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American Airlines and The Points Guy Are Suing Each Other

“The Points Guy” Brian Kelly, who unloaded his Miami Beach house in 2019 for $2.59 million but still considers Miami his home, is locked in an increasingly contentious intellectual property dispute with American Airlines. Kelly, who founded The Points Guy in 2010, has made millions with his travel points-focused site, which enables users to get the most out of points accumulated on their credit cards and by flying. (Full disclosure: Drew Limsky is a former freelance writer for The Points Guy.)

Now the airline is claiming that The Points Guy has crossed a legal line by accessing travelers’ AAdvantage loyalty accounts and expropriating their data.

According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, “The Points Guy launched an app last September billed as a “one-stop shop” where consumers can track all their loyalty rewards for airlines, hotels, and credit cards in one place, helping travelers redeem their earned miles. But American claims the Points Guy uses the airline’s intellectual property unlawfully and wants it to stop. Brian Kelly, CEO and founder of the Points Guy, says consumers should have a choice about how to use their data. Matters escalated earlier this month when American sent a cease-and-desist letter asking the Points Guy not to collect data related to its AAdvantage members. The Points Guy, or TPG, then filed a lawsuit against American on Jan. 11 in state court in Delaware, where American is incorporated. American, in turn, sued TPG and its parent company, Red Ventures, Jan. 18 in federal court in Texas, where the airline is headquartered.”

Things used to be rosy between Kelly and the airline—two years ago, American featured Kelly in a vodcast on the AA site. Don’t expect an encore anytime soon.

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Drew Limsky

Drew Limsky

Editor-in-Chief

BIOGRAPHY

Drew Limsky joined Lifestyle Media Group in August 2020 as Editor-in-Chief of South Florida Business & Wealth. His first issue of SFBW, October 2020, heralded a reimagined structure, with new content categories and a slew of fresh visual themes. “As sort of a cross between Forbes and Robb Report, with a dash of GQ and Vogue,” Limsky says, “SFBW reflects South Florida’s increasingly sophisticated and dynamic business and cultural landscape.”

Limsky, an avid traveler, swimmer and film buff who holds a law degree and Ph.D. from New York University, likes to say, “I’m a doctor, but I can’t operate—except on your brand.” He wrote his dissertation on the nonfiction work of Joan Didion. Prior to that, Limsky received his B.A. in English, summa cum laude, from Emory University and earned his M.A. in literature at American University in connection with a Masters Scholar Award fellowship.

Limsky came to SFBW at the apex of a storied career in journalism and publishing that includes six previous lead editorial roles, including for some of the world’s best-known brands. He served as global editor-in-chief of Lexus magazine, founding editor-in-chief of custom lifestyle magazines for Cadillac and Holland America Line, and was the founding editor-in-chief of Modern Luxury Interiors South Florida. He also was the executive editor for B2B magazines for Acura and Honda Financial Services, and he served as travel editor for Conde Nast. Magazines under Limsky’s editorship have garnered more than 75 industry awards.

He has also written for many of the country’s top newspapers and magazines, including The New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Miami Herald, Boston Globe, USA Today, Worth, Robb Report, Afar, Time Out New York, National Geographic Traveler, Men’s Journal, Ritz-Carlton, Elite Traveler, Florida Design, Metropolis and Architectural Digest Mexico. His other clients have included Four Seasons, Acqualina Resort & Residences, Yahoo!, American Airlines, Wynn, Douglas Elliman and Corcoran. As an adjunct assistant professor, Limsky has taught journalism, film and creative writing at the City University of New York, Pace University, American University and other colleges.