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How one fellow gained his 'self respect' by abandoning mindless FF loyalty

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Melburnian1

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This is lifted from the fora at Discussion - Business Traveller Asia so I hope to do that is within AFF forum rules.

It is such an interesting, well written piece that I adjudged it worthy of transfer to a different audience. That site has a lot of UK residents and expats reading it. (The magazine, which I get by post, is excellent by the way.)

Not everyone using AFF will agree with what this gentleman says. Some of us may think we are smart enough to both obtain best value and stick with our favoured FF program:

barbarony62 - 10/04/2014 12:22 GMT

This blog could also be titled: "How I started my own frequent flyer program..."
For the longest time I have been an avid collector of Status Points. The more I had the better I felt. Cut the queues, get a free drink, an upgraded room, a better seat; It was all about status, and being recognized for who I am. I am is an international traveler, terribly predictable and awfully repetitive. George Clooney, in his movie "Up In The Air" was my mascot. I had lots of Status, and zero self respect.
 
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serfty

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Oh well .. I have high level status (earned) with 3 airline programs and have plenty of self respect.

Airlines status is basically worth nothing of you don't fly .. But if you do fly .. And I do as a hobby these days .. Status helps make it more enjoyable.
 
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drron

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It works for us.
CC points come from spends we would have made anyway.
When we started chasing loyalty we still took the cheaper options.Eg when our son lived in the States we flew JAL as it was two thirds the QF price.It wasn't in OW then but we collected AA miles and got hooked.
We never thought we would be travelling F but we have travelled QF F 3 times on upgrades(747) and have had 12 F sectors on AA long haul-4 upgrades,8 0n points only.
This year we have 2 AA sectors in F,1 on BA and 1 on TG.All on points.
Our status comes from 2 circle Asia 13000 mile fares in J per year supplemented with some domestic travel and a few YUPPs.
Both of us think we get our money's worth.
 

lovetravellingoz

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For me planes yes, but hotels mainly no (though am a Accor Plat, and use it occasionally).

In the main I find independent accommodation providers suit my tastes much better...location, style and value. In the past too as I had a family of 5 this was moreso for leisure travel.

Years ago I was top tier with Ansett, and enjoyed the buzz and perks of frequent work travel. However after over a decade the novelty wore of and I eventually changed careers to have a lot less work travel, and a much better life balance. I had missed a lot of my kids primary school years, but took great joy in being fully involved in their secondary years. I do not at all regret by earlier career, but my career change was one of my better decisions in life.

I still love true travel, leisure travel, and sup deeply of it!!! Not intending on flying in any less than J for long-haul international flights anytime soon, and am certainly not intending to pay full price or it when it is so easy to gain it for mainly just the cost of fuel fines and charges. .
 

woodborer

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There is a good argument that if you want things like breakfast, executive lounge, etc, to just pay for it when you want it. In many cases, staying extra nights just because, or flying on search patterns around the country just to get status can be overall more expensive. I guess it depends what you like. Some people like flying in planes, I find them boring. I'd rather save the money on status runs and just pay for a better holiday. So I can see where the author of the article is coming from, I am just not sure I would say it is about 'self-respect'.
 
Now with contactless delivery, shop online to get drinks delivered to your door or pick up in-store in 30 minutes. Lowest Liquor Price Guarantee. Biggest Range.

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JohnK

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I went back to OOL airport this morning for take 2 to get to MEL. I was feeling down. I noticed there were 30-40 people in the economy queue and I thought oh no. No one in the priority queue.

The last thing I needed at that time was to spend 15-30 minutes in a queue.

Status does come in handy sometimes.
 

bass_ke

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I went back to OOL airport this morning for take 2 to get to MEL. I was feeling down. I noticed there were 30-40 people in the economy queue and I thought oh no. No one in the priority queue.

The last thing I needed at that time was to spend 15-30 minutes in a queue.

Status does come in handy sometimes.

My thoughts exactly, especially with a little one in tow.

Sorry to hear your flight got canned, did you stay local last night? We could of caught a refreshing beverage!
 

yohy?!

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A wise man once said "self respect with zero status is worth...zero"
 

Hvr

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An interesting article but he lost my respect by repeatedly using the word 'loosing'!
 

JohnK

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Sorry to hear your flight got canned, did you stay local last night? We could of caught a refreshing beverage!

Twins Towns Resort. I had 3 or 7 refreshing beverages. After waking up at 4:30am and flying down to MEL and then 18 holes of golf I am knackered.

Which reminds me I didnt get to use breakfast viucher.
 

bass_ke

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Twins Towns Resort. I had 3 or 7 refreshing beverages. After waking up at 4:30am and flying down to MEL and then 18 holes of golf I am knackered.

Which reminds me I didnt get to use breakfast viucher.

Nice effort! Did you get a chance to check out the night markets right on the harbour?

If you're keen, next time you get delayed overnight in OOL shoot me a pm and we should have a drink somewhere!
 

NFF

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It's probably similar to how casinos treat high rollers as long as they spend.
 
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I think there is a lot to understand about these "loyalty" programmes. For flyers who do fly a lot, the rewards come anyway and are worth it (because they're basically a genuine reward) and for those who don't fly a lot, it comes down to nothing more than a desire to feel a little bit above the common man as status does not deliver too much above the norm and doing status runs to gain silver for eg, may be considered by some to be a foolish waste of money.

