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Old 6th July 2016, 09:30 AM   #16
726
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I personally think PY is pointless for that price point. I did bought two PY tickets, one to LHR, the other to NRT. Was a disappointment, especially the a380 version. It was nice to have extra space but I think i'll go either economy or straight to business next time.

As for @wfs. Unfortunately that seems to be true. In 20 years of my loyalty to sq, i only received one upgrade to business as kf gold. That was sq320 to lhr.

What surprise me is asiana. As kf gold, i received upgrade despite my ticket being one of the lowest class. And also as kf gold i received personalised greeting even when boarding economy, though not always.

This concept is rather similar to ana (pay to upgrade), the difference being ana only do this at the gate. Garuda indonesia has similar system (which is much more similar to sq).
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Old 7th July 2016, 12:10 AM   #17
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I can understand paid upgrades.
And I can understand it being for selected pax...

But I absolutely cannot believe they're making it a bidding system.
I could imagine AirAsia launching a bidding upgrade system but how on earth can a brand that positions itself as a premium one make its customers bid?!
It's almost juvenile and cheapens the whole brand experience.

Come on SQ.. if you are going to introduce an upgrade system, SQ, don't tease your customers and have the decency to at least make it a flat rate.

I'm sure the marketing geniuses at SQ are not going to realise this with their infinite wisdom but after a few bidders find out they their bid actually could have cost them nearly as much as a J ticket, their customer service department is going to get some nasty complaints. Or maybe, they're already preparing another standard template response to that But that will probably also be the part where those customers do the math and realise that SQ's Y and now S product offers less in terms of value for what they pay than that of their full-service rivals.
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Old 7th July 2016, 12:14 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by concept|infinit View Post
I can understand paid upgrades.
And I can understand it being for selected pax...

But I absolutely cannot believe they're making it a bidding system.
I could imagine AirAsia launching a bidding upgrade system but how on earth can a brand that positions itself as a premium one make its customers bid?!
It's almost juvenile and cheapens the whole brand experience.

Come on SQ.. if you are going to introduce an upgrade system, SQ, don't tease your customers and have the decency to at least make it a flat rate.

I'm sure the marketing geniuses at SQ are not going to realise this with their infinite wisdom but after a few bidders find out they their bid actually could have cost them nearly as much as a J ticket, their customer service department is going to get some nasty complaints. Or maybe, they're already preparing another standard template response to that But that will probably also be the part where those customers do the math and realise that SQ's Y and now S product offers less in terms of value for what they pay than that of their full-service rivals.
I agree 100%. Hence, my mail to the Management reads:

"Additionally, I have, as with most Krisflyer members, received notification of the "Upgrade Bidding System" / "mySQupgrade" "perk". Is this seriously a path that Singapore Airlines wants to get involved? Whilst StraitsTimes mentioned that more than 30 airlines globally have this, I personally think that Singapore Airlines should not go down this path. Bidding for an upgrade is more viable for airlines of the LCC model or those that are no where as premium as the Singapore Airlines brand. An airline of Singapore Airlines premium status should not relentlessly pursue ancillary revenue options to this level of detail. What this "invitation to bid" suggests is that the PEY cabin is not doing as well as originally anticipated, hence explaining the slowdown in 77W aircraft being refitted with PEY seats.

Further, I had mentioned at my recent focus group in April 2016 that Singapore Airlines should not be offering passengers the option to purchase inflight amenities, and instead, align itself to other carriers that still hand out these out on a complimentary basis for travelers on its JCL cabin and upwards."
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Old 7th July 2016, 01:19 AM   #19
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This is disappointing and yet another sign of losing touch with the reality of the market. I've recently flown QR to Europe. On both occasions I booked the lowest available economy fare and was sent an email offering to upgrade to J one of the sectors for 500ish SGD. On my last trip I took the offer between SIN and DOH and sent an email requesting it for the way back, to my surprise I was sent an email with an offer for both return sectors for about 500SGD each. This is competitive and transparent, first come first serve. No one world status. 6 years as PPS have got me zero upgrades. This bidding system is just a sign of PEY not working and I'm not surprised given the price point.
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Old 7th July 2016, 01:43 AM   #20
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Personally, I don't see the issue with auctioning off seats in the PEY cabin. There's nothing inherently 'cheap' about having to bid for something. Otherwise, Sotheby's has been getting things wrong for *centuries*.

