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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. Regarding AA putting elite and other high valued members on other airlines: isn’t that a little backwards thinking of the airline? AA is taking its best customers and giving them a chance to experience what a competitor offers (during IRROPS anyways). You’re giving a chance for competitors to win that business away from you at some point with potentially better service and better reliability. You would think that AA would not want to have these members fly on anything but AA so to me that seems a bit backwards. I get they’re trying to save on expenses during IRROPS but you’ve just sent an angry, valuable customer to a competitor.

  2. @wadachas I would imagine they are trying to be incredibly accommodating to their FF/elite members by getting them on the best possible flight option. I was very irritated when I was in Istanbul and Turkish wouldn’t put me on the next flight to the US, but only the same flight on United, the next day and I was a 1K on United and Star Alliance Gold. Perhaps I am mistaken about the purpose of doing so, but when I am traveling all I care about is getting a seat home! I appreciate an airline who does this. (side note, more recently when I was in Turkish business class from US to Istanbul and their delay caused me to miss my connection to Dushanbe they put me on a Turkish flight to Dubai and then an Emirates flight to Dushanbe, all arranged before I even left the US, so perhaps they’ve figured some things out!).

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