Why I Collect Miles and Points

Another CNN.com piece interviews me, along with frequent flier (and commenter to this blog) Gene Gibbs.

They quote what for me is my bottom-line in pursuing this mileage obsession:

I can experience travel in a way that my income wouldn’t otherwise support. The airlines and hotels offer aspirational awards such that I can see the world in a way that I wouldn’t otherwise have the opportunity to. I love to try the different airline products, the different seats, the different meals and the different lounges. The Lufthansa first-class terminal in Frankfurt is very special, ANA probably has the best food in the sky with its first class, Emirates have installed showers.

We all have our own reasons.

There are some aviation junkies, I admit my interest in planes reduces to the amenities inside and not the engineering.

There are some for whom the quest for miles is its own obsession, Ryan Bingham in Up in the Air or Randy Petersen‘s oft-quote remark “He who dies with the most miles wins.” I earn and burn, whereas for the most part Randy saves (what is he, up to 17 million in his accounts these days?).

For me, I really appreciate comfort and service, and the journey is as much of a trip as the destination. Miles are what allow me to achieve this, because I am not now nor will I ever likely be a wealthy man…

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. Amen… I feel exactly the same. Sometimes I wonder what is better on traveling. The destination? Or the flight there? I would never believe I will think about traveling like that. But I am equally excited from both when flying somewhere.

  2. Gary – I believe Hyatt offers Lifetime Diamond (highest level) at 1 million base points (ie $200,000 base spending at 5 points per dollar spent). Bonus points do not count in this accumulation (though for some reason your profile does show liftime points accumulated which does include bonus points).

  3. For some reason my post got misplaced here as a response instead of to the Lifetime Airline Elite Status Levels post. Please move if you see fit.

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