I was just commenting that it is too easy to earn elite status. On the ATL
route every single business passenger gets at least SilverMedallion. So if the flight was full everyday there is the possibility of 18,000 elites from that one route only. I know the fares are very high, but does a one time fee of $5000 warrant the extra incentives offered to Silver Medallions? DL
's program makes for many elite members. AA
is the same way, with their fast track to AAdvantage, a domestic first class or two economy transcontinental flight has the ability to get you to Gold status. The number of elites is increasing drastically because the airlines make it easy to get.
With LCCs having mileage programs too, a lot of the larger legacies feel that it is necessary to give almost all of the high yielding passengers premium service. Well this results in an awful lot of premium people and on a core route like ORD
you can end up with over half the plane preboarding.
I admit, that I like the features. I almost always buy dirt cheap tickets, yet am Premier Executive on UA
. The features are nice and much appreciated, but honestly I don't think I earn UA
much money (except when traveling internationally but I am usually not the one paying that). Even business travelers pay dirt cheap fares if they are available. I just don't see why every loyal passenger should get the incentives. They really aren't that special. One reason I like UA
is that it is easy to get upgrades because they are not unlimited and free. Also Econ+ is a nice feature. With DL
and others, being an Elite member doesn't do much for you because first is always filled with the truly elite passengers. All you get is preboarding and a designated phone line along with a few upgrades that cannot be depended upon unless you fly on non core business routes.
If you have never designed an airplane part before, let the real designers do the work!