Request for Requests

Most of the time what I write on a given day is really just ‘whatever pops into my head’ although sometimes the very best pieces are those prompted by reader questions.

You’re always welcome to email me of course, but what I’d love is for you to share what’s on your mind here in the comments.

  • What’s important to you in the world of travel? What’s the biggest thing right now?

  • What would you love to understand better? What do you want to know?

  • What do you think I could do a better job of covering for you?

What would you like to see me write about? What’s on your mind?

I won’t promise up front to cover everything, though I’ll read and ponder everything that’s written here in the comments. It may take me awhile to work through it as well, goodness knows there are things I’m behind on (I have a Singapore first class trip report I need to start…).

But I’d love to hear from you!


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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. I fly about 60k-70k a year for work and I love to fly, so I do mileage runs to ensure I lock in my 1K with United each year. With United’s recent status change, how do I identify locations that minimize taxes so that the fare I pay maximizes my dollars spent towards United’s $10k spend minimum for 1ks?

  2. With my flying so much for work and then a little on the side for pleasure, I truly have an amazing amount of airline (United) and hotel(Hilton and SPG) points. Is there a location that still takes your breathe away or a place that no matter how many times you go you never regret it?

  3. I was aiming to hit the BA Chase Visa spend limit to get the 2-4-1 avios award but suddenly circumstances have changed and it looks like I’ll be based in Europe next year (and probably the year after). With flights using the 2-4-1 award having to originate in the US is there much point to hitting the threshold now? It seems like I’d have to nest the 2-4-1 redemption within a EU-US-EU trip (paid for by cash or miles) and this would appear to negate the benefit of the 2-4-1 redemption in the first place. Am I missing anything?

  4. I have been seeing some chatter about how it may make more sense to book hotels last minute with phone apps – any thoughts on this. Have you done some tests to see if you can save money that way as a long term strategy?

  5. Would be great if you could point out any good value redemption still available at HHonors.

  6. Howdy and thanks for asking! I’d love to know more about how to convert one airline’s awards (American in specific, I have quite a few with them) over to redeeming a ticket with another carrier (Cathay perhaps? Caviar and Krug sounds lovely!). I am still having issues wrapping my head around this and understanding the small print. Thanks once again!

  7. My question is about EINs. There’s not a lot written about them, but some of us are small business owners and I’d like to get the skinny on this once and for all. I did a small app-o-rama last week and put some of the applications under my new EIN and some under my SSN and had surprising results.

    1. Do applications under my EIN count as hard pulls on my personal credit? The Chase rep seemed very confused, but it seemed like they could pull up my EIN-based applications along with my personal applications. Case in point: I was denied a chase personal card because I’d had 3 new cards in the last “few” months. Two were actually older than 3 months (only slightly, maybe i should have given it a bit longer!) And the other one I had just been approved for under my EIN. Now, this isn’t that surprising because I was asked for my SSN when filling out the application (AFTER I put in my EIN).

    2. Do I get the bonus again if I use my EIN? The particular card I applied for under by EIN I’m not sure if I’ve had already. It’s a SW card and there are 4 and they’re basically identical, and I had one of the business ones but I don’t remember which. I wasn’t worried about it because I thought it was an EIN so it counted as an individual.

    I’m assuming it’s too late and if I DID get the same card and it’s under my EIN and not my SSN will I not get the bonus? I still have the other SW Business card that I opened under my SSN open. Surely that must mean this is a different card?

    What’s the deal with EINs!

  8. @Noah S – when you provide your SS# and your EIN there is a hard pull on your credit. You can generally get another business card (and bonus) with another tax ID #.

  9. Gary: I’d like to see more behind-the-scenes info about airlines, hotels, etc. Now that you’re so well established, don’t you think some friendly airlines or hotels would let you do some interviews and post them here? Not just miles and points, but catering, operations, lounges, etc… Take a deeper dive into the industry.

    I also enjoy reading your posts about larger policy issues. Keep fighting the good fight. The more you write about it, the more people pay attention.

  10. Ditto what Beachfan says in post #32. Summaries of the “rules” for churning different companies credit cards. Even recipes when they occur to you, like get Chase X, then downgrade it to Chase Freedom, apply for Chase Y, etc. Do you apply for a Citi AA card every 18 months or just 18 months between reapplications for the same card? Amex rules are pretty obvious, though some sequences seem worth pointing out–apply for Platinum mid-year, get 2x$200 airline bonuses, downgrade to green (can’t downgrade to Blue Preferred) to keep line open if necessary, get Platinum MB, get 2x$200 airline bonuses, etc etc.

  11. What best practices would you recommend for trips involving multiple independent tickets?

    The most common example I’ve seen in trip reports is some long US-wherever followed by an Avios redemption to get to an actual destination. In a situation like that, how long would you usually give between the flights? What factors are involved in planning/deciding?
    If you want a case study, I’m on a ticket with a 1.5 week stopover in LHR where I flew to other cities. My final return to LHR is scheduled to land at 5pm with the resumption of the larger ticket at 11am the next day. I intentionally avoided the last flight on BA out of the local airport so that I had a chance of a backup if there was an issue. Anything I should have also considered in this situation?
    Along a similar line, how different is it if you’re on two different PNRs for the same airline? I assume two unrelated airlines leaves you pretty much SOL if you miss the connection, but is there any recourse for a single one? (Other than booking a single PNR in the first place, I suppose).

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