http://www.freep.com/article/20110717/BUSINESS07/107170477/Are-frequent-flier-programs-hassle- They lure millions of travelers each year with the promise of free vacations, first-class upgrades and a chance to cut the security line. But are frequent-flier programs really worthwhile? Miles programs sound simple enough. Passengers typically earn one mile or point for every mile flown. Those miles can be redeemed for free trips, usually starting at 25,000 miles for a domestic, round-trip flight. Loyalists say not participating is like leaving free money on the table. Free flights are the most obvious perk. Miles can also be traded in for things like magazine subscriptions.