It is my understanding that frequent flier miles were created to entice frequent passengers to some semblence of brand loyalty in an industry that basically sells a commodity. This was very important when the consumer had many airlines to choose from to get from point A to point B. Now, with all the proposed mergers, there will be less airline choices.
How soon do you think it will be until AA or UA or CO/NW significantly increase the number of miles needed to redeem travel rewards? We all know that when one major airline initates fare increases, or the recent $100 ticket change fee, or fuel surcharges, the other majors match them right away.
I can definitely see, assuming the proposed mergers go through, that one major airline will increase miles needed to redeem travel awards, and the others will follow. Take ORD or DCA and IAD for examples. If AA and UA raise the needed miles, what can the frequent flier do? What other choices are available? Other than to just grin and bear it and reminiscence about the good old days when one could cash in the FF miles to go to Hawaii.
In sum, less airline choices = more miles needed to redeem awards.
What do you think about this?