I know working for the airlines is tough and that the industry has suffered. You can "taste" the cutbacks in food (or lack thereof), drink selections, attitudes, delays, and general service quality. One area that seems to have suffered heavily is the frequent flier programs. For years they’ve been making the rules stiffer and reducing options, but what I’ve noticed recently is an absolute absence of human bodies in these departments. I’ve emailed and faxed to no avail many times recently on at least 3 airlines. My issue is one of those that I’d prefer to handle via email or fax since it will inevitably require me to fax/send paperwork anyway. The bottom line here is that I emailed US AIR about two weeks ago, receive the automated "we’re working hard for you email" and then have received nothing back now. American still provides me excellent service in this category by the way. Then, I receive a marketing email, asking them to vote for them in the Freedie Awards, the industry’s way of slathering gravy on each other I guess.
I hope the airline’s culture has not shifted to "well, that’s just free stuff anyway so it can wait or be cut" because that "free stuff" is called MY LOYALTY. I actually make conscious decisions to fly with you over and over again to get some modicum of reward for being absent from my family XX days per year. I know things are tough but they’re tough all over.