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Cancellation of the Freddie awards?

Cancellation of the Freddie awards?

 
Old Sep 27, 09, 10:51 am
  #1  
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Cancellation of the Freddie awards?

I read in Community that this was announced by an email, presumably to select FT members. For those of us who didn't receive the email, can you or someone provide more detail? Both a FT search and a Google search didn't find any relevant info for me.

Thanks.
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Old Sep 28, 09, 9:41 am
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like wise I heard about this from the comm buzz section

is there a thread on it?

was there an email? I don't recall it..

if it was in talk mail.. I prob missed it since I don't read it

just curious what was behind the decision
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Old Sep 28, 09, 9:46 am
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Wow news to me, I would like to know more also.
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Old Sep 28, 09, 7:41 pm
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Thanks for the interest. There was a general interest email I sent to a number of the loyalty programs as a heads up since this time of the year we typically begin to get inquiries.

I didn't post anything up here as it wasn't relative to FlyerTalk per se. But with this question, let me take a minute or two of your time to explain.

Yes, I've decided after 21 years to discontinue the Freddie Awards. And I have to admit, it's a little bit selfish. This last May I attended a meeting that some of my staff were attending. After every Freddie Award, those employees who worked on the Freddies (13 of them this past year) gather to go over the recently completed event and typically spend about 4 hours going over everything to take notes and document the adjustments we want to consider for the next year to make it even better. This was yet another great year for the Freddies with record voters (nearly 800,000), record turnout at the ceremony itself (400+) and record attendance by executives of various programs around the world. We're not an event production company and my terrific employees step out of their usual assignments to make this work year after year and I've been paternally proud.

But as I sat in the conference room, I heard the assignments of some of the employees as they were already starting work on the 2010 Freddie Awards. It dawned on me that this event had turned into nearly a year-round effort. There's a lot to it, not just the event but the voting, the technical things, etc. I mentally started to add up the number of hours that each employee might be contributing to this and it easily passed the 1,000-hour mark.

The selfish part? I've been doing this a long, long time, nearly 24 years to be exact and I've been turning some ideas around in my mind of how I need to mentor my employees in a number of projects that as a company we're really behind on. And I started to think how I was going to be able to spend the time necessary with my employees to make sure that they were prepared and set to continue on the things I had started should I start taking a few more days off than I might normally be working to spend on my ranch. I'm not retiring and have a number of years in the mileage game with me yet, but I can't just ride off in the sunset and not make sure that my employees future is set. Because the time I needed from my employees was actually on projects that were not being served well enough now, I had to identify how to create the mentoring time I felt I needed and as I counted up the hours in that Freddie Awards meeting, I thought I had identified a solution. A painful one, but nonetheless, a solution.

And in the what-if mode, a few people heard of my thoughts and expressed an interest in buying the Freddie Awards. That just did not feel right to me. It wasn't created for any reason other than to give voice to the frequent flyer -- you and the person you sat next to on your last flight or stood behind at the identified special check-in line for members at your last hotel stay. I couldn't sell that voice, it's not for sale and I just wasn't prepared to risk that future, thus a personal decision on my behalf to discontinue the Freddies after 21 years -- solely to honor a commitment to my employees that I would better prepare them for their futures.

It's been a great ride and I do hope that both the voice of the frequent flyer has been well served and that the efforts of the industry have been honored and recognized.

Last edited by Randy Petersen; Sep 29, 09 at 4:46 am
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Old Sep 29, 09, 9:34 am
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Randy...from a managment/employer point of view..kudos to you on worrying first and foremost about your employees. More should do that

From a FF point of view....I have to admit this saddens me. You claim you did it to protect our voice, but in reality you stiffled that voice. You decided because YOU didnt want to be our voice, we should have no voice at all. You did not provide us with the same "continuity plan" you are so concerned with for your employees. You should have found safe hands to put our voice in, but still let us have that voice.
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Old Sep 29, 09, 10:36 am
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I appreciate RP's update and long support for the FF community. It's times like this however when that continued support becomes viewed by some almost as an obligation or a duty to be carried out with scant consideration for the costs of time and effort required to make the event the success it's been. It reminds me of the small town councils and volunteer boards I've helped out on where the bulk of the work load is often carried by a few dedicated and capable individuals who are so good at what they do they are viewed by many as almost indespensable.

