Easy to Forget San Diego Airport Trick and Bottom Line on Marriott-Starwood

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News and notes from around the interweb:

  • Strengths and weaknesses of each US airline, I actually agree with most of it and would only quibble at the margin.

  • Norwegian’s new Brangelina ad.

  • My bottom-line so far on the Marriott-Starwood merger is better than I would have expected at this point, as told to Scott Mayerowitz of the Associated Press.

    Gary Leff, who writes about points and miles at ViewFromTheWing.com, called the three-to-one exchange rate of Starwood points to Marriott points “just right.”

    “It’s one of the many reasonable and positive steps that Marriott has taken along the way as it acquires Starwood,” Leff said. “But there’s a whole lot still to happen between now and the programs actually being combined.”

    But as noted to USA Today while…

    “Marriott nailed it with their 3:1 transfer ratio,” says Gary Leff, a travel industry expert who studies rewards programs.

    He says Starwood is also known for its better treatment of top guests, offering perks such as suite upgrades and fewer limits on complimentary breakfast.

    “Until we know how Starwood’s best elite benefits and lifetime status will work, and whether the unique partnerships Starwood has forged with airlines like Delta, Emirates, and China Eastern survive the merger, members will continue to be in wait and see mode,” he says.

  • Intercontinental will open a hotel in the Maldives

  • Just a reminder that the San Diego Airspace lounge is accessibly by American Airlines Admirals Club members. But if you have a Platinum Card by American Express use that for access and they’ll give you a $10 credit that can be used for purchased food. I grabbed a charcuterie plate and a couple of bottles of water with mine on Thursday.

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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 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 »

Editorial note: any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer. Comments made in response to this post are not provided or commissioned nor have they been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any bank. It is not the responsibility of any advertiser to ensure that questions are answered, either. Terms and limitations apply to all offers.


  1. It’s my personal blog, @mark, I share things that are personally meaningful to me and not every post will be interesting to everyone – or even anyone – else. It’s also a useful way for me to search this stuff later.

  2. Gary,
    Can’t believe you have your and your wife’s photos in your house. The gall, such as narcissist.

    For something that is a choice, your readers do complain a lot.

  3. Don’t understand readers who make negative comments on blogs. If you don’t like it, why do you come here and read it?
    I enjoy and use much of the information I learn here. Stop bringing the rest of us down with your bad spirited attitudes and comments, please.

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