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Old Apr 12, 14, 2:48 pm   #31
  
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Originally Posted by sbm12 View Post
Someone who uses the site as a resource but no longer contributes to it shouldn't be seen as a friend of the community IMO.
What would be your assessment for those FTers who mainly use the site as a resource and hardly, if ever, post?

You know there are quite a few FTers who regularly read FT but only manage to maintain post counts in either single- or two-digit numbers after all these years. Are they FTers?
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Old Apr 12, 14, 3:23 pm   #32
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and its not like MP is that active
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Originally Posted by Kagehitokiri View Post
MP post counts excl lounges >
57,769 UA
35,437 AA
16,105 DL
its unfortunate that more about FT and MP was not posted publicly - what i heard makes a lot more sense than the assumptions made in posts on FT.

in OP article >
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For me they get one screw-up.

Last edited by Kagehitokiri; Apr 12, 14 at 3:37 pm
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Old Apr 12, 14, 7:20 pm   #33
  
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Positive negativity? FWIW I don't share you're opinion Gary is still an FTer and posted to this thread so is one of us.
Of course Gary is a FTer. When I said he is not "one of us", I meant that as a complement, that he has accomplished a lot, become a public personality, and in that role a fair subject of discussion.

Let's focus again: If Doug Parker or the TSA chief were to sign up as FT members, would discussions of their history and actions in travel industry be forbidden here?
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Old Apr 13, 14, 10:27 am   #34
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Originally Posted by Canarsie View Post
Good post.

It's true that the golden days of FFPs are behind us. Frankly the old system never made much business sense in the first place. For years I bought economy tickets but never set foot in the economy cabin.

The trick going forward is to figure out what was important about the olde tyme FFPs and figure out how to emulate that and then whether it's worth it.

FFPs will still play a role in the lives of us frequent flyers. But the days of it being the end-all and be-all are gone.

For me, anyway, that means buying business class tickets. That gets me treated like an airline's best customer on any airline. Hotels offer club level rates so I can get into the lounge.

That said, I still dig my lifetime status at hotels and on airlines.

Integrating the reduced FFP benefits with cash offers is the future of frequent travel as hotels and airlines continue to monetize every interaction with us.

Adapt or die.
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Old Apr 13, 14, 2:53 pm   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lin821
Quote:
Originally Posted by sbm12 View Post
Someone who uses the site as a resource but no longer contributes to it shouldn't be seen as a friend of the community IMO.
What would be your assessment for those FTers who mainly use the site as a resource and hardly, if ever, post?

You know there are quite a few FTers who regularly read FT but only manage to maintain post counts in either single- or two-digit numbers after all these years. Are they FTers?
Far different. I would expect that someone who is supposedly a thought-leader in the community would actually contribute. Gary made the decision to stop doing so. I don't see that helping anyone. And helping each other is one of the biggest factors in the value of this site.

Deciding to only take when in a position to do much more is, IMO, not in the spirit of this community.
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Old Apr 13, 14, 8:39 pm   #36
  
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Wow, I was just misunderstood (and I helped you misunderstand me).

Or, the disadvantages of internet reporting, especially when unlike newspapers, you're the one in charge of writing the headlines--that led people to misunderstand (?) the point you were really trying to make.

Despite my criticism in this thread, I like VFTW, but this is now just backing and filling as a result of being way behind the curve on this story. And, no real reason to be behind it, because as we all expected, there would be some changes in the AA program as Parker and the gang moved in, but the real story here was that given the expectation of changes, the changes were dropped with no real notice.
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Old Apr 13, 14, 9:55 pm   #37
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Originally Posted by lwildernorva View Post
Wow, I was just misunderstood (and I helped you misunderstand me).

Or, the disadvantages of internet reporting, especially when unlike newspapers, you're the one in charge of writing the headlines--that led people to misunderstand (?) the point you were really trying to make.

Despite my criticism in this thread, I like VFTW, but this is now just backing and filling as a result of being way behind the curve on this story. And, no real reason to be behind it, because as we all expected, there would be some changes in the AA program as Parker and the gang moved in, but the real story here was that given the expectation of changes, the changes were dropped with no real notice.
The real story is that the "new AA" has already hit its customers with a far worse devaluation of the program without any real notice -- that of cutting back big time on sAAver award space for various routes in economy class too on AA metal for dates on/around "peak" travel dates. While a bunch of the more vociferous FTers, bloggers and most deeply-vested FFP customers are most concerned about premium cabin redemption, most FFP participants have historically redeemed for economy class travel and those are probably still the plurality of award tickets issues. And yet the clarion call from the more informed customers is about no advance notice and is about changes to the kind of awards/award features that most FFP customers had no clue even existed. There's a sort of irony there.

