75,000 United Miles Bonus and Hillary Clinton’s First Boba Tea

News and notes from around the interweb:

  • It’s not just American Airlines flights that keep letting passengers off without having to go through immigration. An ANA subsidiary, Vanilla Air, dropped off 159 passengers from Taipei at Tokyo Narita without going through immigration. (HT: Jeff Edwards)

  • Not the Onion: Airbnb entering into agreement with the Services Employees International Union to get people renting out their homes to hire unionized cleaning services

  • I received a targeted offer from United for up to 75,000 bonus miles based on my ticket spend with them through September 4.

    The offer also promoted status matches.

    Elevate your Premier status when you earn PQD. If you have a higher status with another airline, we may be able to match it

  • In Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams began:

    This planet has – or rather had – a problem, which was this: most of the people living on it were unhappy for pretty much of the time. Many solutions were suggested for this problem, but most of these were largely concerned with the movement of small green pieces of paper, which was odd because on the whole it wasn’t the small green pieces of paper that were unhappy.

    In the aftermath of terrorist attacks in Paris and Brussels, the EU will collect and share airline passenger information which is odd because the Brussels terrorists weren’t passengers, the attack was landside, they weren’t flying. Could it be that agencies who had this agenda all along took advantage of the devastation? Surely no one would be so cynical.

  • Indian court issues arrest warrant for founder of now-defunct Kingfisher Airlines

  • The lesson in the DOT’s approval of Norwegian Air International commencing service to the U.S.:

    as DOT makes clear in its ruling, there is no legal basis to deny NAI a permit, then it’s time to move on and let the market play out. There’s no guarantee of NAI’s commercial success – many are skeptical of the long-haul, low cost carrier business model. But Open Skies agreements are not about guaranteeing business success, they are about guaranteeing market access. They’re about potential jobs and ticket sales for all, not the few.

    It seems to me that some of the legacy carriers on either side of the Atlantic have done a convenient repackaging of what that means since they gained their immunized transatlantic joint ventures in one of the world’s most lucrative markets. They acquired great and privileged access as part of the Open Skies deals; now they want to lock out new competitors.

  • Outcome of the Democratic primary in New York aside, the most important story to come out of campaigning there for Hillary Clinton was her very first experience with Boba tea. Awkwardly, though, she refers to it as ‘chewy tea’. (HT: Mediaite)

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. I’m a United Platinum, and I usually buy “P” class tickets. I didn’t receive an invitation, and I didn’t qualify for the promotion. Too bad. I would have liked the bonus miles, since I’m going to spend that much money anyway.

  2. Was the United offer email, snail mail, or in the offer section under Mileage Plus on their website?

  3. I don’t know what’s worse, the fact that Hillary drinking boba tea made national news or the fact that it showed up here. Please, Gary, stick to travel news.

  4. Gary,

    You really are a hateful person. Can’t you just stop posting right wing GARBAGE and be a decent human being instead of always bringing up politics and being a jerk? This is a travel site. TRAVEL. I don’t see politics in there. If you want to do political hit pieces, why don’t you put them on your political hack blog? If I want to see political garbage, then I will go there. You snide remarks are just not appreciated and are what contributes to a divided America and it is just classless. You should be smarter than this, but your hate and ideology really diminish the quality of a TRAVEL website.

    Travel is supposed to bring people together, you are about the only person that I “know” that uses it to divide people.

  5. That Airbnb headline does sound like an Onion headline, but it makes more sense when you read the story. First, they’re from SFO, so you have to put their actions into a SFO-based prism. Second, they’re trying to curry favor with liberal city elites who might (in a largely NIMBY way) frown on Airbnb, so supporting higher paying local jobs opens some doors for them.

    More shocking from that story is the fact that Airbnb is currently valued at $25 billion. That’s about the valuation of American Airlines. AA made more than $6 billion last year. Airbnb has never made a profit, and seems to have several problems with their business model (lots of online competition and not much evidence that a large percentage of travelers really want to stay in other people’s homes). Airbnb might overcome these challenges or, perhaps more likely, modify their strategy the way Priceline did (it’s easy to regroup and find a new business model when you’re being showered with Silicon Valley cash). Still, it’s obvious that Airbnb is a very speculative venture. It’s quite odd how much people are willing to pay for a moonshot that is unlikely to make the billions needed to justify its valuation.

  6. @m-girl I genuinely have no idea what you’re talking about. You never say what you consider to be a ‘political hit piece’ in this post? And how dare you define this site (“This is a travel site. TRAVEL. I don’t see politics in there.”)? This is my blog, it’s been whatever has interested me on a given day, from day one 14 years ago. As far as my “hate” I guess I’m just lost here, since I don’t even know what you’re referring to.

  7. @m-girl, Could you be any more sensitive? There was nothing in the post that remotely made it seem “right-wing.” Typical of people in today’s society that gets offended at anything on the drop of a dime. Ridiculous.

Comments are closed.