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Thai Air / ROP Loyalty program cheating

Sweden Review updated:
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Mail sent to Royal Orchid Plus ropsvc@thaiairways.com april 6 2009

Dear staff !

We are flying to Phuket on the 21 of april and are holding the ROP membership card.

We are still confused about your loyalty program and as well about your policy against your members. We do feel you care very litle about your frequent flyers from Europe and it seems to us that unless you fly business class it is almost impossible to get any points on your frequent flyer program.

I am holder of card number GF82650 Don Mikael Hall, last time I flew to Phuket I bougth a ticket online and after returning home I was informed that no frequent flyer miles would be added to my account because I have bougth the wrong type of ticket. This facts where also for my wife Bonnie Hall holder of card no NK09069 and our son David for the fligth from CPH to BKK, he got points from BKK to Phuket not us.
Furthermore when we bougth our next trip now in april it was not possible to find tickets here in Sweden that was valid for points and it was not possible to register my wifes card.

We would like to know if you do have a frequent flyer program for economy class or if it is only for business class ? If it is for economy class how do I buy the tickets ? Do I have to apply for a ticket that give me points ?
Why do you even sell tickets that exclude the rigths to get points. Either you have a loyalty program or you dont have one. If you have one make the rules simple and fair, do not try to offer something you do not offer.
That is false marketing and it will create badwill for you.

If your Royal Orchid Plus is valid for people flying in Economy why is it not possible to buy tickets that are valid and to get points.

I thougth the reason to issue a loyalty program was to get satisfied clients that are returning customers and are happy customers. Thai Air seems to do the complete opposite and divide its customer in a A group and a B or C group. Where the C group are not considered to be valuable customers as their payment and their tickets have no value for Thai Air.

Please be so kind and explain for me how I shall proceed in the future if I want to be a loyal customer and how I shall do to get any kind of points if I do fly with your airline in the future.

Yours Sincerely
Mikael Hall


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A  8th of Apr, 2009 by 
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This was the reply I got from Thai Air.

I feel sorry for the poor employee that are forced to give such a reply. They only confirm that Thai Air treat their customer different depending on the price of their ticket. Shame on you Thai Air !

Dear Mr. Hall, We appreciate your support to THAI, and thank you for advising us of yourexperience and allowing us to comment and apologize for your disappointmentand indignation at frequent flyer program for economy class . Please be informed that certain booking class codes or discounted fareswith designated bookingclass codes or designated routes on Thai and Star Alliance Airlines may notbe eligible formileage accrual. Please visit at www.thaiairways.com/rop, click on 'Click to view Class ofService Actual Miles FlownChart' in "Earning Miles" box area as guideline to Thai and Star Allianceaccrual service classes foreasy reference. ( Please be advised that all travel under G, V, W booking class on THAI (INTER FLIGHTS ) will not be eligiblefor mileage accrual as of 1 July 2008 onwards ). As Royal Orchid Plus members you are one of our most valued passengers, andwe hope that we will have the pleasureof welcoming you on board often during your future travels. You may be surethat you will always be most welcomeguests on our Royal Orchid Service. Yours sincerely, Ruchalin SvastisinhaRoyal Orchid PlusMember Service Department
A  8th of Apr, 2009 by 
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
This was the reply I sent to Thai Air.

Read it and comme nt if you want.

Dear Khun Ruchalin Svastisinha

I have read your reply and unfourtunatly you just confirm my fear about Thai Air.
As it is almost impossible to buy tickets from our airport Copenhagen to Bangkok at reasonable cost in other booking class than G V and W and it is also very difficult to find these tickets it feels like Thai Air actually do not care about the customers buying economy tickets.

I read your reply and I understand what your explain in your reply but it does not change the facts.

The facts are that if you are lucky to be able to buy a economy ticket that is not G V or W you have to pay a much higher price, you have to try hard to find the ticket and then you think to yourself, why do I even bother ?

If I as a frequent flyer use the airline why do they even have such a unfair and in my opinion very stupid rule that these classes are not eligable for milage.

The fact are as follows, either you are a paying customer on an airline or you are not. The way Thai Air do now is that thery divided their clients in 4 diferent classes.

First Class ( Theses clients pay big money for a high quality seat and should get the service that is ok )
Business Class ( Same as first class but a bit less space and a little less service as they pay a litle less price )
Economy Class where you get point ( These tickets are hard to find quite expensive and therefore it feels like Thai Air is mocking with these customers )
Economy Class where you do not get any points ( This is the fligth class where Thai Air is not evaluate their clients and do not care about them, this ticket class are just like cartons or luggage for Thai Air, you issue tickets sell the tickets and then just deliver them to the airport, without any care or without any appreciation of them beeing your customers, in fact the way you treat this class it feels like you really do not want them back as paying customers anymore )

I am really upset about this way of dividing your economy class passengers in two groups. Either you give all points or you do not have a loyalty program at all.

