Pick your own article to read about the future in air travel - I'm too burnt out/irritated to highlight for you and instead await the collective wisdom of Insiders to chew it up for us (step up Aviation Geeks). A side note; whereas this makes the United/Marriott reciprocal perk more valuable as a modest line of defense, it once more rubs salt in the wounds of hard earned Marriott Golds. Book 'em now folks - January 17th a whole new world (in United).
It's no coincidence that prior to this change Warren Buffet's Berkshire Hathaway invested in United, Delta, and American in spite of Moody's rating service lowering its outlook for the airlines (i.e. Warren and Charlie think the airlines will more than cover margins with price increases).
Once again, the ceiling becomes the floor - fun time had by all