What I Like Most About This Blog

Many of the emails I get with questions contain notes of thanks. I usually delete those parts when I post questions and answers on the blog. Since I do post many of my media appearances, folks probably wouldn’t know it but I’m fairly bashful about such things.

But I do like to share what really means a lot to me — hearing someone that reads the blogs, uses the advice, and finds that their travel is made meaningfully better as a result.

So a note I just got from reader Bradley was especially appreciated,

I stumbled on your blog and became educated on award travel. Followed some suggestions, got some credit cards, did some modifications to my online shopping and bill paying and SHAZAM.

I just flew Washington DC to Phuket, Thailand first class on US Airways, Cathay Pacific and Dragon Air. Booked my return in business class. I’m hooked on banking some miles for future travel.

All in all it was not that hard. I am 6’5 and those 16 hours on Cathay [Pacific in first class] were heaven, HEAVEN. I’m now managing my parents’ accounts so they can come visit. Your advice, updates and trip reviews are my new travel porn.

Cathay Pacific First Class

I write on the internet so there are a large number of critics. I welcome all opinions in the comments (I tend to find the way opinions are expressed says more about the person commenting than anything else) and I try not to take even the harshest ones personally.

I try to learn from criticism, although some criticism is offered more constructively than others, and although my goal isn’t to please readers per se as much as to write what I care about and what interests me. I’ve loved and am hugely fortunate that others find it interesting enough to read.

I take sharply increasing visits to the site as some indication that readers value the content, but it’s still nice to hear sometimes. Bradley’s comments are exactly the kind of thing that’s kept me going for more than 13 years. So thank you!

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. Gary

    I may have once complained about too many credit card posts in a short period of time – which you acknowledged, so you’re OK with me – but I have to give many thanks to you for this blog.

    I don’t have time to hang out in the flyertalk or other bargain forums so I miss out on lots of deals, which is totally fair. But even your tips, less time-sensitive they may be, have got my family and I so many good deals.

    I’m proud to tell my friends that I’ve never flown international coach for 13 years, whilst traveling all over the world every year, and your blog in the last few years has been a big reason for this. Just last week I booked 3 business class seats to the UK from LAS for $450 (and 13000 net avios) each, a price that amazes everyone I tell. OK, I had to become a member of AARP, but still…

    So, please keep on keeping on!

  2. Thanks to your blog and pearls of wisdom: I’ve been able to save ~$2k/year for the past 5 or so years. Sometimes when traveling to shitty destinations (out of necessity), traveling in high class at least makes the trips a bit more enjoyable.

    Most importantly though, as a result of the mile scheming I’ve kept close watch of my credit and my score has only gone up, and up 🙂

    So thank you very much!

  3. Gary, I’d say that I’m at least as guilty as most. I’d like to thank you (belatedly), as I’ve benefitted a number of times from your advice and knowledge. Thanks for your efforts. So far this year, I’ve travelled to Budapest, Vienna, Seoul, Bali, and other places, in no small part due to your posts.

  4. Sorry. I am a jerk. I forget there is a person with feelings on the other end. I am fairly sensitive too so it’s hypocritical of me being nasty. If it’s any consolation I keep on coming back to read more. I think how people say something has more to do what’s going on in their lives than what is being commented on. Finally the more readers you get, which I am sure you don’t mind, the larger the chances that people will not be as polite as you are used to. Just a mismatch of cultures.

  5. I might be one of the “harsh critics” that you just passive aggressively insulted. And I agree that my comments reflect negatively on me. I’m naturally a pretty angry person. And one of the things that make me super angry are people who pretend to be something they’re not.

    The thing is, I’m mean to you because I don’t really like you. I think you’re a self-important loser. You come up with contrived questions so you can humblebrag that you were in some news article; you give specious advice with no real analysis to support your conclusion, and you use clickbait titles to draw in the crowd and give them nothing substantial once you’ve reeled them in. And most annoying of all, your writing style makes me nauseous. You write like a college freshman who found a thesaurus and uses it to impress his professor. It makes me cringe and I wish you’d stop it. Just write plainly. Please.

