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Old May 15, 17, 8:57 am   #76
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Originally Posted by gpapadop View Post
I bet hotel loyalty programs love cheerful posts about their property from all bloggers....Good for future relationships, no?
Seeeee.....THAT's the thing about even being open to sponsored content.

Maybe THIS trip's not free...or THIS status is not free....but maybe the next one IS, if the blogger plays his or her cards right.

There is a reason Consumer Reports does not take any advertising whatsoever.
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Old May 15, 17, 9:12 am   #77
  
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Agreed. It gets to be like the academics who just don't publish the research that doesn't confirm their theses.
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Old May 15, 17, 10:42 am   #78
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Originally Posted by gpapadop View Post
I bet hotel loyalty programs love cheerful posts about their property from all bloggers....Good for future relationships, no?
Here's the thing. In the asset-lite world the chain has little pull over the properties. Review trips we have done have always been exceptionally painful to arrange - not for us, for the brand.

Last year I went to an event IHG organised at IC Park Lane, with an overnight stay. Despite being their UK flagship, they don't it. The head office had to hire an events management company to book their 'own' hotel and paid the normal commercial rate. We attendees didn't even get points - despite IHG announcing to the room that we would - because it was treated as a third party booking!
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Old May 15, 17, 10:50 am   #79
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Sorry, but I don't believe her. That being said, I don't understand why people give eyeball clicks to these folks. Most of the content is taken off FT, and I trust their reviews about as far as I can throw them. It's all about the $$$.
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Old May 15, 17, 12:00 pm   #80
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Originally Posted by Mary2e View Post
Sorry, but I don't believe her. That being said, I don't understand why people give eyeball clicks to these folks. Most of the content is taken off FT, and I trust their reviews about as far as I can throw them. It's all about the $$$.
When I book a trip I do find blogger reviews of hotels and premium cabins useful for their photos.

For actual data points, FlyerTalk and even TripAdvisor are far more reliable because they are more honest and come from 'real' reviewers, not 'celebrity' or
'sponsored' reviewers.

So there IS utility in looking at them.
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Old May 15, 17, 12:12 pm   #81
  
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Originally Posted by Mary2e View Post
Sorry, but I don't believe her. That being said, I don't understand why people give eyeball clicks to these folks. Most of the content is taken off FT, and I trust their reviews about as far as I can throw them. It's all about the $$$.
I don't think MommyPoints is making $$$.

No idea what you mean by eyeball clicks, but I can tell you why people like these types of articles. Summer is presenting family friendly vacation options that can be obtained by points. IMO her reviews are like reading about hotels in Travel + Leisure. Your best bet is to go to Tripadvisor and filter the reviews and read the worst ones first.

I can't think of one popular travel blogger that I trust to give honest and accurate reviews of hotels and airlines. They never seem to be consistent. They do little to nothing to hide who they are when traveling to get an unbiased review. TPG's team will contact airlines in advance in order to get special access or early boarding in order to take photos. Lucky will connect with hotels and airlines over social media.

At the end of the day you are correct, it's a job for them. Some do it better than others. Each has their own audience. Seems like Summer's main audience is happy with the content she puts out.
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Old May 15, 17, 1:26 pm   #82
  
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Even if they fully pay for their own costs, how can you possibly trust them?

These aren't like the undercover restaurant reviewers of print media circa 20 years ago, booking reservations in friend's names and showing up in disguise.

Anytime one of these bloggers shows up on a plane or at a hotel, that account has been flagged and they are shown the best face available by that travel provider.

All of that said, I was just at the Andaz Papagayo and it was a pretty nice place, and a good deal at 15K points. I'd take serious issue with Ms. Hull's review of the breakfast, but on the other posts I've skimmed, she's got a reasonable grasp of the reality of the place, even if hers is a bit shinier than mine would have been.
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Old May 15, 17, 1:46 pm   #83
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Originally Posted by kokonutz View Post
When I book a trip I do find blogger reviews of hotels and premium cabins useful for their photos.

For actual data points, FlyerTalk and even TripAdvisor are far more reliable because they are more honest and come from 'real' reviewers, not 'celebrity' or
'sponsored' reviewers.

So there IS utility in looking at them.
Agreed, some of the bloggers take really good pics, and lots of them, which I always find very helpful. Pics can be found on TA, which I do check as well of course, but the pic quality can vary drastically. Some bloggers are the exception - used to be TPG (Brian himself, that is) took horrible cell phone pics but I haven't looked at any of their reviews in a long time, maybe they've improved their standards.

MP was one of the first P&M blogs that I noticed to really focus on family travel, though there have been general travel blogs with a family friendly theme since before MP came along. I thought it was a good thing and still think she does a good job overall especially compared to some of her BA compatriots. I don't have a child at home anymore so I don't really read the blog these days but she seemed to have built a loyal following so good for her.
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Old May 15, 17, 2:31 pm   #84
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kokonutz View Post
When I book a trip I do find blogger reviews of hotels and premium cabins useful for their photos.

For actual data points, FlyerTalk and even TripAdvisor are far more reliable because they are more honest and come from 'real' reviewers, not 'celebrity' or
'sponsored' reviewers.

So there IS utility in looking at them.
I guess

Quote:
Originally Posted by Astrophsx View Post
I don't think MommyPoints is making $$$.

No idea what you mean by eyeball clicks, but I can tell you why people like these types of articles.
The more page views she gets, the more appealing she is to advertisers and may make more $$$ from it. Then she can put her affiliate links back for CCs (IIRC, she lost them not too long ago).

It's all about making money. At the beginning, it was for the pleasure of blogging. Not any more.
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Old May 15, 17, 2:37 pm   #85
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Originally Posted by kokonutz View Post
So there IS utility in looking at them.
I trust the bloggers and gain utility from their reviews when they have a bad experience. The classic case to me will always be OMAAT's China Southern A380 first class trip. If blogger has a bad experience, I'm quite likely to have a bad experience. If blogger has a good experience...mine could go either way, since I don't necessarily know how the blogger paid (unless made clear) or if they are noted in the system for special treatment. So that's how I would interpret this set of postings from Mommy Points et al.
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Old May 26, 17, 12:44 pm   #86
  
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Originally Posted by Mary2e View Post
I guess

The more page views she gets, the more appealing she is to advertisers and may make more $$$ from it. Then she can put her affiliate links back for CCs (IIRC, she lost them not too long ago).

It's all about making money. At the beginning, it was for the pleasure of blogging. Not any more.
It's all about making money indeed. We are talking about the blogger that tried to sell the Hilton Reserve card being twice as valuable after Hilton first massive devaluation with hotels costing up to 95,000 pts. It does require willing to lose quite a bit of integrity to say these kinds of things with a straight face.
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Old May 26, 17, 2:24 pm   #87
  
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It's all about making money indeed. We are talking about the blogger that tried to sell the Hilton Reserve card being twice as valuable after Hilton first massive devaluation with hotels costing up to 95,000 pts. It does require willing to lose quite a bit of integrity to say these kinds of things with a straight face.
The Hilton devaluation has been buried and never-spoken-of by most bloggers. I wonder why. It's odd.
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Old Jun 2, 17, 11:04 pm   #88
  
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The Hilton devaluation has been buried and never-spoken-of by most bloggers. I wonder why. It's odd.
Gary was pumping Amex cards immediately before and after the Delta&Virgin Atlantic Surcharge confeve.

When was the last time you saw even a shred of integrity around BA?
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