Following the #BAcon14 hashtag on Twitter was an inspiration for this post. This is intended to be satire. Any injuries inflicted from laughter (or anger, it depends I guess) are solely your responsibility. For the love of
God Chase, just don’t hurt yourself please!
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First, a few housekeeping things.
Boarding Area invited many of their bloggers to Las Vegas for a conference named BAcon14 (as in Boarding Area conference, get it?). For the record, I don’t eat bacon as it is incredibly fattening and prefer to keep up with my physique and just plain sexiness by going to the gym every day instead of pumping close to 200 blog posts per month. But hey, we are all different!
BA bloggers got a free 2 night hotel stay AND $250 per person (up to two with +1 going!) credit for the flight costs. Lunch one day and some booze provided. Now, JUST because of that treatment…I momentarily thought of applying myself but I don’t expect an invitation anytime soon, especially after this “job” lol.
I have certain biases. Among the incredibly strong distaste for pumping/selling stuff (especially financial products to EVERYONE), I admit the following:
I don’t like herds. They remind me of cults. When something gets too popular and so much BS starts floating I get a little apprehensive, cautious and sometimes cranky. It’s a personal flaw I guess and it’s all mine. We are all different.
Don’t expect to hear a bad thing about another BA blog from a BA blogger. Even though privately they tell me “things” that will make your head spin and make me look like a saint. Anger is everywhere, just not in conferences where the bonding happens and you start to feel like….it’s family or something lol.
I love Twitter which is awesome (and can be a great time waster, you have been warned!). It is, among many things, an awesome way to follow the happenings at a conference by following the # hashtag. So after watching all the tweets come my way I picked out the 10 “Best” and added my always colorful commentary. Main blog mission is to entertain (see imaginary huge red arrow pointing to the TBB Blog Mission above!). We encourage others to make fun of us because we deserve it and keeps us humble and ego suppressed!
All exclamation marks have been added for dramatic effect and to shamelessly copy some other bloggers’ practices. Actually that was a joke too lol.
@ranflyer: Hey @delta looking good as a sponsor of #BACON14
Well, you know how much I “love” Delta. Out of all the airlines you pick the one with the most atrocious loyalty program? I guess they must have paid more than the others. This was one of the first tweets…not a good start let me tell you 😉
@billietravels: 40 minutes into #bacon14 and it’s already my favorite blogger conference ever. Plane cupcakes! Happy bday @ranflyer
Darren was the FIRST blogger who gave me positive feedback on my blog in person. I never forgot that. Thank you Darren, you are missed man! He could have pumped credit cards but he chose not to. Just a gentle soul with a genuine passion for flying!
That looks nice. So, free weekend in Vegas and even more swag! This is where the First2Board bloggers get more jealous. The Saverocity bloggers shrug their shoulders and go “Pfft!”
I could not believe my eyes! First, what is Drew of TravelisFree doing there? Second, why is he holding a Mommy Points badge? Third, please tell us you were on drugs that night? Is there any other logical explanation? The TBB List committee is taking notes! Can’t believe what I am seeing….had to rub my eyes repeatedly. Is TIF about to be converted too? Will this make me the lone wolf? ( I like it, deep down I am a misanthrope lol).
Holy cow, put down that burger and the Coke! At least in Chicago there is someone who “always” brings fresh apples 🙂 I have a confession: Even when I smoked weed in college I never smiled like that, WTF! Full disclosure: I inhaled! And I enjoyed it every time. Except that one time…I will find you one day Willie D. and you will pay for it!
