Why I Did Not Report on the Big Airfare Mistake of This Weekend

“Can not understand why (most) my fellow bloggers are not YELLING about this one”, René posted at Delta Points yesterday about the airfare mistake from certain cities in the United States to places in Africa and the Middle East — such as Nairobi and Muscat, for example — which have priced as low as less than $200.00 per round-trip ticket for a seat in the economy class cabin on aircraft operated by Delta Air Lines and KLM Royal Dutch Airlines.

Here are three of the reasons why I chose not to report on it:


Also, keep in mind that if you are earning SkyMiles for these trips in 2015, you will only earn them on what you spent — excluding taxes and fees — due to the new system of earning SkyMiles based on revenue instead of miles flown as a passenger. If you have earned Diamond Medallion elite level status on a ticket which is $200.00 excluding taxes and fees at 11 SkyMiles per dollar spent, you will only earn 2,200 SkyMiles despite traveling greater than 16,000 miles; but if you are looking to acquire Medallion Qualification Miles towards future elite level status, you will earn greater than 16,000 of them.

An argument could be raised that perhaps I should report on airfare “mistakes” so that you can be alerted about it and take advantage of it — an argument with which I certainly do not disagree; but it can cause a dilemma for “bloggers” in terms of serving their readership. I do occasionally post on what could be considered great deals; and sure, I can get a lot of traffic and further increase readership significantly by plastering a headline bellowing that you take advantage of this unbelievable mistake airfare before it disappears…

…and there are even some people who would say “hey, this is your ‘blog’ and you should write about whatever you want”, which is true…

…but I value your opinions, thoughts and comments; so what do you think? Was I wrong for not posting — excuse me….YELLING — about this airfare “mistake”?

  1. Sad to say I actually read Delta Points when Rene first launched it… Easily the worst blog on boardingarea…

    As for announcing mistake fares – nah. Let the people who put in the time sifting through flyertalk reap the benefits

  2. I read about it two days ago but didn’t jumped on taking advantage of the deal. I prefer to book flights directly with the airline. Since this was only through wideroe, I didn’t bother.

    As for you not posting about it, it’s totally ok. It’s your choice. This is your blog after all!

  3. I appreciate you not posting it. It increases your validity as a blogger. ‘Bloggers’ like Rene have no problem stealing off of FlyerTalk to give themselves readership and revenue, which I find to be very poor. What astounds me more is that Randy Peterson, who supposedly is looking out for all frequent fliers, encourages this behavior.

    1. I personally would not accuse René of “stealing” information, Tyler.

      For years, the sole purpose of The Gate was to post content found on FlyerTalk; and Internet Brands — the company which currently owns FlyerTalk and with whose employees and management I still keep in contact — has no issue with content being posted here at The Gate, as I often link back to FlyerTalk, which helps to drive some traffic there.

      In my opinion, weblogs help to summarize the information found on Internet bulletin boards such as FlyerTalk and Milepoint without having you wade through all of the ”chaff.” In this case, René posted a link back to the pertinent discussion on FlyerTalk; and I would not be surprised if many people found out about the most recent airfare “mistake” because of Delta Points.

      In other words, weblogs usually present the information in a concise and succinct format to help prevent you from wasting your time; but then also provide a link to the original source if you want more information or want to be a part of the discussion. “Bloggers” do the searching for you; you decide whether it is worth your time to get more details and information.

      Thank you for your comments, Tyler. I appreciate them.

      1. I agree with Brian. Rene posts DL mileage runs all the time and does the legwork to find most of them. I respect that he continues to try to bring DL flyers the most current news, regardless of source. He also always acknowledges his source and is major contributer on the DL boards.

      2. What’s the point of flyer talk then? It distorts the purpose- a RECIPROCAL community of frequent fliers helping each other out. What’s reciprocal about blogs just stealing the best details? Find your own and stop taking the easy route and you’ll gain 100x more respect. But sadly most ba bloggers can’t find their own deals

  4. @Tyler – Why do you say Randy Petersen encourages this behavior?

    Randy does not exercise editorial control over any BoardingArea bloggers.

  5. Hi Rick,

    Randy helped Rene establish the Mileage Run blog, knowing full well that a good portion of the deals would come from MR Deals on FT.

