Frequent flyer programs drive billions(?!) in revenue

Delta Air Lines Inc., the world’s second-largest carrier, said it expects that its American Express partnership will yield $4 billion in revenue per year by 2021, rising by more than $300 million annually until then. Those sums translate to a very high margin of profit, Delta executives have acknowledged, but they’ve decline to specify further. At an investor presentation on March 29, Alaska Air Group Inc. said its Mileage Plan relationship with Bank of America will account for $900 million in annual cash flow, once the airline has fully combined with Virgin America Inc.

Billions per year seems crazy, but I assume they’re not lying.

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