This year, I've significantly modified my thinking about loyalty and affinity, and it has impacted my travel patterns a lot. As a continuous 1K since 1992, I've always given United virtually 100% of my business, even if it was nominally less convenient, like taking a connection or a less desirable flight time. The benefits of status outweighed it. Since that is no longer the case, and will clearly be deteriorating further, I vowed to myself this year to simply "fly the flight." That means taking the airline that works best for me, based on schedule, pricing, and the elite benefits that I don't have to roll the dice to get. The results have been positive and interesting: 1. I am a pass plus secure contract holder, so on my very frequent LAX-JFK flights, UA still gets almost all of my business. Until that contract expires (or longer if the new program is about as good), they will continue to get that business. 2. When traveling with family on non-award travel, everyone likes Virgin America, and I can often upgrade to Main Cabin select for a fair enough prices. That's worked very well for my South Florida travel. 3. For other business travel, I've flown American & Delta several times each this year. It was a good experience in every case. Even in economy, I minimize my time on the plane, and I've bought first class several times, plus the odd upgrade. First Class is in many ways better than the UA/CO domestic product on both. Bottom lining it, United lost about 40% of my travel this year, and about 50% of my spend. Depending on what they do with Pass Plus Secure in 2012, it may increase. I don't angst about them anymore... they're just another vendor. They gave up affinity, and so did I. As a side benefit, all my travel planning happens a lot faster.