The debasement of SM continues...

Discussion in 'Delta Air Lines | SkyMiles' started by redtailshark, Mar 17, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. redtailshark

    redtailshark Silver Member

    How anyone can possibly argue that DL SM is remotely competitive with any other FFP for redemptions?

    So my SM balance just crossed a threshold (160k) which used to be enough for two TATL redemptinos, half in J and half in Y. I felt that was a good value.

    Now I look and can't find anything at all tolerable, a year ahead, on many routes. I'm not even considering originating in anything other than an AF gateway city (LAX, SFO, IAH etc.).

    Those of you who've been around a while understand that I know very well what to expect (like, 635k from PHL to FCO, not all of which was in J). I am also aware of the various strategems that can be used to help find those needles in the haystack.

    But the frictions in the redemption system are so monumental now that it's becoming almost impossible to find any LOW level seat, in any cabin, on DL or any partner, across the Atlantic. The recent disappearance of the AF O bucket from EF is another nail in the coffin.

    Without that, even the most savvy flyers are going to be forced through the DL portal. It's designed rather cleverly to vastly increase the iterations needed to find the LOW level inventory and therefore prevent them being found and redeemed.

    Three years ago, my statements on this matter were greeted with a chorus of derision. I don't think so any more.

    This like the fuel-dumping scenario. Which until two years ago was laughably easy, and now has become a serious challenge even for the Jedi.

    I'd say that the postings on the DL board at FT about how to locate LOW tier J awards are now counterproductive. DL knows how to close the spigot by blanking the necessary information - that's exactly how DL.COM is designed as we almost all know by now.

    In my case the SM are very incidental - after all, I think I've spent only about $800 last year to reach GM "status" by means of FD and misfiled fares, and even that's too much to reach DL Medallion. I don't feel the value. Any value. Meantime, the cornucopia of fabulous Star redemptions available at UA is wondrous in comparison. The sense of value means that I don't object to paying a little more for the UA and partner flights knowing how valuable those miles are. It's great. It also means if I don't get upgraded - and I agree, FCM is manifesting here at UA as well - then I still feel value. Not so with SM.

    I suppose this was all hidden while I was with NW WP, because a. the core program was so good that the distinct limitations of the SkyTeam system were tolerable and b. the tremendously effective alliance with CO hid even some of those limitations (e.g. very sparse NW service to TUS).

    DL will very soon reach a point, if it hasn't already, where the SM currency has become so worthless and even annoying to redeem, that it cannot incentivize any form of marginal purchasing e.g. AmEx spend, or buy-up into higher fare buckets, or purchase of higher-than-market cost tickets to remain on DL.
     
    DiverDave likes this.
  2. gleff
    • Original Member

    gleff Co-founder

    Well thepointsguy and I will be debating this very thing in front of an audience at Frequent Traveler University next month :)

    www.airfrance.us
     
  3. mattsteg
    • Original Member

    mattsteg Gold Member

    I can't see airfrance.us going away, and it remains to be seen if the current AF situation with O availability on EF persists, so there's at least that (very good) option for searching availability that should continue being available, absent Delta deciding to explicitly block partner availability. Obviously this has precedence at other carriers (like United, for example) and would be a huge hit to the usefulness of the miles/pesos.

    Partner availability for some routes, like AF TATL (when I last checked on the AF site and EF there was availability all over the place) , is generally good. Availability of specific tough-to-get awards like French Polynesia and Australia is good. Other than the 72-hour kick in the nether regions, routing rules (other than lack of 1-ways) are decent. Specific itineraries like Africa or the Indian ocean with a stop in Europe are favorable.

    The booking situation is tenuous and unpredictable, of course, with a negative track record of transparency.
     
  4. rwoman
    • Original Member

    rwoman Gold Member

    Redeemed 120k for two ATL-LHR tix (on DL metal) during the Olympics...with very little work...;)
     
    gleff likes this.
  5. rwoman
    • Original Member

    rwoman Gold Member

    Oh, and the search for these tickets was only motivated by the fact I'd offered these to friends miles as a Christmas present...they wanted to fly ATL-DEN...tickets were $200 or 25k and I told them that was a waste of miles...how about something more worthy...and the ATL-LHR tickets priced out around $1450 at the time.