I also appreciate opting not to sell the awards as they could've become a pale imitation of the originals, always compared and criticized for not being the same. Selling them would've also brought out the boo birds so it seems there's no pleasing everyone all the time.

No, I can't fault RP for a making tough decision and think ending things on a high note is a better alternative than losing interest and letting the awards faulter and lose their lustre. I'll miss pondering my Freddie vote and the spirited discussion about nominees & winners/losers on FT but all good things come to and end. Just MHO.
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Old Sep 29, 09, 1:56 pm
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Randy,

Thank you for offering an explanation to the FT Community. I respect your decision & commend your loyalty for your employees. Sorry to see the Freddie Awards go away as they did offer the Travel Industry a voice for the FF.
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Old Sep 29, 09, 3:53 pm
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But why not continue them as awards without the ceremony? I understand all the management explanation, however the Freddies have become quite a decent name on their own, and the way that certain travel related sites have promoted them over the last 2-3 years has been amazing. Why not still have the awards, just without all the pomp and splendour. People vote, there is a deadline, and the awards are announced. These are the most credible ones out there and it seems such a shame to throw it all away.
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Old Sep 30, 09, 6:01 pm
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Sorry to hear that you had to give this up Randy. What a great, great job you folks did on this.

It's a sign of how important the Freddies have become that Travel Industry Loyalty programs these days regularly brag about the awards they receive. And attending the cermony - what fun, and an opportunity to meet some of the industry folks is a real treat. I hope and believe the community can come up with a way to keep these awards going (it may have to go under a different name and we'll have to find a way to pool sufficient resources to keep such awards and a ceremony going - believe me, it is a really significant amount of work to do this).

In the interim, maybe we can come up with an online voting system to at least have an online announcement of some awards in 2010?
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Old Sep 30, 09, 6:09 pm
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Does this mean that you won't be awarding DL the "Worst FF Program Ever" award, because of what they've done to NW?

I only attended on Freddie ceremony in Phoenix, but did enjoy it quite a bit, and know that it really takes a lot of effort to do it.

Honestly, if it's time and money that are the issue, I would have moved it to an online version only. Vote online, announce online, etc. This way the award stay around, but the overhead an much of the huge amount of work that would go into it, would be reduced.
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Old Sep 30, 09, 7:39 pm
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Originally Posted by Jaimito Cartero View Post
Does this mean that you won't be awarding DL the "Worst FF Program Ever" award, because of what they've done to NW? .
Yea, I'm going to miss the opportunity to vote for them. (Of course I'm still taking the abuse and haven't been able to pack my bags and leave yet.) Not sure the travel industry would prefer us to add in the Freddy Worst in Class awards.
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Old Oct 1, 09, 6:25 am
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Thanks for the info Randy. While itís sad to see the Freddies go, I totally understand where you are coming from.
Organizing priorities usually leads to painful decisions since one only has limited time and resources.
Thanks for the memories of the Freddies and good for you for thinking of your employees well being.
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Old Oct 2, 09, 2:57 pm
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Originally Posted by hfly View Post
But why not continue them as awards without the ceremony? I understand all the management explanation, however the Freddies have become quite a decent name on their own, and the way that certain travel related sites have promoted them over the last 2-3 years has been amazing. Why not still have the awards, just without all the pomp and splendour. People vote, there is a deadline, and the awards are announced. These are the most credible ones out there and it seems such a shame to throw it all away.
This makes a lot of sense to me and would likely preserve 80% of the value for 20% of the effort.
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Old Oct 2, 09, 4:29 pm
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Randy, please look at the e-mail I sent you.
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Old Oct 2, 09, 11:55 pm
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Originally Posted by RichardInSF View Post
This makes a lot of sense to me and would likely preserve 80% of the value for 20% of the effort.
Another +1 from me for hfly's idea to keep the voting. And +1 for Lehava's comments too.

In 21 years, you haven't figured out a way to streamline this operation? Start outsourcing! :P Or look locally. There are plenty of people looking for work. FT Stimulus Package!

There are people who deal with these sorts of problems all year long. I'd bet that if you talked about some of the more painful operational details that cause it to be a year-round task, FTers could help you figure out ways to improve things.
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