Wall Street Journal
While top-tier travelers fervently covet their status, many travelers have found that status isn’t the golden goose it used to be, says Jay Sorensen, president of IdeaWorksCompany, a Shorewood, Wis.-based consulting firm specializing in loyalty programs. Being in the lower or middle rungs of the status ladder no longer wins upgrades, since airlines are selling more first-class seats at discounted prices. You can earn early-boarding and baggage-fee waiver perks just by having an airline’s credit card. In addition, the programs have become significantly more complex, with thresholds built around complicated measures like elite-qualifying points.