nwcoflyer
Posts: 677
Joined: Thu Jun 19, 2003 7:55 am

Too Many Elites In Skyteam?

Tue Nov 02, 2004 12:45 am

Last week I flew from SNA-DFW, via IAH on CO. On the SNA-IAH flight, they called pre-boarding for elites. Nearly 50 people boarded the a/c, which was a 73G. Nearly half of the aircraft's pax had elite status between NW, CO, DL, AF, etc. Was this a rare exception, or do you think that this will be a more common experience? I have not seen this happen again, but I sure found it interesting.
The New American is arriving.
 
NWAFA
Posts: 1843
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2003 10:30 pm

RE: Too Many Elites In Skyteam?

Tue Nov 02, 2004 12:54 am

When it comes to pre-boarding, the CO's Elites are the worst when they are on NWA and DAL...they get all pissy when they don't get their upgrades..they get bent out of shape if for anyreason the Pre-Boarding doesnt happen (sometimes on tight turns the agents will skip the pre-boarding of Elites in order to get out as soon as possible).

On some markets Pre-Boards can fill a full aircraft.
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N6376M
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Joined: Tue Aug 12, 2003 12:54 am

RE: Too Many Elites In Skyteam?

Tue Nov 02, 2004 1:37 am

Silver medallions on DL are a dime a dozen. On the Jax - ATL flights I would say 50% of the flight boards in Zone 2 or 3. On the Friday evening flights that percentage is probably 75% as a surprising number of people work in Atlanta and live in Jax.
 
B4REAL
Posts: 2559
Joined: Sun Aug 10, 2003 5:53 am

RE: Too Many Elites In Skyteam?

Tue Nov 02, 2004 4:13 am

Yes. 100%.

Elite status is much easier now to obtain for business travellers. I, based on the same travel patterns, and Platinum on DL 1.5 times over now.

This will be part of the problem come full domestic integration if SkyTeam domestic upgrades will be issued on DL/NW/CO. I agree, but not all will, that a silver on CO should get upgrade priority when travelling on a CO operated flight with a CO issued ticket compared to his fellow passenger who is platinum DL travelling on a DL issued ticket on the same CO operated flight.

MQMs by DL (and by other airlines as they call it differently) reward their money-makers.

This is the same with UA and AA also, BTW. Try getting an upgrade on a Monday morning ORD-DEN or DFW-LGA flight on UA or AA as silver or entry-level Elite.
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roseflyer
Posts: 9606
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RE: Too Many Elites In Skyteam?

Tue Nov 02, 2004 4:20 am

UA is not the same as DL. It is a lot harder to earn elite status with them because they don't have such a complicated MQM system. To get premier (comprable to silver medallion) you have to actually fly 25,000 miles. There are no bonuses offered for higher fare classes. It makes it harder to earn elite status and makes it more valuable. On DL flying ATL-NRT in business class gets you silver medallion whereas with any fare class on UA you would have to do at least two roundtrips.

That doesn't mean that there are fewer elites though. Since UA has hubs in major busines market centers like ORD, SFO, LAX and the like, they draw on many business travellers that fly the extra distances necessary for elite status. However it is still easy for premiers to get upgrades since it is harder to get premier and higher. If you submit the request early you will get the upgrades almost every time.
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B4REAL
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Joined: Sun Aug 10, 2003 5:53 am

RE: Too Many Elites In Skyteam?

Tue Nov 02, 2004 4:36 am

RoseFlyer:

When I mentioned the MQM's and other airlines, I was referring to CO and NW, they have something that 'approaches' that.

As for UA, I meant that they have the same problem (too many elites).

The problem - for all carriers is not really too many elites, it is just that there are a lot fewer premium seats for these elites. Also, UA and AA are much bigger airlines than DL, NW, and CO and bigger in more places - the more hubs that you mentioned.

[Edited 2004-11-01 20:38:40]
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flylondon
Posts: 385
Joined: Thu Feb 19, 2004 12:37 am

RE: Too Many Elites In Skyteam?

Tue Nov 02, 2004 4:41 am

It could have something to do with the fact that you were flying from Orange County - it's hardly a representative demographic of the country as a whole now is it!
 
AEROFAN
Posts: 1413
Joined: Wed Aug 04, 2004 9:47 am

RE: Too Many Elites In Skyteam?

Tue Nov 02, 2004 5:00 am

And therein lies a contributing factor to the problems in the airline industry. Airlines attempt to purchase cheap ass pax' loyalty by awarding frequent flyer points for trips that have been purchased on company deeply negotiated contracts. Then when these same road warriors want to fly on their own accord the cheapest fare is purchased and miles used to upgrade. Fares have been falling, discounts on corporate accounts have been increasing, it easier to reach elite status- and airlines wonder why they are operating in the red. I'm sure many former PA employees can remember the number of flights that were going out full with pax flying on FF award tickets.

It is time CEO and management wake up!!
 
avek00
Posts: 3158
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RE: Too Many Elites In Skyteam?

Tue Nov 02, 2004 5:08 am

"On DL flying ATL-NRT in business class gets you silver medallion whereas with any fare class on UA you would have to do at least two roundtrips."

By the same token, you can do a single r/t from the East Coast to SIN via NRT and HKG on UA for $650 and make Premier, or do four roundtrips and make top-tier 1K status.
Live life to the fullest.
 
RL757PVD
Posts: 2539
Joined: Fri Dec 03, 1999 2:47 am

RE: Too Many Elites In Skyteam?

Tue Nov 02, 2004 5:39 am

I dont think DL has too many elites. Im Silver on DL, and id say when buying my regular cheap tickets (T or U class)...i get upgraded about 75% of the time. I tend to have the hardest time to or from any FL city, other than that thoughi do rather well on upgrades considering how little I pay. I.E MCO-ATL-SEA-ATL-MCO.....had FC or Biz elite on all segs except MCO-ATL and paid $215 r/t.
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roseflyer
Posts: 9606
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RE: Too Many Elites In Skyteam?

Tue Nov 02, 2004 7:13 am

I was just commenting that it is too easy to earn elite status. On the ATL-NRT 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-LGA or LAX-JFK 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!
 
B4REAL
Posts: 2559
Joined: Sun Aug 10, 2003 5:53 am

RE: Too Many Elites In Skyteam?

Tue Nov 02, 2004 9:39 am

RoseFlyer:

Now I see more where you are coming from, and agree.

I have about 6 (and 4 more on the way) DL "Platinum Upgrade Certificates" that let me upgrade a revenue flight at time booking when paying K/Q/H/S fares and others EXCEPT L/U/T and Y/B/M. I've tried twice to use it, and it has never been available, so I render them useless.
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sllevin
Posts: 3312
Joined: Wed Jan 30, 2002 1:57 pm

RE: Too Many Elites In Skyteam?

Tue Nov 02, 2004 10:58 am

Typically, on an overall average, elites are not 50% of the passengers. More like 18%, I believe.

I don't believe it's too hard to get elite status -- even the lowest tiers require about 5 flights a year (or more!) and top tier 15+ flights (round trip) a year.

Steve
 
drewwright
Posts: 530
Joined: Tue May 15, 2001 3:51 am

RE: Too Many Elites In Skyteam?

Tue Nov 02, 2004 11:56 am

I just got a certificate in the mail to become a NW worldperks silver member and all I did was stay at holiday inn for 6 nights in one year!

DRW