Following the revocation of the United 4 mile awards the crazies come out

Mistake fares are a fickle beast. There’s always an awkward period of time waiting to see if they’ll be honored or not. Even when they are not there is often a period of time after that where folks insist that the company is mistaken and that they will actually be honored. Historically that was more of an uncertainty, particularly on revenue tickets, but recent DoT actions have cleared up that aspect of things a bit recently. Still, in the case of the United 4 mile awards to Hong Kong and following the indication last night that they will not be honored at the 4 mile rate, the response has been rather bizarre, more than I’ve seen previously.

There have been the usual collection of comments suggesting that DoT complaints or lawsuits will be coming. At least one of the future litigants has indicated that they plan to file in federal court rather than at the state or local level. It is not entirely clear why they’re going that route but they are. And I have no doubt that a few DoT complaints will come out of this, though it isn’t clear what the DoT response will be from an enforcement perspective.

That’s not the crazy, though. Things like this are:


I know the print is small there so I’ll share the excerpt that I love the most, as well as a link to the original:

I appreciate your coming forward with your decision in a somewhat timely manner. Unfortunately others have already travelled for the receipted amount of 8 miles and it would be discriminatory to allow them to travel at that rate and not me. I am a senior citizen and couldn’t make arrangements that quickly to travel yesterday.

I am in hopes you will change your mind and make an offer to those that are being shortchanged and could not travel yesterday. Compromise usually provides a much better outcome than having this dragged through the DOT and the press, particularly based on other recent UA issues that did not show UA in a favorable light with consumers.

That’s right, folks. This isn’t just a mistake fare. It is discrimination against everyone who couldn’t travel the day the mistake was announced. And that apparently applies to senior citizens who cannot get to the airport fast enough. This comment is coming from a quite well known personality, one who has made quite a bit of money providing advice to frequent flyers, trying to help them better their travel experiences. Sad, really.

Other crazy theories have also come out in the aftermath. One has the glitch set up as a purposefully malicious bit of code:

I think somebody in IT might have deliberately screwed this up with United ‘by adding a divider to the equation’, but who knows?

I do love this part of the mistake fare lifecycle. If nothing else it is great to have a bunch of non-lawyers citing contract law and stating definitively how things will be decided based on absolutely no real experience. Then again, it always makes me rather embarrassed to realize that I am associated with these communities when I see things like this. It is no wonder that the airlines have been reducing their participation over time.

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Seth Miller

I'm Seth, also known as the Wandering Aramean. I was bit by the travel bug 30 years ago and there's no sign of a cure. I fly ~200,000 miles annually; these are my stories. You can connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.


  1. I love, *love* how he uses the “I’m a senior citizen” card and throws in the word discrimination for good measure. I think UA should have a fare sale for November and I’ll say “I’m a teacher so I can’t fly in November. Ergo, discrimination”

  2. At least now more people will be able to see that Rick (Frugal Travel Guy) is a bona fide douche.

  3. Ouch. Well put Seth…. despite how other people behave you seem to be taking the high road in UA’s decision.

  4. I was late to the party on this one, but I tried like hell to get in on it. At the same time I realized there was little possibility of it being honored. The award chart showed the correct mileage as did the part where u choose the flights. The only thing showing incorrectly was the total. I don’t think the airline should have to honor something like this.

  5. As CMD said above, the award chart showed the correct pricing while the billing portion was in error. The screechers are beating the united has to honor pricing errors drum, but I have not heard of anyone either seeing or taking a screenshot of the award chart showing a PRICING of 4 miles. Only the billing.

  6. Scott
    13 mins ago
    At least now more people will be able to see that Rick (Frugal Travel Guy) is a bona fide douche.
    Obw- nobody has already travelled on this “fare”

  7. I agree with James that teacher should get a break as well, and nurses and anybody but politicians or those that drink Pepsi products.

    Seth, get a life and lighten up. Why not write about the real issue. And BTW, thanks for the mention. It always increases readership, not much mind you.

  8. Also nice to read one blog that isn’t “reminding” me perpetually that the Chase BA card about to end!!

  9. What’s crazy is that these delusional folks demand that UA compensates them for their “loyalty.” As if it was customer loyalty that drove them to book these tickets on UA.

