How Credit Cards are Made, Watch Planes and Get Hit By a Truck, and Inflight Streaming Video Coming Next Year (Bits ‘n Pieces for February 6, 2014)

News and notes from around the interweb:

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 »

More articles by Gary Leff »



  1. “It strikes me more a story about life for foreigners in Middle Eastern countries” – Be that as it may, if this is the life that their employees have to endure, we should not turn a blind eye towards the situation. When the working conditions of the labor force employed by the Walmart clothing suppliers in Bangladesh or Cambodia or Vietnam are revealed, something is done. There are severe consequences to maintaining slave labor in the US – the Saudi female being held behind bars in California and the Indian diplomat being sent packing, being the two recent high profile examples – why should we ignore and excuse the doings of Qatar Airways? If one wishes, he/she could refrain from talking about it in a travel blog, but once it is brought to the table, one cannot turn a blind eye towards it, just because it has nothing to do with the inflight service. Either don’t soil your hands with this story or once you have, don’t limit the discussion as if everything non-travel-related is ancillary. Of course, you are the owner of and the final authority on your blog.

  2. Ugh please don’t like to pointsandpixiedust. Her blog is the most vapid of all the boardingarea sites. Most of her content is completely useless and she clearly seeks every opportunity to post affiliate links. I cringe every time I see one of her postings. Do you guys let any blog join boardingarea now?!?!

  3. My Citi AA card cracks every couple months and I have to get a replacement. How much are they really saving making such cheap thin cards?

  4. Back in 1995 it was a plane that hit a de-icing truck at Montreal-Mirabel airport. It was a B747 and didn’t end well: 3 people died. Radio procedures were changed everywhere afterward.

  5. Kudos on posting the Qatar Airways story, Gary. As the story itself indicates, the regimented plight of the Qatar Airways flight attendants is lousy but pales in comparison to the (mainly) South Asian workers carrying out more menial tasks for the airline and in Qatar generally. (There have been numerous reports of particularly egregious violations and even deaths suffered by construction workers employed for building the upcoming World Cup venues.) Still, to the extent your travel blog can peel back the glossy veneer of some relevant companies’ policies and practices, it’s good for all of us to learn from your links and comments. Personally, it makes me all the more interested in reading and referring others to your blog.

  6. I am not sure why the QR article is being called biased. Commenters on Lucky’s blog confirmed that QR is worse than EY & EK when it comes to employee relations. The article is seems to be pretty factual when it comes to labor relations in Qatar and demonstrates that QR has levers of power that it uses to keep workers in line — e.g. sponsorship system and needing an exit visa.

  7. I had an opportunity to visit a credit card production plant as part of a work project. Absolutely fascinating with the number of controls in place, including how they deal with the hologram stickers, and separation of personnel between card production and card personalization.

Comments are closed.