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Airlines make more money selling miles than seats

The airline-miles business for US carriers has become a high-margin enterprise that's grown in size and value

Beyond the cash, carriers reap something else from credit cards: these deals remain lucrative in both good times and bad, as they are immune to economic cycles.


DOES your wallet contain an airline-branded credit card? If so, your daily Starbucks visits, iTunes selections, and dining habits serve a critical role in keeping the US airline industry fat and happy.

For carriers such as American Airlines riding Citigroup Inc plastic, or...

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