Airlines are letting fliers "status match" their rewards from other carriers, instantly earning similar rewards by showing their loyalty to another carrier. Some people do it when their travel patterns change and they no longer frequently fly on a certain airline. "The true benefits of frequent-flier loyalty are the upgrades, access to airport clubs, priority security and boarding lines, waivers on fees for baggage, special phone lines to airline agents and being at the top of standby and rebooking lists," writes Scott McCartney.

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