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An open letter to the members of FlyerTalk

An open letter to the members of FlyerTalk

Old Nov 7, 2010, 7:32 am
Founder of FlyerTalk
Original Poster
Join Date: May 1998
Location: Colorado Springs, CO
Posts: 6,540
An open letter to the members of FlyerTalk

There are moments of our lives when we can remember exactly where we were and what we were doing many years later. One of those moments for me was May 5, 1998, when I became the first person to create a post on FlyerTalk. My how those years—and those posts—have flown by. In the 4,569 days since, I've had the pleasure of a single goal, to pay life forward with advice and friendship for the frequent flyer. And you know what? It worked. Thousands of like-minded travelers joined in to also share their experiences and advice around the topic of miles, points and travel. Pretty cool huh?
From that single post, FlyerTalk has grown to 15 million posts and the friendships that have grown out of these many posts have and continue to fill the hearts and lives of many a member. No one could be prouder of this than me. No one could be happier for this than me and no one could be more grateful of our members than me.

So it is with the heaviest of hearts that I announce that I will be leaving FlyerTalk at the end of the year. My mom was always proud of who I grew up to be, and so am I. I like my principles and there's nothing I enjoy more than working among those members of FlyerTalk who have earned my respect. Internet Brands has a transition plan and I'll be working to support it during this period and have full confidence in the members of FlyerTalk to continue to make FlyerTalk exactly what was intended way back on May 5, 1998.

These 4,569 days have provided me with a lifetime of memories and I am a better person for it. I can't possibly think I can ever thank you all enough for what you have done for others and for me, but I'll try—THANK YOU.

I look forward to staying in touch with my FlyerTalk family and invite any of you who wish to do so to follow me on Twitter and/or add me as a friend on Facebook.

Last edited by Randy Petersen; Nov 8, 2010 at 1:35 pm
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Old Nov 7, 2010, 7:42 am
FlyerTalk Evangelist
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: FLL -> Where The Boyars Are
Programs: AA EXP 1.7 M, Hilton Gold, Hertz 5*, AARP Sophomore, 14-time Croix de Candlestick
Posts: 18,669
Although someone leaving is always unwanted, you can be very proud of what you have accomplished with FlyerTalk. Your creation has helped untold thousands of travelers, and enriched the lives of many others (myself included).

The best of luck in your future endeavors. Those at IB who will succeed you have an impossible task ahead of them, trying to reach the lofty standards you have set.

Safe travels always! ^
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Old Nov 7, 2010, 7:46 am
FlyerTalk Evangelist
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: BER
Programs: Hilton Gold, BA Gold
Posts: 15,757
I will miss you around here, Randy
thank you for many happy years of flyertalk and some great moments, I was able to share with you. merci beaucoup.
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Old Nov 7, 2010, 8:08 am
FlyerTalk Evangelist
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: DCA
Programs: AMC MovieWatcher, Giant BonusCard, Petco PALS Card, Silver Diner Blue Plate Club
Posts: 22,301
Thank you, Randy.

As I had the good fortune to share last evening, the contribution you've made not just to this entire community of hundreds of thousnds of members over a dozen-plus years but deeply and personanly to me...

I was a frequent domestic business traveler when I found Flyertalk. My life has been forever changed, for the better. Flyertalk and the things that I've learned and experienced have become a major part of both my life and who I am. I've had the opportunity to see the world, to experience cultures and places, to meet special people. I've been forever changed by this place that you've give us.

For you it may be time to move on, but that's appropriate, you've built something that has been special not just to one person or to a handful of lives but that has deeply touched and enhanced (the good kind, not the airline kind) the experiences of so many more people than most ever have the chance to. I know that my experience is not unique, that through Flyertalk you've gvien us a tremendous gift and one that's been a very personal, laboring gift to give.

And I for one can never really thank you enough.

Congratulations, Randy, on what you've accomplished and for having the opportunity to see it grow into what it's become. And best of luck now that it has matured and you've decided to bring this chapter of yourself to a close. May your future endeavors bring you as much joy, as much success and contentment, as this one has brought to us.

I for one know that I'll have many opportunities to interact with and see you again, or at least I hope that's true. And if for some reason it turns out to be true less frequently than I would have hoped, I'll just drop in to see you in Colorado Springs.

Tell Julie that as long as we have miles and points, and thus access to flights, you can't get rid of us that easily!!

All my best, for myself and for anyone else who wishes to share in the sentiment. We truly appreciate it.

gleff is offline  
Old Nov 7, 2010, 8:09 am
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Yiron, Israel
Programs: Bates Motel Plat
Posts: 68,970
Randy, you and I have cooperated on some things, butted heads on others, and have had both our ups and downs but I can truthfully say that I have the greatest respect for your accomplishments on FlyerTalk and will be saddened to see you depart.

Whoever attempts to replace you will have a close-to-impossible job on his hands.

Last edited by Dovster; Nov 7, 2010 at 8:21 am Reason: typo
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Old Nov 7, 2010, 8:15 am
FlyerTalk Evangelist
Join Date: May 1998
Location: Massachusetts, USA; AA Plat, DL GM and Flying Colonel; Bonvoy Platinum
Posts: 24,295

Thank you for starting FT, nurturing it, and shepherding it into (at least) adolescence. Twelve years is a long time to stay with anything these days. I know I'm not alone in being glad you did.

