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A United Airlines jet prepares to land September 10, 2011 at Dulles International Airport in Chantilly, Va. - 

Know how packages at the grocery keep getting smaller and sold at the same price? It appears one of the airlines is doing that with the planet Earth.

The Houston Chronicle says now that United and Continental have merged, some frequent fliers are complaining they're earning a little less mileage on certain routes.

One guy noticed Houston to London is 32 miles shorter -- and shorter equals less frequent flier credit. United says there were increases and decreases but they're small.

Maybe airlines should go the whole hog and quietly switch from statute to nautical miles. Wait... maybe I shouldn't have said that out loud.

Follow David Brancaccio at @DavidBrancaccio