A new Web start-up plans to
let 45 million frequent flyer customers trade accumulated miles
for discounts on online merchandise such as books, electronics,
luggage, and clothing.
MilePoint.com is chaired by former American Airlines
chief executive Robert Crandall, who oversaw the
introduction of the first frequent-flyer program in the early
1980s, and was co-founded by Mark Lacek, a former Northwest
Airlines marketing executive.
Major airlines and a prominent hotel chain are backers and
equity owners. Program sponsors such as airlines are intended
to own about a third of the company, with the rest owned by
management and other investors.
Users of the service, set to launch in October, will be
able to buy discounted Amazon.com gift certificates
and get discounts at the 139 online merchants at Skymall.com,
such as Brooks Brothers, Sharper Image, and Radio Shack. -- Reuters