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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Got an e-mail from

Got an e-mail from United Airlines that said in the event of a bankruptcy filing, “you will continue to reap the benefits of Mileage Plus(R) membership. WE WILL HONOR MILES PREVIOUSLY EARNED IN MILEAGE PLUS, AND YOU WILL CONTINUE TO ACCRUE MILES FOR TRAVEL ON UNITED AND OUR MILEAGE PLUS PARTNERS.” Now, promises are promises, and bankruptcy is by definition a way to discharge promises. However, it would be a silly business decision to disavow accrued miles because they would take away the accumulated incentive for their best customers to continue to fly the airline. Miles are not just a liability — they are the single most successful marketing tool ever devised. First, miles aren’t a true liability — they are a commitment to give away for free seats that otherwise go unsold (and they…

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The INS and Border Patrol

The INS and Border Patrol are having a hard time attracting and retaining personnel the Transportation Security Administration will pay more for the same people. (Link via The Comedian.) Now, maybe the TSA needs the best people more than the INS and border patrol although I doubt it. Of course, they’re not even getting competent people.

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Northwest bonus miles. New WorldPerks

Northwest bonus miles. New WorldPerks members, who enroll online using source code VP2P, will earn 4,000 bonus miles for their first qualifying roundtrip. (Enroll prior to travel but not later than Dec. 31, 2002, and travel must be completed by Feb. 13, 2003.) Existing members earn 1,000 bonus miles by registering online with registration number 5075 by Dec. 31 and complete travel by Feb. 13. Either way, register here.

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Delta and American Express introduce

Delta and American Express introduce a new business credit card. The new Platinum Delta SkyMiles Business Credit Card offers 10,000 miles when enrolling and 5,000 more miles (which count toward elite status) when using the card for the first time. Every year spending reaches $25,000, a bonus of 10,000 base miles will be added to the user’s account. Plus, there’s a free companion certificate awarded each year the card is renewed. Many charges earn double miles and there’s no mileage cap on annual earnings. The card’s annual fee is $135 which is less than the standard AmEx fee and Membership Rewards fee. Apply by calling 1-800-NOW-OPEN.

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USATODAY reports that

USATODAY reports that the Air Marshall program is in disarray. (Link via Instapundit.) This is no longer an elite corp, since standards have been lowered to meet hiring quotas. The air marshalls themselves believe the situation is unsafe. Air marshalls are clearly not an alternative to arming pilots. From the article: Hiring standards for marshals added since Sept. 11 have been lowered dramatically, sources say. No longer must applicants pass a difficult marksmanship course that used to be the make-or-break test for the program. In addition, many new hires were given guns and badges and put aboard flights before extensive background checks were completed. Another money quote: “In May, for 3 1/2 weeks, they forgot about me and 15 guys in the office,” said one marshal. “We sat (around) watching kung fu movies.”

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TAPPED demonstrates its

TAPPED demonstrates its bonafides by calling out the Dems for pork, pointing out a little exchange between two Democratic Senators: “Paul, let’s talk pork,” Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.) said to Sen. Paul Wellstone (D-Minn.) in a candid exchange on the Senate subway before the spring recess earlier this year. “We like you and we want you back.”

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The inventor of the

The inventor of the frisbee died. His ashes will be molded into memorial flying discs to be given to friends and family and to those who make a donation in his memory. (via the Frosty Mug Revolution.) What a month. I was already mourning the passing of the inventor of clumping cat litter and white out.

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