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 »

More articles by Gary Leff »

New Possibility for American Express

New Possibility for American Express Membership Rewards Points. The analysis in my post about laundering points through Amtrak means that you can finally transfer American Express Membership Rewards points 1:1 into united miles. Amex MR points transfer 1:1 into Continental. Continental transfers 1:1 into Amtrak (in blocks of 5,000). Amtrak transfers 1:1 into united. Voila! Amex MR–>united… a previously impossible task.

Continue Reading »

Mineta Spin-Cycle. Get the Media

Mineta Spin-Cycle. Get the Media to Blame Magaw. The Washington Post carries a front page piece on the problems at the Transportation Security Administration. The piece reports that the TSA avoided involvement in the July 4 shooting at LAX, hasn’t improved the security of cargo shipping, and uses outdated methods for selecting passengers to screen. The piece lets Norm Mineta, the Transportation Secretary, off the hook. It quotes him offering a mea culpa: “We got to the point where we didn’t have credibility. . . . We were not moving the ball down the field.” Then says that Mineta has been trying to solve the problem — after all, John Magaw (Mineta’s deputy in charge of the TSA) was pushed out. That’s scapegoating of the first degree. The thesis about what went wrong focuses on…

Continue Reading »

This morning’s Washington Post carries

This morning’s Washington Post carries a column by Jackson Diehl that details the $25 million that the US Agency for International Development is giving to Egypt this year for democracy promotion. The U.S. has given Egypt the right to review and veto any of the projects. The US is funding “democracy” projects that a non-democratic government approves of. Most of the funds are going to the country’s courts which “used to throw democracy advocates in prison.” Moreover, “not a dollar is going to the independent Egyptian groups that, at great risk, are trying to advocate democratic reforms for Mubarak’s rotting autocracy.” It’s not only that the huge AID bureaucracy in Cairo chooses to ignore the fact that the courts it is funding in the name of democracy are being used to destroy Egypt’s most important…

Continue Reading »