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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Stumpy the Squirrel

Stumpy the Squirrel Goes Back Home: MACHIAS, Wash. (AP) — A squirrel with half a tail and no left hind foot is back with his caretakers after 10 days on the lam. The squirrel, named Stumpy, was found six miles from the residence of Steve and Marcia Carter, who fought back tears when he was returned. On Sunday afternoon, a woman heard faint tinkling and remembered reading a newspaper article about Stumpy, who had been outfitted with a bell on a collar. Sure enough, there was the 8-inch rodent, sitting in her driveway.

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USAirways backs off. They have

USAirways backs off. They have announced changes to their recently announced changes. All miles flown — whether on discount tickets or full fare tickets — will count towards elite status. All flyers on discounted tickets will be able to fly standby, albeit with a $100 fee. The industry has moved to a new norm. All major carriers have announced that standby (which had previously been offered at no cost) will be charged $100, in most cases beginning January 2003. Also, if you have a discounted ticket and aren’t going to fly the trip, you need to apply the value of the ticket to a new itinerary before your first flight is scheduled to depart or you will lose the full value of the ticket. So, on the whole we are worse off than before —…

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10,000 free Delta miles for

10,000 free Delta miles for new frequent flyer members. Delta airlines is offering 10,000 miles for opening a new Delta Skymiles (frequent flyer) account. Delta will send a membership packet in 6-8 weeks after there’s some activity in the account, and that packet will show 10,000 bonus signup miles. “Some activity” means earning points in the account IN ANY WAY (as opposed to just by flying Delta). All you have to do is deposit points in one way or another to activate the account. This can be accomplished as easily as filling out a form for an automobile quote at Skymiles Autobuying for 500 miles or earning 250 Delta miles for requesting an auto insurance quote from AIG (Call 800-310-4258 Extension 2479). Sign yourself up if you aren’t already a member! 10,000 miles is 40%…

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Would you pay

Would you pay for food in economy class? USAirways may be considering whether to price tickets with and without food service differently. The article cites the example of Canadian low-fare carrier Tango. I remember People Express. If customers are paying marginal dollars, the food will likely be better or it will go unsold. I like the idea! Meanwhile, the New York Times food section says that airline food is getting better.

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According to a piece in

According to a piece in yesterday’s Washington Post James Wilding, head of the Washington Airports Authority, grapples with a powerful but frustrating new tenant at his airports: the Transportation Security Administration. He said he lost patience as months passed and the TSA couldn’t answer any of his questions about how airlines at Dulles and National would be able to screen all luggage by the Dec. 31 deadline set by Congress. “They’d just say, ‘We don’t have anything to say to you yet,’ ” Wilding said. “They said, ‘We’re going to rely on these contractors to do it,’ and we said, ‘When are they going to show up? Have you all looked at a calendar lately?’ ” By June, 10 months after the attacks, Wilding still hadn’t had a “substantive conversation” with anyone from the TSA…

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