I would very much know how you can think that any customer flying 3-4 times a year with 2-4 persons each time can be loyal to you airline when you do not respect them as paying customers. Please explain the philosophy behind this decision. It only make people upset and angry.

I will post your answer and this reply on https://www.complaintsboard.com/complaints/thai-air-c186953.html#c286552
A  9th of Apr, 2009 by 
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This was the reply I got

Please take notice that Thai Air just repeat its first reply and never reply on my question.

Dear Mr. Hall, Thank you once again for taking the time to write about the accrual changesfor booking classes G/V/W on THAI. The decision to make these fares ineligible for miles was made aftercareful consideration on how this would affect our customers, and from acommercial perspective, "G" class is a non-issue as this booking classis used primarily for group tours, and customers flying one time only. "V/W" classes are deeply discounted fares that are quite restrictive.The analysis of our customer base showed that these fares do not givethe flexibility that most frequent travellers require. Consequently these fares are not commonly purchased and the move tono miles will have a minimum impact on our most loyal customers. Additionally all other Economy Class fares accrue 100% of miles flown, so a range of fares is still available to our customers. THAI is not a pioneer in eliminating mileage accrual on lower fares.For some time now THAI has been one of the few international carriersto offer miles on all fares. Have a look at accrual with Star Allianceairlines atwww.thaiairways.com/rop at Earning Miles. Frequent flyer and customer loyalty programmes are increasingly moreaccountable for liability, and Royal Orchid Plus is no exception to this.By eliminating mileage accrual in G/V/W classes, liability can bereduced and with a minimal impact on customers. Mileage accrual with airlines is not the only channel to earn miles. We areconstantly introducing new partners and mileage earning channels, and you will be seeing more innovative accrual channels in the monthsto come. Additionally we strive to add value to the Royal Orchid Plus programmethrough benefits with tier status, and through more redemption channels.Earning and redeeming miles are equal components in a loyalty programme, and we believe that Royal Orchid Plus is one of the more balancedprogrammes in the Asia Pacific region. We trust this explanation meets your expectations, and that we willcontinueto have the pleasure of welcoming you on board THAI as a valued RoyalOrchid Plus member. Yours sincerely, Namthip JarusaenRoyal Orchid PlusMember Service Department
A  9th of Apr, 2009 by 
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
Dear Khun Namthip Jarusaen

I have read your reply but to me it seems that you have not read my questions or yo do not understand my question, therefore I will do my outmost to make my question so clear as possible.

1. When you book tickets on Thai Air from Online Travelagencies at least here from Sweden the only tickets you can buy from CPH to BKK are V/W class.

2. As I travel 3-5 times to Phuket every year I consider myself a frequent flyer do you agree or not ?

3. As I buy my tickets online and I know when I am flying out and when I fly back I get V and W class tickets only, why do I not get any milage points, why am I not eligable for points please give me a reason, all other airlines give ponints on V and W class why not Thai Air ?

4. The way I understand it, is that Thai Air want clients to fly from Scandinavia to Thailand as the Scandinavians are a large group of tourists and provide a large income for Thailand as a tourist resort. Thai Air knows this facts and also knows that to get these clients to fly Thai Air they must offer attractive prices. As their loyalty program is not aimed for this group they decide to issue tickets in V and W class for scandinavian Travelagenscies but not to accept them as valid for milage. This way Thai Air can get the large group of tourists that fly to Thailand on vacation as customers but does not have to care about them as fully valued customers.

5. You say that other airlines have the same restrictions and that is a lie. Scandinavian Airlines and 31 other airlines except Egypt Air and Shanghai Air give point on all tickets except for Charter fligths. This is fair and honest and next time I will fly with SAS or another member of Star Alliance as Thai Air do not understand that every paying client is a client and should get equal respect. Thai Air and Egypt Air are the only airlines in Star Alliance that have large restrictions and exclude W and V class. There are some differences but none of the others are so unfair as Thai Air. You an check for yourself at this link

6. In the past many years ago when I traveled a lot to the Far East Thai Air was considered one of the real good airlines, I am sad to say that today you are declining in popularity and repspect among travellers. I hear it often and you will feel it in your pockets. I think you already feel it and therefore you have decided to save some small expenses by refusing your clients buying V and W class tickets to get milage points. I run my own company and I know that if you save on decreasing your service you loose clients. These clients may never come back. Its a very risky decision you have taken and I am afraid it will show you later on to be fatal and lead to red figures. Yes You will loose more money on decisions like this.

Please think carefully over your reply and do not tell me the same standard reply as before. I know that you have a unfair policy and that you do not give milage points to customer that buy V and W class tickets. I want to know why and for what reason ?

