AIRLINES: Tickets for Sale, Cheap

At least 7 million travelers participate in airline frequent-flyer programs in the hope of racking up enough mileage to earn free tickets to exotic locations. Yet roughly half of such customers fail to use the awards they receive. As a result, these coupons have become a hot new commodity, bought and sold by at least a dozen upstart brokers. The secondhand awards often present a sizable saving for the purchaser, even after the broker has taken a 20% to 40% commission. For instance, one broker was recently offering roundtrip, first-class tickets from...

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