The Best Airlines and Airports… and the Worst. Plus Starwood Hotels You Didn’t Know Changed Rewards Category

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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, 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. Thanks for the video of the slides deploying. That completes my bucket list of “Just need to see a video showing…” 🙂

  2. Kudos to SLC on Nate Silvers analysis for being the only airport in the top 10 performing airports that experiences snowy conditions. If it performs that well w/ snow, I’d say its the best operated airport in the US.

  3. Your odd propaganda support of the mega-subsidized Middle East airlines continues.

    Airlines for America is a diverse group of aviation operators — including the big cargo players like Fed Ex and UPS who greatly benefit from liberal Open Skies policies. It also includes many domestic airlines that don’t fly to Asia, and some (JetBlue) who can make a little money transporting the subsidized airlines connecting pax.

    There are only 3 USA passenger airlines that fly to Asia, so there are only 3 airlines hurt by this unfair competition from the Middle East airlines. It is their fight, so the broader Airlines for America lobbying group is standing down while a separate Fair Skies lobbying group has been started. Makes perfect sense, and it doesn’t mean the other USA aviation players think what’s going on in the Middle East is “right.”

  4. BTW, I find it ironic that you are simultaneously reporting yet another promo code from Emirates for their dubious USA service. When the Fair Skies coalition cited last week’s promo (an astonishing 2 for 1 deal through the end of the year) as possible evidence that Emirates couldn’t fill all those USA seats they added, Emirates snarkily responded by saying this criticism was “desperate.” Be that as it may, I would suggest that there aren’t too many int’l airlines offering me 20% off codes, so I don’t think Emirates is flying full planes from the USA.

  5. MidAmerica Airport, which is near Scott Air Force Base, could be this country #1 ghost airport. Built over IL farm fields, across from St. Louis, calling it a white elephant is being kind. While one can ride the train from Lambert, a second rate airport, to Scott AFB, the track extension to MidAmerica is still on the planning board.

  6. @iahphx there’s nothing wrong with offering a good deal to consumers. nothing ironic about that. posting later today about a US airline with a 2-for-1 sale and 20% off codes, by the way! I’ve written in the past that I believe the A380 purchases by Emirates were unwise, and they have to throw them somewhere, although even observers sympathetic to the US airlines’ case such as Cranky Flier contend the case is really one against Qatar and Etihad and not especially legit against Emirates.

  7. @ Gary Leff — no question that Etihad and Qatar seem to receive more subsidies than Emirates, but that doesn’t mean Emirates isn’t heavily subsidized, too. The evidence is strong that they are: like that $2 billion fuel hedge loss that magically disappeared from their books. Moreover, the proof is in their behavior: their USA expansion strategy — offering a ton of low density, premium ultra long haul seats into a tiny O/D market — is so contrary to anything that has ever been successful in the int’l aviation world that it MUST be subsidized. I don’t think most people can appreciate how crazy this strategy is if you were actually trying to pay your bills and make a buck.

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