Behind the Scenes: How an Airline Decides Whether to Launch a New Elite Level

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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, 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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  1. 55+ countries traveled and Israel’s airport was without a doubt the tightest security I’ve ever passed through. Honestly, its the only place I’ve been where I thought they might not let me in…just for breathing the wrong way.

  2. I seriously disagree about the basic premise of more elite levels. “From both internal and public perception – new loyalty tiers are exciting!” Really? Watering down – I’m sorry, “enhancing” benefits for everyone at the top creates excitement? Maybe in the form of increased heart rate due to anxiety when you’re losing benefits. I can just see a discussion in a board room: “But Bob, we already have five tiers…” I think that we can all recall a number of times recently where increasing the number of elite tiers was just a way to devalue for the customer. Marriott Gold, anyone?

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