Why Airlines Don’t Make Money Flying

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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 »

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  1. @ Gary — Thw Fed needs to end QE effectively immediately and raise rates effective immediately. These crooks have enriched themselvess and destroyed our economy.

    Why anyone would spend on Delta or United credit cards is beyond me. AA and AS are OK, for now…

  2. What person invented FFmiles 40 years ago? There should be a statue of them at all airlines headquarters!

  3. @Jorge Paez – Texas International introduced a mileage-based program in 1979. Western Airlines Travel Pass, in 1980, offered $50 off every 5 trips. But AAdvantage was the first airline loyalty program to offer free flights. And they offered upgrades to first class, too.

    So I’d credit Rolfe Schellenberger (who passed away last year) and Hal Brierley with it. And Brierley sort of has a statue – the Brierly Institute at Southern Methodist University – and a whole lot of money. 🙂

  4. Gary, I know it ain’t up to you, but AA really needs to have a page that is our loyalty point reference. Where you get, how much you get, what counts. What doesn’t. (And where and how can we double and triple dip).
    The wait is killin’ me!

  5. @ Jorge — The crooks are the members of The Federal Reserve who have no restrictions on trading their own stock portfolio. Do a couple Google searches and you’ll see they are crooks.

  6. @Gene

    Where I live, that would require that I fly on *shudder* American to a hub that allowed me to connect to a partner airline. And they’re too much of a dumpster fire for me to consider right now.

    DL is the best option for me where I live now and spend on a DL credit card put me over the top for PM this year and will help keep me PM, which I find to be useful, for the next 3-4 years.

  7. @Gene

    Very low rates have led to boom times for anyone invested in the stock market and real estate. The returns for 401Ks/IRAs/individual Accounts have been tremendous during the low rate environment. Saving Accounts are meant for the short term and 10% of your assets for safety. Currency is supposed to be current. It’s meant to be spent or invested. Otherwise, inflation eats it away. Still, inflation is overblown as a MacBook Pro was the same price in nominal dollars in 2006 as it is in 2021. Led TVs are 1/5 of what they were 15 years ago. Before Covid, air fares for all classes were never cheaper when adjusted for inflation.

    The government sucks, the government is evil, democracy is no different than slavery where 51% dictate to the 49%, democracy is evil, and the fed like any institution is corrupted to the core, however, low interest rates is not a big indictment against the fed. Unlike with taxes that pay for things you don’t want, support, need, nor consent to(coercion), you can put your money in higher earning assets instead of letting it sit and rot away in a savings account.

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