the boom years that spend $$$ for status - in bust years - maybe not so much ...travel using miles for services or upgrades. Though I think airlines will always incentivize people towards high (un-used) milage balances. It's game theory - people don't want to spend something they earned.

Status is purchased while miles are earned.

[Edited 2013-06-18 14:18:28]


DC-8, DC-9, DC-10, F28, 717, 727, 737, 747, 757, 767, IL-62, L-1011, MD-82/83, YS-11, DHC-8, PA-28-161, ERJ 135/145, E-1
User currently offlineAJMIA From United States of America, joined Dec 2005, 733 posts, RR: 15
Reply 50, posted (1 year 2 months 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 5402 times:

I believe elite minimum spend is here to stay and it is a good thing.

In my opinion, the minimum spend requirement is more to justify the cost of the perks that are awarded rather than to make the top tier levels more exclusive. As others have pointed out, the minimum spend amounts are not too excessive and most people will need to spend way more than that to rack up enough miles for the various elite levels.

The thing is when you have top tier passengers who are unprofitable for the airlines because the benefits they receive cost more than the revenue they generate then the system is not working.

AJMIA



Lady it's a jet... not a kite.
User currently offlineLAXintl From United States of America, joined May 2000, 25062 posts, RR: 46
Reply 51, posted (1 year 2 months 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 5354 times:

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 47):
Is that true of ATI-immunized partners as well?

No ATI JVs are different from a operating P&L point of view.

I'm talking about a more traditional codeshare, or simply issuing a ticket by 3rd party airline. In simplistic terms they are acting like a travel agent and getting their cut.

But even for alliance or JV partners, remember airlines must essentially pay each other for mileage purchases. So there are economic (dis)incentives involved with FF mileage earning and use across partners.



From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
User currently offlineNimish From India, joined Feb 2005, 3219 posts, RR: 9
Reply 52, posted (1 year 2 months 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 5321 times:

Quoting RDH3E (Reply 15):

Quoting AeroWesty (Reply 10):
Who will get hosed: Those buying tickets which have UA or partner airline segments, but the ticket is plated on another airline's stock. Those won't count towards PQDs.

It looks like if you buy your ticket on United.com and get a 016 ticket you will get your PQD's.

"You will earn Premier qualifying dollars (PQD) on most:
Flights operated by United, United Express, or Copa Airlines

I actually read it differently. I read the rule as full PQD for all United operated flights (irrespective of ticket stock).

Quoting FAQ on United:

You will earn Premier qualifying dollars (PQD) on most:
Flights operated by United, United Express, or Copa Airlines OR
Flights operated by a Star Alliance® or a MileagePlus partner airline and issued on a United ticket (ticket number starting with 016) OR
Economy Plus purchases

The OR above is my interpretation.

Which means you can buy an AC or LH ticket with only UA legs, and you'll earn full PQDs for the airline revenue part of the ticket.

Of course for a ticket like BLR-FRA-DEN-LAS - where the fare is a single fare for BLR-LAS, I wonder how LH/ UA will allocate the revenue for the DEN-LAS sector?



Latest Trip Report - GoAir BLR-BOM-BLR
User currently offlineRDH3E From United States of America, joined Mar 2011, 1648 posts, RR: 3
Reply 53, posted (1 year 2 months 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 5285 times:

Quoting DesertFlyer (Reply 36):
How are people getting Silver for less than $2500? I fly for work and pleasure, and barely hit Silver, but I definitely spend more than $2500 in a given year.

You only need 25,000 miles. I just booked a trip to BAH for ~$650 this winter because UA is having a fare sale. Under the current (outgoing) system, I would only have to spend $1300 to get to silver. And that's not even PQD's as they define it. It'd be around $1,000 or so PQD's.


