I'm probably the worst person to respond to this, but since nobody else has....I've wondered why it's taken so long. FF programs were to promote loyalty among PROFITABLE passengers. Should a butt in a seat that travels once a week at a loss be rewarded more than a person paying a premium for the cabin or seat or service? Should a person get to a level simply because they made their house payments on a "loyalty" card but rarely flew except of the free ticket? IMHO, it's gone way too far, and I'll admit, I'm guilty of it. My travelling days have decreased dramatically over the past decade. Just don't travel as much as I used to. I signed up for a Southwest credit card with Chase....got 50,000 points as a bonus. Not sure how much Chase paid Southwest, but I paid the $69 annual fee that first year and flew myself and my daughter to my nieces wedding in Houston ($20), paid for my daughters mom to fly to Dallas for a conference ($10) and sent my kid and her mom down to Panama City for Spring break ($20). They DID have to pay for the return fare. What did Southwest gain for that? Did Chase really pay that much to Southwest for the miles?
When I DID travel a lot, the company tried to get the best fares available. Often times I flew at a loss to the airline. Should I really be rewarded for that? I cost you money to fly me and you GAVE me miles that I can use to fly you for free. IMHO, do you really WANT business like that?
I've argued before but people have told me that FF programs are money machines for the airlines. I paid $69 to Chase Visa and I got about $1,000 in travel from Southwest. Does Chase REALLY pay that much for their miles? If' I'm a butt in a seat at a loss week after week, do I really DESERVE the top notch perks from the airline?
I'm not sure in todays market. Seats seem to be at a premium today. If I am a money losing passenger on Delta, will United GIVE me miles so that I'll now fly THEM at a loss? Does market share still matter over profits? I guess so.
It's the miles, stupid