If you don't like the idea of having to bid for a PEY seat, then don't bid. There are people who don't feel the same way, and if they're willing to pay more than SQ is willing to give them a PEY seat for, then it seems a bit bizarre to not let that mutually beneficial exchange happen.

If the argument is that SQ should just post a fixed price for the upgrade instead, the issue there is that an auction tends to have better revenue-maximising properties than posted-price mechanisms. I can't then begrudge SQ too much for going down the auction route.
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Old 7th July 2016, 07:23 AM   #21
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For those who are in those PPS gold or whatever, you are already there so no need to bid for upgrade. There is always a market for everything. I believe not all company let their staff fly J, this give them a chance to fly more comfy on a long haul flight.
As for greeting passengers, I fly Y on SQ and they always greet me by my family name without fail.
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Old 7th July 2016, 11:10 AM   #22
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I was just invited to do an online survey by SQ. I've given them my opinion on PY fares. Lets hope I didn't waste my 10 minutes.
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Old 7th July 2016, 01:10 PM   #23
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I don't mind this initiative. It equalises price and expectation and only the customer benefits. I am not too concerned with branding dilution as eventually it is their bottom line, not mine.

I haven't flown PEY but say just by looking at it, I would probably price it no more than 10-15% for regional day flights and 25-30% more for overnight or longer flights. If the bid price gets cleared then I get as per my valuation.

If their fixed prices are already 50-60% more then I wouldn't bother. I would go for other airline's J offering. Their Europe PEY fares are definitely very unattractive to me.
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Old 7th July 2016, 01:44 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by chisquared View Post
Personally, I don't see the issue with auctioning off seats in the PEY cabin. There's nothing inherently 'cheap' about having to bid for something. Otherwise, Sotheby's has been getting things wrong for *centuries*.

If you don't like the idea of having to bid for a PEY seat, then don't bid. There are people who don't feel the same way, and if they're willing to pay more than SQ is willing to give them a PEY seat for, then it seems a bit bizarre to not let that mutually beneficial exchange happen.

If the argument is that SQ should just post a fixed price for the upgrade instead, the issue there is that an auction tends to have better revenue-maximising properties than posted-price mechanisms. I can't then begrudge SQ too much for going down the auction route.
Here's my personal perspective, my background being in Marketing and Public Relations.
Why this is a bad idea from a Marketing perspective stems from two issues- how pricing mechanisms affects branding, and consistency.

On the first point, the broadest example is Product Bundling. On full service carriers like SQ, the product is bundled. Low cost carries are typically unbundled i.e. on AirAsia you can buy a ticket, with the meal, and baggage separately. Why wouldnít SQ adopt the latter? One big reason for that is branding. Iím sure you can see that.

Similarly, other pricing and promotion mechanisms including bidding, lucky draws, and scratch cards are not suited for every brand. They each have their pros and cons and they may or may not be suitable based on a brandís positioning.

Let me provide an example. Iím not sure where you are from but if you have been to a casual-dining Japanese restaurant in Singapore like Ichiban Boshi, they often have spin-the-wheel type draws where you win discount cards for your next visit. Now can you imagine a Michelin Star restaurant doing the same? It would be almost demeaning.

This is different from an expensive art auction which is done in a bidding style because the nature of the product sold is that its value is not fixed and determined by the perception of potential buyers. Which brings me to the second point, consistency.

SQ is selling seats. Their various seats in the cabin are identical (negating individual preferences e.g. for aisle seats). And SQ prides itself on the consistency of its service. A bidding system takes away that consistency.

And why donít customers who donít like it simply not partake in the bid like you suggest? Youíre forgetting one important point, a lack of information at the time of purchase and dissonance (buying something and regretting after). For example, a customer who isnít an avid traveller might have spent $1,000 on an Economy ticket to Narita. He then gets this email from SQ to bid for an upgrade. He bids $300, paying a total of $1,300 for a Premium Economy ticket. He wins the bid. A few hours later he visits SQís website and realises they are selling PEY tickets for the sector at $1,200. He would not be happy, even though he voluntarily forked out the $300. He might write in to Krisflyer and demand to get $100 back citing that he wasnít aware of how much the PEY ticket was sold for.

