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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Here’s Why American Airlines Has Such Long Hold Times, And When It Will Get Better

Jan 24 2022

If you call a U.S. airline expect to wait on hold. And depending on what’s happening that day, the wait can be hours. When you need help the most, because your flight was cancelled or you’re going to miss a connection, that’s when the hold times are likely to be longest – because everyone else probably needs help at the same time for the same reason.

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Interview: Shangri-La’s Loyalty VP On Treating Guests Well Every Time & Why Owning Hotels Matters

Jan 24 2022

Shangri-La’s Vice President and Head of Shangri-La Circle Kevin Siew offered both real insight into how the chain thinks about loyalty – and what’s necessary to deliver great experiences for guests regardless of the chain. So this was a very interesting hour, spent together via Zoom since he’s based in Hong Kong. My key takeaways included the importance of treating guests well at each interaction, regardless of their reason for a stay or meal, and contra most of the industry just how much vertical integration – owning the hotels and restaurants – actually matters for a hospitality chain.

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What Lawsuits Between The Points Guy And American Airlines Are All About

Jan 24 2022

TPG isn’t on the side of angels here, they’re both fighting over consumer eyeballs, but the service that others like TPG are providing can be a net positive. And unquestionably companies have taken enforcement of computer access laws way too far.

What American should have done was insist on a stake in the product. Award Wallet, for instance, has hundreds of thousands of airline elite customers in their database….. including the customers of American’s competitors. The smart move would be to market to those competitors’ customers, negotiated in exchange for access.

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Why We’re Seeing Huge Credit Card Bonuses Now And Why That Won’t Last

credit cards
Jan 23 2022

When the Fed raises raise, consumers deplete their balance sheets, and cardmember numbers stablize the impetus for huge bonuses will recede. It’s not an instantaneous process as competition will keep bonuses high for a little while. When do you lower bonuses, especially when others haven’t done so yet? But with something of a lag we can expect to see the frequency of unprecedented offers begin to subside.

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Passenger Violates American Airlines Rules By Wearing A Space Helmet

Jan 23 2022

A woman sitting at near gate E6 for American Airlines flight AA6151 from Charlotte to Fayetteville, North Carolina on Tuesday was wearing a ‘space helmet’ over her mask. Since there don’t appear to be ear loops on the mask, it looks like an N95. That won’t be comfortable on a Piedmont Airlines Embraer ERJ-145 50 seat jet, but it’s just a 118 mile flight. It’s unclear where she may have been connecting from.

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