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One Mile at a Time [OMaaT] discussions [merged]

One Mile at a Time [OMaaT] discussions [merged]

Old Jul 4, 15, 7:07 am
  #421  
 
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Originally Posted by gpapadop View Post
I think we are at blog post #14 about the Korean Air executive, you know, the one with the nuts
In fairness that was some pretty whacky stuff that went down on the airlines, but yes it was a but too much.
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Old Jul 6, 15, 7:02 pm
  #422  
 
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Originally Posted by davie355 View Post
Rumors in this thread are summarily confirmed and debunked.
What rumours? Only one I saw was that Ben has made a s***load of money -- but that was attributed to someone else (plus the mention that he bought a condo for his parents). I hadn't known about his family tragedy, which was sad.

Other than that, I saw no surprises. Thought it was a decent article.
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Old Jul 6, 15, 7:04 pm
  #423  
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How much is a s load of money?
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Old Jul 6, 15, 7:49 pm
  #424  
 
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Originally Posted by agp423 View Post
How much is a s load of money?
Article quoted someone else saying Ben's a millionaire.
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Old Jul 6, 15, 8:32 pm
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Originally Posted by Alpha Golf View Post
What rumours? Only one I saw was that Ben has made a s***load of money -- but that was attributed to someone else (plus the mention that he bought a condo for his parents). I hadn't known about his family tragedy, which was sad.

Other than that, I saw no surprises. Thought it was a decent article.
What post in this thread suggests he bought his parents a condo?
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Old Jul 6, 15, 8:58 pm
  #426  
 
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Originally Posted by agp423 View Post
How much is a s load of money?
It's 1/4 of a "s ton" of money
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Old Jul 7, 15, 12:13 am
  #427  
 
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Originally Posted by Alpha Golf View Post
What rumours? Only one I saw was that Ben has made a s***load of money -- but that was attributed to someone else (plus the mention that he bought a condo for his parents). I hadn't known about his family tragedy, which was sad.

Other than that, I saw no surprises. Thought it was a decent article.
In Ben's post about severe turbulence on Royal Jordanian he mentioned he had lost a brother and was worried about the stress on his parents. Tragic indeed.

(highlight text to view spoilers below)

The main "surprise" is that Ben is banned from United Airlines. I'd heard rumors of this, corroborated by the absence of UA trip reports, but I could never be sure until this article. Ben admitted to abusing the spirit of compensation (e.g., requesting $200 for a broken overhead light) but the article hints at something more sinister at play, lending credence to the rumor that Ben exploited a website bug to reuse vouchers and fly for free for a long time. The article says UA would not speak on the record about the reason for the ban, other than to say in vague terms that it was a serious violation.

Another shock was his involvement in a sex act, in flight, performed by a flight attendant. The article is vague on whether this was consensual or whether it was assault by the FA. I've noticed the OMAAT blog shedding its innocence, little by little -- see, e.g., the crude hashtag joke in the last Male/Maldives post -- but the explicit act described by Rolling Stone would be too much for the blog.

Oh, and the article mentions that Ben lived in Seattle with his boyfriend at the time. It was a childhood friend. To my knowledge Ben had never previously admitted to having a boyfriend, and in all his posts about Seattle I had presumed he lived alone. Actually, it seems to me Ben is reserved on his blog about his homosexuality -- only once in a stray comment did he say outright that he was gay -- and in fact his posts suggest the opposite, as in his review of La Compagnie in which he said the female flight attendants were pretty. But the Rolling Stone article gives it to us straight: he's gay (and apparently "realized" this in adolescence, having previously attended an all-boys Catholic school).

Originally Posted by Alpha Golf View Post
Article quoted someone else saying Ben's a millionaire.
IIRC, no quote, just a reference ("according to friends...")

Last edited by davie355; Jul 7, 15 at 12:25 am
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Old Jul 7, 15, 2:44 am
  #428  
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Ben will be a millionaire many times over. But, frankly, he deserves it for the sheer volume of stuff he produces (8 posts a day, 7 days a week, this time last year, pretty much solo at that point) and his commitment to the hobby over so many years, most of which yielded him diddly squat.

Whenever people moan about Ben and Gary, they forget they did this for a long, long time purely for the love of it, without making a dime. They also produce - in the main - good quality material.

There are plenty of people who jumped into blogging for no other reason than they saw it as easy money (which it isn't). The market does tend to weed these people out though and there are good reasons why Ben and Gary have the followings they do.
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Old Jul 7, 15, 7:59 am
  #429  
 
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Originally Posted by davie355 View Post
The main "surprise" is that
Oh yeah, forgot the United one, you're right.

I think it's pretty obvious to anyone from reading the blog that Ben's gay, and yeah he does seem to be making more comments in that area recently. But don't see any deep revelations there.