    ;)
     
  6. JohnnieD
    • Original Member

    JohnnieD Silver Member

    I am seeing lots of O availability in EF on AF from YYZ but nothing on Delta.com:eek: Has anyone called DL to see if they are indeed doing skyteam blocking????:mad:
     
  7. rwoman
    • Original Member

    rwoman Gold Member

    I think you need to call for any AF bookings using SkyMiles...not everything shows up on dl.com.
     
  8. JohnnieD
    • Original Member

    JohnnieD Silver Member

    I check EF first, find the days with seats on AF and then punch in the day AND time on dl.bomb and the seats show up. Now, all I get is X availability at 60K....:eek:
     
  9. gleff
    • Original Member

    gleff Co-founder

    Some does seem to be up. Hopefully temporary.
     
  10. Ryan Bingham
    • Original Member

    Ryan Bingham Silver Member

    Wait until Jeffy rolls out the new SkyMiles based on money spent vs flights. It's coming...
     
  11. mattsteg
    • Original Member

    mattsteg Gold Member

    Admit it Gary, this is all your doing to set yourself up for an epic victory against Brian in the upcoming Skypesos Battle Royale.
     
  12. rwoman
    • Original Member

    rwoman Gold Member

    There's a thread on FT right now - looks like there was a Sabre issue over the past week and EF showed nothing for a while, then it came back, but DL does not seem to be seeing the seats.
     
  13. rwoman
    • Original Member

    rwoman Gold Member

    LINK
     
  14. Handleman20

    Handleman20 Silver Member

    I have to admit that every time I see someone reference Jeff I get the Jeffrey scene from "Get Him to the Greek" stuck in my head and end up giggling hysterically.
     
  15. DiverDave
    • Original Member

    DiverDave Gold Member

    You nailed it.

    http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/delta-skymiles/1326526-skymiles-change-rumor.html

    Ugliest thread I've ever seen in the FT Delta forum. :(

    Having apologized to StayingHomeIsBetter and GuWonder for doubting their belief that Delta would continue to devalue and debase the loyalty program, I must add redtailshark to the apology list as well.

    Sorry, dude. I won't doubt you again.

    David
     
  16. rwoman
    • Original Member

    rwoman Gold Member

    That thread has gone viral very quickly....:confused:
     
    DiverDave likes this.
  17. rwoman
    • Original Member

    rwoman Gold Member

    The sad part is this WOULD be consistent with how FlyingBlue seems to work...:(
     
  18. redtailshark

    redtailshark Silver Member

    David, apology accepted with grace. But it doesn't really matter whether you doubt me. Doubting DL is the wise course.

    Lots of others had the same feelings about DL from the Mullen/Borden SSM days. Don't you remember MikeMPLS and his commentary? He knew better than us. And even the censorious mods from over on FT, whom I don't respect for their censorious desires and roles, but in the cases of those who participated in SSM, deserve respect for calling out DL's officers at that time.

    Since the merger closed I could never understand why DL flyers would exempt DL from responsibility for what some saw as the malicious operation of the DL award booking system. Under the old NW regime, "defects" like that would have been fixed in double-quick time and there would have been a chorus of outrage directed at Bob Soukup. More importantly, though, these "glitches" never did happen - not on the scope and with the magnitude of DL's malfeasance [BTW, whenever I read someone using a word like "glitch" to describe the non-operation of Deltabestinclass.com, I know they are by definition an apologist].

    Meantime, UA offers you two levels, as stated on the tin, and if you're 1K (maybe lower elite too, I don't know) then you have last-seat access with the double-mileage redemption. AA also, redeem as stated in their program rules.

    As for DL, honest intent was not indicated by the operation of the so-called "three" tier Ponzi scheme and less so by a. the denials that anything was wrong or in need of fixing and b. the infinite delays even when Jeff did actually acknowledge there were "issues" and promised "action" in a DL blog post from sometime in 2010.