These programs are still mass market programs, and so alienating the mass market is marginally more risky for program operators than nailing those redeeming for premium cabin and Byzantine-rule-maximizing award tickets. FTers should be expecting worse hits and should be expecting less/no advance notice from the US airlines when it comes to FFP. It's going to be ugly -- especially on the redemption side -- more for us than the average FFP customers. It's going to be interesting to see how the bloggers adjust to that reality.

Last edited by GUWonder; Apr 13, 14 at 10:00 pm
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Old Apr 14, 14, 12:06 am   #38
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Originally Posted by sbm12 View Post

Far different. I would expect that someone who is supposedly a thought-leader in the community would actually contribute. Gary made the decision to stop doing so. I don't see that helping anyone. And helping each other is one of the biggest factors in the value of this site.

Deciding to only take when in a position to do much more is, IMO, not in the spirit of this community.
Exactly. While a very respected member in terms of his history, he has made a financial decision to focus his contributions outside of FlyerTalk. His decision and I fully respect that, but let's be honest about where his financial interests are today.

BTW, very classy of SanDiego 1K to post what she did.
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Old Apr 14, 14, 12:12 am   #39
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Originally Posted by GUWonder View Post
The real story is that the "new AA" has already hit its customers with a far worse devaluation of the program without any real notice -- that of cutting back big time on sAAver award space for various routes in economy class too on AA metal for dates on/around "peak" travel dates.
Yeah, though I still see sAAver Y to Europe in offseason. May through October is a ghost town, though... all BA with loads of YQ.

Yes, I know, at redeeming for Y... but hey, two people to Europe for 80,000 AA miles is not bad, if you can get over the lack of caviar and champers.
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Old Apr 14, 14, 1:33 am   #40
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Exactly. While a very respected member in terms of his history, he has made a financial decision to focus his contributions outside of FlyerTalk. His decision and I fully respect that, but let's be honest about where his financial interests are today.

BTW, very classy of SanDiego 1K to post what she did.
Most of us focus our contributions outside of FT, often as a financial decision. His contributions outside or FT -- even when financially-driven -- benefit a lot of FTers. That someone willfully cuts frequency of posting to FT is not how I'd judge anyone's contribution to the FT community -- just like a willful increase in frequency of FT posting by an individual (thought-leader or not) is not necessarily considered a universally great thing. People sometimes remain members of the community even when some kind of visibility drops or changes -- this would be a case of that even when the contributions are not via public posts on FT. That said, isn't there an irony in the criticism, given that the criticized industry's changes are largely about "what have you done for me lately" instead of taking a longer-term view?

His contributions are more readily followed by more FTers on his blog than if they were pecking around various parts of FT looking for the same sort of info. While I am of mixed opinion about the blogs and their outcome in terms do my own maximization of the airline and hotel programs, they do consolidate/package information that is more readily digestible by the average FTer than it would otherwise be. We have to keep in mind that most of us posting on this thread are not really representative of the average FTer who is a rare contributor in the past, present and probably even future sense of being a "contributor" to positing visibly on FT.

Last edited by GUWonder; Apr 14, 14 at 8:28 am
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Old Apr 14, 14, 5:52 am   #41
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Originally Posted by sbm12 View Post
[SIZE=1]Far different. I would expect that someone who is supposedly a thought-leader in the community would actually contribute. Gary made the decision to stop doing so. I don't see that helping anyone. And helping each other is one of the biggest factors in the value of this site.

Deciding to only take when in a position to do much more is, IMO, not in the spirit of this community.
Well said.

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Originally Posted by itsaboutthejourney View Post
very classy of SanDiego 1K to post what she did.
Indeed. Incredibly classy and generous.
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Old Apr 14, 14, 8:36 am   #42
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Originally Posted by itsaboutthejourney View Post
BTW, very classy of SanDiego 1K to post what she did.
+1. Let's not lose sight of the fact that Gary contributed more time and dare I say love to FlyerTalk than most of us here will ever be able to. He could find his tips on FT all day every day for the rest of his life and the score would still not be even on his contributions to FT. If any of you feel jilted, just consider that.

Gary has earned his success and he's still setting the bar for how to write with clarity, honesty, and humility. You could hardly do better than to emulate Gary, Randy, and SanDiego1k.
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Old Apr 14, 14, 9:18 am   #43
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Originally Posted by lwildernorva View Post
Wow, I was just misunderstood (and I helped you misunderstand me).

Or, the disadvantages of internet reporting, especially when unlike newspapers, you're the one in charge of writing the headlines--that led people to misunderstand (?) the point you were really trying to make.

Despite my criticism in this thread, I like VFTW, but this is now just backing and filling as a result of being way behind the curve on this story. And, no real reason to be behind it, because as we all expected, there would be some changes in the AA program as Parker and the gang moved in, but the real story here was that given the expectation of changes, the changes were dropped with no real notice.
Well, at least he HEARD the reaction to his post. Some bloggers simply delete criticism and/or ignore this forum. So I give him credit for reading and reacting.

