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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I won’t be flying to Tampa anytime soon

This story offers a local Tampa, Florida perspective on airlines scaling back domestic first class. United will serve Tampa only with its all-coach Ted, and much of Delta’s service will be by all-coach Song. USAirways’ 757s offer only 8 first class seats, down from 24. (Separately Continental has been downsizing domestic first class cabins as well.)

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Amtrak Bonus

Two roundtrips on Amtrak’s Acela Express or Metroliner by June 15 will earn a free round of golf and free spa treatment. All city pairs are included, so if anyone knows a routing that will allow two roundtrips for less than $108 please let me know. Update: A reader suggested BWI airport (BWI) to Baltimore (BAL). Same-day roundtrips on Acela Express and Metroliner run ~ $35 each ($30 on Saturday with promo code V745). Two of those are enough to qualify for the promotion plus the usual Guest Rewards points on top. Just make sure the coupons will be useful to you before booking!

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Priceline Rewards Linkup

Priceline has a new tie-in with Ebay to offer Anything Points for hotel, airline, and rental car bookings. I don’t see any details on the Anything Points website yet, but the article says Points are deposited into members’ PayPal accounts and can be applied as currency to purchase items on eBay or pay for eBay seller fees. Point totals vary according to products purchased. “It may be a little offbeat, but it certainly is an alternative to frequent flyer miles,” said Priceline Spokesman Brian Ek. “If you are someone who can’t see seem to collect enough frequent flyer miles, this is another option to receive rewards.” eBay users can earn up to 1500 points for booking plane tickets and hotel rooms offered through Priceline and up to 500 points for renting a car. Customers can…

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Ever Wonder Why You Can’t Take a Cruise Up and Down the US Coasts?

An 1886 law makes it illegal for ships registered outside the US to make consecutive stops within the U.S. And since there are no US-registered cruise ships, no cruise ships can hop between US ports. “It’s a law that serves no purpose,” said Harry “Happy Hare” Martin, a San Diego radio personality who cruises twice a year and has been an outspoken opponent of the law. “Cities like San Diego, Los Angeles and San Francisco are losing tens of millions of dollars each year because of this law.” The PSA was enacted in 1886 at the request of ferryboat operators on the Great Lakes, who complained that Canadian boats were stealing their business. The law requires that ships carrying passengers between U.S. ports must have had their hulls built in the United States and be…

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