"...where everything is made up and the points don't matter."
I got an email from soon-to-be-extinct Northwest Airlines awarding me 10,000 miles toward Elite status. That seemed... rather generous? As it only takes 25K to reach Silver Elite. I checked on the web site, and it only showed a 5K award, but that was still enough to requalify me as Silver Elite, much earlier in the year.
I probably can't make it to 50K miles this year; that is about 16 round trips to SFO, and I usually only take around 12 (and not all on Northwest.) Maybe I can find a work-related reason I need to go visit Australia, or twice to Hawaii...
I expect the net effect is that my usual flights will now be even more full of Elite (or Medallion, as of December) flyers.