  6. Brian,

    Whether you choose to post or not post a deal is obviously your prerogative. That being said, I’ve been wondering lately what exactly is the purpose of many of the blogs on BoardingArea. You say:

    ” a dilemma for “bloggers” in terms of serving their readership”
    and quite frankly I have a very hard time lately finding any bloggers who are “Serving their readership” and instead what I find is an almost exclusively self-serving enterprise which purports only to share out anything that can readily be found anywhere (in other words, provide nothing of value) while aggressively pushing their credit card application links.

    The ridiculousness of this self-serving blogging approach is best exemplified by the barrage of posts regarding the death of the loyal3 deal and the recent death of of many LifeMiles deals as well. All the information came out immediately after the deals were no longer working and thus providing absolutely nothing of value to the “readership” you claim to serve.

    I used to apply for credit cards using the links from the BoardingArea bloggers. To me it was a sort of tacit understanding, the bloggers provided some useful information in exchange for the benefits reaped by having large audiences visit their websites, click their links, etc. For several months now, however, I find myself purposely going out my way to not click on any of the links provided on BoardingArea simply because I feel most of you guys have absolutely nothing new to offer and instead keep all the best deals, offers, opportunities, etc all for yourselves.

    (I should add that this is not a particular jab at you; I think I’ve only visited your blog a few times in the past couple of weeks and I had honestly never even heard of it before last month).

    I know you guys need to strike a balance between “sharing too much” or “sharing nothing at all”… lately, however, I find that almost all of the BoardingArea bloggers are nothing more than credit card peddlers who no longer have anything of value to offer. You guys want to have your cake and eat too, and like I said at the beginning, that’s your prerogative. However, It might be time for you guys to stop deluding yourselves into believing that you are “serving your readership”. The “not kill the deal” approach helps nobody else but yourself.

    1. I agree 1,000,000%!!! BoardingArea has expanded so rapidly lately that almost none of the blogs offer any content of value anymore. The blogs are all going for the lowest hanging fruit of finding newbies who don’t know any better who will click any credit card affiliate link. It used to be that bloggers would try to engender loyalty from their readers by offering interesting and useful content and would be rewarded by their readers clicking on links. Now it seems like every blogger here has sunk to the lowest common denominator by trying to get as many clicks as possible without putting in the work of offering interesting or unique content.

      The person really to blame for all of this is Randy Petersen. BoardingArea and now Prior2Boarding have expanded so rapidly that it seems like anyone can get a blog these days as long as they are able to get enough traffic. Randy should not exercise editorial control over blogs, but there should be minimum standards for offering unique content.

    2. Thank you for sharing your thoughts, Bill.

      Speaking for myself and not for any other weblog author, the premise to me is simple: without the readership, I am basically just writing a diary.

      For years, I have shared information with fellow frequent fliers at both FlyerTalk and Milepoint; as well as served as a moderator on FlyerTalk for years. To this day, I continue to do both. The main reason why I volunteered to become a moderator years ago is to give back to the community.

      For me, The Gate is another way to serve the readership and share information, as there seem to be plenty of readers with whom I would otherwise not interact — at least directly — on FlyerTalk or Milepoint.

      To be frank, I like the idea of giving back to the frequent flier community as much as possible from which I benefited — which The Gate helps me do — but writing for The Gate gives me some income which allows me to attempt to give more time to the frequent flier community and travel more to write trip reports which I hope would be useful to you and other readers of The Gate.

      Trip reports are so time consuming for me to write that I have only posted one on FlyerTalk; and I am embarrassed to say that it is still unfinished even though it was posted years before there was The Gate or even a BoardingArea. The Gate allows me to take more time to post trip reports, complete with photographs; so I am not “replacing” what I still do on FlyerTalk and Milepoint with The Gate.

      I have attempted to be transparent in the greater than eight years since The Gate was launched; and I have been writing for it since its launch. I have never pretended to be altruistic about the purpose for authoring The Gate; but part of the reason — for me, anyway — truly is to help serve you and members of the frequent flier community in general…

      …and you are always welcome to give me suggestions on what topics you would like to see covered here at The Gate, Bill.

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