United Will Make More Money From Children, 1100 Free Avios, & When to Ask for an Upgrade

News and notes from around the interweb:

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

More articles by Gary Leff »


  1. And only on non-stop flights!? What a sad day it has become. I remember routinely flying by myself (starting aged 7) between my family in CH and the US–with a stopover in Bangor to get lobster 🙂

  2. @Gary – What have you done? You’ve made a couple of references this past week or so about being given discretionary treatment (in the worst way) by government officials.

  3. Richard Anderson is a pompous tool that appears to enjoy power tripping.

    The 777 delta bought, my understanding, comes with no engines and interiors. Will be used for spare parts (disassembled wherever that 777 is located). Also didn’t delta just announce an order for 20 brand new 739ERs? I am sure it was probably part of the deal. If this information is accurate, talk about twisting the truth.

    It is disappointing that Delta feels the need to alienate a strong business partner that goes more than 50+ years back. My question is, what did Boeing do that made Delta felt the need to make a huge deal out of this purchase? The only answer I have is greed (trying to tank 777 valuations for future purchases for their own benefit).

    I hope Boeing will tell Delta, ok you burned us this time around, when our next MRO contract comes up or you want a new order I am not going to give you a deal at the prices you want.

  4. @jamesb2147 there’s some reasons (unrelated to travel). why I could find myself politically targeted for such treatment, I’m not suggesting that I have been to date. I am not aware of having broken any laws.

  5. With regards to the honeymoon upgrade, some years ago (it was this century, I’m not saying any more) my wife and I were flying SYD-SFO for our honeymoon on UA. I’d already paid for upgrades using points, but I did mention that it was our honeymoon to the check-in agent and the flight crew. In neither case was this to get anything; we genuinely were happy and excited.

    During the flight the captain came over to say Hi, and the crew presented us with a bottle of La Grand Dame from F. Also, it became apparent when we returned home that the points were never deducted from my account. I have no idea if this was down to the check-in agent, or just a United SNAFU, but this has never happened to me before or since.

    So we did technically get a free upgrade, and all the niceness, mainly for never asking for it nor expecting anything. That would be my suggestion to anyone in the same situation.

  6. I had 10 segments on South African in October, all in economy including JFK-JNB and enjoyed the flight experience, professionalism of the staff (a bit too persnickety on things like not allowing blankets in exit row for takeoff/landing), and timeliness of the flights. Lots of legroom in all aircraft I tried. They may be the corporate mess that you indicate, for a passenger this sample was great.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *