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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Air France KLM Introduces New Award Chart, Free Stopovers

Dec 07 2022

I still see Flying Blue as the most useful SkyTeam program, with better award availability on Air France and KLM for their own members than is offered to partners and mostly reasonable pricing when saver inventory is available. The addition of free stopovers on one way awards is great, and modest pricing and region adjustments are things most will be able to live with.

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JetBlue Introducing New 4-Level Elite Program, Plus Start Earning Benefits Before Achieving Status

Dec 07 2022

I love the choice benefits. I love that more activity than just flying counts towards status. And they’ve simplified elites receiving confirmed extra legroom seats. They’re finally introducing meaningful elite upgrades as well. Since benefits aren’t really based on waitlist or status priority, though, higher tiers seem a bit thin to me. 15,000 bonus points as a choice benefit at each level helps a little bit, but I’d like to see higher bonus point amounts at higher tiers.

Still, the path to Mosaic 1 is rich enough that I’m not bothered by requiring $50,000 in credit card spend to get there (and it’s about right at $5000 in travel spend). At the same time I don’t love the revenue-based rather than trip-based nature of the new program for those who do earn status by flying. I think they get plaudits for trying something interesting, even if they’re not first down this path. And they’re offering richer benefits than they ever have before.

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You Can Now Book Emirates Awards With Air Canada Aeroplan Miles

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Dec 07 2022

For years Emirates and Air Canada have had a frosty relationship, the upshot being that Emirates has limited access to the Canadian market. After trading barbs years ago, and Emirates going from being allowed just 3 flights a week to 5 in 2018, the two airlines are now partners. They had already announced they would do some codesharing and introduce a frequent flyer partnership. The partnership is here.

And with both mileage-earning and redemption across each others’ flights, as well as a lounge access agreement for Toronto and Dubai, the new Aeroplan-Emirates tie-up is far better than what we’ve seen so far from Emirates and United.

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25% Off Southwest Paid And Award Holiday Flights Booked By Wednesday Night

Dec 06 2022

Southwest Airlines is offering a 25% discount on tickets booked by December 7 for travel December 24-25 and December 31, 2022 and January 1, 2023. These are the Saturdays and Sundays of holiday weekend, and generally less-traveled days since many people will be taking off on Friday and Monday. Use promotion code HOLIDAY25 to get the discount. You’ll see a ‘strike-through’ of the original fare on eligible flights. Not all flights will have discountable inventory. Two key points: Since Southwest awards can be cancelled with points redeposited with no fee, you can make speculative redemption bookings to take advantage of this offer. If you have existing tickets you want to reprice, check the new price and then cancel/rebook. Seeing Southwest make a move to try to fill seats this late in the game suggests that…

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