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 »

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[Ending Soon]: Southwest Cards Offer Companion Pass & 30K Points

southwest plane
Feb 28 2024

When Chase and Southwest offered a companion pass as part of their co-brand card initial bonus it was restricted to California residents. Many people not living in California were jealous, but it was still a good sign.

The Companion Pass is a powerful marketing tool, and Southwest saw it that way. That reduced the usual concern that an offer which is ‘too good’ won’t last. Indeed, it’s become even more broadly available (for a limited time).

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American Airlines Has The Least Useful Standby Policy. Now It Will Be The Most Annoying, Too.

Feb 28 2024

Starting this Friday, March 1 you must be an AAdvantage member to take advantage of free standby. So that’s a new restriction on standby, though of course people can join the program at the airport.

What wasn’t previously announced, though, but American is now telling customers is that they won’t be able to get added to the standby list by a customer service agent or gate agent. Standby requests will be self-serve only.

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From Chatbots To AI Agents: The End Of Traditional Customer Service At Airlines?

older gentleman taking a selfie with smartphone
Feb 28 2024

Soon customer service agents will be displaced en masse by chatbots, but not the kind you’re used to. AI-powered customer service agents will handle the bulk of requests.

Some businesses, including airlines, will promote human customer service as a premium experience (although eventually, perhaps, AI will be better – but at least initially this will be seen as a premium). And perhaps we’ll see airlines offering live human telephone service as an elite benefit.

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