Changes to Frequent Flier Programs Could Mean the End of 'Mileage Runs'

Unless there's a massive outcry (which I don't see happening), Delta's SkyMiles is going to get more elite than ever, which is great news for big spenders; with fewer elites vying for the limited pool of perks, the ones who do earn status will have a better shot at getting and using those perks.

You don't fly Delta? Don't get too comfortable. Airlines are like sheep, forever following the herd and it wouldn't surprise me in the least if others start mimicking these changes. Think back to 2008 and how all the airlines jumped on the bag fee bandwagon once American led the way. Your program could be next. Will it get too elite for you? Is there any point to loyalty?

Well, miles programs are still free. And most of us take an unplanned, expensive last minute trip once in a while, maybe for a family emergency (or maybe just to get away); might as well get whatever you can out of it, be it miles or a spending minimum. And don't forget that even if you don't earn many miles, a lot of programs allow you to buy more so a free trip or occasional perk is not out of the question.

But my mileage running days may be over. Unless it's just for fun.

The opinions expressed by Rick Seaney are his alone and not those of ABC News.

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