  10. >>At least one of the future litigants has indicated that they plan to file in federal court rather than at the state or local level. It is not entirely clear why they’re going that route but they are.<<

    Filing at the "state or local level" would be a complete waste of time and money. If it's a federal law that's in question–and if they're going to cite DOT regulations and/or federal anti-discrimination claims then it is a federal question–the first thing United would do is have the case removed to federal court. You'd just be out the time and money spent on filing in state court, and the case would end up in federal court anyway.

    The discrimination claim is pretty funny. Anyone over 40 is protected against age-based discrimination under federal law. It is, however, a pretty big stretch to assert that the reason FTG couldn't travel within a day of booking is that he's over 40, and that United has acted in any way that would have led to some age-based discrimination. I'm under 40, and even if I were interested in mistake fares/awards, I certainly couldn't have traveled on Sunday because of other obligations. Quite frankly, if I were 70 and retired, travel on that short notice would be MUCH easier than as someone who is in his 30s and working full-time.

    The saying goes: You can always sue for whatever you want. You just can't always win.

  11. Frequent Miler: Seth was not invited to speak at the Chicago seminars but you were for your positive contributions to the space.

    I’m interested to see if Seth or any of his readers would comment on their reaction to my compromise suggestion in post 315. That could be worthwhile information.

  12. I guess I fit in the wacko camp somewhat in that case. Rick I think you have to agree that pulling the age discrimination card was a bit of a joke. I can only hope/assume you were joking at least in part.

    But back to the point in hand, I don’t feel I “deserve” the ticket and it was I would say a mistake. But as they say all is fair in love and war, and personally I have no skin in the game with United. I never fly them. I do think the Smisek guy is a Grade A a*hole based on what I have seen about how he runs the company. And airlines are exceptionally non-consumer friendly across the board with their convoluted and opaque pricing structures (and I don’t need to hear how it’s a complex industry…. others are complex too and they manage to figure them out). So once in a while when there is a shot at getting a pound of flesh back, I am happy to take a stab at it.

    What I plan to do is stick to the simple facts. I am not a lawyer but do work in an area where I am constantly dealing with complex litigation and so I think I have a good sense of what approaches may work and which have no chance. For starters saying “that guy got one so I want one” will not fly with anyone. And then adding a discrimination clause will only make you laughed at more be it by a regulator such as DOT or even more the courts.

    What I do believe will stand some chance of working is the e-ticket and the receipt. In my case the e-ticket clearly shows that the price is 16 miles and $162. Whether that is a mistake or not may or may not be relevant but I do know I have a very clear contract from United showing that. And as of today – two days later – it has not been cancelled. This bit I really don’t understand. Given the apparent legal requirement to allow consumer to cancel within 24 hours, I would have thought United would have done the same. As it stands I can’t see it hindering my case at all that United failed to act quickly upon realizing their error. The next one is the receipt which again shows $162 in taxes but does not mention miles but has a mileage award “code” that begins with 16, again indicating that 16 miles is was the cost.

    These two facts will be the basis of my DOT complaint. Let’s see where it goes after that. In fact I will only complain once they either try to cancel or do something like create a negative balance. Once they act, that is when I will go into action.

    In terms of litigation, that is unlikely especially given the presence of the DOT. In general I actually do not like the litigious nature of the US legal system but the fact is with very little regulation in any industry of anything substantive it is generally the only form of useful recourse anyone has. And Seth given your experience with British Airways you can hardly call the rest of us whackos. As far as I am concerned there is no difference between a 4 miles and $40 taxes mistake fare than say a $16 first class fare from RGN. The BIG question is will DOT think the same. If they do, we win big. If not we lose nothing. Anyone giving up at this stage gives up their lottery ticket though

  13. Frugal Travel Guy wrote that? I knew there was something I didn’t like about him. Now I don’t feel bad not reading his blog.

  14. Im so glad this error happened. Now I know whos blog to read and use referrals from.

  15. Autolycus, Congrats, the first to see the humor in my earlier post. People get so uptight over miles and points:)

    And if you read the post I was not discriminated on based on age. I was discriminated because some got. to fly it, and to date I won’t .

