Airlines Sharing Information About You — and Removing First Class

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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, 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 »

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  1. The airline denied that there was an air marshal on the flight. Rather, as the linked article mentions, the airline says a member of the flight crew had access to handcuffs and used those on the passenger with a booze-related problem.

  2. Note that the airline didn’t deny that air marshals are sometimes on Qantas flights. They are called “air security officers” when it comes to Australian domestic and international flights.

  3. That Sirius trick has been around the web for awhile (it’s always a bit entertaining when a blogger “discovers” something that is already pretty well known). But I’m glad you linked to it because I’m sure many of your readers don’t know about it. I can confirm that it works well, and it’s very easy to get this rate by calling. There’s apparently another trick where you can do it online before your subscription period runs out, but I haven’t tried that one. I think it’s discussed on slickdeals. That said, I’ve had young people tell me that Sirius is stupid and you can basically get the same thing cheaper (or free) by loading current music playlists to your phone. That’s still too “sophisticated” for me.

    On the topic of airport changes, earlier this year I had a biz class award ticket booked on Cathay through US Airways from EWR. A few weeks earlier, Cathay decided not to operate that flight that day and rebooked me from JFK — and NOBODY notified me! Probably one of those situations where a partner booking change falls through the cracks. Fortunately, I found out about it a couple of weeks before departure by just checking my itinerary to make sure everything was OK (a good practice to always do). I then rebooked to another day because I didn’t want to fly from JFK.

  4. Hi Gary,

    US Airways were always pretty good notifying me of changes in partner Award bookings (QF, BA, QR). They would send an email telling me to contact the call centre even if a schedule had changed by as little as 10 minutes although the email wouldn’t specify what the changes actually were.

    AA on the other hand are far more hit and miss with partner Award change notifications.

  5. It is possible to get Sirius XM for free for an extended period, or even lifetime. I discovered by accident that if you subscribe to Sirius and shortly before the subscription runs out, make sure you never put your radio to satellite band. (just listen to FM or canned music). Wait it out for a couple of months. Then if you try the Sirius you will discover it is still on. My Sirius stayed on for several years. Apparently after your subscription ends Sirius sends the shutdown signal at random times for a month or two. When that time is up, they no longer send the shutdown signal, at least not very often. I thought this was unusual, and searched the web and others are reporting the same.

  6. @Gary US Airways left me stranded on XMAS when partner Ethiopian had terminated service on that 5th freedom flight (SIN-BKK). No notification, no change to itinerary, had called US Air to check on record and been told everything was OK, AND finally they wouldn’t make it right. That day, I booked an award on US Air hoping they’d at least reimburse that. It became a fight too exhausting for 30k miles, but I’m still sour. Guess the wisdom is to also check with each operating carrier for every leg, but that’s NOT always easy (even when given their Record).

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