More Proof That Mileage Programs DO Roll Back Devaluations!

Frequent flyer programs do roll back changes — but don’t like to admit they’re wrong when they do it.

American did just that when they introduced a $5 online award booking fee that never went into effect. The idea was dropped, no announcement. Because it was stupid.

Here are five more heroic times when consumers won against frequent flyer program changes.

So as tough as it is to imagine in a time of United’s partner award chart devaluation, United’s impending shift to revenue-based mileage earning, following Delta doing the exact same thing… not to mention the evisceration of the Hilton HHonors award chart or American’s April 8 massAAcre

We’ve just seen another program walk away from a big devaluation they had announced!

It’s great to see the announced September 1 award chart devaluation at Thai Airways Royal Orchid Plus is not going to happen after all.

Royal Orchid Plus announces that there will be no changes to all current Award charts.

The Royal Orchid Plus new award charts which were previously announced to take effect on 01 September 2014, and the New Tier Bonus Miles for Platinum and Gold members scheduled to begin on 01 August 2014, both will not commence for the time being.

Changes to the Royal Orchid Plus Award levels in the future will be announced to members with advance notice to use their miles with confidence and convenience.

At Royal Orchid Plus we will continue to develop a dynamic and changing program that will both reward and engage you.

*For Award travel redeemed and ticketed between 17 June and 29 July 2014 in anticipation of the new Award structure, award tickets remain valid for one year from the date of issue. Should a member who redeemed and ticketed during this period wish to change flight dates, fees for this service are waived during the validity of the Award ticket.

They’re even committing to giving notice when changes are made in the future (perhaps next time their devaluation will look more like what they did in 2007), and waiving change fees for anyone who redeemed a ticket in anticipation of the announced changes and want to change their travel dates now that the changes won’t happen.

The Thai Airways award chart was in some cases doubling in price, with some premium awards bumping up to more than 500,000 miles at the saver level!

It’s good to hear that Thai listened to its customers and backed down. Other airlines have done it before. Other airlines should pay closer attention to what’s going on in Bangkok. It shouldn’t take a military coup to restore sanity.

(HT: Lucky)


About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. With all due respect…at least with respect to the US-based carriers, Gary, dream on. If there is a big economic downturn that hurts the US airlines significantly, we might see some temporary improvements. But the long-term trend here is decreased competition, which means far less of a need to maintain good frequent flyer programs.

  2. Would love to hear your revised thoughts on the viability of the program as a Thank You Points transfer partner now that the old structure will be the future structure. Any competition with Singapore as the best transfer partner? Without Ultimate Rewards or SPG transferring to Thai (contrary to Singapore) perhaps it increases their relative value.

  3. @Chris

    Funny you mention gas at $1/gal. For the past few months I’ve been paying around $1.45/gal in MA for regular unleaded. And earlier this year, I paid $0.05/gal on a couple of fill ups.

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