User currently offlinegaystudpilot From United States of America, joined Dec 2007, 453 posts, RR: 7
Reply 54, posted (1 year 2 months 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 5042 times:

Quoting tugger (Reply 43):
How does that build loyalty?
Quoting tugger (Reply 43):
The idea, the goal of a loyalty program should be to build loyalty toward an airline among a large population of passengers out of which will emerge the critical high value passengers that everyone seems to want. If they don't build loyalty then it will just become another free for all battle based on who offers what for what price. The airlines to not want to do to high value customers what has already occurred at the lower ranks ("Who will give the most for the least" which is what happens when "loyalty" disappears).

I'm talking about obtaining elite level status -- the elite programs are a subset of the airlines' FF (loyalty) programs. And, FF programs are just one way for an airline to build loyalty -- network, on-time service, desirable products/services, outstanding frontline workers are all examples of other elements that build loyalty.

Within the FF program, the "loyalty" aspect, outside of the elite programs, is all vaporware... customers collecting points that are increasingly difficult to redeem. For those not obtaining elite level, yet "loyal" for years, redemption of points (for example, collecting points over five years for a domestic first class flight) is important vs trying to gain perks via elite status. There is a reason DLs frequently flyer program is referred to as SkyPesos... aptly named due to the frustration with redemption of points.

I agree my concept of top revenue percent contributors may not be transparent enough for some. However I believe those pax with the little tags on their laptop cases would love to know they were in the Top 5% once they made it. I also believe that all other program members would score the airline higher in loyalty if they could redeem the points they have earned... to places they want to go... when they want to go.


User currently offlineblueflyer From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 3967 posts, RR: 2
Reply 55, posted (1 year 2 months 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 4702 times:
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I would love to know how many members United expect to go down one elite step once implemented.

Quoting Cubsrule (Reply 20):
I agree with that, but the implementation (like DL's plan) seems to fly in the face of all of the talk about metal-neutral alliances.

"Metal-neutrality" has always been a bit of a fantasy at the top anyway. No one ever got Global Services by piling on the miles on United while buying their ticket from another carrier. Same goes for Mile & More HON status members. Only miles flown on Lufthansa (+ group) metal in premium cabins count.

All United has done is killed the fantasy for everyone...



I've got $h*t to do
User currently offlineJHwk From United States of America, joined Jan 2013, 228 posts, RR: 0
Reply 56, posted (1 year 2 months 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 4694 times:

I am surprised; this comes closer to impacting me than I would expect. Wife and I have been 1K for years, and usually do one or two "mileage junkets" a year to a Bangkok or Sydney or wherever. Our price/mile is generally around $0.08 for these types of trips, and your average needs to be $0.10. I would be pretty safe with my work flying, but she would be a bit tighter to get the spend.

Junket spending doesn't sound nearly as fun!


User currently offlinebrilondon From Canada, joined Aug 2005, 4200 posts, RR: 1
Reply 57, posted (1 year 2 months 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 4578 times:

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 2):
IMO, loyalty programs should have long been tied to spending, not simply churning miles.

I agree. These FF programs should be tied to the amount of money one spends and not the number of miles that can be racked up. I would like to also see a limiting of the rewards to a certain number of seats available on a given flight. If there is no limit to the number of persons flying on a particular flight, then conceivably you could have the only paying customers having to sit in the economy section as all the first/business seats sucked up by mooches who happen to fly two or three times a year to visit family on discount tickets to Australia and those of us who have to fly and have to book at the last minute would get screwed if we need to get to a meeting by flying in three or four days in advance.



Rush for ever; Yankees all the way!!
User currently offlineblueflyer From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 3967 posts, RR: 2
Reply 58, posted (1 year 2 months 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 4518 times:
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Quoting JHwk (Reply 56):
Junket spending doesn't sound nearly as fun!

Think of it as an extra challenge! What is the best way to earn x amount of miles at the lowest total cost while spending at least y amount of money to meet the threshold? Get your calculator out!

I guess math impaired mileage runners are screwed...



