The Biggest Disaster Free Travel Promotion in History

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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. Ditto on the Hoover story. Had never known of this occurring with the company but it’s a good lesson. Guess things fade over time.

    Very interesting read.

  2. Gary, that Hoover story gives a sense of deja vu. Wasn’t there some program in the ’90s where we had to call in to some special number or mail something to redeem for a free RT flight after purchase?

  3. Burger King in the late 80s had a deal that you got a free Southwest companion ticket with each whopper meal. Not sure who lost on that deal.

    Also in 1984 McDonalds had a scratch off game for the Olympics where you got free food if the USA got a medal in the matching event. The Soviet Union and Eastern bloc boycotted that Olympics. Losses had to be huge.

    Another loser was Bing search engine was giving 20% cash back if you searched first with Bing then purchased from Ebay and other vendors. I bought a Mac then gold coins until the promo ended. Bing sent me a check for $2000. Thanks Mr.Gates.

  4. I think the title is misleading. I get what you meant, but seeing “Disaster free” suggests it was not a disaster.

  5. I was in London for 3 months in the early part of 1993 and remember the frenzy – everyone was talking about Hoover and strategies to get the free flights.

  6. @Gary – yes, a hyphen would cause it to read as the previous poster suggested. As it stands now, it’s just not really English at all, since “disaster” isn’t an adjective.

    “The Most Disastrous Free Travel Promotion in History” would be an alternative.

  7. Gary, technically you are correct about the Hyphen. But Colleen’s wording “The biggest free travel promotion disaster in history” would have been more clear IMHO.

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