EDITORS NOTE: I’m half asleep writing this after a bad week in the office. Some of my thoughts maybe garbled. Apologies.
So yes, I took a pop at Delta with it not releasing award charts any more, and it seemed like a good idea to show off Lady Gaga’s Bad Romance:
— Kevin-Economy&Beyond (@EconomyBeyond) February 7, 2015
(Warning: Contains Lady Gaga doing Lady Gaga stuff and enough product placement that would make an airline executive happy).
But are we in a bad romance with our frequent flyer programmes?
Maybe Delta has had a rough ride of it (and I’m fully expecting United Airlines to follow right behind it after copying nearly everything has done last year with its frequent flyer programme).
But other airlines are getting away with their own changes, with British Airways changing its Avios programme to the point where its crippling to fly as an economy passenger, and Lufthansa continually demolishing it’s Miles and More programme into a continual joke.
Heck, even Brussels Airlines is starting to hire its own people for its new frequent flyer programme… although what that will look like is yet to be seen (although, lets all be honest – it can’t be any worse than Miles and More).
The upswing in the economy means that airlines can be picky about how it rewards its customers… and in some cases how it treats their customers as “the airline knows best”, rather than treating the customer the same during the bad times and the good times
So the net result: As passengers, we’re trapped in a bad romance with our airline of choice. And it doesn’t get easier for those who are hub-captive.
What can we do? For some of us, the trap deepens with the amount of miles or points we have in an airline loyalty programme. For some – it’s an easy escape to an new airline. For others, there will be an opportunity cost to re-qualify for the status you had, and collect more frequent flyer miles with a new airline… who will probably play the same trick at the most inopportune moment.
Of course, you could just vote with your wallet and say “stuff this loyalty game”. Which is well and good, but its leaving a lot on the table for airlines already.
Perhaps this song by Fleetwood Mac (who were going through a breakup war when they were writing this) may provide inspiration:
And for those of you who had a good relationship with your airline before they changed it, this song by The Veronicas might sum up your feelings:
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