The on-line travel agency I booked this trip through recently started up their very own frequent user/sucker program. [Since I'm grumbling and not actually publicly calling out a problem here I won't name names concerning the company. It wouldn't be, uh, expedient on my part.] Anyway, I managed to get in on the ground floor of this new fan club and received 2,000 points for booking passage to the other side of the planet. That sounds nice, but to qualify for any sort of reduction on future airfare you need over 20,000 points. How far do you have to go to get that many points? Do I need to circle the world five to ten times to land a reduced rate to Albuquerque? Other people must travel a lot more than I do.
I know these programs are mainly used to create brand loyalty in people with the remote promise of possible free stuff. It's the same racket skeeball games use where you need to receive thousands of tickets just to win some greasy little beanbag bear. So while I'll play along with the free aspects of this frequent flyer thing I know the chances of me receiving any rewards are about as slim as me skipping the plane and swimming to Japan.