Thai Airways announced last month (read more here) about upcoming changes to its Royal Orchid Plus program that were supposed to take place on September 1, 2014.
Award ticket prices for business and first class would have often doubled, although fliers on premium fares would have earned more miles as well. The higher earnings would not have offset the higher award mileage requirements even for them.
Redeeming Royal Orchid Plus miles for economy awards rarely make any sense because the fuel surcharges are usually half of the paid fare and those are collected on awards tickets as well.
Thai Airways has, however, now decided not to commence these changes for the time being (quoting the TG’s website). They are not saying that these changes would not be implemented at some later point.
You can access Thai Airways announcement here.
Here are some examples of the change in chart that has now been put on hold:
Bangkok to Tokyo business class return: now 75,000 miles vs. new 150,000 miles
Bangkok to Europe business class return: now 130,000 miles vs. new 260,000 miles
Bangkok to Los Angeles first class return: now 150,000 miles vs. new 300,000 miles
What Thai Airways was thinking by introducing the god awful award chart last month? Why anyone would have paid the miles required for premium awards when airlines such as Singapore Airlines would have offered awards for much less? Did Thai Airways think that their frequent fliers would not revolt?