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Old Jan 4, 15, 1:50 pm
  #31
 
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I understand your defense, but I find it difficult to believe that you founded this site with the intention of ever seeming to sneer at a passenger whose extensive travel needs are met by a major domestic carrier--no matter what valid criticisms might be offered about its frequent flyer program or its onboard product.
When did we make the jump to Ben "sneering" at people? Is this still in reference to the ouch on Delta quote?

If so, there are a variety of interpretations for this one line comment. I, for one, saw this as a general comment on how painful it must be to spend that much time in an airplane, first class or not, paid or not, work-related or not.

It seems that some readers have taken the most negative interpretation possible and started running with it.

Edit

I reread the quote, and I'll admit it may not be as innocuous as I originally thought. But still not worth blowing up, IMO.

Last edited by SansSerif; Jan 4, 15 at 2:01 pm
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Old Jan 4, 15, 1:56 pm
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Originally Posted by Randy Petersen View Post
I'll stand up for Ben here, the same Ben who brought enthusiasm and representation for the membership of FlyerTalk when he was elected to the TalkBoard in the past.
And was pretty much invisible on the public Talk Board forum his last year of representation (2011) - I didn't see the enthusiasm at all as he just didn't show up to discuss issues with the membership. He posted three times, and two of those posts were to welcome new Talk Board members. To me he pretty much tuned out the Talk Board forum his last year.

For the life of me, I can't figure why FTers run for these positions and then won't participate in the public forum. It's a pattern that keeps repeating itself.
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Old Jan 4, 15, 5:56 pm
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Originally Posted by Randy Petersen View Post
I'll stand up for Ben here, the same Ben who brought enthusiasm and representation for the membership of FlyerTalk when he was elected to the TalkBoard in the past. Since I've personally known Ben longer and more closely than anyone on this thread, I can say that Ben's never come across as smug nor spoiled nor pampered. He started his craft as a wild-eyed sophomore in college with a passion for the same general topics he writes about today and the (many) tens of thousands of his readers daily seem to enjoy traveling vicariously through his blog since many of us aren't able to in our daily jobs travel that way and it is more like readers become Walter Mitty-ish after reading his ventures and experiences similar in the way that other bloggers explore the far reaches of the world. What you may relate to as smug is likely related to the product rather than Ben because coach on Spirit Airlines dies not evoke the same pattern of content.

There will be of no value to attack me, I am simply pointing out to others that may read these comments that Ben is an extremely generous individual (whether on FlyerTalk or with other budding bloggers, he has always volunteered to help others) who was able through his own hard work and efforts turn his passion into a livelihood which delights those who do read him. On most days, Ben is the single most read individual in the frequent flyer space, more read than any single post/thread on FlyerTalk or other travel community. This is because he has content that is readable and enjoyable, not arguable.
I lost a lot of respect for Ben after the united airlines incident. Highly unethical, and somewhat disingenuous how he glosses over it
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Old Jan 4, 15, 6:24 pm
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Originally Posted by freeloader View Post
I lost a lot of respect for Ben after the united airlines incident. Highly unethical, and somewhat disingenuous how he glosses over it
How about being fully honest about how he pays for his flights?
Is it on miles? How is it possible? He flies First every week. At least 100K miles
needed every week. Explain it please.
Maybe he was enthuse and really excited when he was 19 and new.
But now he is clearly coming out as snobbish, caviar and champaign expert dude.
Not buying the explanation by Randy.
And please cut those repetitive blogs, they are garbage and you know it.
All you want is the affiliate links. Not cool
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Old Jan 4, 15, 6:41 pm
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Originally Posted by freeloader View Post
I lost a lot of respect for Ben after the united airlines incident. Highly unethical, and somewhat disingenuous how he glosses over it
Now, I know it's bad etiquette to talk about posters, but I am genuinely curious about what the UA incident is.

If I had to guess he gets a lot of points from referrals and MS (though he claims not to do it ) And yes it's curious how he can spend so many miles in one year (almost 100K/week in flights and how many more for hotels) and how much he spend on travel, as I believe he's flown two roundtrips from LHR-USA in AA F since the Etihad inaugural.
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Old Jan 4, 15, 6:47 pm
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Originally Posted by freeloader View Post
I lost a lot of respect for Ben after the united airlines incident. Highly unethical, and somewhat disingenuous how he glosses over it
+1. He was "lucky" UAL didn't pursue legal actions against hm.
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Old Jan 4, 15, 7:07 pm
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Originally Posted by tng11 View Post
And yes it's curious how he can spend so many miles in one year (almost 100K/week in flights and how many more for hotels) and how much he spend on travel, as I believe he's flown two roundtrips from LHR-USA in AA F since the Etihad inaugural.
Those were the BA ex-LHR sale, also valid for AA flights. 1000 r/t in business, upgraded to First with AA systemwide upgrades. Combined with a promo, where three roundtrips in C/F gave 125 000 bonus miles in addition to the base miles + 100% elite bonus.
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Old Jan 4, 15, 7:16 pm
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Originally Posted by Big_Foot View Post
How about being fully honest about how he pays for his flights?
Is it on miles? How is it possible? He flies First every week. At least 100K miles
needed every week. Explain it please.
Maybe he was enthuse and really excited when he was 19 and new.
But now he is clearly coming out as snobbish, caviar and champaign expert dude.
Not buying the explanation by Randy.
And please cut those repetitive blogs, they are garbage and you know it.
All you want is the affiliate links. Not cool
He posted this information:
http://onemileatatime.boardingarea.c...les-earn-2013/

