Loyalty programs have been the laggards of the Membership Economy.
One of the first business tactics, alongside subscription pricing, to formally support a long term relationship with consumers, these programs tend to be more of a financial arrangement. You get upgrades and free flights in exchange for depth and frequency of purchase. There is not a real relationship, and limited personalization in the frequent flier experience.
Compare the airlines' program with that of Starbucks. I have been impressed with Starbucks' loyalty program for a long time...