@Elena_Nikolovaa:The titans are out @garyleff @OneMileataTime @MilMileSecrets @BoardingArea @ranflyer #bacon14
The titans? Still laughing about that. At least they were not called the gladiators! And why is MMS even speaking there? If you wanted proof the other two want to legendarily pump like MMS, this is your proof. For the record, these three blogs are in my Ignore list. Just way too damn selling going on. Randy does not count for obvious reasons 🙂
@FlyDine: CAN YOU FEEL THE POWER? That’s @ranflyer @OneMileataTime @garyleff @MilMileSecrets #BAcon14
After falling of my chair, doing another ice bucketing job on my self to calm me down….I am now barely typing this…”Million Mile Secrets is presenting to the Boarding Area bloggers on how to not be a bore and telling them you can not bore people into buying your
product credit cards.” Exsqueeze me but I call BS on this! Yes you CAN….bore them to oblivion and pummel them to death every freaking day and appeal to their ignorance! Unbelievable! After this….I don’t think I will ever be invited. I will miss the free trips and swag and definitely not the calorie bombs lol. Click my Amazon link, MAKE A STATEMENT….woohoo! Still can not believe this slide, thank you Muslim Travel Girl, I love you! I can help sell your book, what’s the commission? Just kidding about that commission part. Seriously, thank you!
@Elena_Nikolovaa: I love @MilMileSecrets presentation #bacon14. So humble and inspiring great tips &love the quotes! Thank you
@ranflyer: The most inspirational blogger for road warriors: @OneMileataTime #BACON14
I quit my corporate life years ago because I just could not stand the BS. Sadly I still can’t escape it damnit! I so hope true road warriors have a better perspective on life than this one. I can’t wait for next credit card post, yipppeeeeee! Shaking my head…One tip to other bloggers: His blog has awesome pics, imitate THAT!
Naturally, in a classic Boarding Area move, there were 12 items chosen to appear here and not just 10 #misleadingheadlines #clickbait
This is satire. If you are upset see a therapist!
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@Kenny, First? wtf? You have just read the Mona Lisa of blog post by TBB, he worked harder on that than Michelangelo and his painting of the Sistine Chaple……. and all you have to say is First? C’mon Man!
Never in a million years I would associate TBB with them!
All I am trying to do is not to be a bore 🙂
So, Kenny, whoever is first buys me coffee, gotcha! #winning
Coffee is the one thing that always makes bacon better! OK, I cheated and commented before reading the post. I agree, great post George!
William Charles says
@Doc Second? wtf? You have just read the Mona Lisa of blog post by TBB, he worked harder on that than Michelangelo and his painting of the Sistine Chaple……. and all you have to say is Second? C’mon Man!
Gracias…must be the excitement of medaling!
I have no idea where to start. No idea. Ummmm.
giggles. hee. hee hee. ha. HAHAHAHAHAHAHA.
mmmmmkay. I have no idea what to say about Plucky.
Gleff looks like exactly I’d thought he’d look like. We would Not be friends.
What’s the deal with the empty seats?? Couldn’t they’d just have emailed each other or Skyped the whole thing??
In-n-Out burger??? I call shenanigans! That’s NOT how the Vendome crowd does Vegas!
The Good Wife was excellent, as usual. It’s about damn time Cary Argos got his storyline. 🙂
Wait. My bad. Third! 🙂
In-N-Out is a thing with these people. Hell, you should see the limos they arrange to go to the Sepulveda location to plane-spot at LAX.
Those bacon hashtags and tweets were annoying. Boarding area is good at talking about themselves. Not so good at blogging.
also, randy the godfather of sellouts peterson gets way too much credit. made a lot of money. so what?
Is that Randy? And here I thought BA had hired a clown to MC and chaperone.
That there is funny! Kind of like a Ronald McMoney and instead of golden arches, golden dollar signs.
You couldn’t find a room full of bigger DBs if you tried. And seeing Drew there isn’t a surprise – being “broke” all the time isn’t particularly fun – you knew he was lured to the Dark Side when he blogged about Cathay First. Expect to see more pimping all around. Pathetic.
Form other fb/blog posts its seems the invited luminaries are not very amused about the accommodations at the Delano either 😉
Weird they went to an in and out when there is a five guys at equal distance 🙂
In and out much much much better than 5 guys
Jetsetter's Homestead says
I think there is a “that’s what she said” joke in there somewhere.