  16. Seth/Rick – I’d suggest you both put the handbags down it does not become either of you.

    As for your suggestion in post 315, I still think to my very analytic mind it is – and pardon the phrase it is not meant as a personal attack – mumbo jumbo. I appreciate the nice guy approach, thinking about what might motivate the carrier etc, but it is pretty clear to me United will want to give away nothing and any compromise will harm that stance. So stick to the facts, and use the tools of recourse you have at your disposal: DOT and if a competent lawyer who understands contract and airline ticketing law well represents you, litigate

  17. Wow. I mean, can’t we all just get along?

    I’m new-ish to the whole miler thing and have never (yet) used a mistake fare (although I would have gotten in on the RGN fare if I’d been faster). Honestly, if someone were giving out free trips to Asia I’d probably put my name on the list. But I wouldn’t complain if it weren’t honored (at least, in such a glaringly obvious case like this).

    Also, people should be aware that, according the Mileage Plus terms someone posted on Milepoint last night (NOT someone from United), even booking this fare knowing that it would result in a loss to United is grounds for their closing your FF account and confiscating any miles in.

    If loyalty is a two way street, no one who knowing tried to get a free ride to Asia from United due to United’s mistake should really expect to see any loyalty back from the airline.

  18. Thanks Phil I appreciate your comment #20. I guess it is just delusional of me to expect UA to try to work this out amicably, but thought it was worth the idea before the DOT filing

  19. Uh, Rick, your proposed compromise at post 315 is for United to give you a business class ticket to HKG on another date instead of a first-class ticket, for 4 miles? That’s a “win win compromise?”

    Also, Seth may be prickly and having a go at your expense, but he does more in the forums (FT and MP) to answer people’s questions than pretty much anyone else, and he knows a damn lot about UA’s rules. I’d consider his work a “positive contribution to the space.”


  20. Continuing on the same theme of LarryinNYC, I can imagine a situation where United agrees to honor the deal but closes the account of anyone who takes them up on that. Not a customer I would want to keep.

  21. “I am a senior citizen…” – you lost me there. Buck up and let it go. United doesn’t owe anyone goodwill for giving away long haul F.

  22. Anyone who booked this fare KNOW that this was a mistake fare, and some booked it for entertainment value (and maybe something will come out of it).

    But to file a complaint or drag it out, that seems unnecessary. I’m sure some poor chaps’ head are already on the chopping block for this mistake. People make mistakes. It happens. This one is a big one. But it’s also an obvious one.

  23. And if the roles had been reversed? How would UA respond if I told them this:

    I discovered an error where I overpaid for a nonrefundable booking I made last week. I give UA a choice, either to cancel this booking and refund the fare or to change to the fare that I really wanted. I regret any inconvenience this has caused you, and appreciate your understanding.

  24. Kyle #23. Read the post. I’m suggesting we pay the soft costs of us flying on an otherwise empty seat covering any of their expenses. It is a proposed compromise where we go for 8 miles and cover their expenses

  25. Wow. More proof that leaving FlyerTalk and MilePoint was probably my single greatest decision of the last few years, second only to perhaps getting married.

  26. I love Seths apps too. What does frugal do? Just repost what others write about on his blog and give away crappy prizes just to draw readers. Lame.

    Seth=help others first
    Frugal guy=his gain first, everyone else second.

  27. WOW! Really Rick, really?

    Just like the AA deal, I honestly did not expect this to be honored and I knew I would be okay with it.

    In my opinion, FTG, TPG, and Darius are questionable when it comes to ethical standards. It is one thing to inform you of great deals and maybe show you how to do it, but to knowingly and intentionally deceive is just plain wrong.

    I was disgusted to read Darius’s comments when Emily “forgot to enter her BA Avios number”. Really? this guy has “Million Miles” and he still does stuff like this. Sad, really.

  28. This is why I’ve stopped reading Rick’s blog … integrity going down the drain. I posted on FT how his blog censored reader comments and he PM’ed me with an absolutely childish message. I can’t believe he’s a retiree, he sounds like a teenager sometimes.

    What’s that saying he used to have … No Free Lunch? How many lunches are served on an RT to HKG in F? 4 miles is pretty free …

    Rick gives the honest mileage junkies a bad name.