    I'd suggest to all - including myself - that you consider carefully a strategy to redeem and max out. Soon.

    A mid-year change of the type being discussed is quite feasible, maybe even likely.

    One more thing... now you know why no 2012 program info was announced, it just snuck onto the website with no fanfare...to prepare the ground for the upcoming outrage :)

    My proposal. One more time. Redeem now. Or visualize how you will feel come November 1st, as you're sitting on 500k SM, which even under the usurious and opaque conditions prevailing now is worth ~2.7 BE tix from US to EU...and then facing the New Sky Inch, with a "value" of 1c per inch... of which you need 500,000 to "redeem" for 1 BE seat TATL. Too bad. So sad.

    Upside: theoretically, fewer capacity controls...downside, you won't need to worry about them because you will never have enough NSI to redeem for anything.

    DL will not care a hoot for your calls of "foul" or statements about taking biz elsewhere.

    But there are going to be winners. First, B6 and VX. Think of B6 and their comfy Y seats. Compare with the DL product. If you're at a location served by B6 and you fly DL, SM is the only thing keeping you away. In a few months you will be liberated! We win, then, too.

    The end-game is in sight, use those miles for what they're worth and do it now.
     
    Scottrick likes this.
  19. redtailshark

    redtailshark Silver Member

    David, apology accepted with grace. But it doesn't really matter whether you doubt me. Doubting DL is the wise course.

    Lots of others had the same feelings about DL from the Mullen/Borden SSM days. Don't you remember MikeMPLS and his commentary? He knew better than us. And even the censorious mods from over on FT, whom I don't respect for their censorious desires and roles, but in the cases of those who participated in SSM, deserve respect for calling out DL's officers at that time.

    Since the merger closed I could never understand why DL flyers would exempt DL from responsibility for what some saw as the malicious operation of the DL award booking system. Under the old NW regime, "defects" like that would have been fixed in double-quick time and there would have been a chorus of outrage directed at Bob Soukup. More importantly, though, these "glitches" never did happen - not on the scope and with the magnitude of DL's malfeasance [BTW, whenever I read someone using a word like "glitch" to describe the non-operation of Deltabestinclass.com, I know they are by definition an apologist].

    Meantime, UA offers you two levels, as stated on the tin, and if you're 1K (maybe lower elite too, I don't know) then you have last-seat access with the double-mileage redemption. AA also, redeem as stated in their program rules.

    As for DL, honest intent was not indicated by the operation of the so-called "three" tier Ponzi scheme and less so by a. the denials that anything was wrong or in need of fixing and b. the infinite delays even when Jeff did actually acknowledge there were "issues" and promised "action" in a DL blog post from sometime in 2010.

    I'd suggest to all - including myself - that you consider carefully a strategy to redeem and max out. Soon.

    A mid-year change of the type being discussed is quite feasible, maybe even likely.

    One more thing... now you know why no 2012 program info was announced, it just snuck onto the website with no fanfare...to prepare the ground for the upcoming outrage :)

    My proposal. One more time. Redeem now. Or visualize how you will feel come November 1st, as you're sitting on 500k SM, which even under the usurious and opaque conditions prevailing now is worth ~2.7 BE tix from US to EU...and then facing the New Sky Inch, with a "value" of 1c per inch... of which you need 500,000 to "redeem" for 1 BE seat TATL. Too bad. So sad.

    Upside: theoretically, fewer capacity controls...downside, you won't need to worry about them because you will never have enough NSI to redeem for anything.

    DL will not care a hoot for your calls of "foul" or statements about taking biz elsewhere.

    But there are going to be winners. First, B6 and VX. Think of B6 and their comfy Y seats. Compare with the DL product. If you're at a location served by B6 and you fly DL, SM is the only thing keeping you away. In a few months you will be liberated! We win, then, too.

    The end-game is in sight, use those miles for what they're worth and do it now.
     
  20. redtailshark

    redtailshark Silver Member

    David, apology accepted with grace. But it doesn't really matter whether you doubt me. Doubting DL is the wise course.

