Frequent Flier Program Soars in Value

United weighs selling off Mileage Plus, worth $2B more than carrier
By Heather McPherson,  Newser User
Posted Jul 24, 2007 4:59 PM CDT
Frequent Flier Program Soars in Value
A United Airlines flight during take-off. United has not yet divulged any plans regarding the future of its potentially profitable customer loyalty program.   (Wikimedia Commons)

United Airlines' frequent flier program may be worth more than the carrier itself, according to projections for a still-speculative sell-off. The program would be worth about $7.5 billion, a Bear Stearns analyst says; United makes $19.3 billion a year, but its overall value is only about $5.45 billion—the air travel game is tough these days.

So far, United is keeping quiet on its frequent-flier plans. "We are managing our Mileage Plus program to the benefit of our customers and shareholders and will continue to do so," says a spokeswoman. Meanwhile, analysts say spinning off the program could nearly double United's share price. (More United Airlines stories.)

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