Why would they cut FF programs ? They are a plus and not a minus IMO.
It's really the only thing that creates loyalty to a carrier.....in the end generating the much needed revenue that could have ended up somewhere else.
As an example, my preferred airline which is Air Canada, has the "Aeroplan" program of which there are currently about 3 million members.
Having said that, there are only 80,000 of us who are "elites/super elites" in this program (Star Gold) and we as a group account for 50% of Air Canada's annual revenue.
With the enhanced security and longer check in requirements, the perks of being a FF elite member are much more important and beneficial than before. Preferred check in counters, telephone numbers, lounges...etc...etc...it's going to make a difference when we fly, and I think the airlines realise this too.
I was on the phone with AC twice yesterday changing some of the segments on my flight to Brasil on Tuesday and while I have never had complaints with AC staff in the past.....for some reason they were acting over and above the call of duty yesterday and I presume other days too since the attack in NY. Thanking me for flying with them...thanking me for being Elite and my loyalty to AC in the future.
FF programs will be around a long time I think.