    Lots of others had the same feelings about DL from the Mullen/Borden SSM days. Don't you remember MikeMPLS and his commentary? He knew better than us. And even the censorious mods from over on FT, whom I don't respect for their censorious desires and roles, but in the cases of those who participated in SSM, deserve respect for calling out DL's officers at that time.

    Since the merger closed I could never understand why DL flyers would exempt DL from responsibility for what some saw as the malicious operation of the DL award booking system. Under the old NW regime, "defects" like that would have been fixed in double-quick time and there would have been a chorus of outrage directed at Bob Soukup. More importantly, though, these "glitches" never did happen - not on the scope and with the magnitude of DL's malfeasance [BTW, whenever I read someone using a word like "glitch" to describe the non-operation of Deltabestinclass.com, I know they are by definition an apologist].

    Meantime, UA offers you two levels, as stated on the tin, and if you're 1K (maybe lower elite too, I don't know) then you have last-seat access with the double-mileage redemption. AA also, redeem as stated in their program rules.

    As for DL, honest intent was not indicated by the operation of the so-called "three" tier Ponzi scheme and less so by a. the denials that anything was wrong or in need of fixing and b. the infinite delays even when Jeff did actually acknowledge there were "issues" and promised "action" in a DL blog post from sometime in 2010.

    I'd suggest to all - including myself - that you consider carefully a strategy to redeem and max out. Soon.

    A mid-year change of the type being discussed is quite feasible, maybe even likely.

    One more thing... now you know why no 2012 program info was announced, it just snuck onto the website with no fanfare...to prepare the ground for the upcoming outrage :)

    My proposal. One more time. Redeem now. Or visualize how you will feel come November 1st, as you're sitting on 500k SM, which even under the usurious and opaque conditions prevailing now is worth ~2.7 BE tix from US to EU...and then facing the New Sky Inch, with a "value" of 1c per inch... of which you need 500,000 to "redeem" for 1 BE seat TATL. Too bad. So sad.

    Upside: theoretically, fewer capacity controls...downside, you won't need to worry about them because you will never have enough NSI to redeem for anything.

    DL will not care a hoot for your calls of "foul" or statements about taking biz elsewhere.

    But there are going to be winners. First, B6 and VX. Think of B6 and their comfy Y seats. Compare with the DL product. If you're at a location served by B6 and you fly DL, SM is the only thing keeping you away. In a few months you will be liberated! We win, then, too.

    The end-game is in sight, use those miles for what they're worth and do it now.
     
  21. redtailshark

    redtailshark Silver Member

    David, apology accepted with grace. But it doesn't really matter whether you doubt me. Doubting DL is the wise course.

    Lots of others had the same feelings about DL from the Mullen/Borden SSM days. Don't you remember MikeMPLS and his commentary? He knew better than us. And even the censorious mods from over on FT, whom I don't respect for their censorious desires and roles, but in the cases of those who participated in SSM, deserve respect for calling out DL's officers at that time.

    Since the merger closed I could never understand why DL flyers would exempt DL from responsibility for what some saw as the malicious operation of the DL award booking system. Under the old NW regime, "defects" like that would have been fixed in double-quick time and there would have been a chorus of outrage directed at Bob Soukup. More importantly, though, these "glitches" never did happen - not on the scope and with the magnitude of DL's malfeasance [BTW, whenever I read someone using a word like "glitch" to describe the non-operation of Deltabestinclass.com, I know they are by definition an apologist].

    Meantime, UA offers you two levels, as stated on the tin, and if you're 1K (maybe lower elite too, I don't know) then you have last-seat access with the double-mileage redemption. AA also, redeem as stated in their program rules.

    As for DL, honest intent was not indicated by the operation of the so-called "three" tier Ponzi scheme and less so by a. the denials that anything was wrong or in need of fixing and b. the infinite delays even when Jeff did actually acknowledge there were "issues" and promised "action" in a DL blog post from sometime in 2010.