    Let’s all be honest with ourselves here. You are desperate for attention because it brings in money. You are desperate for clicks because you want to be relevant. And you create posts like this because you are thirsty for validation. Well too bad. Eventually Bradley will want to see what’s further down this “travel hacking” rabbit hole. And when he does, he will realize that you were nothing special.

  6. I have been into this hobby for a while now, I think I know more than most of the bloggers. I have taken more trips to places than most people will ever dream about. What I like most about this blog is you don’t back down on speaking out about changes that aren’t beneficial to most of the public and you get that cozy relationships with companies tends to hurt the integrity of the voice.

  7. This blog is the perfect mix of relatable, actionable tips while also bringing high level advanced insight. I love it. kudos Gary.

  8. Gary – You’re one of the first things I read when I wake up and one of the last things I check before going to sleep. I can’t possibly begin to calculate all the money you’ve saved me not to mention the awesome first class experience I’ve been able to parlay for my family and dozens of my friends who’ve become converted frequent flyer fanatics after seeing my success. It takes a lot of time, intelligence, and commitment to the minutiae to really excel at this hobby – You make it seem easy and I know it’s not. Thanks for all the great content over the years and the continuing education. Cheers!

  9. Gary, you do a great job, and I personally have benefited from your advice. It’s clear that you want us all to actually enjoy travel that we might not be able to otherwise afford. Your good intentions are what keep me coming back. Daily. Thanks for all you do!


  10. I’m a harsh critic.

    And yes, it does say something about me….that I’m an intelligent person that does lots of research. Lots of research! And I don’t like lies or deliberate misinformation.

    Listen, you are doing something truly amazing- you are opening up the world to people that thought they couldn’t affort to travel. They are going places and seeing things that they only dreamed about in their minds. You ARE a leader in this world. I just want so much more from you; I want you to actually BE the travel expert title that has been placed upon your head.

    To dismiss what you’ve accomplished is wrong. But I don’t want you to be Prince Lancelot. I want you to be King Arthur. And we know that you can do this. So do it already!!!

  11. yes Gary, I love your blog more than others like OMAAT or TPG. The only thing I think you could improve is lower the frequently of credit card put on. I don’t mind to appky by your link or reminder. But moderation is the key.

  12. I have you to thank for taking my first ever first class flight(s), the mistake fare dubai – austin. Emirates, british airways and American airlines transcontinental F. What an experience. Just left Austin after 3 weeks there and loved the city, I probably wouldn’t have ever gone there otherwise.

    Sometimes the credit card articles come on a bit hard, but then again I’m Australian living in London so they’re of no use to me anyway.

    The article about why BA flyers should all credit to AA bugged me too, it came across with a USA is the centre of the world attitude. But otherwise love the blog and still check it daily. Keep it up!

  13. @tk the point of that article was just that the British Airways Executive Club has gotten pretty bad, no offense intended to Brits generally just to Willie Walsh… 🙂 Glad you liked Austin!

  14. I haven’t thanked you in a while. No complaints (I live and breathe the cc offers, so I NEED that info). I’m way, way too thin-skinned to ever be a blogger as popular as you are. (I’d be fine at writing an unpopular blog no one read. ; )

    One question, and I’m seriously asking this: why the hell do the haters like David (above) READ this blog? I see their vitriol all the time and just don’t get why they bother subscribing.

    I was recently trying to get a friend into this hobby. She was so jealous of all my great travels. Her husband, who handles the family bill-paying had to sign off (she the big $$-maker in the fam, but he’s the executive asst.). No problem. I gave them some info and without any research he shut her down and said “I know all about that hobby–it ruins your credit.” No amount of education will sway him. Sigh.

  15. Gary-Can’t understand why anyone would leave negative comments. I’ve read your blog daily, saved lots of money, had numerous free flights all over the world in Business and First, and enjoyed reading the interesting tidbits that you often serve up. Keep up the good work.

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