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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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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I’ve Already Used My 2017 Airline Fee Credits

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Jan 17 2017

Some people wait until the end of the year to use the airline travel credits that several premium credit cards offer.

For instance, one passenger decided on December 31 that the only thing they could do with the remainder of their $200 American Express Platinum credit would be to buy $150 worth of alcohol on a flight. Apparently they wanted to buy the booze for themselves to take home, which isn’t ok. They would have been better off buying drinks for the plane. I prefer to use my fee credits right away.

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Etihad Becoming More Like American Airlines? Eliminating Through-Checked Bags on Separate Tickets

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Jan 17 2017

Etihad will no longer allow through checking bags when traveling on separate reservations for tickets purchased February 1 onward.

Reportedly separate tickets that are sold into the same reservation will continue to allow through-checking of bags. Most separate tickets have separate reservations, but a competent travel agent can manage to include them in one PNR.

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Better AAdvantage Signup Offer Than American Will Give You at AA.com

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Jan 16 2017

While there have been links available for various offers for the AAdvantage co-brand credit cards, Citibank has rolled back out the limited-time 50,000 point offer publicly now at the end of the year and it makes good sense — it’s not just a time that people sign up for credit cards, but also because they now have competition for new American Airlines co-brand credit card accounts from Barclaycard.

50,000 points for a $0 annual fee the first year card is a good offer, and we haven’t seen bigger offers for these cards in a very long time.

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New Zealand Business Class Awards Wide Open May Through September, Act Fast

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Jan 16 2017

Air New Zealand business class award space is wide open, you can book these seats with miles you likely already have, and this surely will not last.

Australia and New Zealand are among the toughest awards out there. So while May through September isn’t peak season for travel to New Zealand, many will want to take advantage and of course it’s easy to hop over to Australia from New Zealand and some will want to use these flights as part of a broader Pacific Islands trip.

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