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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Bedbugs at the Atlantis Paradise Island Goes to Court

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Jan 19 2017

Pizza in Motion wrote about a woman who is suing Atlantis Resort, Paradise Island in the Bahamas over what appears to be one of the worst cases of bed bug bites I’ve ever seen and their alleged unwillingness to address the situation.

I reached out both to the woman that’s suing the property, and to Atlantis, in order to learn more.

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Department of Transportation Just Proposed to Remake How You Can Buy Airline Tickets

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Jan 19 2017

Yesterday the Department of Transportation published a ‘supplemental notice of proposed rulemaking’ on their existing rulemaking docket regarding transparency of ancillary fees.

DOT proposed to require airlines and ticket agents to disclose either customer-specific or itinerary-specific fees for: First checked bag, Second checked bag, Carry on bag.

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American Rolling Out New Boarding Group Process March 1

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Jan 18 2017

American Airlines will be rolling out a new boarding system March 1.

For the most part they’re changing how boarding is called rather than the order in which people are called. Everyone gets a group number. Agents are supposed to call boarding group numbers, rather than describing qualifications like first class, Executive Platinum, oneworld emerald, etc.

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Hilton Apologizes for Change Without Notice, Gives Members a Window to Book AXON Awards

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Jan 18 2017

Last week I wrote that Hilton eliminated ‘AXON awards’ December 31 without notice. These are discounted awards for four night stays in category 5 through 10 hotels which could be booked over the phone by American Express co-brand cardholders.

I spoke with Hilton HHonors Vice President Aaron Glick this afternoon. He apologized to members, says they made a mistake and that “we want to give advance notice of changes in the program.”

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Revealed: What American Airlines Didn’t Tell You About Its New Basic Economy Fares

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Jan 18 2017

Last night JonNYC shared some details of new American Airlines Basic Economy fares, which follow the path laid down by Delta and doubled down on by United. I wrote about these changes American is planning to make to its cheapest fares.

And then this morning American put out a press release on the changes. But there’s more to it than what was in the press release.

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Inside the Singapore Airlines Airbus A350 That Just Launched from Houston

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Jan 18 2017

Singapore Airlines flew its first Airbus A350 out of Houston last night. Indeed, it was the first A350 in Houston period.

This is the new plane which will become the workhorse of the Singapore Airlines long haul fleet. They’re replacing a large Boeing 777 on the Houston run, and have also changed the city it connects in enroute to Singapore. Houston – Moscow no longer makes sense with low oil prices, so they’re flying Houston – Manchester – Singapore. And with a smaller aircraft they may be able to make the 5 times a week service work.

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Starwood Increasing Uber Points-Earning February 1, No Wait They’re Decreasing Earn…

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Jan 18 2017

Everyone partners with Uber, it’s integrated into the United app and American had a promo. Presumably they’re earning off rides. Three hotel chains — Starwood, Hilton, and IHG — partner with Uber. But only Starwood’s partnership is worthwhile.

IHG and Hilton offer ‘ride reminders’ so that when you’re leaving the hotel you’ll remember that you need transportation to wherever you’re going. However with Starwood’s tie-in you actually earn Starpoints for riding Uber.

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Details of New American Airlines Basic Economy Fares Leaking

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Jan 17 2017

My bottom-line take is that American’s basic economy — fewer benefits and less flexibility at the lowest ticket prices — is going to be very similar to United’s and go farther than what Basic Economy pioneer Delta has done in taking away travel benefits.

That’s not surprising because American Airlines President Scott Kirby became the United President and was involved in United’s basic economy decisions. No doubt the work he did at American influenced those choices.

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