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More for your money: Frequent-flier programs
More for your money: Frequent-flier programs

Like the airline industry that spawned them, frequent-flier programs have encountered turbulence and are undergoing major changes. The United-Continental merger means a new mileage program, and the recent marketing agreements among American, British and Iberia and between American and JetBlue also mean adjustments to those programs. Those changes may mean larger flight networks and thus more options for earning and redeeming miles, but "fewer competitors inevitably mean less pressure to compete and innovate," says Tim Winship, editor at large at SmarterTravel.com. When the recession hit two years ago, airlines reduced seat capacity, and now load factors — that is, the...

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