Points on the other hand, can have a very real value, but it has to be understood that points can and do devalue at the whim and desire of a CEO or board. I've read that points are a quasi-currency, which is fine, as long as they're viewed as banana republic currencies that can drop to worthless overnight (remember Ansett).

All in all, viewed as a hobby, who cares. To play the game can be fun for a while, but for me, status is nothing more than a game. A game that I'm sick of at the moment. There are some nice perks, but I'm happy to drop to the level my changing flying patterns dictate and forget chasing status for the "thrill" of having yet another shiny card bulking out my wallet!
 

harvyk

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I sort of read this article as sour grapes from someone who couldn't make status work for them. For example, asking at check-in if there are any J seats available equals pretty much disappointment every time, however using the points earned to buy (in part) a J seat = a really excellent price on a J seat considering that if you have done things right, those points haven't actually cost you anything to earn (you'd have flown those flights at that class anyway etc...).

If you view status runs / millage runs as a form of entertainment, then the fact that you have just requaled for status / earned a new status level is simply gravy on top. If you hate flying and dread every minute on a plane, then going on a status run = hell not quite on earth for a different shade of plastic in your wallet.

Of course if the OP is now happy because they are no longer playing the FF game, but still feel as if they are getting the upgrades, then all the power to them.
 

burmans

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I sort of read this article as sour grapes from someone who couldn't make status work for them.
The fact that Frequent Flyer programs are one of the best sources of revenue for most airlines (in fact in many cases they are the only thing making money), combined with the fact that a knowledgeable few do get value out of them (e.g. US and a few others) suggests strongly to me that the majority of FF members are indeed probably not getting value out of FF programs.

So I actually tend to agree that for many FF loyalty is probably misplaced unless you are prepared to put a bit of work in.
 

NFF

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Gaining points or status can be fun, just don't let emotion get in the way.
 

Sprucegoose

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I sort of read this article as sour grapes from someone who couldn't make status work for them. For example, asking at check-in if there are any J seats available equals pretty much disappointment every time, however using the points earned to buy (in part) a J seat = a really excellent price on a J seat considering that if you have done things right, those points haven't actually cost you anything to earn (you'd have flown those flights at that class anyway etc...).

.


If the man doesn't know how many J seats are available and the classes before he heads off to the airport then he is simply not worth his salt.

Homework homework homework .....plan plan plan...... there are no substitutes.

I have been a top tier FF of five airlines over the years and flown millions of miles.....it's always worked for me and I wouldn't have it any other way.
 

RooFlyer

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I guess the theory of loyalty is that if I fly enough, the airline offers me status perks to firstly entice me to fly with them enough to gain the status, and then to book my next flight with them. If the perks are good enough, they hope this is enough for me to overlook other factors such as price or convenience (and therefore be 'loyal' to the airline).

In my case, I fly enough in the regular course of business that I get status on Qantas and also Air Canada (and occasionally on Virgin), thus covering both major alliances and both domestic majors. I have absolutely no 'loyalty' to any of these airlines. QF's P1 just doesn't have the perks to make me want to commit to all that extra flying on QF. QF's constant nibbling away at the perks and conditions of its program only makes me dis-affected and want to 'punish' them by NOT flying with them.

Similarly, airlines are showing less and less inclination to try to keep my business - they are giving the finger back to me. Some, like QF have seen that there is more money in working closely with their commercial partners rather than their flying pax. Others like AC have spun off their FF programs with disastrous results for the flying pax.

As for hotels, I've tried the loyalty program thing over the past 3 years and am completely over it. I now stay where it suits and if its line ball, I'll choose a Starwood or Accor to see if I get some 'status' at the end of the year. But I'll never be 'loyal' to any wrenched hotel chain for its own sake.
 

Sprucegoose

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I guess the theory of loyalty is that if I fly enough, the airline offers me status perks to firstly entice me to fly with them enough to gain the status, and then to book my next flight with them. If the perks are good enough, they hope this is enough for me to overlook other factors such as price or convenience (and therefore be 'loyal' to the airline).

In my case, I fly enough in the regular course of business that I get status on Qantas and also Air Canada (and occasionally on Virgin), thus covering both major alliances and both domestic majors. I have absolutely no 'loyalty' to any of these airlines. QF's P1 just doesn't have the perks to make me want to commit to all that extra flying on QF. QF's constant nibbling away at the perks and conditions of its program only makes me dis-affected and want to 'punish' them by NOT flying with them.

Similarly, airlines are showing less and less inclination to try to keep my business - they are giving the finger back to me. Some, like QF have seen that there is more money in working closely with their commercial partners rather than their flying pax. Others like AC have spun off their FF programs with disastrous results for the flying pax.

As for hotels, I've tried the loyalty program thing over the past 3 years and am completely over it. I now stay where it suits and if its line ball, I'll choose a Starwood or Accor to see if I get some 'status' at the end of the year. But I'll never be 'loyal' to any wrenched hotel chain for its own sake.

Look I am quickly coming around to your thinking.....loyalty for loyalties sake is simply a bad deal.

Hotel programs unless they work for you ie that's where you really want to stay and pay, are simply not worth chasing.


Clouds in my coffee as Carly Simon used to say......,,
 
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