1. Again, I fail to see how consumer ignorance is any fault of the airlines or alliances?
2. We live in a time where boundless amounts of information can be accessed at any time in almost any place.
3. In my opinion it is entirely incumbent on the consumer to do their own due diligence before purchasing a product or service.
4. If you don’t like the changes, you are free to take your business elsewhere. No one is contractually obligated to stay a skymiles member that I’m aware of.
5. DL has the influence, being the largest sky team member, to get their partners to follow suit.
You must read more of economics to understand what is happening. I numbered some of your arguments to address them specifically.
1. It is not anyone's fault legally, but airlines & alliance know them & make use of them : therefore information is imperfect & asymmetric, we are no longer speaking of free market, it is a market failure, true & perfect competition are not happening. In fact, the US3 are an oligopoly & would not have happened had the Sherman Act not been scrapped.
2. Too much information kills information. In fact, most of the information is NOISE, buzz, real information is drowned. Or distorted.
3. Only if the consumer is taught well. Being ignorant is a failure of the system before being that of the individual. The very fact a-net exists & draws people is that the information is not readily available & known by all members, so it can be shared better. Point is few pax read a-net, flyertalk & others elsewhere in the world.
4. Not that simple : miles cannot be taken to another airline, let alone to another alliance, the best you can do is redeem them, or cash them when possible. Building up status with any other airline may take a year or more for most pax, that in itself is a deterrent and a barrier to free competition. This is known in economics as "non contestable markets", with dire costs to enter & to exit.
5. DL or AF's position is anticompetitive : one of the first tenets of free economics is that no actor is big enough to infliuence prices or actors' actions. Therefore the aviation market, regardless of the alliance, is not following free economics but something like "might is right" lipsticked with "free competition".