  29. By the way, if you are going to Rick’s Chicago seminar, you’re helping his mileage balance. He has stated that much of the expenses are going on his personal cards and will be reimbursed by the fees attendees pay.

    Although you’re welcome to volunteer for free …

  30. Now Seth, look at all the trouble you’ve caused.

    AK, and where is your response to my serious compromise suggestion? Or are you just about bashing?

    And I am just a teenager at heart. Thanks

  31. Rick, you caused this by your actions. Now I have headache due to your FT post. Im suing you and your company unless you compromise by buying me a trip to Asia in F in Cathay Pacific flight.
    Anyone else in on the lawsuit?

  32. @Rick – frankly, after reading all the hatred and entitledness in the thread, I closed it before page 2. After your comment, I went back and read your compromise.

    Stop grasping at straws.

    By the way, those 4 miles you redeemed? You don’t own them – United does. The miles just happen to be in an account with your name on it.

  33. Mike: I’d love to buy you a F ticket to Asia but there is no justification for doing so. I didn’t force you to read the posts. I made no promises in the post and I certainly did not issue you a valid (I thought) receipt. I did not back down on a previously stated policy to honor my mistakes, no matter what the cost. I make mistakes and sometime have to back down.

    I’ve enjoyed the banter this morning and PM’d several saying I’m sorry you left the blog. Those personal conversations have been quite civilized and I appreciate that. It’s time for lunch then nappy. I need my strength for when UA calls with their unilateral offer that I wil not be accepting.

    Seth thanks again for the mention. I know how much you cherish stirring the pot and by now you should know, I’ll give it right back to ya.

  34. Dear Mr. Ingersoll,
    You provide a good service to a segment of the hobbyists, and make some extra cash on the side in your travel-filled retirement. Good on you.

    You happened to make a silly comment. We all do, from time to time.

    When in a hole, stop digging.

    Ignore the comments of anonymous and nonanonymous people on the internet, take a break or a walk, enjoy the day. Cheers.

  35. >>And if you read the post I was not discriminated on based on age. I was discriminated because some got. to fly it, and to date I won’t.<<

    Except that's not discrimination by any meaningful definition of the word, especially not a legally meaningful one.

  36. Yep, UA should just drop the hammer, and close out any MP accounts that have flown, a la Chase.

    And continue to work with those that have booked.

    This would end any discussion about “he got to fly on Sunday or Monday, but I couldn’t 330 days from now” business.

  37. Let me get this straight, Rick is not entirely upset that he UA is not flying but he is jealous of the ones who did fly. Again, way to go Rick showing your true colors.

    Rick, you are basically telling us you would not be mad, or at least not as upset, had UA cancelled ALL reservations and stranded the ones who already traveled in Hong Kong. Words are escaping me trying to describe this feeling you harbor. It is probably hatred mixed with jealousy and envy with a whole lot of “if I don’t get it no one should” attitude. The “screw everyone, what about me” is written all over your posts.

    This truly is a sad day for you my friend.

    I, too, am ashamed.

  38. we should all write these comments on his blog so his other readers see what he’s really about.

  39. Astonishing Mike is indeed complaining and expressing disappointment and revealing his ugly mind everywhere if the post is related to United 4miles. That is CRAZY!

  40. When I read Rick’s “senior citizen” comment on FT, I thought it was laughable. I respect Wandering Aramean for calling out that ridiculous comment. I think most bloggers are afraid to disturb the waters when a fellow blogger crosses over into the whiny and absurd.

    I similarly respect Viewfromthewing because back in April when FTG touted his 30k AA Visa link despite there being a better 50k offer out there, VFW pointed out the pretty blatant case of FTG putting his interests above his readers.

  41. The entitled American in me thinks that United should have honored this deal even if I didn’t get in. However, if I were United, I would do the same thing. The only difference is that I would offer everyone a $150 voucher as an amends. That should give the people that feel wronged some solace.

    The real winners are those with the unbelievable foresight, and quick thinking that started flights on Sunday or Monday morning. That was a stroke of genius. Pure genius! I am not jealous, I am proud. Proud of the creativity that allowed a few of the brightest gamers the chance to take advantage of this amazing AMAZING, mistake.

