Maximum minima: used to be, you'd get a bunch of miles even if your flight was a really short one. The minimum frequent-flyer dollop was 500 miles, even if you flew a shuttle that was 225 miles, the distance between New York and Washington or New York and Boston. That is changing, with US Airways among the first of the big guys to change the rules, and with United doing the same cutting. Now American has cut back on minima, saying that you can't have 500 miles for every flight, but instead, you will earn the same number of points as the actual number of miles flown, starting with the New Year.
The only exception: members of elite levels of the airline's AAdvantage loyalty plan. Continental made the same change back in September, giving its elites the special treatment, but taking away from the rest So here's my question: leaving aside the shuttles, what kind of flights are less than 500 miles anyway?