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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United Airlines is Giving Away Three Perfect Days in… Newark

Aug 21 2019

With as full as flights are these days, if your United transatlantic flight out of Newark cancels I could easily see the airline not being able to get you out for three days. Then you’d be stuck spending three days in Newark. I’d say you could pitch the story to the airline’s magazine, but somebody already did that.

For as long as I can remember United’s Hemispheres inflight magazine has included a feature “Three Perfect Days” Well, now you can win three perfect days in… Newark.

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Does United Basic Economy Mean Having to Clean Your Own Seat? (What’s Grosser Than Gross?)

fake barf
Aug 21 2019

Airlines don’t do enough to clean planes between flights. I feel especially bad for the cleaners who have to deal with the mess passengers leave behind.

When a customer is faced with a seat that hasn’t been properly cleaned, and can’t be prior to takeoff, I view the seat as inoperative or out of service — if the airline can’t move them, it’s tantamount to an involuntary denied boarding. Cash compensation should be due.

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It Doesn’t Cost Money to Earn Miles Anymore

people playing music with piano and singing
Aug 21 2019

When the first airline credit card was introduced in 1986 (the Continental TravelBank Gold MasterCard from Marine Midland Bank, now HSBC) things were much simpler. You earned one mile per dollar spent. You paid an annual fee for the privilege of earning miles.

Increasingly over the past couple of years bank issuers have sought out the no annual fee market for airline cards. There’s been a lot of competition for rewards card signups, including from the banks themselves. So this is a new market to reach for growth.

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Chase Killing the Standalone Chase Pay App

Aug 21 2019

The mobile payments market is going to converge on a much smaller number of players. Success requires adoption at scale, and while it may not be a winner take all market — Visa, Mastercard, American Express and even Discover have been able to co-exist and both Apple Pay and Samsung Pay are stronger — there’s not room for every entrant to succeed.

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Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Weighs in on the Dispute Between American Airlines and its Mechanics

american airlines hangar
Aug 20 2019

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and 26 other New York-area members of Congress sent a letter to American Airlines CEO Doug Parker and to the heads of the Transport Workers Union and the International Association of Machinists.

American’s mechanics and ramp workers have maintained their separate legacy US Airways and American unions, and they’re negotiating as part of an ‘association’ however each work group has different interests. Negotiations have gone badly. And the New York congressional delegation has waded into this thicket.

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