Seems like he has his family involved. He is buying/sharing miles with family member accounts to obtain US Air miles and having his family members sign up for cards that he can no longer churn. Though, I could swear he was heavy into buying LifeMiles to fly first class on Lufthansa around that time.

Not sure how much money he spends annually in purchasing miles and paying for mileage runs in order to purchase the award trips to get content. He would have had a great deal of traffic to his page if he purchased the ticket for Etihad's "The Residence" inaugural trip. I can't imagine having to keep track of things as far as business expense, but somehow he manages to obtain the miles to fly in order to produce content. I'm sure that some of these practices to obtain points/miles are not sustainable in the long term.
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Old Jan 4, 15, 7:25 pm
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He is also foregoing paying apartment rent for the year. By my narrow estimation, this would be a savings of over $20,000 per year to apply to hotels, airfare, whatever.

Hmm ..
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Old Jan 4, 15, 8:29 pm
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Originally Posted by SansSerif View Post
When did we make the jump to Ben "sneering" at people? Is this still in reference to the ouch on Delta quote?

If so, there are a variety of interpretations for this one line comment. I, for one, saw this as a general comment on how painful it must be to spend that much time in an airplane, first class or not, paid or not, work-related or not.

It seems that some readers have taken the most negative interpretation possible and started running with it.

Edit

I reread the quote, and I'll admit it may not be as innocuous as I originally thought. But still not worth blowing up, IMO.
Really? A guy who spends tons of time on airplanes, bragging about the irrational routings he takes so he can fly first class all over the world and complaining when he isn't recognized by name, has sympathy because someone else spends too much time on planes? His "scary" comment was a slam at the person who spent the money, not at Delta itself.
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Old Jan 4, 15, 9:02 pm
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Originally Posted by Randy Petersen View Post
On most days, Ben is the single most read individual in the frequent flyer space, more read than any single post/thread on FlyerTalk or other travel community. This is because he has content that is readable and enjoyable, not arguable.
The movie Twilight, Justin Bieber, the Kardashians, and People magazine are very popular, too. Popularity and quality aren't always the same. OMAAT used to be different, and I used to be a fairly regular reader, but it's not the same anymore.

Originally Posted by tng11 View Post
Now, I know it's bad etiquette to talk about posters, but I am genuinely curious about what the UA incident is.
http://milepoint.com/forums/threads/.../#post-1548220

Originally Posted by lwildernorva View Post
Really? A guy who spends tons of time on airplanes, bragging about the irrational routings he takes so he can fly first class all over the world and complaining when he isn't recognized by name, has sympathy because someone else spends too much time on planes? His "scary" comment was a slam at the person who spent the money, not at Delta itself.
Agreed. It was pretty clear the intent, particularly after his clarification in comments that expanded the disdain to all domestic airlines. No, it's not Watergate, but it was a snarky and condescending headline & comment.
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Old Jan 4, 15, 10:10 pm
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I never imagined that I'd find myself in a position to defend OMAT and other popular BA bloggers. In the quantity vs. quality debate, I prefer the latter. I also abhor click bait titles and listicles, though I see the benefits of both. I too crave original content over the same Cadillac/inconsequential "deal" articles reblogged into eternity.

And yet, here I am, defending OMAT and company.

On the issue of Ben not having a "real" job and making a living off writing (perhaps pretentious) reviews of first class cabins:

Really? Shouldn't we be applauding someone who's been able to build up the brand and audience necessary to siphon a real income off blogging and traveling the world? Regardless of whether you think that's ideal or respectable or ethical, wouldn't you at least admit that's rare?

What is a "real" job anyways? A mindless 9-5 endeavor where you work 100% of the time to create exactly nothing at the end of the day? Or some 8-4am Wall-street hellhole that we now practically expect the best and brightest of our youth to slave through only to escape to some obligatory MBA program down the road?

