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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Fly First Class

american airlines plane
Jun 20 2002

I still remember my first flight in First Class. I remember playing with the seat controls and the massage feature. I still have the menu. I can still taste the shrimp appetizer. Believe me, you never want to go back. But… first class is expensive. Fortunately, I don’t pay for it. You don’t have to either. There are lots of ways to upgrade to first class from coach. First, many airlines offer the ability to upgrade for free if you purchase a “full fare” coach ticket. These are the really expensive tickets that are refundable and don’t have a fee for making changes. Other airlines allow you to upgrade such a ticket for a fee. Still, I don’t buy full fare tickets. My employer won’t shell out that kind of money. After all, a full…

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Eat Food Get Miles

grilled cheese
Jun 19 2002

A friend asked me today whether I knew about iDine. Of course, I know all about it — it’s great. Here’s how it works. It’s free. You sign up. You go to restaurants. You earn 10 miles for each dollar that you spend at restaurants that are on their list — including miles for tax and tip. You can choose to earn miles on Alaska, American, America West, Continental, Delta, Northwest, United, or USAirways. The whole system is automatic. You register your credit card, and the points post automatically when you pay your bill with that card. The only limitation is that you are generally only able to earn miles at a particular restaurant once per month. However, there’s a way around this constraint… a glitch in their system. Just sign up different credit cards…

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The easiest 10,000 miles of

nwa plane taking off
Jun 19 2002

The easiest 10,000 miles of my life. Northwest Airlines‘ promotion: “Fly Free Faster” — You need to click here to register. After you register, you need to qualify. You can take a Northwest flight, sign up for MCI long distance, or get a Northwest Visa. Each of these activities, naturally, earns bonus points. Now that you’ve qualified, you need to have activity with five partners. It can be any five — and you can even duplicate them. Five iDine restaurants qualify as five partners. A single towel purchased from JC Penney via the Northwest Mall works as a partner… Transferring points from Goldpoints or Starwood count. It’s easy! You have until July 31 to complete all activity.

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New reasons to dislike the

Jun 17 2002

New reasons to dislike the European Union The EU wants to ban coffee shops in the Netherlands in which hashish and marijuana may be legally consumed. The EU is considering banning all happy hours throughout Europe. Seriously. Socialists in the EU parliament argue that happy hours are used by big bars to drive their smaller competitors (“who can’t afford to lower prices”) out of business.

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