Why the Survival of the Airlines Depends on Frequent Flyer Programs

It turns out frequent flyer programs are worth more than the airlines themselves

A fleet of Delta Airlines jets parked at the Southern California Logistics Airport (SCLA) due to decreased air travel.
A fleet of Delta Airlines jets parked at the Southern California Logistics Airport (SCLA) due to decreased air travel in Victorville, California. Photo: David McNew/Stringer/Getty Images

When airlines decide which routes to expand and which to cut, they’re not just thinking about ticket prices — they’re also thinking about their loyalty members. Abandoning a major city, or even reducing routes to it, is a good way to permanently lose those lucrative customers.

I write about technology (more logos than techne) and economics. Newsletter: https://diff.substack.com/

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