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
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)
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(Newser) – 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.