The World’s Most Exclusive Airport Lounge is Now $100 and Weird Southwest Obsession

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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. When I was UA 1k and AA Exec Platinum those airlines were great and I was willing to forego a better product to get butt in seat miles with them. Southwest is best now that I’m married, have an infant son, and no longer travel for work. We’re in our fourth year of companion pass thanks to the credit card combo and Marriott flights + nights deal (they granted me the 5-night conversion).

    Before our son we never checked bags, even on month-long international trips. Times have changed. Now we get a lot of value out of curb-side check-in, 2 free checked bags each, all of us flying for the cost of one person’s miles, being able to change our flights at leisure without penalty, family priority boarding, and selecting our seats. The open seating value comes across when others are reluctant to sit next to an infant so we usually get an empty middle seat. We can fly anywhere in the US as a family for a handful of miles and about $22 in fees. It’s basically free to fly and who cares about first class on domestic flights.

    All this being said, Southwest is mostly a domestic airline and we use miles for international F where status wouldn’t benefit us anyway.

  2. NextGen was an overreach. ATC should be approached as a series of initiatives rather than one big project.

    Otherwise linked article simply reflect GOP and Trump hacks, trying to turn it into their own opportunity for graft and corruption.

  3. @gary – was anyone with NextGen found guilty of fraud or something? I’m confused how a bungled project would equal jail time. If some of those billions went to something illegal then sure, prosecute. Just because you feel like they wasted time and waaay too much money doesn’t necessarily mean that they were illegally acting.

    @vicente, you’re exactly right. If they’d have hired decent project managers they would have planned it in a phased process rather than all at once. I’m curious how much they’ve turned to the private tech sector, there’s a lot of experience there with huge projects.

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