All the best for the future. If it's possible, I think many of us here would like to stay updated on your plans. If what you did with FT is any indication, your next project might be something we'd want to track!

All the best down the road!
Efrem is online now  
Old Nov 7, 2010, 8:35 am
FlyerTalk Evangelist
Join Date: Sep 2000
Programs: UA Million Miler (lite). NY Metro area.
Posts: 15,174
Boss, I'm speechless.

You've provided us with lots of fun and entertainment over the years. And by this I mean reading Inside Flyer and Flyertalk. ^

Does this mean you'll have time for the BRT?

Best of luck in whatever you do in the future.

Last edited by dhammer53; Nov 7, 2010 at 3:05 pm
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Old Nov 7, 2010, 8:50 am
Join Date: Sep 2009
Programs: Gold, plat, diamond and more
Posts: 3,360
Hopefullt this thread is not reserved for evangelists only, but as a rather newbie I would like to use this opportunity to say^

FT is definately part of my daily routine, and although Ive been around the globe 2 digit times, without knowing FT, barely knowing loyalty program, this has now changed:-)

The possibilities are endless, and Im only surprised the site isnt even bigger.

I think as I started, probably on behalf of all newbies on FT (which are the majority, not only in numbers, but I guess also in total posts), I would wholehearted thank you for your long effort, building this unique platform- and I dont think you can underestimate the affect this has had on numerous people around the world.

Im curious to see how this affects, FT/IB/TB.

But in any case good luck with any of your future projects.
We all understand that at times its just time to move on, however sad that can be.

travelkid is offline  
Old Nov 7, 2010, 8:58 am
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Cleveland
Programs: AF/KLM Plat For Life/UA Million Miler-PremEx For Life/SPG Gold
Posts: 5,054
Hi Randy-

To be perfectly clear, you and Flyertalk CHANGED MY LIFE.

Before Flyertalk, I had been to Israel for a college semester and a 3 week post-college jaunt to Europe, then never stepped foot out of North America for the next 20 years.

Flyertalk empowered me to visit dozens of countries in the last 10 years, in style for pennies on the dollar. My family has not only benefitted from the thrill of travel, but the appreciation of different cultures AND gratitude about how damn good our lives are in America.

Thank you for being a resource for me, providing the all-important 'smell tests' before I embarked on one of my wild mileage earning schemes.

The Flyertalk community that you created is real and visceral- whether it be Coupon Connection or DOs or just spotting a fellow FTer with a bright yellow luggage tag. FT has broken down the normal isolation that comes with solo travel, with the ever-present possibility of meeting a like-minded mileage junkie along the way.

You gave Flyertalk an approachable human face, a personality and an additional reason to engender my loyalty to an otherwise virtual website. Not having you as a frame of reference for FT will be the hardest adjustment for me. I hope that you will figure out a way to remain
accessible to your 'groupies'!

I am sad about the news, but happy that YOU are happy about transitioning to your next phase of life.

Guess that rules out CLE Mod-DO!!!!!!!!

Last edited by beaubo; Nov 7, 2010 at 9:29 am
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Old Nov 7, 2010, 9:20 am
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Los Angeles, CA USA
Posts: 9

Congrats! You are going out on top
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Old Nov 7, 2010, 9:22 am
FlyerTalk Evangelist
Join Date: Mar 2000
Posts: 17,501
There are not many people who can honestly say they've changed the world, but Randy Petersen certainly can. The world of travel would be a different place, and certainly worse, without Flyertalk. I wonder how many trips would not have been taken -- and how many would have been more expensive, less comfortable, less enjoyable, etc. -- without it. It would be a truly countless number.

I don't believe that "just anyone" could have started Flyertalk. We've all seen online forums that focus on a good idea, but just fail -- or are seriously flawed -- because of the way they are conceived, managed, and so forth. It's really hard to imagine a better way to run a frequent flyer forum, which perhaps explains why there are no real competitors.

May Flyertalk continue to thrive in Randy's absence! It would be a legacy almost without equal. Best of luck, Randy.
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Old Nov 7, 2010, 9:25 am
FlyerTalk Evangelist
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: San Francisco
Programs: UA 1K/1MM, Marriott Tit
Posts: 18,249
Thanks for all you've done. ^

Glad we were there for your 'last hurrah'!

(No rolleyes this post.)
SFOTerry is online now  
Old Nov 7, 2010, 9:26 am
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Upcountry Maui, HI
Posts: 13,368
What's next for Randy Petersen?

Randy and Tommy last week in the JFK LH Lounge, on our way to Frankfurt (SMD2).

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Old Nov 7, 2010, 9:28 am
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend
Join Date: May 2002
Location: YEG
Programs: HH Silver
Posts: 56,469
Best wishes on future endevours and happy travels, Randy. ^ I'm glad I found FT and have enjoyed my time here so the thing you created and others have added to along the way has had an impact on many, many people.
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Old Nov 7, 2010, 9:53 am
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: ORD
Posts: 746
One's lifes work is the difference we make in the lives of others. You have certainly done that and more.

But something tells me there is more in your future to that end.

Godd luck as you begin to write the next chapter in your life.

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