Southwest has free checked bags and generally lower prices in any case, so the "free checked bags" argument doesn't seem that useful to me. As for employers paying for business class ... it's just silly to fly business class at all, really. I'd rather fly coach and have 50% of the saved money as a bonus or something. But if you're working in a broken culture where flying business class is something people do, then okay, point taken, as far as the free upgrade with status. Still, you need to fly a LOT to get status ... someone flying 3 or 4 times a year will never get status. And, again, the status thing is there to trick you into making the wrong decision when faced with a cheaper price on another airline. If you want a chance at beating them at their own game, you have to be really, really careful and actually calculate out how much obtaining or retaining status is costing you in lost savings. If you don't, well, "the house always wins" comes to mind.
I've been on 12+ hour international flights in coach, and on 24+ hour train rides in coach ... it's really not that bad. Maybe when I get older it will be. But then most of the people I talk to on the train are older so maybe not lol.
I've looked at the game, and, for someone who doesn't travel maybe 10+ times a year, the only winning move is not to play. I don't take the train like I used to and I've got 15000 Amtrak miles idling. Ultimately I'm going to just take a vacation in one of their roomette's since I have a relative who likes being on a train for the sake of being on a train. Instead of having 15000 Amtrak miles I could have had maybe $100 or a little less cash back from a 1% credit card. It was probably worth having the Amtrak card for all the travel I took while I was a regular customer, but, now that my patterns changed, I have useless miles left over. The house always wins.