    I'd suggest to all - including myself - that you consider carefully a strategy to redeem and max out. Soon.

    A mid-year change of the type being discussed is quite feasible, maybe even likely.

    One more thing... now you know why no 2012 program info was announced, it just snuck onto the website with no fanfare...to prepare the ground for the upcoming outrage :)

    My proposal. One more time. Redeem now. Or visualize how you will feel come November 1st, as you're sitting on 500k SM, which even under the usurious and opaque conditions prevailing now is worth ~2.7 BE tix from US to EU...and then facing the New Sky Inch, with a "value" of 1c per inch... of which you need 500,000 to "redeem" for 1 BE seat TATL. Too bad. So sad.

    Upside: theoretically, fewer capacity controls...downside, you won't need to worry about them because you will never have enough NSI to redeem for anything.

    DL will not care a hoot for your calls of "foul" or statements about taking biz elsewhere.

    Do not spend a bean to accrue any SM MQMs as of this moment. You will hate yourself for it in November.

    But there are going to be winners. First, B6 and VX. Think of B6 and their comfy Y seats. Compare with the DL product. If you're at a location served by B6 and you fly DL, SM is the only thing keeping you away. In a few months you will be liberated! We win, then, too.

    The end-game is in sight, use those miles for what they're worth and do it now.
     
  22. redtailshark

    redtailshark Silver Member

    Sorry about the dupes. Browser didn't confirm the posting and I sent it three times.

    Hey let's not forget who's the "Ted Kaczynski" of the DL world....
     
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  23. DiverDave
    • Original Member

    DiverDave Gold Member

    Yeah, you're really just rubbing it in on the apology. :eek:

    Amazingly, I nailed a HSV-SEA low level FC award in late summer. For once the calendar showed something as low that priced out as low. Then I tried looking for awards into Alaska and it reverted to normal, which is show low and price at medium.

    It's hard to remember, but when I became a PM in 2005, life with Delta was good. Crown Room Clubs weren't crowded (and PM membership was free at the time), upgrades were easy, and the PM line was flawless. It was still a time of 50% MQM on the reviled sLUT fares, but the MQM minimum was 750 miles and the FC bonus was 200%. And I could occasionally get 7E or 7F on the domestic 764s and lean waaaaaaay back with the secret lever. :cool: Redemptions weren't easy, but they weren't nearly non-existent as has become the case. As folks start trying to book in advance of the changes, even the mediums may start to dry up.

    So remind me again about that 635K award on Delta? ;)

    David
     
    rwoman likes this.
  24. redtailshark

    redtailshark Silver Member

    OK, maybe you weren't the one with the Kaczynski quote.

    As for LOW redemption from HSV to SEA you'd better get some more of those PDQ. At least you will have the satisfaction of feeling you got the last remaining value from your SM. [/quote]

    So my colleagues said. They were FO/GM in regional markets in the SE, and for them, at the time, DL did have a good program with better benefits than competitors at those levels. They got good service. I was PE with NW, I lived in Japan and it offered fabulous value for residents. e.g. during SARS time, they discounted the intra-Asia J redemptions savagely. I remember long weekends in SIN, riding from NRT on the top deck of a 742 with Ms.Shark and being the only customers in the J cabin. Only teens total in Y - it was a little eerie having what appeared to be a private 747.

    Muahaha! You got it...

    http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/delt...d-record-even-dl-sm-best-class-alright-4.html

    But... with what's soon coming, you will think that 635k from PHL to FCO - not all of which was in J - is a total steal :eek:
     
    DiverDave likes this.
  25. rwoman
    • Original Member

    rwoman Gold Member

    DiverDave likes this.
  26. DiverDave
    • Original Member

    DiverDave Gold Member

    Nope, I can't claim credit for that one (I don't want to make Ted mad after all). :cool:

    Ah, reminiscing about the good old days.

    Skymiles is like the old joke where Gorbachev asks his economic minister how the economy will be this year. The minister replies that it will be an average year. Gorbachev asks, what do you mean by average. The minister replies, Ah, not as good as last year, but better than next year.

    David
     
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