Monday Open Thread

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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 Milepoint.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. Can you discuss the economics of cashing out your points and investing as opposed to hoarding for an award or over a stretch of time? Everyone talks about “devaluing” of points and miles but wouldn’t investing completely work around devaluations?

  2. Hey if I’m delayed an hour (will likely be hour 15 min) on an American Airlines flight because there’s no crew, can I get compensation?

  3. Gary,

    You might want to blog about the great transfer rate from Le Club Accor to iBeria Plus right now (2:5 vs. 2:1 for BA) since you can apparently combine your Avios after the transfer and end up with 5,000 BA Miles for 2,000 Club Accor points. Especially since a lot of people might have 2,000 Club Accor points after the recent 4-week hotels on a map contest Accor ran…

    Saw it posted here:
    http://headforpoints.com/2013/01/23/accor-to-iberia-avios-super-generous-conversion-rate-is-back/

    Apparently its going to end Feb 28th. So get your transfer requests or accumulate your points now!

  4. I have two free Hyatt nights anywhere in the world coming to me via the Hyatt Chase Visa. Where should I take them? Maldives are out. The transfer fees are dissuasive. Paris is effectively home which eliminates Vendome. The Andaz 5th Ave in New York is a candidate, perhaps the Churchill in London, or the property in Amsterdam. What would you suggest, particularly further afield?

    And the same question could be posed for the 2 suite upgrades, although for that I am looking for cheaper but worthy properties, perhaps in Turkey or Asia. A trip to India and SIN next Christmas is at least imaginable.

  5. Do you think it’s ok for a reporter to cite his own report of an event based on other sources when reporting on a follow-up story? Doesn’t it imply that he was the original source of the story?

  6. I have a flight on Turkish Air in a couple weeks on which I’ll earn ~14,000 miles. Should I credit them to US or UA? I currently have about 2,500 miles w/ UA and 0 w/ US. (Been flying mostly AA &WN. live in DC.) Eventually would like to use them (after earning more) to fly to Asia.

  7. What would the travel blogosphere look like without credit card referral fees? (compared to the way it is today.)

    -David

  8. Has anyone flown with Air Canada internationally? I am flying them from LA to LHR via Canada in economy and wanted to get any feedback or experience from people that have flown with them recently. Of course with my Gold *A through Turkish Airlines, I can take 3 bags and also get lounge access. Just wanted to find out how their on board service being that won the best International Airline in North America 3 years running.

    Will await replies back.

  9. I have a bunch of Hyatt Suite Upgrades that are going to expire at the end of February. Any way to extend these? Trade them for something useful?

  10. I just got my annual Amendments to Your Cardmember Agreement from barclaycard (USAirways). Buried way down is a section on “Cash Equivalent”. Basically it says they will treat travelers checks, lottery tickets, money orders, gambling chips, etc, all the usual stuff as a cash advance. But they also say “the use of your account to … transfer value to a stored value card at a location or through a merchant other than a financial institution…” will be treated as a cash advance. Is it the opinion of folks here that this means Barclay is going to start treating VR’s like cash advances, like Citi does?

  11. What would I find in the Flyertalk OMNI forum? I’ve been reading FT for more than two years now, but I rarely post and haven’t qualified to view those threads. Is there a lot of useful information that I’m missing out on?

  12. Was just checking availability on BA to use companion voucher. Not having the best of luck. Itching to use my passport again (And soon!)

  13. Finding a good fare for NYC hotels over the Easter weekend…

    Several good promotions (especially the Any Weekend Anywhere rate from Hilton for the Conrad NY) available. But as a first time visitor (from Europe) I am lost where to stay…

  14. What is a credit card referral worth to a blogger? For example, for any of the Chase cards or the Amex Platinum.

  15. EZRA, We just completed a BA trip from USA to South Africa, finding last-minute award tickets through Bookmyaward.com.

  16. If a Starwood hotel wants to do me the favor of giving me an almost complimentary stay credit, can they, and would it be at a large cost to them? Perhaps I can talk them into giving me a few slow season nights
    For ten dollars a night, a custom rate just for me, if they owe me a favor. While I would stay in the room, a major part of the goal would be to get a stay credit. Could they provide the stay credit, and does it cost them somehow?

  17. What can I do to spend $750 without Amazon Payments (too complicated to verify a user), Kiva (already given), or Vanilla Reloads (not in US right now) in the next 48 hours?

  18. Hi Gary,

    Any chance you can do a blog post on the best international first class awards currently available? Where are the gems?

    Thanks!

  19. @Brad I think I did a pretty extensive post on first class availability – complete with calendar views — of Asiana first class from Chicago and Los Angeles and Air China first class from San Francisco and Los Angeles (so also Star Alliance)

  20. Hey Gary:

    I’ve got an long international flight coming up, and I’m wondering if it’s “worth it” to apply to a status challenge from American. I understand that I can obtain Gold status for obtaining 5,000 EQP’s over a 3 month period with a co-pay of about $100-$120. My flight should get me just above 5,000 EQP’s so that part is a slam dunk if I decide to go for it. But I don’t travel terribly often, and when I do, I’m not particularly loyal to any one airline. Any thoughts on whether Gold status is “worth” $100-120 for someone that may only fly American a few times between obtaining the status and when it expires (flight is in April)? Thanks, David

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