12 Responses

  1. So, which type of FFer are you?? - FlyerTalk Forums

    [...] are a number of low value customers who are worth ignoring, regardless of how loud they complain. Some more thoughts on the different types of frequent flyers and the graphic they produced are here. So which type are you?? __________________ Wandering Aramean | Twitter | Lounge Guide | [...]

  2. NB
    NB 18 April 2012 at 9:19 am |

    Interesting article. As a self-paying professional, I very much recognise what it says about my preferences and my behaviours. I have recognised that I’m fairly low yield, but I am a consistent customer and have (until a month ago) never complained.

    I had a choice of FFPs to join when I started travelling regularly (c120,000 miles per year), considered, UA, AA, BA and VS, and went with UA whose programme seemed to fit the criteria mentioned. It was generous in terms of miles (discounts) – but I didn’t realise until some way into it how generous it was. My motivators were much more the experiential benefits – lounge access and Economy Plus. Miles were the icing on the cake – and then I discovered better handling in disaster scenarios, which I have grown to love.

    Certainly BA and VS had / have the superior product, but their programmes are aimed at the very high yield customer and, despite all my flying, would have given me little. AA was the only other contender and remains as such. I wait with trepidation to see which way United’s new management takes its FFP programme. I suspect that it’s towards the BA / VS model. If so, I’m gone. However, United will then struggle badly because it’s product is not good enough to get enough of the high yield traffic.

  3. Scottrick
    Scottrick 18 April 2012 at 9:41 am |

    I’d like to think I’m a rising star/self-paying professional. I pay for all my travel, and I’m reasonably positive about United toward friends and family. Even when United may be $20-60 more than a competitor I’ll still choose them (there has to be a significant price differential with no chance to benefit from my elite status to make it worth considering another airline). Unfortunately I don’t think United, or most airlines, do a very good job of rewarding those who pay their own way.

  4. bluto
    bluto 18 April 2012 at 12:17 pm |

    I am below the bottom of the chart.

  5. Mike Reed
    Mike Reed 18 April 2012 at 12:37 pm |

    I’m an interesting case. Business requires me to choose the most logical lowest fare, and I typically book 14+ days in advance. I try to stay loyal to my main airline, primarily because the perks, as noted by other commenters, save me time (irrops, rebooking) and money (bag fees, free standby, etc.). Occasionally, though, I do have to fly a secondary carrier, which has influenced my participation in their FF program. In fact, my secondary allows me to maintain status without ever flying their airline… and I wonder how long that can last. I’d love to be more high value, but with mid-con domestic travel on low fare tickets, I don’t see how I can.

  6. Rocky
    Rocky 18 April 2012 at 2:43 pm |

    I love the part that read

    “2b) Do not under-reward self-paying frequent flyers”

    I wish airlines would actually follow suit. in the last 3 years I’ve flown ~220,000 miles on Delta and their partners. All of this has been out of my pocket! Yet, I’m not rewarded or thanked any more than the corporate flyer or flys weekly for work. Makes me not want to be loyal

  7. PanAm
    PanAm 18 April 2012 at 3:08 pm |

    I’d say I’m generally (2a) “rising star”, though also in work travel hemmed in by GSA City Pair contracts that often change carriers every year depending on how the bidding went. (Which in some programs makes me towards the bottom left)

    But for personal travel I’m less price sensitive as time goes on, and after the kid’s out of college and some things paid off, will pay even more of a differential for better product. This applies for hotels, rental cars, and the like as well. And yeah I think the airlines don’t think enough about, or know how to identify, those of us who are more price sensitive now but in the future will become a higher and higher yield customer.

    I do agree with the need to “fire” bad customers. My father certainly did that with his business – some people you just can’t please so stop wasting resources trying.

  8. Michael
    Michael 18 April 2012 at 3:19 pm |

    I think the main issue here is even if you’re a loyal low-yield guy, you’re still of little value to the airline. Just because you always buy UA’s cheap fares, doesn’t mean UA would have any problem replacing you with someone flying UA for the first time — the airlines never have any trouble selling cheap seats, so what’s the point of rewarding low-yield passengers, whether they are loyal or not? Either way, you’re just filling a seat.

  9. Kevin C
    Kevin C 18 April 2012 at 6:01 pm |

    It looks like the airlines still engage the management consulting firms. I used to do this kind of thing and can still recognize a Boston Consulting Group Strategic Positioning matrix done by a 20-something Associate at $350/hour. However, I guess now I’m an angry cash cow.

  10. joe
    joe 18 April 2012 at 7:31 pm |

    angry cash cows unite!

  11. Tiers within tiers from the loyalty programs - The Wandering Aramean

    [...] Which type of frequent flyer are you? [...]

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