I am a frequent flyer, I can only buy V and W tickets online and I have tried with several Travelagencies, I got my membership in Royal Orchid Plus for the reason that I was hoping to get points on all my trips to Thailand no matter what ticket I bougth. So why do Thai Air treat me as a not valued customer. Why do you even issue a ROP card when you know there are hardly any tickets to buy from Scandinavia to Bankgok unless it is V or W class.

Unless you change your unfair and injuste system I will continue to blogg about this on Internet and I am sure after a while I will create a thunderstorm larger than you can imagine.

Even the Queen of England had to give in for the peoples feelings and values of what is rigth or wrong when she refused to return to London when Princess Diana died. So I do not think Thai Air is immune against clients belief and values.

Looking forward to your reply

I have posted your reply and my answer to you on https://www.complaintsboard.com/complaints/thai-air-c186953.html#c287224

Yours Sincerely
Mikael Hall
A  19th of Apr, 2009 by 
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
This is the reply I got from Thai Air

Dear Mr. Hall, Thank you for your email once again for your comments aboutG/V/W booking class ticket. We realize that you are one of frequent travelers, referring toyour records long haul from Europe to Bangkok. However, mileagewill be accrued according to the fare paid of your ticket only, and in our system, you flew with G/V/W booking class, this is the reason why mileage could not be credited to your account. As you advised us that many airlines offer members to accrue mileson G, V, W class, would you please allow us to explain thateach airline has different fare paid on the same class.This mean that the fare paid indicated v class with SAS may not equalto the fare paid v class with THAI. Besides, each airline has different liabilities as well asthe level of service/amenities offer to its passengers or mayhas different benefits given to its member.As described, we try to have more award redemption selections, as well as more channel for members to earn miles.We believe that Royal Orchid Plus is one of the more balancedprogrammes in the Asia Pacific region. We launched the discounted fares such as G/V/W booking classfor another choice to passengers who preferred to fly withus with high sensitivity on cheapest fare basis.These passengers may not enjoy the benefit of mileage accrual, but they will get lower ticket fare instead. Please be informed that most of online travel agencies have highcompetition in cheapest fare to draw attention of customers.If you usually buy tickets with online travel agencies, please besure with them before confirming reservation that your ticketcan be accrued miles. We trust that the agencies, with their pleasure, will sell you a little higher fare ticket that can accrue milesas you request. Otherwise, you may contact the airlines office orthe airlines' official website to buy a ticket to be sure thatyou can select the fare paid basis/booking class that you preferred.We have many booking classes on economy such as Y/B/M/Q/H/S/T/L/Kthat can still accrue 100% of actual miles. It is clearly stated on Mileage Accumulation Rulesin member's handbook at http://www.thaiairways.com/ropthat THAI reserve the right to change, reduce, or alter mileage accrualon THAI, Star Alliance or partner airlines without prior to notice. Although we would like to comply with your request, wemust strictly adhere to the rule in fairness to all members, we must abide by the same regulations. Regarding your feedbacks, we will forward to the Customer RelationsDepartmentfor further acknowledgement to our management office. We still look forward to having the pleasure of welcoming you on boardduring your future travels.You may be sure that you will always be most welcome guestson our Royal Orchid Service. Suthep PongpianchopMember Service DepartmentRoyal Orchid Plus
A  19th of Apr, 2009 by 
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This was my reply.

Dear Khun Suthep Pongpianchop

I read your email and I feel sorry for Thai Air.

Once you where an airline with high esteem among the travelles around the world, unfourtunatly that is not the facts anymore.

In your reply I understand that you cannot as a single employee take responsibilty for the policy of Thai Air, it is the Board of Directors who take such decisions or the Managing Directors in the different departements of Thai Air. However you have to communicate with the clients such as myself and I understand that you have nothing else to reply as long as Thai Air have such an unfair policy.

I do not agree that Thai Air have the lowest fares all the time and that this can be an excuse for Thai Air not to redeem milage to V and W or G class.
SAS have airfares in the same range as Thai Air, if I or other travellers from Scandinavian want to fly real cheap we can fly with several charter fligth that offer cheap seats as low as SEK 3.995 the 5 th of may this month, you can fly with Fritidsresor to Phuket. That is a direct fligth so it saves you time and the hassel of stopover in Bangkok. Lufthansa also fly at rates similar to Thai Air, but for most accuaracy the comparision should be done between SAS and Thai Air and here SAS win without doubt. The only thing that Thai Air can compete with is its frequency.

This will be the last time we fly with Thai Air, unless Thai Air change its policy and become as fair as all the other airlines in Star Alliance when it comes to milage points, for frequent flyers. I feel there is no point in continue beeing a loyal customer if my opinion and my money does not count for the Airline I choosed to be loyal too.

