Starbucks Revamping Rewards Program and Airline Promises to Honor Mistake Fares

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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. Air Canada seems ideal. Star Alliance partner. Good flights through Toronto to Europe and Vancouver to Asia. Great fares. Good business product. However one thing continues to let Air Canada down over and over.

    About 10-15% of the staff are rude holdovers who cannot be fired as they are protected by a “Come at me Bro” attitude union. Now the United CEO said his company also has about 10% footprint of staff who are unmotivated. The difference with Air Canada is this 10-15% of disgruntled employees are motivated, no they are HIGHLY motivated. They are motivated to disparage, sabotage and work against the airline. They hate the company, the job and especially the passengers. Wrong answers, loud withering sighs, eye rolls, generally grumpiness, dismissive attitude and absolute lack of empathy exist.

    Be very wary of AC. If you get stuck with one of these people who hate the job/company/you then you are in for some issues.

  2. Like Paul S said, if you think AA flight attendants are shite, you’re in for a treat with AC.

    As a Canadian, I went out of my way to stop flying AC and switched to AA… because the service was better on average.

    I stick to WS inside Canada, and AA transborder (although I’m doing a lot more free agent travel into USA these days).

    F*** AC. F*** Aeroplan. Great hard product, ruined by a garbage soft product.

  3. I completely lost interest in Starbucks’ program when I had points expire. Steal from me, to hell with you.

  4. SB’s program still has value if you *only* deal with promos that don’t require jumping through hoops. Most of the long-term game promotions reward frequent buyers with essentially nothing; earning 1 star as a reward after a purchase is ridiculous. However, taking advantage of double points or straight bonuses (last week was 25 points for every purchase) rolls into free high cost drinks or meals. Buying 6 tall coffees and redeeming for a $10 large salad is great in my book.

  5. I frequently travel LAX-YYZ-LAX
    On both AA and AC.
    I much prefer AC’s hard product and until lately, their lounge.
    aA is just pathetic.

  6. How does one get targeted for these Starbucks promos? I’ve had a registered card since they came out, over a decade ago, am a daily customer, but every time I try to register for a promo, I get a message saying”we’re sorry, but this promotion is only for targeted customers.” WTH?

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