Boy of boy… How things have changed in the ” miles and Points ” world over the last few years! Not only have we been through the hideous Covid B.S., it seems like the entire travel industry has been turned on its head! I often say that everything in life is like a pendulum; it swings back and forth! I just hope that’s the case on this!
More for LESS!
In the world of travel, things have been turned on their head! Hotels offer MUCH LESS, for MUCH MORE MONEY! Some hotels are still using covid as an excuse for everything, and although in some cases its valid, in most it’s not! Award charts have been changing to ” Dynamic”, which means the points needed depends on the price of the hotel each specific date. Before you could PLAN… you knew that in 2 months you could stay at XYZ hotel, and it would cost XYZ, NOT ANYMORE!
Enhance the way to the Bottom!
Airlines are “enhancing” their loyalty programs, which is short for GUTTING THEM! Delta no longer allows certain elites in their lounge when traveling internationally, amongst other things. Sure their are positive changes also, but OVERALL the results are negative in my humble opinion!
I’ve always known that a HUGE moneymaker for hotel chains and airlines was their “loyalty programs”! These companies sell points and miles to credit card companies and other ” partners” and this is how Amex, or other credit card companies give you miles or points for each dollar you spend, or how you can earn American Airlines miles for booking a hotel, etc etc… BUT These programs were the ONLY thing making money for Airlines and Hotels during the pandemic and the leveraged them massively ( billions of dollars)!
It seems to me that programs that were originally intended to lure travelers to a said airline or hotel chain, have now become businesses and instead of awarding passengers or guests , they are being treated as a way to make more money. I am not against anyone making money, but a loyalty program is supposed to award loyalty , period! One of the reasons these companies can get away with this is merger after merger that has ” enhanced ” our experience. ( EYE ROLL )! There is little to no competition anymore! If you’re going from ” A ” to ” ” B “, in many cases you only have 1 or 2 options. Before these MONOPOLIES , we had choices that forced companies to do better , treat us better and award us for staying loyal, NOW they don’t have to, and we have no choice!
With all this said, I do not think the current trends are sustainable! ” The pendulum swings” ! Eventually new companies will startup, new technologies will emerge or new regulations or rules will force them to ” need us” again! Its always been this way! I just hope its sooner than later!