Good thing, my buddy and colleague Philippe is back on the blog. Bad thing, he’s now Jean. I guess this is the time where you think: ‘huh?’ but I suggest you read on his story of his recent Sheraton / Starwood experience and I’m pretty sure you’ll know what I’m on about.
What has happened? Philippe went to Egypt recently and stayed at the Sheraton El Gouna which proposed him the Starwood Preferred Guest program. He signs up for the program but when he receives his card it says Jean Deltenre instead of Philippe Deltenre so he tries to get that changes… and what happens then is just ridiculous. Read for yourself here (part 1) and here (part 2).
They’ve got work to do. Silly little side remark, I’ve been on the SPG program for about 3-4 years now and still don’t really know what it is good for… but don’t say any of that to Philippe ok.
Update: Starwood finally figured it out, good to see they admitted the initial failure as well
I really don’t get it. I’m a frequent flyer and as such I have an airline (or group of airlines) of choice. Simple reason, you try and get as much miles with one and not just shattered around across many different offerings. My choice? Star Alliance. The initial reason for this was because I think flying SAS to our HQ in Seattle is just the best way for me to travel, and once you made the choice you stick with the program.
This means that also when not flying SAS, I will check if there’s a reasonably priced option with Star Alliance to get to my destination and only fly with someone else if there isn’t. As a result for being loyal to Star Alliance, I’ve been Eurobonus Gold for quite a while now.
Now where is the reward? There are 2 things that bother me a lot about this so called loyalty program. First of all, these miles don’t mean much. I wanted to go to NYC with my wife in August to celebrate our wedding anniversary. I got the miles so I started looking for Eurobonus available seats on flights to NYC (and back obviously). The trip would be for 5 days or so but there was some flexibility to it. Tough luck, it’s impossible to find 2 Eurobonus seats on any Star Alliance flight to NYC… and even if there were, chances that you would find seats for the flight back is pretty much non-existent… so much for being loyal.
The second part that bothers me is the lounge. The Eurobonus Gold card allows access to the Star Alliance lounge with one guest… well, if you’re flying with Star Alliance that is. So this week for instance, I was flying Brussels Airlines to Budapest, I went to the Star Alliance lounge before my flight and to my big surprise I wasn’t allowed in. Just because I wasn’t flying with them, gold card or not. So basically you only get rewarded with Star Alliance if you’re flying with them right now, not because all the flights you’ve done with them in the past… so much for being loyal.