United, Delta Dynamic Awards Hurt Loyal But Rare Flyers Most

This week, United joined Delta in removing their price charts and switching to dynamic (variable) priced pricing. While in some cases consumers may benefit from the change, rare but loyal flyers are most damaged.

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What is a dynamic price? [19659004] A dynamic pricing chart uses a combination of traditional base prices and fluctuations in capacity and load factor to determine a price for a given route. United has stated that prices are not related to the price of the ticket (just as JetBlue and Southwest are), but this is somewhat false.

The connection between fare increase and load factor often runs hand in hand. For example, a flight to London from New York for two weeks after Thanksgiving and two weeks before Christmas isn't likely to sell out. Therefore, the price can fall into the desired point balance vs. peak summer season for the same seat and route. Prices usually go the same way, but Mileage Plus points will not be tied to a fixed value.

Essentially, you will never know how much a price flight will cost before you trade it and order it. United has stated that their partner prices will not change (for now.)

 Delta Ground Stop

Is it an advantage?

At least the defense of dynamic price charts, some routes have gone down in price. Shorter distances like Boston to New York may have cost 12,500 miles one way before, but now it can be as cheap as 5,000. It is a clear advantage for the customer.

 New York Business Trip

Some may also point to Delta's lower prices to Asia and Europe that have gone as low as 38,000 points in turn. I think it's a valid point. Delta uses their chart to get people in seats that wouldn't otherwise fill them while they removed some debt from the books.

Still others will rightly say that it is better to have something available than nothing if you really need to fly a certain route on a particular date. If you have 100,000 miles in Mileage Plus, you'll need to fly from San Francisco to New York, but you can't afford the cash ticket. It is a clear advantage to be able to use points where otherwise no price amounts are offered.

Why Are Rare But Loyal Flyers Hurt Most?

Many rare but loyal flyers exist. I have a friend who always flies American but can only fly twice a year. She has given almost 100% of her business to the US for a decade, and while it may be weak compared to frequent fliers, she also participates in the program through credit card and shopping portal.

Insecure but loyal flyers are a real issue and the airlines underestimate them.


With a fixed price chart, rare but loyal fliers had a reason to withdraw their Mileage Plus credit card from the wallet. They saved for a trip to the Bahamas or Tahiti or Dublin. Now, instead of trying to hit bench to achieve their goals, they don't know where the goalposts will be and have no idea how many points they will need.

This morning I came across a Facebook post from a group called The Travel Hacking, asking questions to members:

"What pristur do you last book or what tour do you collect miles and points for?"

The problem is that the member [redacted] reacted with a certain number of miles for their trip clearly based on a variable chart. Perhaps the number will remain stationary, but perhaps not when man is ready to order. This comment states an exact figure (assuming they haven't already ordered it), but when they go to book it can be higher or lower, and if it is higher, who knows how much higher? "width =" 800 "height =" 611 "srcset =" 800w, https: //liveandletsfly.boardingarea .com / wp-content / uploads / 2019/04 / facebook-group-post-300×229.jpeg 300w, 768×587.jpeg 768w,×466.jpeg 610w "sizes =" (max-width: 800px) 100vw, 800px " />

Art of Travel Hacking group mail "width =" 800 "height =" 611 "srcset =" jpeg 800w,×229.jpeg 300w, 2019/04 / facebook-group-post-768×587.jpeg 768w,×466.jpeg 610w "sizes =" ( max w idth: 800px) 100vw, 800px "/>
Art of Travel Hacking Group Post

United and Delta will probably say," Just earn more points and participate in Programs further ", but for rare flyers who love Delta or United, It may not be possible as it is for frequent fliers.

Account Balances

When rare flyers accumulate points at a speed of a few thousand a year from flight, it is difficult to progress without a credit card. Even with a credit card, the prices can jump between the planning stages of execution without notice. Comparison


While I'm a regular flyer with United (for now), I feel for friends, family and readers who don't want to play roulette with their vacations and don't have the points to absorb higher costs. That said, for some (a few) they can benefit, especially in a recession when the planes are not full and customers are needed.

> Read more: POWER OF POINTS IS FREEDOM, NOT APPLICABLE SPECIFICATIONS [19659005] What do you think? Are rare but loyal customers harmed more than others with dynamic price charts? Which routes do you think will reduce and which will increase the cost most?

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