The Economist Endorses American Airlines! Plus TSA Screens Passenger AFTER Flight.

News and notes from around the interweb:

  • The worst airline passengers in the history of travel.

  • The TSA ‘forgot’ to do secondary screening of a passenger whose name is on the terrorism watch list. So they made up for it by screening him on arrival, after he had flown. (HT: Toqueville)

  • Lucky asks if he is a ‘travel’ blogger. And I agree with him, the answer doesn’t matter, he’s built a niche that many find useful.

    Similarly, I don’t put labels on my own writing. From the very beginning, I’ve written about whatever I found interesting at that moment, for whatever reason and broadly conceived. And I’m fortunate and flattered that many find that worth reading. I’ve never targeted an audience, or a genre, per se — other than those great folks who share enough common interest with me to find a reasonable enough percentage of what I write interesting enough to keep coming back. And for that, I think you!

  • The Economist declares that it is very important for deal-conscious flyers to flock to American Airlines:

    Mr Barro interviewed Gary Leff, who writes the excellent View From the Wing blog, and Mr Leff notes that American’s hesitation is likely not based on principle. Instead, he argues, it is probably delaying the change because of its ongoing merger with US Airways. But that gives mileage-run lovers and opponents of the new regime (two groups that love deals but spend a lot of money on airfares anyway) an opportunity: if they move en masse to American, they could create an incentive for the airline to hold on to the old-style programme. It’s worth a shot. Otherwise, the fun and the challenge of mileage running may soon be greatly diminished—or gone for good.

  • Sushipocalypse: California drought driving up price of sushi rice

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. The notion of low fare fliers flocking to AA will increase the odds of them keeping the current system longer is disconnected from reality. This will only expedite the need to make the switch.

    There is a reason companies are seeking strategies to devise a program that requires more spend to reap in rewards or to be classified as a key customer rather than treating $100 the same as $2000 for the same product.

    Delta and United initially rolled out the revenue minimum requirements for this very reason. Also ask yourself why low cost airlines like WN and B6 were one of the first adopters of the points per $ scheme? Based on the aforementioned notion, shouldn’t they be the last to adopt a revenue based program?

    However, if one argues that large number of high yielding travelers – those who would earn more under DL/UA system but prefers the traditional system – moves en masse to AA then I could see this catching the senior management’ attention.

    Personally, I think AA should restructure their EQP earning chart (50/100/125/150/200%) and make that the base system for mileage earning and elite qualification. For instance, on an 1,000 miler trip, if an EXP is traveling on a rock bottom fare that earns 50% the EXP will earn 1000 miles including elite bonus and 500 elite qualifying points. If same customer flies discounted P fare, that person will earn 3000 miles and 1500 elite qualifying points. Full fare F and J yields 200% so 4,000 points and 2,000 qualifying points. I think this is more effective and offers a fair trade off than what DL/UA will offer come 2015.

  2. oh noes everything between less and and greater characters than is gone. chance of them keeping existing structure is less than or equal to 0. chance of them following UA/DL over 9000.

  3. Is there every a situation where you are quoted that you don’t pat yourself on the back…err….write about it?

  4. Re the TSA story: I wonder if Spirit Airlines pilots do their pre-flight checks after landing in case they forgot them prior to takeoff.

  5. @mark I share with family and friends as it were, remember this is my blog, I had a recent post “a post only my grandmother would want to read” sorry if you don’t!

  6. @gary,
    “Lucky asks if he is a ‘travel’ blogger. And I agree with him, the answer doesn’t matter.”
    So you agree with a question that’s not answered. Brilliant as usual!

  7. Gary, when ff programs were first adopted there must have been reasons for not going revenue based then. Other than the obvious differences in market structure, why are those reasons not applicable today? Those who seem to take joy in the revenue-based concept seem to view this as a fair way to compensate the “revenue creators” while sticking it to the free loading 96%ers who pay for their own tickets. But the logical conclusion of the revenue-based approach is an end to ff programs altogether. Those who benefit the most form them are not being enticed to fly more. They are just getting an extra benefit from flying they would do anyway for business purposes with or without a ff program. And ff programs do not reward loyalty in terms of not giving business to competitors. The revenue-based approach seems to be just one big step in the race to the bottom for ff programs.

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