So, a few things….
I wish you had concentrated on how much this all cost to put on. From handing out $250 travel vouchers to rentals and food it makes a good picture of how much money is being made over at boreding area (intentional) by preying on marks. Sorry I’m not interested in gossip or making fun of people’s looks.
I’ll withhold judgement on Drew. How soon folks can forget what a great month of posts he’s done, with little to no pimping like the BA crowd. If he does, in fact, turn to the dark side THEN he’ll lose my support, but I don’t fully judge people by the business company they keep.
I think you should take up both bacon and road biking. Just a hard hour of riding burns enough calories for bacon and then some. It also ramps up your metabolism so you burn even more “at rest”. Or try skate-skiing this winter. People just don’t go hard and it’s to their detriment.
Andrew C says
I understand how much money the pushers make and where it comes from, but I had no idea that BA was pulling in such big revenue. I mean, what is the business model there – doesn’t Randy just get a cut of the display ads for all the hosted blogs? Hard to believe that alone is bringing in such big bucks to put this on! And surely MilePoint and InsideFlyer aren’t cashcows!
Week started with new bus driver being way early and daughter missing the bus. Which meant I had to drive her. So…already behind!
I apologize I can’t respond individually to every single comment this time. Doing this #BAcon 14 post was not in the works until I felt inspired by the Detroit Lions victory over the Packers or….maybe it was that slide about not being a bore LOL.
Again, this was meant to be satire. If you take me too seriously that is your issue…because I certainly do NOT take myself seriously!
I absolutely have no problems on a personal level against anyone, except two. Yes I have strong biases….mostly revolving around selling/marketing/pumping non stop but I am dealing with it. Perhaps letting go here is part of my therapy? 🙂
I like Randy by the way. Great businessman, fun guy to be around, bitten forever with the entrepreneurial virus. Had a great hit with FT, looking to do another one and having fun along the way. It appears BA is making a lot of money for him. So hey, nothing wrong with that imho.
Please be gentle and kind with no name calling. It gives an excuse for a few in the Ignore list to jump up and down about the 0.2% of angry’s. Let THEM be angry pissing and moaning. Besides, I like to do that but I try to do it in an entertaining way.Or maybe I just suck and nobody laughs so the joke is on me…as TBB revenue is sure a joke LOL.
I went to that Inn and Out twice now. The second time was because there was nothing else around on a Sunday night in Oakland before our early flight back to Detroit. I do NOT get all the hoopla about this joint. I prefer Elevation Burger, the finest organic burgers! I am just not a hamburger guy and have quit eating french fries! Soda/pop too!
I mentioned what the bloggers got but forgot to to mention the number of attendees. I think tere were about 80 total? (please let me know if this number is not correct!). So, you do the math…we are talking BIG money! Hey, it must be good business. These guys are not going anywhere. Last time anyone left BA…came back! (Lufthansa Flyer!). So..I think it is a very smart thing to do for the long term. In the short term, OUCH…that’s a lot of dough!
No idea how much money BA makes, we’ll never get the full story without access to Financial Statements. And being a private company they have every right not to divulge such information. Maybe the end game is finding a deep pocket entity to buy them a la FT? I will not renew Inside Flyer…as everything is pretty much posted online.
I was just very surprised to see Drew there, I did not expect it! We shall see if he can keep up the quality of his blog.
I go hard. And don’t eat bacon! Grilled me some mean pork chops yesterday because, based on the weather guy, was supposed to be “mostly sunny”. Well, he lied. Got drenched but it was all worth it! As a matter of fact, I may leave my office (Panera) and go home to eat them 🙂
I may have another post summarizing all the “Blog Buzz” action from the weekend. It is long. I need to find a way to cure me of this blogging addiction 🙂
So…at the end of the day, I hope someone is laughing with this stuff. Sometimes I read it myself and wonder how in the hell I came up with it LOL.
