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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. That’s a poorly written white paper you reference on the Gulf airlines, but I’m not surprised by the link, given your otherwise misguided commentary on this issue.
    The reason the 3 major USA airlines care about the Gulf airlines is because they do pose a material risk to their int’l profitability — and because the behavior of the Gulf airlines is so outrageous and wrong. You don’t seem willing to grasp the reality of the situation, but the Gulf airlines are clearly dumping thousands of seats into the USA market with no real hope of turning a profit on this service. And given their insane orders for more widebody planes — they have something like half Boeing and Airbus’ order book — the problem is going to get much worse if something isn’t done about it.
    The airline business is a very hard business, and if the 3 Gulf airlines are allowed to keep adding unprofitable flights to the USA, average fares to most Asian destinations will keep falling. It won’t be just India. It will creep into most Asian markets. This will hurt the profitability of the 3 USA airlines. There is no way to compete against a competitor who isn’t motivated by profitability. So the only way to solve this problem is to curtail the USA flying of the Gulf airlines. They could wait until the sheiks to stop pouring billions into these enterprises, or they could ask the USA gov’t for help in responding to this unprecedented situation. As we’ve seen by the Friday announcement, the USA gov’t is receptive to the USA airlines’ argument, because it makes sense.

  2. @iahphx – the $19 billion in pensions assumed by the US government (US Airways now American, Delta, United and others) would seem to be a major subsidy here that points out the US airlines are at least as subsidized as they claim the Gulf carriers are, no?

  3. Ah, iahphx- it’s good that you’ve moved on from the tirades you wrote 10 years ago about Netflix being unfair to Blockbuster, and Amazon threatening the good jobs provided by Circuit City. Found a new windmill to tilt at?

  4. The same applies to MU and CZ. This has been a long standing policy. However, those are typically NOT the kind of hotels people should be subjected to.

  5. Link is still not working, for me at least. Moreover, all attempts to Goggle that article, or even the blog group hosting it, have been futile. So I went to BBB:

    Yes, at least at the location I went to, they have Visa, MC, and AMEX GCs. Values from $25 to $100 for Visa, up to $200 for MC and AXEX. But they all cost $6.95 each. So although Freedom is giving 5X for BBB purchases this quarter, I’m not sure the fees are worth it. The full $1500 quarterly bonus would get you 7,500 miles for @$55. If this tops off your account and keeps you from having to outright buy a ticket or hotel room you are going to need, then yes. If you are looking to build miles and/or points for leisure travel, probably not the best deal around.

  6. Good god, iahphx, and to think i used to have a modicum of respect for you. That impassioned diatribe of yours defending the complete and utter U3 corporate-welfare terrorists just because you own some shares in ua and/or aa? Bet you would have fought for the 3rd reich just because you owned some shares of daimler in the early 40s, eh? There have been no bigger enemies of the american airline consumer, the airline employee, or the american taxpayer than the u3 corporate terrorists who still commit massive corruption to promulgate their massive welfare on the backs of the american taxpayer. Gfy. And also to the u3. Massively subsidized u3 or me3? I’ll keep on booking emirates over the yankee corporate crooks, no matter how massively overrated ek is.

  7. Gary, Thanks for linking to my Freedom Post! (btw, for those having issues in getting to it, it should be the link if you click on my name; I think!).

  8. @Robert Hanson, the cost of $6.95 per $200 Visa Gift Card is the same as the cost if you were to buy it at Staples. Folks that leverage that opportunity may consider Bed Bath and Beyond to differentiate spend, and maximize their Chase Freedom. Yes, $6.95 is higher than most gift card costs, but, if you’d otherwise leave points on the table, then its worth considering. If you go with FrequentMiler’s approach (which I don’t necessarily agree with), of “paying yourself” with part of the points, assuming 1 cent per point (low for UR), you’d “earn” 1,000 points = $10; you could in theory use some of that $10 to “pay” the $6.95, generating a net “profit” of $3.05, per gift card. So, could still be worth folks’ time.

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