Yes, that’s what I said – loyalty isn’t dead, but it is evolving. If I could fit enough characters in the title I would have added you aren’t guaranteed to love it. A couple of posts between fellow BoardingArea bloggers caught my eye at the Sky Club tonight. Stories about crying grandmothers do that. Specifically, I was reading posts and comments from The Gate and Renéspoints.
You can read those posts for the complete 411, but the gist is this. René “clear as day” thinks Delta Comfort+ isn’t worth it at any price, and Brian from The Gate agrees that he wouldn’t buy it either. Brian goes one step further to note:
“….Comfort + is great as a free benefit to Medallion elite status level members of the SkyMiles frequent flier loyalty program; but I would not pay a SkyMile or a penny extra for it.
The problem is that there are people who would — and apparently do — pay for it. You know that the point these days is for Delta Air Lines to make as much money as possible while offering as little as possible in terms of amenities and benefits. As long as passengers still think that their front-line employees are better than any other domestic airline, they will keep choosing Delta Air Lines as their preferred airline — no matter what else is done to decimate the perceived “loyalty” to the airline…
…but the Delta Air Lines of today is not the Delta Air Lines of old years ago where blind loyalty was appreciated — let alone rewarded. It is not that Southern airline in which customers are part of the family. You will not see a chief executive officer take in a stranded passenger into his home like C.E. Woolman had purportedly done.
Nope. Today, the airlines are about the almighty dollar; and Delta Air Lines is gambling on you paying extra for their product and service — and apparently it is working; because if no one did pay extra, Delta Air Lines would no longer charge extra.
It is as simple as that.”
And René responded: “…..Gosh when I re-read your comment I want to cry!”
Not much I can add to that, but I’ll try anyway. Stop being emotional about loyalty. The airlines have turned transportation into nothing more than a business transaction, and I’m OK with that. As Brian noted, if no one was willing to pay for Comfort+ (or reasonable first class fares for that matter), Delta (and every other airline) would stop offering to sell it.
If you live somewhere that a particular airline offers the most nonstop flights and reasonable fares, you should be “loyal” to that airline. IROPS support, access to decent phone agents, priority boarding, and the occasional upgrade do matter. But the world has changed. If you aren’t that frequent of a flyer, you can buy those things now when you really need them. Perhaps that’s temporary, perhaps it isn’t. But crying isn’t going to fix it. Just make the best of it, and make rational economic decisions. Those kinds of decisions may be a change for many of us. And those kinds of decisions may include a different travel provider.
-MJ, March 10, 2016