How Airline Bundles and Premium Service Subscriptions Can Save You Money — Or Cost You More

@jayhawknj tweeted me last night to let me know I was on a local CBS news segment in New York last night on airline bundling of ancillary services, and selling subscriptions for a year of those services.

I’ve explained why airlines bundle in the past, and when you can come out ahead by buying packages from the airlines.

Many of the benefits airlines will sell a la carte or in packages are offered free to an airline’s co-brand credit card holders, and of course to their elite frequent flyers.

I think the piece as a whole is a little bit too positive on bundling, describing it as possible to get “VIP treatment” but not explaining the differences between seats with more legroom and personal escorts through security to private lounges as offered by American’s “Five Star” service.

They do have me explaining that when you buy a subscription for a service over a period of time that you can get ‘locked into’ a single airline — you wind up choosing that carrier over and over even though another airline might be cheaper, and as a result a subscription could cost you more than buying from each airline a la carte.

Sometimes I’m a little too animated explaining these things:

And I snuck a Milepoint place into the shot 😉

I also wound up on CNN’s StrategySituation Room with Wolf Blitzer last night, talking about the frequent flyer lawsuit in front of the Supreme Court.

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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