Sure SQ has maximised revenue but the customer feels heís been ripped off, and this is a customer who was initially happy with his $1,000 Economy ticket, is now unhappy with what he sees as a vague upgrade mechanism. The consistency of the brand experience is taken away.

Quote:
I agree 100%. Hence, my mail to the Management reads:
I wrote in too. I love SQ that much that I'd alert them to what I see as a terrible Marketing blunder even though I don't work for them... The things I do for love
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Old 7th July 2016, 02:59 PM   #25
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Hmmm .... The way I see it PEY was a mistake as there is no market for it from a buying perspective. Yes a lot of noise and desire to sit in PEY over Y but no one is willing to fork out the $$$.

In my experience quality is not a linear cost but rather an exponential cost but people just can't relate to it. The seat itself cost so much more and on a plane every millimeter mean $$$ plus a whole lot of other factors. However most people can't relate to this and thus are only willing to consider marginal price variance but the actual cost is more.

I agree the bid thing is not a good thing for SQ and I hate to say it but it does seem a bit desperate and only reflects to popularity of the PEY. If they do crawl it to J it would be sad and while good for that customer it'll be bad for SQ and the rest of the customers.

Over the years I've learnt that loyalty is far more important than price and as consumer we actually should lookout for our vendors as well. If we selfishly keep having playing price war that does not provide sustainability we only have ourselves to suffer.
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Old 7th July 2016, 06:58 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by spaceheep View Post
For those who are in those PPS gold or whatever, you are already there so no need to bid for upgrade.
I've been KF Gold for several years flying nothing but Y and paying every cent of the fares out of my own pocket.
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Old 7th July 2016, 11:15 PM   #27
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Hmmm .... The way I see it PEY was a mistake as there is no market for it from a buying perspective. Yes a lot of noise and desire to sit in PEY over Y but no one is willing to fork out the $$$.
This is the main issue with PEY, in some routes it is ridiculously overpriced.

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Originally Posted by alian View Post
Over the years I've learnt that loyalty is far more important than price and as consumer we actually should lookout for our vendors as well. If we selfishly keep having playing price war that does not provide sustainability we only have ourselves to suffer.
Couldn't agree more, and here is where the loyalty proposition of SQ just falls flat on its face. I would be happy to continue going out of my way (and paying the premium associated with it) to fly them if I got some form of recognition out of it, but the benefits are totally lackluster. I do agree on your point of this being a two way street but my feeling with SQ is increasingly a one way one.
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Old 7th July 2016, 11:17 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by spaceheep View Post
For those who are in those PPS gold or whatever, you are already there so no need to bid for upgrade. There is always a market for everything. I believe not all company let their staff fly J, this give them a chance to fly more comfy on a long haul flight.
As for greeting passengers, I fly Y on SQ and they always greet me by my family name without fail.
I wish I always had the pleasure of flying J or F all the time, unfortunately non-work related trips tend to be behind the curtain
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Old 8th July 2016, 12:17 AM   #29
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Let us not bash the Priceline for now. It remains interesting on how low SQ would set their minimum bid reserve value and accepting them. On one hand if they set the bar low enough to attract enough upgraders to fill the remaining seats at the expense of angering those loyal outright PEY paying pax or resort to confusing passengers to bid with the lure of having a chance remains to be seen. However in good faith,I believe some early bidders would be successful with their wonderfully low bids in an attempt for this campaign to take off
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Old 8th July 2016, 02:41 AM   #30
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Thanks for the input, concept|infinit. A few thoughts:

Quote:
Originally Posted by concept|infinit View Post
On the first point, the broadest example is Product Bundling. On full service carriers like SQ, the product is bundled. Low cost carries are typically unbundled i.e. on AirAsia you can buy a ticket, with the meal, and baggage separately. Why wouldnít SQ adopt the latter? One big reason for that is branding. Iím sure you can see that.
I don't think unbundling is inconsistent with being a full-service carrier. Several full-service carriers (LH, for instance) will sell you fares, meals, and baggage separately. I don't think that selling these things separately has really hurt their brands in any meaningful way.

SQ may want to position itself as the premium alternative to the aforementioned full-service carriers, but I don't think that precludes it from selling you services separately. Their premium branding comes from the quality of their product, and the service that goes along with it. (See, for instance, this video.) They can still have the best product and offer the best service even if they might decide to unbundle their product.

