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Airlines are constantly exploring new ways for consumer to burn frequent flyer miles. In addition to the ability to set the terms of the sale (we’ve decided that 40,000 points is worth this $5 Starbucks card!) it also them to sell more seats (instead of give them away) — so there’s a constant incentive to cook up new ideas.
The most recent concept comes in the form of a pop-up shop from United Airlines in Newark Airport where frequent flyers can actually purchase physical items with their miles. Only problem: most of the stuff isn’t worth the points. Zach Honig from TPG took a wander through the shiop earlier this week and concluded that it’d be cheaper to buy most things with cash online.
Still, the pop-up is a creative way to get MileagePlus members to use their points — and for the 1%, the exact value of each purchase may not be too important. If the concept catches on it’d be great to see other brick and mortar concepts taking points as currency.
SOCIAL QUOTE OF THE DAY
@lyft, congrats on the new app. I’ll come back when you increase pay & remove tipping option. People shouldn’t depend on handouts.
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Our good friend David Farley just filed a great piece in the New York times on the trail of Kafka in Prague. Track it down here.
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Can be sent to gm[at]skift[dot]com or to @grantkmartin