United Guts Partner Miles Earning and Looks at FAA Fines, Virgin Feeds Passengers McDonalds, and American’s CEO Speaks Too Much Truth

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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. Is the United SA partner changes effective immediately? Changes without warning? I was also under the impression that it was the partner airlines themselves that controlled the fare class earnings, and not United. For example, when you book a ticket or fly on a SA carrier, you needed to double check what that fare class was to determine the earnings (e.g. deeply discounted economy would earn say 0-100%, depending on the carrier). Is United now dictating the amount earned?

  2. The Doug Parker story is ridiculous, as media (and reporters) sometimes are. During the earnings call, the AP reporter asked him a loaded question of whether he was telling customers “to be happy” with an improved product because they weren’t going to be using lower fuel prices to lower fares. Parker rightfully snapped back with “We’re not trying to ask our customers to be happy with anything,” and then noted that the airline was using some of its fuel gains to improve the product, and that it prices to demand not cost.

    As silly a kerfuffle as it gets. BTW, I haven’t seen this “blow up” in the larger, mainstream media.

  3. The Jeff Smisek Playbook

    1. Gut your award chart: Check.
    2. Gut your points earning ability: Check.
    3. Gut partners points earning ability: Check.
    4. Gut your co-branded credit cards’ points earning ability: To do when credit card agreement comes up for renewal.

    Fly the Friendly Skies!

  4. ” fare levels are driven by demand rather than cost” demand can drop if a competitor is willing to lower their prices (due to lower fuel costs) to increase market share

  5. @Doug: my playbook:
    1) Get *A Gold from other *A carrier: Check
    2) Zero account balance by transferring whichever left over to Marriott: Check
    3) Send now useless Premier gold card to Smisek: still contemplating

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