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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Capital One Lets Venture Customers Redeem Miles At Full Value For Food Delivery [Extended]

hamburger and fries in box
May 29 2020

Capital One has temporarily introduced redemption of Venture and VentureOne Miles for restaurant delivery, takeout, and streaming service spend. You can apply statement credits with your points at full value, as you would have for travel purchases. That’s great strategy to encourage cardmember retention and spending, to help customers conserve cash, and to benefit local restaurants that are struggling.

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New Research Shows Trump China Travel Ban Was Ineffective, And Europe Ban Came Too Late

May 29 2020

New research suggests that the ban on travel from China was ineffective while it’s only the ban on travel from Europe that, as I’ve argued before, came too late.

It also suggests that while China clearly less than forthcoming about the initial outbreak of the virus, and effectively assisted in coverup up by the World Health Organization up through January 15 (when the WHO declared there was still no evidence of person-to-person transmission of the virus), there was still plenty of time to act to contain it. Indeed, the people who brought the virus here which actually spread it into an outbreak didn’t arrive until around two weeks after the first travel ban was put into place by the U.S. government.

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World Famous Cellist Banned From Delta Has Passed Away

May 29 2020

Harrell’s cello was naturally a valuable item and he used to purchase an extra seat on the plane for the cello when he traveled. He was a Delta frequent flyer, and he thought that if the cello had a seat that the instrument should also be a member of SkyMiles accruing points for the ticket purchases. Delta warned him in 2001 that SkyMiles membership was limited to people, but Harrell persisted. He continued earning miles for his cello successfully for many years and then eventually in 2012 was banned from the SkyMiles program.

His story was featured on The Colbert Report where I appeared in defense of Delta.

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Las Vegas Centurion Lounge Receiving 50% Expansion

May 29 2020

With Las Vegas preparing to re-open, American Express is making a bet on the future of travel and the gaming resort city. They’ve announced this morning that they’re expanding their Las Vegas airport Centurion lounge by approximately 50%. The lounge, once it re-opens, will stay open throughout most of the construction periods with only brief closures.

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Here’s Delta’s Internal Program To Convince Employees To Leave

May 28 2020

Employees with more than 25 years at Delta are being offered a retirement package, while most employees are being offered a voluntary ‘early out’ that should be more attractive than being let go when CARES Act restrictions lift.

It’s sad that it’s come to this. Delta’s projections for a smaller workforce are in line with those of United and American. In the end I wouldn’t be surprised to see more employees let go by one or more of those airlines beyond what’s been outlined so far.

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United Airlines: No Plan For Bankruptcy, Will Use MileagePlus To Raise Cash

united plane
May 28 2020

United Airlines CEO Scott Kirby spoke at the Bernstein Strategic Decisions Conference and spoke confidently about shedding costs and preparing for a rebound in air travel. He offered that bankruptcy isn’t a strategic option, that airlines are foolish to retire fleets too quickly, and that MileagePlus is going to be a great source of cash – whether by selling a ton of miles or borrowing against the program.

Overall (9) claims Kirby made seemed both new, compared to previous statements, and struck me as noteworthy.

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