You all have a great week!
thanks for the endorsement….. I think? 🙂
Couldn’t think of another example of someone leaving BA!
Stacey of VGP left when we fired up First2Board, but you’re right, there have been very few. Honestly, I think BA takes care of bloggers quite well. Financials not withstanding, the amount of tech support we get, flexibility, etc. are very impressive.
Yeah, that is what I hear. Pretty impressive I must admit. Then again, the more the blogs under the roof the better for BA’s business model. Nevertheless, the almost non existent rate of blogs leaving sure speaks volumes. Happy bloggers don’t leave…in general.
Ric Garrido says
A couple of things to share with your ‘G’ crowd that I hope settles some anger and adds some positivity and does not get more BA bloggers pissed at me.
The $250 stipend is helpful for a person like me who does not contract as a credit card marketer. I learned a lot about improving my blog through some of the workshops given by experts outside of BoardingArea and some technical experts inside BoardingArea. The stipend covered my expenses to fly to Las Vegas, but was a small rebate on the expense to attend the conference for many bloggers who traveled from more distant places.
Drew with Summer’s badge was funny when he showed up at the Saturday night ‘free booze’ session wearing it. One of the outside BA panelists in a session stated he was finally able to put faces to blog names. He commented that he had always thought Points, Miles & Martinis was written by a woman. The main guy behind that site is a man.
I was one of the first people to see Drew with Summer’s badge at the social. Drew told me she had left it in the conference room when the day’s session ended. He was wearing it to the bar to see how many people would be surprised to learn Mommy Points was actually written by a bearded man.
Drew certainly got a laugh out of me.
The real Mommy Points showed up some time later, without her name tag.
Meeting Drew and Carrie was one of the highlights of the weekend for me. Drew networked. Carrie shared stories. She seemed like a wonderful soul. They have been added to my Loyalty Traveler blog roll.
This year and last year the BAcon conference seemed as much a pitch to recruit new bloggers as a conference for existing BA bloggers.
One thing for you G which was my overall takeaway from the credit card marketing session. The easiest credit card affiliate links to get started with are opportunities to market ‘subprime’ credit cards. Do I need to share more on how that strikes me?
The super-prime credit cards are only for the top credit card marketers (aka travel bloggers) with high readership and quality readership (as defined by the affiliate marketing companies and bank issuers).
The representatives of the banks and affiliate marketing programs refer to their blogger affiliates as content marketing contractors. And when the credit card representatives were asked direct questions from bloggers who are not in affiliate marketing schemes yet, the response was always “let’s talk in private”. There is a shield that is hard to break through until you agree to be in the club. First rule of Fight Club is do not talk about Fight Club.
Finally, I did meet other BoardingArea bloggers who do not want to be part of credit card affiliate marketing programs. I had some interesting conversations about the credit card space (with bloggers outside the credit card space, since the first rule once inside the credit card club is do not talk about the credit card club).
Thanks for taking the time and we all really appreciate the feedback.
Thanks for the clarifications too! I met Drew and Carrie, wonderful couple. Hope they can keep up the quality of their blog,I was just surprised to see them there.
Subprime credit cards? I need to go get me the bucket 🙂 Yikes!
I have sensed that “Don’t talk about the Fight Club” mystique you are referring to. This whole non-transparency drives me nuts. When things are hidden you know someone is getting screwed. And it’s usually the little guy who just happened to see something about someone doing it for “free” and it looks soooooo easy!
One day I will learn more about the Fight Club or I will fold 🙂
Nice trip in Norway! Sticker shock what they pay there, wow!
Jetsetter's Homestead says
There are many bloggers in the BA group who do not have any interest in credit card affiliate programs. It was very encouraging to hear that.
