Lodging companies will soon be required to account for revenue, whether from monies recieved or deferred loyalty revenue, according to this article.
"Marriott International—a major player in the global travel rewards marketplace—already appears to be in line with FASB’s proposed new rules, according to Hlavinka. In its earnings statements, Marriott states that it defers revenue on rewards programs, equal to the fair value of their future redemption options."
What this really means is that Marriott has to carry on its books a liability for the value of the billions of unused points.
What this implies is that if Marriott (or an airline with miles) wants to improve their bottom line in any year, they simply UP the number of points required to get a free room which devalues the points, reduces the liability, and creates "income from other sources" or a reduction in current liabilities.