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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KLM extends elite status

KLM announced that all Platinum members will retain their status in 2004, regardless of whether they flew a single flight in 2003. All Gold and Silver members will retain their status provided they flew at least once in 2003.Plus elite members with a Dutch bank account who get an American Express card will have their status extended through February 2006 whether they set foot on a plane or not.

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Delta reverses course on medallion segment upgrades

Beginning January 1st, Delta will provide complimentary upgrades to elites. This is a major rollback of changes made to the Skymiles program, and is directly attributed to customer feedback. “We said early on that we would live with the program for 10 months and take customer feedback,” said Patrice Miles, Delta’s vice president of consumer marketing. “Well, we listened, and the number one thing we heard is that Medallion members wanted more upgrades and to simplify the process.” So I certainly have to tip my hat to the loudest voices, SaveSkyMiles.Delta is retaining their new qualifying system, making gaining elite status more dependent upon higher fares and more complex. However, once making that status, the reward may be a first class seat.Way to go Delta (and I haven’t said that for a long time)!Update: The…

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American Airlines announces elite changes

American has announced changes to its elite program for 2004. It would seem that benefits stay the same. Qualification stays the same on the lowest fares, and gets easier for customers flying on higher fares. What’s more, the new qualification rules apply retroactively to 2003 as well — anyone who would earn a higher tier status based from their 2003 flying based on the 2004 earning chart will have the higher status in 2004.Thumbs up!

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