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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Airlines Need a Brand Purpose (Not a Social Cause)

Aug 18 2019

One of the commercials in the series, though really resonated for its potential – a businessman reclining into his seat and crashing at the start of a long flight, the voiceover talks about what he’s done on his trip. Now he’s headed home.

The airline understands the business traveler. If it makes every decision focused on how to get the passenger where they need to go, when they need to be there, in the most comfortable way possible that’s a brand purpose. It focuses decision-making around schedule and product and it tells customers who they’re going to take care of and how.

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Report: American Airlines Tinkering With First Class, Won’t Fix Oasis Coach Seats

back of airplane seats
Aug 18 2019

There was a rumor swirling earlier in the year that American Airlines would reverse course and start giving back some space to passengers in coach as well as seat back entertainment screens.

While there’s a report confirming some fixes to American’s new ‘Oasis’ first class, it looks like there’s no reprieve in sight for customers in the main cabin — and the fixes up front may even come at a cost to passengers looking for extra legroom economy.

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The 10 Best Deals in All of Travel

first class
Aug 18 2019

The best deals at any given time will change, and I always assume that the very best one won’t last. There’s a tendency in travel towards mean reversion, with outlier offers disappearing and new ones popping up. That’s alright — as long as you’re taking advantage of the best deals while they’re around.

Here are what I think are the 10 best deals in travel. What do you think?

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What are the Really Unique Benefits of Top Tier Airline Elite Status?

air canada concierge
Aug 18 2019

Frequent flyer programs are really two separate and distinct efforts under the same banner: recognition and reward. Reward is mileage earning and redemption. Recognition consists of the (elite) benefits offered.

In the U.S. airline programs are generous by world standards in offering unsold domestic premium cabin seats as upgrades. However they aren’t as generous with service-oriented benefits.

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Southwest Airlines: Seat Fees and Bag Fees Coming?

airline seats
Aug 18 2019

Ariline Weekly founding editor Seth Kaplan writes at The Points Guy that Southwest Airlines may be doing worse at New York LaGuardia than at Newark, and they pulled out of Newark. He says they shouldn’t pull out of LaGuardia, though, and shouldn’t have left Newark.

The challenge of course is that at this point, given slot controls at two of the three New York airport and shortage of gates, it’s incredibly difficult to re-enter the market if you leave. Do they need to change their business model to succeed?

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Several States Go Farther Than the DOT – Criminalizing Fake Support Animals

Aug 17 2019

The Department of Transportation offered final guidance on its enforcement priorities with respect to emotional support animals.

They haven’t issued regulations – they’ve just told airlines the conditions under which they aren’t going to do anything in the event of a complaint by a passenger, essentially giving airlines license to deny carriage to emotional support animals of certain kinds, to place limits on the number of animals an individual may bring on, and to require paperwork from passengers claiming to need a support animal.

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American Begrudgingly Refunds Checked Bag Fees for Lost Luggage – But Only for Canada Passengers

baggage claim
Aug 17 2019

Most provisions of Canada’s new Air Passenger Protection Regulations went into effect July 15. They lay out new rules that apply to flights to, from, and within Canada – including connecting flights.

One of the rules is that when an airline damages or loses luggage they must refund checked baggage fees they collected. After all, they didn’t provide the service they charged for – prompt transport of luggage from one place to the next, delivering it in the condition it was received (outside of normal wear and tear).

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