I've got $h*t to do
User currently offlineFlyPNS1 From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 6603 posts, RR: 24
Reply 59, posted (1 year 2 months 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 4436 times:

Quoting brilondon (Reply 57):
I would like to also see a limiting of the rewards to a certain number of seats available on a given flight.

This is already done. All the traditional network legacy carriers implement tight inventory controls for FF redemption...particularly for their premium cabins.


User currently offlinekgaiflyer From United States of America, joined Jul 2008, 4263 posts, RR: 1
Reply 60, posted (1 year 2 months 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 4036 times:
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Quoting brilondon (Reply 57):
I agree. These FF programs should be tied to the amount of money one spends and not the number of miles that can be racked up. I would like to also see a limiting of the rewards to a certain number of seats available on a given flight. If there is no limit to the number of persons flying on a particular flight, then conceivably you could have the only paying customers having to sit in the economy section as all the first/business seats sucked up by mooches who happen to fly two or three times a year to visit family on discount tickets to Australia and those of us who have to fly and have to book at the last minute would get screwed if we need to get to a meeting by flying in three or four days in advance.

As one of the masses who does absolutely no international flying, I have a problem with spending my money and then being called a moocher for doing it.

OTOH, all of this will help out the PQS folks who spend their lives relegated to RJ flying and short trips. For instance, a dozen DCA-ROC trips won't get you over the top mileage-wise. But on a few of the non-competitive routes, the PQD can be met.


User currently offlinebrilondon From Canada, joined Aug 2005, 4200 posts, RR: 1
Reply 61, posted (1 year 2 months 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 3473 times:

Quoting FlyPNS1 (Reply 59):
This is already done. All the traditional network legacy carriers implement tight inventory controls for FF redemption...particularly for their premium cabins.

Yes, I know that but I was speaking in hypotheticals. In practice I realize that there are inventory controls but I will give you a for instance. I tried to book a flight in business to HKG for next week with UA and it was sold out. I hope that I could not purchase a ticket because there was such high demand from money paying passengers and not from anybody who was using their redemption points. I chose to fly another airline because they were able to book me Business through out my trip. Now I have to go through NRT, but I don't mind that as I have some time to meet with another client while in Tokyo and thus don't have to make another trip that way later in the month.



Rush for ever; Yankees all the way!!
User currently offlinefrmrCapCadet From United States of America, joined May 2008, 1713 posts, RR: 1
Reply 62, posted (1 year 2 months 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 3281 times:

If the government inflated the money as much as airlines inflated FF miles we would need wheelbarrels to buy a loaf of bread. If they were honestly valued they would be good for any seat at any time, per the value of the seat you were applying the miles.


Buffet: the airline business...has eaten up capital...like..no other (business)
User currently offlineDL747400 From United States of America, joined Sep 2008, 321 posts, RR: 0
Reply 63, posted (1 year 2 months 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 3197 times:

Quoting AeroWesty (Reply 7):
In most cases it'll be far cheaper to just buy miles outright than fly mileage runs, if you don't have high enough status to earn elite bonuses.

Purchased miles are considered "bonus miles" which do not count toward elite status, MQMs, EQMs, etc.

It will be interesting to see whether the $$$ spent on Buy Miles transactions will count toward EQD's, PQD's, etc.


User currently offlineCubsrule From United States of America, joined May 2004, 22867 posts, RR: 20
Reply 64, posted (1 year 2 months 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 3154 times:

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 51):
But even for alliance or JV partners, remember airlines must essentially pay each other for mileage purchases. So there are economic (dis)incentives involved with FF mileage earning and use across partners.

That is true, but for a UA-operated ticket issued on LH stock, there is no payment necessary for the Mileage Plus miles, is there?



I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
User currently offlineburnsie28 From United States of America, joined Aug 2004, 7537 posts, RR: 8
Reply 65, posted (1 year 2 months 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 3110 times:

Quoting tugger (Reply 3):
And in my opinion it takes out almost all of.... what the fun? the skill? the interesting part of of being a true FF of an airline. It reduces it to that one thing that everything is rated in: $$$.

