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The practice of using dynamic pricing, or selling award seats as a function of demand or retail market price, is spreading into Europe. Last week, Lufthansa confirmed that it would be the first carrier to adopt the model for its Miles & More loyalty program later this year, though it wouldn’t share an exact timeline.
Lufthansa follows Delta and now United, which launched its own dynamic plans last month.
Passenger feedback on dynamic pricing has been mixed. After Skift wrote about Lufthansa’s new pricing policy, reader Sam wrote in with feedback on how Delta’s incorporation of the new model was being received.
“Frankly it’s mind-boggling that anyone even remotely knowledgeable with the airline industry could possibly find anything positive to say about that model,” he says. “It’s been proven to be a way for the airlines to gouge their loyal customers.
“I live in Atlanta, which is a home base for Delta. It introduced that kind of system a few years ago, and since then its mileage requirements on most desirable business class award tickets to Europe went up from 75K to 86K and now 105K for a one-way ticket! Always! Never less, even in winter low-flying season! Is that what you call a customer-friendly system? It is because of its dynamic award-pricing model that I began to truly hate Delta, and avoid flying on it as much as possible.”
Others haven’t been so bothered. Matthew Stolen, another frequent flyer on Delta interviewed recently, shrugged off the changes, justifying them against “a superior hard and soft product.”
As dynamic pricing continues to spread across airline loyalty programs, expect these rifts between airlines and frequent flyers — and even among frequent flyers — to grow.
— Grant Martin, Business of Loyalty Editor
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Grant Martin [firstname.lastname@example.org] curates the Skift Business of Loyalty newsletter. He is director of product marketing at TripActions. Skift emails the newsletter every Monday.