I was pointed to a recent article the other day on the growing challenge of structuring elite programs for travel’s most loyal participants. The road warriors, the regional sales guys, the implementers of all things people, process, technology who can often spend day after day in some regional mecca the likes of Columbus (any of them really – not just Ohio) just to see themselves wake up in another. I found the article to be very accurate in describing the ways and the reasons that many of these companies (airlines especially) are migrating their program travel requirements to even higher heights, effectively creating a whole new level of travel “elites”. I liken them to “second world citizens” if you consider the true elites to be “first” and people with no affiliation/loyalty/recognition with the company to be “third”.
Candidly, I myself am currently Silver on Delta, trending towards Gold this year. Which brings up an interesting dilemma. How much is it worth to me and how differently may I be treated next year if I chase the next level of loyalty? I am of the opinion that, if you are traveling with any frequency (even once or twice a month) – the incremental amount you can (often creatively/cheaply) spend to get to a next tier is definitely worth it.
But we shall see; I’ll keep you posted!
Til Next Time,