I think many av fans and fans of airlines and FF's in general take great joy and/or appreciation in being able to "build miles" via looking at routing and work with available deals to achieve FF levels. This move, while understandable from strictly dollars and sense approach takes much of what I mentioned out of the equation. So it is what it is and it makes sense but they will lose people with it. But I they are obviously OK with that as they are also reducing the customer benefit on the redemption side of the FF programs.

I'll miss people doing "mileage runs". Ah well, progress.

But at the same time if you are one of those that is getting say $100 fares cross country or doing those low fare routes to build miles (always get a min of $500) your not bringing much to the airline as far as revenue.



"Some People Just Know How To Fly"- Best slogan ever, RIP NW 1926-2009
User currently onlineAeroWesty From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 20500 posts, RR: 62
Reply 66, posted (1 year 2 months 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 3111 times:

Quoting DL747400 (Reply 63):
Purchased miles are considered "bonus miles" which do not count toward elite status, MQMs, EQMs, etc.

Yes, I understand that. The point was why do mileage runs to earn status in order to earn bonus miles (which brings the cost per redeemable mile down), instead of just buying miles outright cheaper if your goal was earning miles to spend on tickets.



International Homo of Mystery
User currently offlinetugger From United States of America, joined Apr 2006, 5502 posts, RR: 8
Reply 67, posted (1 year 2 months 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 2959 times:

Quoting brilondon (Reply 61):
I hope that I could not purchase a ticket because there was such high demand from money paying passengers and not from anybody who was using their redemption points.

Wow, this statement makes you appear very petty but I suspect it is more frustration than anything else. I can see you were somewhat inconvenienced but you did get to where you needed to go and those that do redeem points/miles etc. are creating real value to the company, the company is getting something real in return. It is not as simple as "real money" or "fake money". It is X value versus Y value and the airlines have derived enormous value from their point programs.

Quoting burnsie28 (Reply 65):
But at the same time if you are one of those that is getting say $100 fares cross country or doing those low fare routes to build miles (always get a min of $500) your not bringing much to the airline as far as revenue.

Ummm, the airline is the one offering them. They obviously find value in offering them or they would not. I am not "taking advantage" or "doing harm" to the airline in any way. The airline is in full control here, not me. If the airline finds value in offering these tickets why on earth should I not buy them? Are people supposed to say "Oh I won't buy that bargain ticket because it will not bring any revenue to the airline!"?

Tugg



I don’t know that I am unafraid to be myself, but it is hard to be somebody else. -W. Shatner
User currently offlineViscount724 From Switzerland, joined Oct 2006, 25117 posts, RR: 22
Reply 68, posted (1 year 2 months 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 2817 times:

Quoting tugger (Reply 3):
I'll miss people doing "mileage runs". Ah well, progress.

They still need the miles in addition to the spend.


User currently offlinedtwlax From United States of America, joined Aug 2009, 789 posts, RR: 0
Reply 69, posted (1 year 1 month 3 weeks 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 2487 times:

Quoting LAXintl (Reply 29):
In other words your company does not have major travel loyalty to any airline, it just seeks the cheapest fare on the open market.

So at the end, such moves by DL or UA does not change much for many like you, as you don't even accrue the required miles let alone the dollar value.

But look at it from an airlines point of view. Why should they reward such lack of loyalty?
Quoting LAXintl (Reply 44):
DL did something similar by reducing FF'er mileage earnings even on some Skyteam members in favor of flying DL instead.

So what about a route like LAX-AMS? DL does not fly the route. Even with a KLM ticket, I can currently earn MQM miles. Will I not be able to earn MQM in the future if I fly the route on a KLM ticket? Even though I am contributing towards DL earnings since the two have a revenue sharing JV agreement across the Atlantic?


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