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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Big: Arrival Plus 60,000 Point Initial Bonus Offer Now Comes With Annual Fee Waived First Year

Sep 24 2018

Earlier this year Barclays stopped taking new applications for the Barclaycard Arrival® Plus World Elite Mastercard® while they rolled out a premium version of the card whose points transferred to miles (but which did not offer a signup bonus). Back in early July applications relaunched and they did so with the biggest-ever offer of 60,000 miles after $5000 spend within 3 months. These can be spent at a penny apiece towards travel, and when you redeem for travel you get a 5% rebate on points. The bonus then is worth $630+, and the card earns an effective return of 2.1% on your spend. The card offers a nice rebate for unbonused spend, and the initial offer is great to cover travel expenses that airline miles and hotel points don’t. What’s new now is that the…

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New Law Will Require Seat Size Regulations — But Won’t Make You One Bit More Comfortable

Sep 24 2018

Politicians are claiming this is going to be a boon for travelers. Florida Democrat Senator Bill Nelson declares “Relief could soon be on the way for weary airline passengers facing smaller and smaller seats.”

Nothing could be further from the truth. These regulations will either do nothing, or they’ll help protect the major US airlines from low cost carrier competition. They won’t help travelers.

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Upcoming 3 Week Period Where Marriott Luxury Redemptions are Cheap and Hotels Can’t Play Games With Inventory

Sep 24 2018

There have been issues with inventory with certain hotels not bookable on points, others withholding most of their inventory from award redemption. Some General Managers at legacy Starwood properties have been upset by Marriott’s award availability policies and pricing — and have pushed back.

However the ability for hotels to play games with inventory is on the way out. And there will be at least a 3 week period before award prices go up next year when availability should be at its best.

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Star Alliance Member South African Airways Bankrupt, Asking For Another Government Bailout

Sep 23 2018

South African received a bailout a year ago to help with a new CEO’s plan to stabilize the airline by convincing banks they would continue to exist. Despite government cash infusions the airline’s debts now exceed their assets.

A report to the company’s board says the airline faces “rampant corruption, low pilot productivity, a significantly weak balance sheet, liquidity problems, loss of confidence from suppliers, a lack of critical skills and fragmented IT systems.”

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Singapore Airlines Non-Stop Business Class Awards Bookable With Air Canada Aeroplan Miles

Sep 23 2018

Singapore Airlines usually makes premium cabin awards available only to their own KrisFlyer members. You can transfer points from Chase, American Express, and Citi into the KrisFlyer program, so their miles are relatively easy to get.

If you want to fly Singapore’s business or first class on more than an intra-Asia flight you aren’t going to be able to use miles from United, Aeroplan, or other Star Alliance programs — most of the time.

Six years ago there was a brief window where Singapore Airlines awards were bookable by partners but there hasn’t been anything like it since.

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American Airlines Expects Its New Bigger Partnership With Qantas to Be Approved Next Year

Sep 23 2018

Three years ago American Airlines and Qantas announced an expanded joint venture. American was launching Sydney and Auckland service, Qantas Sydney – San Francisco. And they indicated there would be more new routes in the offing as a result of the partnership.

They proposed to extend their partnership to coordinate schedules and pricing and share revenue on Pacific flights (but not Hawaii routes). The Obama administration said no.

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