To piggyback on the comment Ric made, one of my takeaways from the Barclay, et al presentation (which I admittedly used part of to catch up on my own blogging, re-caffeinate, and get a bathroom break) is that market credit cards is honestly a lot more work than I’m willing to put into something like that (assuming that I would be interested, which I’m not). It seems like they have to literally spend hours regularly going backwards and adjusting headers and footers and disclaimers and that the card companies are regularly adjusting those compliance requirements. I have a finite number of hours to work on my blog (its not my source of income) and I’d rather put those hours into the quality of my content and finding a way to reach a different set of eyeballs than the same small group of readers that everyone is already trying to target.
Speaking of those readers – my *other* big takeaway from the pump factories (oops, I mean banks) was that they are working to analyze the “profitability” of specific bloggers and they typically don’t have an idea of what an individual blogger’s referral portfolio (yes, they used the word portfolio) looks like until they get to the end of the first annual renewal cycle. Those that are pumping (oops, I mean “marketing”) to the “grab the bonus, milk the miles, ditch the card” crowd are going to have pretty crappy portfolio yields and the issuers won’t keep them on as affiliates. The other part of that is the increasing wealth of analytic data that is emerging for blogs. The issuers said they are looking for very specific customer demographics and partnering with bloggers they think can hit that demographic – but they certainly were very tight lipped about what they are looking for.
I used to work in that industry (card issuer side, fraud analyst) and I continue to watch some of this with bemusement. A lot of the MS activity looks exactly like what we would see in “run ups” to big fraud takes – get cards for self, get same cards for family, slowly build up activity over a period of time to establish history. In those fraud scenarios though the last act was the big 24-48 hour run… grab the goods, max the cards, disappear. Our typical analytic profiles on a fraud ring were anywhere from 6 to 36 months – so I still think we’ll see a lot more tightening as they can build the profiles and then tweak the algorithms to block it (whether by demographic profiles or transactional triggers).
And finally, yes… I took the piss for this from you already, but I did like MMS’s small talk. I don’t read his blog (and it’s not a business model I would emulate myself) but it was inspiring to see how he figured out a marketing and work formula that works from him. I believe in business we can learn from many places… my takeaways from what I “learned” were likely different than what others were. 😉
I did not know there was a presentation by Barlclays Bank….figures I guess.
Good point about what it takes to comply. This is why you have…staff and templates 🙂
Great info on the “portfolios”, demographics, profitability, etc. Thank you!
TBB will hurt everyone, except those who keep using our Amazon link LOL.
I just can’t believe MMS gets all the attention, that business makes me barf. Still can’t get over that slide! He ‘ll sell his mother in law for an app…On a second thought…I may too as I don’t think she ever liked me lol.
I appreciate the feedback you taking the time to post your comment here.
At the end of the day, TBB is a joke.I laugh at it all the time!
Wow. Just Wow.
I need a shower after just reading that.
Bacon and syrup: a one act.
[Scene: Interior of a gaudy hotel, in the land of swindlers, con artists, and legalized prostitution, Las Vegas.]
Enter Drew and Lucky.
Lucky: Wow. “Travel is Free,” huh?
Drew: Yeah, with a little MS, you can….
Lucky: You know how you can really travel for free? Just ask people to give you things.
Drew: But I don’t think…
Lucky: Hey everyone! I am a man of worldly tastes and refinement! Give me money so I can go eat at Le Cirque, then I’ll write all about it.
Passerby #1: Okay.
Passerby #2: Okay.
Passerby #3: My life is hollow with just my interesting job, my wonderful kids, and my loving wife, but I like living vicariously through your experiences and toilet pictures. Here’s five dollars.
Passerby #4: Well, I personally can’t afford to eat there; we’re off to IHOP. But here, have ten dollars and maybe you can fart steak and truffles at me afterward.
Lucky: Well, I do know my steak and truffles.
Not the Frugal Travel Guy Anymore: I’m so rich. Here’s the change I found between the cushions of my extremely expensive sofa. Man, am I rich!
