From the "You Have Got To Be Kidding" File

From the "You Have Got To Be Kidding" File

In an idle moment we were clicking around the information super highway and came across something that still has us shaking our heads — term papers for sale to students on the topic of frequent flyer programs.

On one Web site, a paper titled Frequent Flier Mileage Programs-A look at the accounting issue regarding frequent flier mileage experienced at United Airlines, was available for $44.95. The Abstract on this particular paper says the focus of the essay is United Airlines, but it could have been applied to any other major airline. The main research comes from the December 1991 story by Charles W. Taylor entitled, “Airline Accounting: AICPA versus FASB,” which was in the December “CPA Journal Online.” The paper incorporates an analysis of the company, industry, and the account issue with the author’s personal opinion of the subject matter. A large portion of the paper focuses on the impact on investors and other stakeholders and also presents insights into the opinions of the article’s author.

From the Paper: “One solution that has made investors and stakeholders very happy was for the airlines to offer frequent flier miles and other reduced fairs. United’s frequent-flier program, Mileage Plus, grew significantly, due to the continued success of partnerships such as First USA Mileage Plus Visa and Master Card, MCI WorldCom and E*TRADE. Revenue from third-party mileage sales reached $107 million during the first quarter, representing an 18 percent increase over the same period last year. Recently, United and Safeway launched Grocery Miles — the largest partnership between a national grocer and an airline — which allows customers at nearly 1,300 U.S. stores to earn frequent-flier miles in United’s Mileage Plus program for their grocery purchases. (PR News Wire, 2000) As bankruptcy looms, frequent flier miles have become a major topic of discussion. But these frequent flier miles were an accounting problem as far back as 1990 and 1991.”

What we’d like to know is; what elite level and how many miles did the parent of the kid who wrote this paper have … and what was the final grade?

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