I know I can read all the information about rules on your website what I did not know was that it is very difficult and as well very expensive to buy an economy ticket from Scandinavia to Thailand and redeem milages points. This is the basic facts whatever Thai Air use as an excuse.

Regarding the online travel agencies, you are rigth that they all try their best to draw attention to their cheap tickets, thats the way competition are. However if you as a holder of a loyalty card suddenyl realise that you got no milage on your fligth you for sure get upset. The next time you try to avoid this online travel agency and try another. What Thai Air does is that sell a lot of cheap tickets to online travel agencies but they forget to inform their customers that the ticket does not give any milage points. The result ends up that Thai Air loose credability as it Thai Air that are the cheater not the online travel agency.
Conclusion, Thai Air loose face as the act cheap and unfair.

The reply that passengers that buy cheap tickets does not care about loyalty programs and therefore are happy to buy tickets from you are completly nonsens. Ofcourse every passenger that fly more than once to Thailand consider the loyalty programs, if however your program are not fair or dose not support your low priced tickets in V W and G class there are passengers that does not care. However a lot of them feel Thai Air is cheating and they just keep the anger and bitterness inside themselves. However the more passengers that realise Thai Aor policy the more BAD WILL Thai Air will get and the more pasewngers you will loose. To fill your fligths you must lower your fares even more to attract passengers to fly with you. I think it is much smarter to be fair to all paying customers, implement the same policy as SAS and keep the price policy as you have it now. Thus way you will get happy customers not unhappy ones that you have in thousands now.

There are several travel magasines that will take this information and write about it in their coming issues. As I have been in touch with several magasins myself I know that I am not the only passenger that are very unhappy about the policy of Thai Air. Thai Air will get a lot of BAD WILL from this and not only Thai Air will suffer but the whole tourist industry in Thailand will suffer from this. I hope you are smart and change your policy and not stupid and put your head in the Sand.

As you hopefully are aware of Scandinavians are a very big group of travellers that frequently fly to Thailand. Many Scandinavians also have properties in Thailand and consider Thailand as their second home, there is however another aspect that are very important to Scandinavians and that is fairness. Unfair behaviour or unfair rules is something that we Scandinavians are strongly against and we do turn against this. Thai Air is challenging the Scandinavian sentiments by acting unfair in the Royal Orchid Plus program, as more and more Scandinavians will be aware of that due to my campaign, Thai Air will loose customers. I will continue my campaign until Thai Air change its policy and I am convinced I will win. I have nothing to loose but Thai Air have thousands and thousands of passengers to loose, they will look for a better alternative and turn against Thai Airs unfair policy.

When you say you are sorry that you cannot give me any milage points as you must follow the same rules as for all other passengers I fully agree with you.

I do not argue with you just because of my points but I argue with Thai Air for all passengers that feel that Thai Air is cheating and is acting unfair towards its paying customers

Your Reply and my reply have been posted on https://www.complaintsboard.com/complaints/thai-air-c186953.html#c295045

Yours Sincerely
Mikael Hall
A  3rd of Jun, 2009 by 
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
Hey Mikael!

Did you realised that Thaiairways did not answer any questions that is mention in the email or over the phone all the time and keep apologizing?. I have figure out that this is one of the tactic that they got which is keep apologizing and no answer toward any questions? my family has always fly with thaiairways for years and probably more than 50 times per year? and recently similar thing happen to me and when i pointed something wrong out they tried to cover it up by passing the phone line to the manager what to be fair this british guy kept apologizing and kept telling me about thaiairways policy? or should i say policy my ###????? i felt the same way as you did and swear to myself that i will not fly with them anymore nor my family!!! furthermore, i felt i've been mock by them!!!
D  27th of Jul, 2009 by 
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
Mr. Hall, you know? sometimes you have to accept that the rule is the rule.
Every airlines also have their rules.

Please admit that everything from you maybe not always right.
If the airline is bankrupt because they give everything as all customers want,
will you responsible for the airline?

I believe that every customers must say this is not their business and will blame the management policies.

Remember, the airline cannot please all customers wants!!!
N  10th of Jan, 2012 by 
Agree Disagree 0 Votes

Thai Air - Luggage
Thai Air

Flying on Thai air, I checked in luggage. It was a three leg flight, and at every leg I asked if my luggage was on the plane. On the second leg the ground staff checked the computer and said it was. On the third leg, one staff member checked and said it was not. Her collegue grabbed my luggage tag, looked at it and said - "Yes its on the plane". I said - would you please check in the computer? So she (apparently) pretended to check and said it was. When I got to my destination, the luggage did not arrive and I was forced to spend a two week trip without my clothing and other necessities... As Thai was not willing to forward my luggage to my further destinations.

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