Rene of DeltaPoints: LOL, look at Lucky go, he’s awesome, everyone give him money, at this rate I bet he’ll be eating at all Joel Rubuchon restaurants, LOL!
MMS: [writes post “There are restaurants in Vegas,” cashes check]
[A lady wearing an employee badge passes by.]
Lady: [under her breath] Wow, this is unseemly.
G. Leff: [pointing, shouting] You! Why does the Four Seasons not want its best customers to eat well?
Lady: [startled] Who, me?
G. Leff: Why does the Four Seasons disdain its best customers?
Lady: Well, technically, I work for Excalibur, but good on you for noting my badge. I’m currently off-duty.
G. Leff: Why does MGM Mirage Resorts International let its employees trash its best customers?
Lady: I don’t know why this is such a big deal.
G. Leff: Oh, I’m just a kick-down-and-kiss-up guy. You should see my eighty-part series “TSA Agents are Vulgar Plebes.” You haven’t already?
Lady: No, I haven’t. Do you have a solution for the TSA?
G. Leff: No. I just enjoy complaining about low-level employees that mildly inconvenience me. Speaking of which, haven’t you been fired yet?
[Lady walks away.]
Rene of DeltaPoints: LOL, at this rate Lucky will be eating at every Michelin-starred restaurant in town, what a good idea, give him money.
MMS: [writes blog post “Las Vegas is in Nevada,” cashes check]
Lucky: [shouting] Hey everyone! I am still short on money, and people are calling this crass and borderline unethical. Ask your friends if they will give me money.
Drew: I think I should…
Lucky: Whoops, not enough money. Thanks anyway.
Randy Peterson: Another banner year for bacon and traveling the world! Cheers!
BA Bloggers Chorus: [singing] Truly titans of travel!
MMS: [writes blog post “Here are some hotels in Las Vegas,” cashes check]
Drew: I should have stayed in Thailand.
The common man says
This comment just won the internet. Bravo, good sir. Remind me again why you aren’t blogging…
Template just inserted that to the next Gem Comment post…which, come to think, is falling behind instead of catching up!
It's me says
Brilliant. You captured these pimps perfectly.
And I agree you get the win!
Mileage Update says
good stuff. looking forward to your coverage of the underground fight club scene of Los Angeles
Will send an intern to cover that. Wish a sponsor would cover hotel/food/booze/flights hehe
Nick @ Personal Finance Digest says
You must blog at Saverocity, so typical! 🙂
Great satire piece, nice work… and Lions did have a great game yesterday.
Thanks. I think it was more the Packers sucking so bad yesterday. But we ‘ll take it!
Buzz all I can say about your post is thank you. Classic, same with the comments…………Also there is no way Gleff and DP fit into one of the booths at In and Out Burger. Bet they had Double Doubles Animal Style with family sized fries and a diet Coke.
Buzz, Just found this and I thought on your last day of blogging you should go out in style, just like this, enjoy……………………http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rYcSqIuqkz4
Thanks man. I actually tweeted that article earlier today! Classic, WOW! The reaction of the next newscaster was even more priceless!
They should have had “Legalize It” by Bob Marley playing in the background woohoo!
That MuslimTravelGirl is an embarrassment. If only her tweet were sarcasm and satire…
I disagree. She lives in the UK, new blogger, learning & genuinely excited being in Las Vegas. I just thought some of her tweets were funny so I chose them 🙂
My favorite was “the titans” 🙂
Jetsetter's Homestead says
She’s a gem… very sarcastically wicked sense of humor too. I loved hanging out with her!
Miles to Memories says
I agree. She is a really interesting person. Wish I had more time to talk with her!
Love the diversity with her presence in BA.
Excellent compilation, George, with your typical satirical comments to add. I loved this post and the comments are also very interesting.
