The WSJ (reg req’d) notes that Northwest and US Airways are both offering so-called Fast Track programs to elite status with the airline by offering silver elite membership to those who fly two round trips in certain fare classes before the end of the year. Most other airlines have similar programs, though they are generally not very open about them (Continental, for example, seems to do it on a highly targeted basis).
Speaking of Continental’s OnePass, the airline eliminated two great rewards from its program: Business class tickets to Europe on partner Northwest used to only be 80,000 miles–they’ve now raised the reward 25% to 100,000 miles. A similar deal was eliminated on business class tickets to Asia on Northwest. This is a major bummer.