It seems that many OMAT critics look down on capitalizing on the opportunity (through annoying referral links, banner ads, or otherwise) to make a living off a personal passion. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

Sure, it might be foolish to assume that Ben and others can continue doing this forever. After all, every entrepreneurial venture has a finite lifecycle - we can't all be 3M, especially when what we are "creating" is as superfluous as blogposts.

But given what I've read online, credit card affiliate relationships can be quite lucrative, and I fully expect the most popular and savvy travel bloggers to save up this excess revenue for a rainy day - or perhaps even a future venture.

On the issue of "unethically" taking advantage of airline loopholes:

84fiero, thank you for linking me to the UA incident. I didn't know about it, and I'll agree that it goes against the grain of what's viewed as an "acceptable" use of airline certificates. In my current and limited understanding, Ben re-used e-certificates for upgrades on United Airlines.

But my first reaction wasn't disdain or to crucify Ben for what may very well have been an unethical practice.

My first reaction was pride. I was proud that someone had figured out how to "game" the system in his or her favor. That's what these "miles and points" blogs are for, right? I wish I could say that I wouldn't have done the very same thing given his position - but I probably would have. I don't know what that says about my personal values and whatnot, but there you go.

My second reaction was disgust - not for Ben, but for United Airlines. How does a Fortune 100 company, in this day and age, not have the sufficient IT infrastructure to detect and proactively prevent this kind of behavior? It's shameful that a company that serves so many customers every single day not see this gaping loophole until such an incident comes to light on the blogosphere.

In fact, United Airlines should be thanking Ben for drawing attention to the issue. Many companies pay "consultants" to attempt to hack their system and pinpoint the weakness.

On the issue of "tone" and quality of writing:

As far as OMAT goes, I'll defer to the critics on this one. Someone mentioned Kim Kardashian and other celebrity figures as a means of comparison - and I'd say that's a fair assessment (in the very limited scope of frequent flyer blogging).

I'm not a fan of references to Fifty Shades of Grey, etc. to further writing. And it's not a style I'd employ myself.

But I, perhaps generously, assume that this appeals to some audience out there. And for that reason, I assume that this audience will continue to subscribe to OMAT, et al. And for that reason, I understand why the incessant pop culture references and controversial tone are a good thing.

Last edited by SansSerif; Jan 4, 15 at 10:39 pm
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Old Jan 5, 15, 9:11 pm
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[QUOTE=SansSerif;24102311]

On the issue of "unethically" taking advantage of airline loopholes:

84fiero, thank you for linking me to the UA incident. I didn't know about it, and I'll agree that it goes against the grain of what's viewed as an "acceptable" use of airline certificates. In my current and limited understanding, Ben re-used e-certificates for upgrades on United Airlines.

But my first reaction wasn't disdain or to crucify Ben for what may very well have been an unethical practice.

My first reaction was pride. I was proud that someone had figured out how to "game" the system in his or her favor. That's what these "miles and points" blogs are for, right? I wish I could say that I wouldn't have done the very same thing given his position - but I probably would have. I don't know what that says about my personal values and whatnot, but there you go.

QUOTE]


The e certs he used over and over again were not for upgrades they were for dollars off of fares. In the old days UAL routinely gave 100.00's off e certs for minor complaints. These were meant for one time use, obviously.
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Old Jan 5, 15, 9:30 pm
  #44
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Originally Posted by eponymous_coward View Post
I'd say much of this forum you're ambassador for is sad, then. The number of threads that go off into "I don't like this blogger's lifestyle because of reasons so I'll be snarky"... well, it's a leitmotif here.
Although sometimes they lapse into passive aggression, folks here tend to be pretty blunt.

Bens tone in the quoted comments were very passive aggressive which comes off as defensive. I spend money or miles for first on short flights too. And I am very comfortable with doing so because it's worth it to me. Yes, even on 'scary' US carriers! I feel no need to be defensive or sarcastic about how many miles or how much money I have. Neither should ben.

As for Bens UA ban, I thougt that he was re-using cash e-certs, not upgrade e-certs. Either way it's fraud (and there is really nothing clever about fraud) but IF it was upgrade certs rather than cash certs then the fraud does seems slightly less serious. ETA, looks like crusr confirms it was the more serious cash fraud.
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Old Jan 6, 15, 1:40 pm
  #45
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A thread to talk about random OMMAAT stuff.

I started a 'random VFTW stuff' thread inspired by Gary's PJ selfies, and Looking for that archived photo of Gary in PJs I realized that Ben has a bit of an obsession over airline PJs too...if in a different direction.

He doesn't like it when people change into PJs in the cabin:



But then he did it himself: http://onemileatatime.boardingarea.c...or-great-idea/ (Sorry...no photos of that.)

Between the two of them they have done a GREAT DEAL of airline PJ analysis.

Thing is, not only have I never used airline PJs (at least not on the airplane), I have never seen anyone else do it either. Except in blogs, that is.
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