Thank you…Messed up my Sunday! I actually have another Blog Buzz ready to go but will post late tonight…Need to find me a way to not go deeper into this insane blogging routine 🙂
Let me just throw in a few random things, as I was there.
The % of BA bloggers with card links is probably small – not small by % of page views, of course, but it is a % of bloggers. The Prior2Boarding folks generally don’t have them and of course neither do the non-US bloggers. This meant that discussion of credit cards overall was very, very slight. It absolutely was NOT a credit card pumping weekend and there would have been little point in at least 50% of us going if it had been.
Always separate the blog from the blogger. There were people whose stuff I am not crazy about who are charming people.
This was a big deal for Randy in terms of cost. I am sure that lot of the smaller bloggers will not make him enough money this year (on his cut of their ad revenue) to cover the money he spent on their (and partners) airfare contribution, hotel and food costs. And, of course, he incurred marginal costs for people like Debra, Drew and myself without asking for a cent.
Randy is an excellent moderator. I have set through far too conferences in my old professional career and I never saw one which was moderated and overseen with the enthusiasm with which Randy ran this one. The hobby is lucky to have him.
The non-blogger external speakers were generally excellent and I learnt a lot. I will definitely be making some changes to my site, mainly under the hood, based on things I picked up.
Had George come, he would (with the exception of the Barclays / Bank Rate session and Gary / Ben / Dariaus) have found the other sessions and the other people genuinely fun and educational.
Final comment – if your impression of what Ric is like is based on that moody picture of him sat on a hill top, as used in his reply above, nothing could be further from the truth!
Excellent idea – I think George should definitely attend Bacon 2015 and liveblog from the event
Would make for some great entertainment.
Randy can pick up his flight costs
Excellent commentary Raffles, thanks for taking the time!
I always aim to separate the blogs from the people! But, you know, it is so darn hard to do that when some sell the “expert” brand…you know what I mean.
No doubt that this was a big cost item! And, I think, it is probably good business too…We ‘ll likely never know…I guess.
I agree about Randy’s moderation skills and I have heard in private about the quality of some of the non blogger speakers.
I have met Ric in person twice. I always liked him. Original. He even loves the same obscure band I do! It is all about trust, do you trust what Ric says or the titans? LOL I still laugh about that term!
I have a pretty good feeling I will not be invited to #EGGS15 Steve 🙂
The Barclays presentation actually seemed pretty riveting:
“How to take a pretend argument on whether arrival points are worth 2.2222 or 2.2227 points, and milk it for weeks of useless posts”
Ric should join Saverocity. He clearly does not belong in BoardingArea.
I hope the BA ad revenue goes back to what it was so Ric can get the support he clearly deserves!
Maybe we went to different Barclay presentations. The one I went to illustrated how the Hawaiian Airlines® World Elite MasterCard® is the answer to everything.
The Hawaiian Airlines® World Elite MasterCard® can cure Ebola for sure!
Points With a Crew says
There was a time during the Barclay presentation that I REALLY REALLY REALLY wanted to crack a joke about the Hawaiian Airlines® World Elite MasterCard® but I just couldn’t make myself do it…
Lol…I bet you they will be the first card out of the gate with a true Titanium version!
I don’t think it’s rocket surgery to figure out what the banks are looking for, what their strategy is, and why certain bloggers are better at serving up customers for them.
The banks want the prototypical “keep up with the Jones”-type Great American Consumer. Those are people who “aspire”, even if they’re not wealthy, to seem to their friends that they are more wealthy than them. Take any slice of income demographic and a portion of those people, for various reasons, want to be seen by their demographic peers as farther up on the ‘social food chain’. But I think this type has a larger proportion that will stick their necks out trying to aspire and then make mistakes. Missing a payment, keeping a balance, forgetting to cancel when the annual fee comes due, or even deciding that they get enough “prestige” from their peers for having a certain card that they’ll pay the fee.