After all, you can stay at some of the most premium and luxurious hotels in the world, but still be charged different rates depending on whether your stay includes breakfast or not.

Quote:
Originally Posted by concept|infinit View Post
Similarly, other pricing and promotion mechanisms including bidding, lucky draws, and scratch cards are not suited for every brand. They each have their pros and cons and they may or may not be suitable based on a brandís positioning.

Let me provide an example. Iím not sure where you are from but if you have been to a casual-dining Japanese restaurant in Singapore like Ichiban Boshi, they often have spin-the-wheel type draws where you win discount cards for your next visit. Now can you imagine a Michelin Star restaurant doing the same? It would be almost demeaning.
I'm just not convinced (as I suggested above) that allowing passengers to bid for upgrades to Y+ is not suitable for the positioning of SQ's brand in the same way that spin-the-wheel draws are not suitable for Michelin-starred restaurants.

That being said, given the things Grant Achatz is doing over at Next in Chicago, I wouldn't be so quick to assume that Michelin-starred chefs won't be having spin-the-wheel type draws at their restaurants.

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This is different from an expensive art auction which is done in a bidding style because the nature of the product sold is that its value is not fixed and determined by the perception of potential buyers.
Is it really different though? There is a reason why airlines can charge different passengers (in some instances, drastically) different prices for what is fundamentally the same product -- a flight that gets you from point A to point B. That reason is that different passengers value the same product differently, depending on the circumstances, and often, perception, of the buyer.

You might say that the different fares correspond to differing ancillary services: they have different degrees of flexibility, upgradeability, etc. This would just underscore my point, however. By doing this, SQ has already unbundled its services! It will sell you a ticket, and you can buy flexibility on top of that by opting for a higher fare class. It doesn't seem like doing this has damaged its brand at all.

Notice, also, that by offering different cabins, SQ has effectively 'unbundled' its service of getting you from point A to point B from the quality of the seat and the quality of service you get in the air.

Quote:
Originally Posted by concept|infinit View Post
Which brings me to the second point, consistency.

SQ is selling seats. Their various seats in the cabin are identical (negating individual preferences e.g. for aisle seats). And SQ prides itself on the consistency of its service. A bidding system takes away that consistency.
I'm not clear on how bidding takes away that consistency. How is bidding different from paying more to fly in J or F instead of Y? I don't think it is, in which case SQ can have consistency despite some passengers paying more to be in better cabins.

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Originally Posted by concept|infinit View Post
And why donít customers who donít like it simply not partake in the bid like you suggest? Youíre forgetting one important point, a lack of information at the time of purchase and dissonance (buying something and regretting after). For example, a customer who isnít an avid traveller might have spent $1,000 on an Economy ticket to Narita. He then gets this email from SQ to bid for an upgrade. He bids $300, paying a total of $1,300 for a Premium Economy ticket. He wins the bid. A few hours later he visits SQís website and realises they are selling PEY tickets for the sector at $1,200. He would not be happy, even though he voluntarily forked out the $300. He might write in to Krisflyer and demand to get $100 back citing that he wasnít aware of how much the PEY ticket was sold for.

Sure SQ has maximised revenue but the customer feels heís been ripped off, and this is a customer who was initially happy with his $1,000 Economy ticket, is now unhappy with what he sees as a vague upgrade mechanism. The consistency of the brand experience is taken away.
A few things about this:
  1. I think that a buyer who is going to check the website to find out if they bid 'correctly' could, and most likely would, check the website before bidding. This makes the instance of buyer's remorse you're referring to relatively unlikely.
  2. How is this different from a passenger buying a ticket, only to find out some time later that the price had gone down? I don't think it is different, and the fact that passengers may sometimes regret having paid 'too much' for their ticket isn't really a serious problem for airlines, given that they do occasionally (often?) cut fares (though they will raise them again close enough to the travel date).
  3. I think you're forgetting the passengers who, by bidding, are able to purchase a Y+ seat at a price they perceive to be a bargain. That's good for them, and good for SQ.
  4. It's not really clear to me what this has to do with 'consistency'.

Apologies for the long response, but I do find this discussion really fascinating, and have lots of thoughts on it!
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