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 haven’t been able to

I haven’t been able to travel — or post — much recently. Because I’ve been on the phone. With the IRS. Well, I’ve been busy at work dealing with some crises (like a flood). So it’s not entirely because of the IRS. But I’ve spent way too much of the past few days jousting at bureaucratic windmills. Yesterday I spent nearly three hours on the telephone trying to find out where to get a simple IRS form. Three hours of my life that I’ll never get back. After calling the main help line, the phone number for my local IRS office, several other offices, and the taxpayer advocate, I still had no answer. Here are the highlights: The form I needed cannot be printed from the website. Oh, it’s there, mind you. With a notice…

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More USAirways Bonus Miles

More USAirways Bonus Miles Earn 2,500 to 10,000 bonus miles for flying 4-12 segments Double or triple miles to and from Denver 25,000 bonus miles for traveling to Europe in paid business class 10,000 bonus miles for traveling to Europe in coach Double miles to Ireland

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In fairness to United… Many

In fairness to United… Many of United’s 747s have been going away, being replaced by 777s. That means the business class capacity drops tremendously (almost in half!) across much of the international route network. That means available upgrade inventory likely drops dramatically as well. So the upgrade inventory needs to be rationed somehow. Otherwise United would have had a whole bunch of flyers with upgrade certificates that could never be used, because there simply were too many coupons out there for the number of available seats. Making Systemwide Upgrades good only on pricier fares means rationing based on price. Of course, if a competitor doesn’t restrictions use of similar certificates or reduce available business upgrade inventory, United will lose A will lose… I still think they would have been better off solving the problem in…

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Dilution at the top for

Dilution at the top for United? I sent this email last night to a friend that’s a top-level elite (“1K”) with United: Looks like I was right about Systemwide Upgrades being useable on Lufthansa (though on a standby/day of departure basis only). Of course, you can still use miles to upgrade LH flights on the higher fares (as long as it’s on a LH flight number, not a UA codeshare). In other news/rumors, it looks like the promised extra goody for elites who requalified “the real way” (rather than through the extended qualification period) is only going to be a free companion ticket (not upgradeable). Also, it looks like the new Systemwides are only going to be valid on “H” fares and above. 🙁 That means no more upgrading the lowest fares internationally, folks. United…

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The 2003 Adult Video

The 2003 Adult Video News Awards were given out last night in Las Vegas. Apparently, it was a big night for Evil Angel productions, which took home 19 honors. I wonder, though, if it’s a sign of category-inflation when they give out “Best Gonzo Tape,” “Best Vignette Tape” (as distinguished from “Best Vignette Series” and “Best Foreign Vignette Series”), and “Best Sex Scene in a Foreign-Shot Production.” Not to mention “Best Ethnic-Themed Video.” I guess that’s just self-esteem meets porn.

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