The Bank’s strategy, in this internet niche, is to find blogs that refer such people. Clearly the kinds of people I’m writing about are drawn to the aspirational blogs. They don’t want to “Travel (For) Free”, they want to pay an amount and seem “Lucky” to their peers. They want to be able to say they flew First Class, or ate caviar and drank champagne on the flight, or rubbed elbows with the real wealthy in the Vendome.
And which blogs push the Credit Cards the most? Which blogs are the Bank’s Best Friends? The same blogs that have (some more recently) ATTITUDE. You know the attitude, “I deserve to be here”, “I only drink the best champagne”, “I wasn’t fawned on enough by the help”.
(Note that MMS trawls a lower income demographic that is drawn by his down-to-earth folksy style but that demo doesn’t have as much income)
Some people, mostly the aspirational, are hypnotized by them. They’ll do ANYTHING to be part of the “in” crowd.
In closing, I’ll just use one example. One Mile At A Time, Lucky, has changed considerably in attitude over the past year or so. Many of us read his blog as beginners, I did. But the attitude changed from ‘Dang I’m Lucky to have found these loopholes!’ to ‘Hey!, Do You Know Who I Am?!, I BELONG HERE!!!’. The change has been quite striking and I’ll bet he had advice to do so and that the new attitude is paying off in even more credit card apps.
Folks, don’t be a sucker and get goaded into doing travel hacking to seem more important to your friends! Have some self-confidence dang it!
The only consolation is that eventually the surge of newbies will run its course. And people like Lucky, Leff, TPG, etc. will have to live with the assholes they’ve become.
Great points. Lucky is definitely becoming the same dbag as the other bloggers you mentioned.
Wow, DiffPaul, awesome comment, thank you for taking the time.
I agree with, well, everything pretty much!
Yeah, I have read all these guys since Day 1 and it hurts to see the two BA guys turn out like the other ones. The “turn” this year has been absolutely incredible.
Need to drive the princess to another dance class!
It's me says
Well said and as someone who use to read him faithfully, and no longer does, I agree with all your excellent points. I think his change has been the worst of any BA blogger. He went from excited kid to DYKWIA and completely obnoxious. Also, his posts have become boilerplate. LH F and FCT again! Don’t get me started on the loo pics.
So why do the BA bloggers need $250 per person for the flight costs? I thought their whole mantra was to earn miles and points and travel for free. The bloggers who don’t endlessly shove credit card links down their readers’ throats should still be able to get their own personal and business cards for miles/points.
I haven’t paid for an unreimbursed flight in over ten years. If I can’t get award tickets or if it’s otherwise not the best deal, then I will purchase or get reimbursed with Amex MR points, Capital One miles, FlexPerks, Ultimate Reward points, Barclays miles, Thank you points, etc.
Good questions. Maybe it is hard to turn down FREE? 🙂
Need to get them all under one roof, like a herd, to bond/network/learn. It is good business in the long term from the BA corporate perspective. I am guessing, no hard figures.
I have lost count how many airline credits I have with AA and Southwest as I don’t remember the last time I paid for a flight!
$250 + a free room and food? Rubbing elbows with Gary and DeltaPoints? Come on. I’ll pay Randy! Where do I sign up? I hope BA can find a place for my cute (sometimes harassing TBB) snippets. I can write about leaving my wife for a few days to party with other travel enthusiasts. Come on. No brainer.
I’m going to ask Randy to hold my spot. I’ll write on FlyingWithGrandchildren. This will take a little time since PinStripeFlyer is only a month and a day old. 😉 I think my first blog will be on flying in first with my (crying) grandson (and ignoring him the entire time). That first flight will be on the same flight with Coins.
I really want to sign up too!
Congrats on the grandson, looks great!
I am out of wine. Again. Please forgive me!
You can find the detailed agenda and list of attendees online if you are interested. BA is getting all its content for “free.”
Ron Mexico says
I like reading Gleff..i really do..but he is such a “wannabe” nerd it is painful