I do still believe that anyone who thinks Gary, all bloggers or even all of us FTs/very frequent flyers have any influence or say over the future of these programs is being hopelessly naive.

That goes for Gary's effort to 'use the carrot approach' every bit as much as those who are criticizing Gary today for making predictions about future devaluations because he is 'setting the bar' for 'acceptable' devaluations.

Jeff Smisek nor Doug Parker give a rat's arse what Gary thinks, I think or you think. They care about monetizing you and me and every other customer to the maximum extent possible. Whether you are a 2 MM top tier elite or a kayak kettle, their ONLY priority is: how can I get one more dollar out of you.

Here is all you need to know about the current state of points and miles programs: if you've got 'em, burn 'em. It's only going to be downhill from here.
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Old Apr 15, 14, 12:36 pm   #44
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Wow, does Gary Leff have compromising pictures of you people? Gary Leff was elected to the TalkBoard then as TalkBoard President, those are positions he opted to run for and solicited FT'ers to vote for him. He then resigned in the middle of his term to start a competing commercial interest and all but ceased participating on FT. It's clear to me his respect for FT, especially those who voted for him. To compare his contributions to Randy or SD1K is an insult to those two in my opinion.
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Old Apr 15, 14, 6:58 pm   #45
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Wow, does Gary Leff have compromising pictures of you people? Gary Leff was elected to the TalkBoard then as TalkBoard President, those are positions he opted to run for and solicited FT'ers to vote for him. He then resigned in the middle of his term to start a competing commercial interest and all but ceased participating on FT. It's clear to me his respect for FT, especially those who voted for him. To compare his contributions to Randy or SD1K is an insult to those two in my opinion.
I believe they were working on MilePoint for quite some time, and that Gary only resigned from TB when their new venture actually launched.

Gary Resigned TB Feb 4, 11, 6:46 am.

MilePoint Beta launch Feb 4, 2011 12:00 AM

Buuuuuuut according to this Randy Petersen post on MP, the idea to create a site to compete with FlyerTalk was Gary, Tommy and Ed's idea, not his.

Quote:
UPDATE:
"Just curious. Are any posters being paid by or have stock/equity share in MP?"
In this original question, the answer was clearly no, no one else had any stock/equity share in milepoint other than my acknowledgement that the original idea was not mine, that belonged to a trio of frequent flyers who approached me. At the start of milepoint and until just this past weekend—100% of the ownership of shares was mine. Also, 100% of the expenses as well.

NOW, as for the update. Let's understand that I'm not likely the most fierce capitalist out here. I started the things I do with no biz plan or even thoughts on would there be a way to make money—let's remember I wasn't a biz major in college, preferring major and minors such as Anthropology, Black History and American History. This past weekend I got together with three members of milepoint—gleff (Gary Leff), Tommy777 (Tommy Danielsen) and Pizzaman (Ed Pizzarello) to basically chat about milepoint. As part of the discussion, I decided to divest the actual ownership of milepoint and award to each of these three members, full title to "co-founder" and as well ownership stakes (They actually did not ask for share ownership, but my practice has always been to be fair and acknowledge others efforts). Again, I'm more of a surfer dude capitalist and it seemed like a good idea since the actual idea of another forum for frequent flyers was born out of their own ideas. While I carry the expenses of milepoint (and let's acknowledge milepoint is done in the fashion of whatever it needs to be successful for its members) and the majority of share ownership, they do carry decision-level input on where milepoint is and where it is going. In an executive committee basis, we are all equal and frankly as I told them this weekend, it is so refreshing to have the uniqueness of partners such as them. They are all quite different and I still can't figure out how they got together, it still seems like an oddball combination. I have to say i could not be happier to be partners with them. And I love the fact that they are like many of our members, simply very gifted and caring business travelers who have put forth their best efforts to help create a forum for frequent flyers. I do like the idea that milepoint is actually owned and operated by actual frequent flyers. Here's an example of that. When we recently announce the membership drive for Kiva as a community charity, who chimes in but all the co-founders. Gary, Tommy and Ed all volunteered to help and are in the process of donating $500 apiece in loans to the Kiva initiative. Say what you will, but I love the idea that the actual owners of milepoint are actively involved as leaders in the things that define and help make milepoint a community for frequent flyers.

Anyway, I no longer own 100% of milepoint and proudly welcome Gary, Tommy and Ed as co-founders of milepoint both in title and actual ownership.

If there are any additional changes in this area, I will as I have done here update the question and answer. Thank you.

(resume or invest? koko, like a few others, you could have dragged me out of my temp retirement and we could have been partners in milepoint if it would have been your idea to start another forum—though i trust you would have had a better name than the other guys with their "MileTalk" concept. Like the others, you're considered a good guy in my mind and actions and I would have considered helping or becoming part of your idea. As for investing, we could talk ...)
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