Petazulu you are so correct. A+ AirTran and Southwest WN
have the best programs out there. I am not too familiar with B6
Only if you achieve "tier" level of some dug out of the earth mineral quality level, with in the alliance carriers, are you worthy of being a passenger on AA
, US. "Your only ruby sir."
The upgrade opportunities (to the "employee lounge" or business and first class) are going next, as upgrades are now for just non rev stand by, then and only then maybe the highest level of mineral on most major carriers get seats that are left open. Fortunately today, most major airline gate agents overly accommodating, do their job cheerfully, responsibly and by the book. (I enjoy non rev travel in the premium cabin, and don't bash it, but often thought that paying passengers really should experience the pointy end of the aircraft first. Non rev, is a priveledge not a right.)
Many of the airport lounges are going the way of the Boeing 727, as the majors real in costs. You may get to go through the special TSA
(discreet snob screening) line. But no one is traveling, it is so much easier to move through the airport now that passenger loads are off.
The airlines use all that data that they collect from us in their Customer Relationship Management (CRM) databases and often sell it to other companies (check your privacy statement with each loyalty program.)
Another reason A+ FL
Most carriers have/or are raising their award thresholds, and reorganizing their point/mile earning bases. It makes sense, as John Q Public will spend another $400 dollars, just to say at their next cocktail party they flew "free."
The loss of customers due to these changes will be minimal. (A lot of research dollars have been spent to assure, people will not switch, they will get over it, the bait and switch that is.) The business man still wants a large hub and spoke carrier that offers him 400+ destinations, an occasional upgrade, special line, and an uncrowded waiting lounge with a bar. It is the snob appeal. Where else in today's world can you feel so special (other then a hotel) for brand loyalty?
The fares are low on all carriers, fly who you want, when you want, at the time you want, as now, there is not a loyalty incentive.