New Greeting for AA Phone Reps

This is totally an airline nerd thing, but I spend a chunk of my day each day (sometimes a huge chunk) on the phone with various airlines booking awards. The bulk of my clients are based in North America and lately, perhaps because of the 100,000 AA mile CITI sign-up bonus earlier this year, we have ...

Hyatt Updates 2015 Gold Passport Award Chart


Hyatt has announced its annual update to the Gold Passport award chart and thankfully changes are limited for 2015--here is what you need to know:
70 Hyatt properties are changing categories 22 hotels are moving up a category 48 hotels are moving down a category The new rates ...
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FTU Dallas Tickets Now on Sale

Tickets to FTU and FTU Advanced in Dallas, from 17-19 April 2015, are now on sale at FTUniversity.com.
I will be doing my usual talks on United Airlines, but will also be talking miles and exotic travel at this event.
Sessions at FTU include:
Gary Leff – View from the ...

United Airlines Now Processing Lufthansa GPU Upgrades Electronically

United Airlines and Lufthansa were both founding members of the Star Alliance and have maintained a close relationship as both codeshare and joint venture partners over years. United's top-status 1K flyers receive six GPUs (Global Premier Upgrades) each year and as part of that partnership, can use ...
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FTU Dallas Tickets Go On Sale Thursday!

Tickets to the next Frequent Traveler University go on sale Thursday at 11:00AM ET / 8:00AM PT at FTUniversity.com. Tickets for the Advanced seminars at the last three events sold out very quickly, so be warned if you want to attend.
I enjoyed so much meeting many of you in Washington ...

5 Great Uses for your 50,000 Bonus US Airways Miles

The US Airways MasterCard from Barclays is going out in style with a 50,000 mile sign-up bonus offer after your first purchase on the card. This offer and credit card itself is available for a very limited time and now more than ever, even if you have held this card in the past, it would be prudent ...
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The Homeless Population of Frankfurt Airport

Recall that I spent a year working inside Frankfurt Airport and one thing that I noticed, but never really thought much of until I saw the video below, was that there were a lot of familiar faces that were not wearing airport badges. 
There was a guy who resembled the Hunchback of Notre ...
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Cyber Monday Bonus: 125% Bonus on Purchased Avianca LifeMiles

Avianca LifeMiles is in the midst of a 100% bonus on purchased miles promotion but is offering a 125% bonus special today only for Cyber Monday. Bottom line: you can buy up to 66,000 miles for $2,178.00 (1.47 cents each) and will receive 148,500 miles in your account -- enough for a ...
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Today is American Express Small Business Saturday

Hopefully you have all registered your American Express cards for Small Business Saturday today, an annual event on the Saturday after Thanksgiving in which American Express offers a cash-back incentive in order to boost small business.
This year's offer is a bit different than in the past -- ...
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Is the Elimination of Stopovers on United MileagePlus Awards Inevitable?

Delta Air Lines has announced that free stopovers will not be part of the 2015 Skymiles program and it seems likely that the combined American and US Airways AAdvantage program will also not offer complimentary stopovers. That would leave United Airlines as the sole major legacy carrier in the USA ...
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Thankful for Travel Companions

I recently had the opportunity to experience Lufthansa First Class with my German wife Heidi -- just wait till you read her account of the flight -- and it reminded again that flying is so much more fun with a friend or loved one than by yourself. On this Thanksgiving day, I wish to point out that ...
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Three Tips to Get Home for Thanksgiving

A storm has dumped massive amounts of rain and snow along the Eastern Seaboard today, leading to over 500 cancelled flights and endangering the Thanksgiving travel plans of many. But even at this evening hour, you can still better position yourself to get home in time for the turkey by following ...
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Sunday Morning to LHR on London Underground

You would think that at the world's busiest airport for international passengers, London Heathrow, with flights around the clock, there would be reliable subway service early enough in the morning to catch the hundreds of dawn departures. Not so on Sundays...when the first Piccadilly Line ...
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More Devaluations for United MileagePlus in 2015

Christmas gifts have arrived early from United Airlines and like last year, we've all received lumps of coal. As United continues to dismantle what was once the world's best airline loyalty program, several more changes have been announced, all of which negatively affect both frequent and casual ...
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United Airlines Mimics Delta, Raises 2016 Elite Requirements

The consultants United Airlines hires to provide strategic advice on loyalty innovation and how to increase profit must have a pretty easy job...watch Delta, then copy. Once again, United has mimicked Delta in increasing elite status thresholds for 2016 in a move that makes sense in a season of ...
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Chinese Tourist Visas Now Valid for 10 Years

President Obama is in Asia this week at APEC and the headline has been the climate change deal he announced with China...but wait, there's more! Of particular interest to travelers is another deal cut with China to extend visas for short-term business travelers, tourists, and students. The new ...
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