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If the merger is approved, United Airlines and Continental Airlines will also be merging their frequent flyer programs.  But what is their track record in terms of rewarding the miles versus actual requests?  Consulting group, IdeaWorks Company, said Continental awarded free tickets 71 percent of the time in response to requests, and United 69 percent of the time. While this might not sound that good, IdeaWorks says that these percentages place the two airlines third and fourth, respectively, among domestic carriers most likely to award free seats to frequent-flyer program members.

Questions:

1. According the article about the IdeaWorks survey, which domestic airline has the best track record and which one has the worst track record in granting free ticket requests? Based on these statistics, do the ideas from the video make sense in how you use your frequent flier miles? Why or why not?
2. Explain how airlines should account for frequent flier miles and their expiration in their financial records.
3. According to the video, you can donate your frequent flier miles.  Research who gets the tax deduction from the IRS for this. Do you agree or disagree with this policy?

Sources:

HowdiniGuru. (2009) Frequent Flyer Mile Programs: How to get the most from your miles (Retrievable online at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6W3WyqOQAkc)

Pacific Business News Staff. (2010). United Airlines, Continental Airlines among most generous U.S. carriers for free tickets, May 14 (Retrievable online at http://pacific.bizjournals.com/pacific/stories/2010/05/10/daily44.html)

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