The other thing, eeeeuw.
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Old Jul 7, 15, 10:36 am
  #430  
 
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If you'd like to read the Rolling Stone issue:
http://www.rollingstone.com/culture/...-free-20150720

Last edited by oliver2002; Jul 21, 15 at 5:10 am Reason: replaced dead link to RS website
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Old Jul 7, 15, 10:54 am
  #431  
 
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Originally Posted by Alpha Golf View Post
Oh yeah, forgot the United one, you're right.

I think it's pretty obvious to anyone from reading the blog that Ben's gay, and yeah he does seem to be making more comments in that area recently. But don't see any deep revelations there.

The other thing, eeeeuw.
It does feel like the maturity level of the blog has taken a dive lately with all the thinly veiled sexual comments. I'm not sure what the goal is here though with the awful Travis posts about family related travel issues mixed with the TMZ-esque "my friend " drama-inducing commentary from Ben. Kind of think he should pick with one target audience and stick with it rather than try to attract both the family crowd and the gay-travel community or whatever it is he's going for there.

Last edited by Sounder; Jul 7, 15 at 11:11 am
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Old Jul 7, 15, 11:27 am
  #432  
 
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I like how Lucky is now above the fray in regards to the secret "darker element" tactics. But, I especially love how gleff is only in one of the groups to "monitor the chatter." Sure and I watch adult movies for the dialogue.
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Old Jul 7, 15, 12:10 pm
  #433  
 
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There is some twisted truths put forward by the author of the article about the industry (read the article to form your own opinion). The article also paints a picture of Ben as someone with a high IQ, who looks for loopholes, and someone who has mastered the ticketing algorithms. "His mission is to outwit the airlines and fly first class, for free, as much as he can without getting caught."

The article also states that he spends an average of 6 hours daily in the sky.. that an airplane is his bedroom, office, and playroom.

"The fact is, we are beating the airlines at their own game. The people who run these programs are idiots. And we'll always be one stop ahead of them."

I'd like to hear the thoughts of how the article portrays the ban from United. Also, that Ben says that he has repeatedly has tried to pay them back ~$5k to get unbanned. There seems to be some discrepancies between what he has disclosed in his blog. The persona that the article paints is different than what Ben has shown to his readers.

Last edited by Astrophsx; Jul 7, 15 at 12:24 pm
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Old Jul 7, 15, 1:08 pm
  #434  
 
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Originally Posted by Astrophsx View Post
There is some twisted truths put forward by the author of the article about the industry (read the article to form your own opinion). The article also paints a picture of Ben as someone with a high IQ, who looks for loopholes, and someone who has mastered the ticketing algorithms. "His mission is to outwit the airlines and fly first class, for free, as much as he can without getting caught."

The article also states that he spends an average of 6 hours daily in the sky.. that an airplane is his bedroom, office, and playroom.

"The fact is, we are beating the airlines at their own game. The people who run these programs are idiots. And we'll always be one stop ahead of them."

I'd like to hear the thoughts of how the article portrays the ban from United. Also, that Ben says that he has repeatedly has tried to pay them back ~$5k to get unbanned. There seems to be some discrepancies between what he has disclosed in his blog. The persona that the article paints is different than what Ben has shown to his readers.
Don't you think he would like to paint a better picture of himself to a mass audience that probably has never heard of him before? Do you think people would be willing to care about a guy that was banned from an airline for doing what is alleged (versus what is reported in the article)? One is gaming the system, the other is fraud.

The article makes it all sound so glamorous doesn't it? First class flights costing $15k. 5-star hotels. Running into friends in Hong Kong and sharing a bottle of champagne until the wee hours. It's a puff piece.

But, for the life of me I can't figure out why hobby is written as "Hobby."
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Old Jul 7, 15, 1:35 pm
  #435  
 
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Originally Posted by skunker View Post
Don't you think he would like to paint a better picture of himself to a mass audience that probably has never heard of him before? Do you think people would be willing to care about a guy that was banned from an airline for doing what is alleged (versus what is reported in the article)? One is gaming the system, the other is fraud.
First off, I do believe that Ben is an intelligent person. I don't know him personally so I cannot comment on the high IQ or if he is doing anything unique that hasn't already been shown to him by others. I think his talent is from documenting products with some of his personality injected into his writing.

The whole thing about getting banned that doesn't make sense is that it doesn't seemed he really needed to do this. I have no clue what he was making back when this took place, but I am guessing he was using them for mileage runs? I don't think it is shady to turn off readers in that most would forgive his actions as a "young person's mistake". I am just pointing out that either the author of the article had a specific persona to show before they met Ben or Ben himself gave this impression during the course of interviews with the author. I do agree that some methods are gaining the system and some are fraud. Ben is quoted as saying he was gaining the system by reporting issues and getting compensation. It has been detailed by several people on Flyertalk talk that he was fraudulently using vouchers.

"The fact is, we are beating the airlines at their own game. The people who run these programs are idiots. And we'll always be one stop ahead of them." This is a quote I would have expected from the pre-ban Ben.

Also note that there is no mention of his obsession of Hello Kitty, Taylor Swift, One Direction and Real Housewives . He is able to have a large fan base that more than likely does not share the same love of the things mentioned above.
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