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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Can’t Look Away: On This Flight Every Seat Back Television Was Tuned to the Same Thing

Nov 16 2019

This is much better than the olden days when everyone on a plane watched the same thing because there were just overhead monitors, and one thing playing on all of them. On an American Airlines flight from Sydney to Honolulu to Dallas back in 1991 they kept playing John Goodman’s King Ralph over and over – and I wanted to impeach the airline’s Vice President of Inflight.

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United Now Charges a Fee for Close-In Booking of Awards – Collected in Miles Instead of Money

Nov 16 2019

It’s sad that United maintained they weren’t making changes to partner award pricing – and then did so immediately on the very day they eliminated close-in booking fees in cash.

As a general matter they appear to be charging more for close-in redemption of United flights, too – so there’s no ‘fee’ for close-in booking, just a mileage penalty.

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One Hyatt Now Charges Extra For Use of an In-Room Desk

Nov 16 2019

First we had deceptive resort fees – part of the room rate is hidden, called a fee, and you don’t see it included in the total cost of a room when you’re comparing hotel rates on a website. Resort fees spread to hotels that aren’t resorts. In cities they started to call resort fees urban destination fees.

I thought we had reached peak absurdity with the spread in Las Vegas of ‘venue fees’.

When I covered this new type of fee back in September I asked, ‘Karl Marx said history repeats itself first as tragedy then as farce. If venue fees is hotels repeating the resort fee as tragedy, can the farce be far behind?” Apparently we’ve already reached farce.

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Now Is The Perfect Time To Get Started on a Southwest Airlines Companion Pass for 2020

southwest plane
Nov 16 2019

A companion pass is arguably the best deal in all of travel, it allows you to bring a companion along on your Southwest Airlines travels for just the cost of taxes – whether you buy your own ticket with cash or with points.

The requirement for a companion pass rises from 110,000 points from qualifying sources up to 125,000 points next year, but now is the best time to prepare to earn one – because if you earn it at the start of 2020 it’ll last nearly two full years.

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Etihad Guest: New Elite Benefits and New Mileage Expiration Policy

car parked behind hydrant
Nov 15 2019

Etihad Guest is a transfer partner of American Express, Citibank, and Capital One. As a result U.S. program members are a disproportionate share of the Abu Dhabi-based airline’s 6.5 million program members.

The once-super premium airline has been retrenching in recent years, cutting routes and costs. They fly to Washington Dulles, New York JFK, Chicago O’Hare and Los Angeles – but no longer to San Francisco or Dallas Fort-Worth.

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