    To those who got in on the deal with quick thought and action, I salute you!!! I expect whomever is halfway through their trip right now to take lots of pictures and bask in your brilliance!!

  42. Dee Tee: I wish you and others would actually READ the post before spouting off. I certainly don’t need you telling what I said. I wrote it. My post was a REPLY to Shannon that clearly indicated that some got it and the rest of us didn’t. That is not fair to me or to anyone else that booked it. Jealous? Hell no, stating a fact to support my case which we will have to reiterate to the DOT. Just like we will have to reiterate that we have receipts, that they previously promised to honor mistakes no matter how big. We are showing a pattern of disregard for their customers, including YOU.

    1. Rick:

      I’ve ready your post several times. I also included a screenshot and the text of it here. You quite clearly state that you believe you were discriminated against and that you are a senior citizen which is what prevented you from making plans to travel quickly enough. If you meant something else by that then feel free to clarify your position. But what I’ve read is pretty simple and pretty disgusting to me.

      That you’re somehow suggesting here that I caused this uproar or that going to “give it right back” is quite entertaining. I honestly have no idea what to think about that other than to be somewhat shocked that this is on me somehow. All I did was post what you wrote. If quoting people who say stupid things is wrong then I don’t want to be right.

  43. And Lance I agree with you as well. Some measure of accountability is all I really need. To date, we have seen none and my public postings will continue to call on them to do the next right thing. I then gladly settle for a token gesture along the lines you have suggested.

  44. “My post was a REPLY to Shannon that clearly indicated that some got it and the rest of us didn’t. That is not fair to me or to anyone else that booked it.”

    Wow. You have a pretty entitled view of what is fair and what isn’t fair. I agree that what you wrote in your post and what you wrote in these comments are disgusting in the sense that they are greedy and selfish. United is doing the right thing by ignoring people like you and doing what is good for their customers at large. If you don’t like what United is doing, don’t fly with them. Period. Honouring extremely expensive mistakes like this for you raise the prices of fares for everyone.

  45. To me, feeling the need to get in on the deal on Sunday or Monday shows that they knew they were doing something wrong…you can’t have it both ways.

    You can argue that you believed the lower price was correct (although it was displayed after the first page with the correct mileage amount) OR you knowingly took advantage of a mistake. Since most people belong in the latter group, you can’t really expect compensation
    when a company rights a wrong. They closed bookings within 6 hours, and publicly acknowledged it within 1 business day.

    I’m tired of people who feel so entitled, and constantly look for free handouts or “token gestures.” I blame the old UA, who passed out $350 vouchers carelessly like t-shirts from a t-shirt gun at a concert. You can’t incentivize people to complain, it just leads to this kind of behavior.

  46. Thanks Seth. Two separate facts.

    Sentence #1. I was discriminated against because others flew and I’m so far being denied the fact.

    Sentence #2. Yes I am a senior citizen. Would it make you feel any better if I said I couldn’t go because I was taking care of my grandson that day? or at the beach?

    Did I ever say I was discrimnated against because I am a senior citizen? No, Seth I did not. I am discriminated against becasue others got to fly it and I am told I am not. Do you understand the purpopse of a “period” at the end of a sentence? It signifies the end of a thought or topic, or are you so invested in making a name for yourself that you feel free to bring people down to your level. Sorry Seth, I won’t play that game with you. I can’t stoop to your level as you will always beat me with your experience.

    You seem to have a real issue with dragging others down by your assumptions. Others in the space have reconfirmed that to me on numerous occassions about you.

    The disgusting thing here Seth is your need to tear others down to hopefully feel better about yourself. That’s what is disgusting to me. Period.

  47. Here’s what I’d do. Dedicate a flight to all the ridiculously determined. Give it a gallon of gas and the pilot a parachute.

  48. Seth, don’t let the bastards get you down. FTG sounds like my 7 and 9 year old girls: “IT’S NOT FAIR DADDY!” I can (barely) tolerate it when it comes from the kids…but from an alleged adult, senior citizen, no less? What an a$$!

  49. You disgust me. You reeeallly disgust me Seth. I mean, you REALLY disgust me. I’m so disgusted right now, just absolutely disgusted. I’m old, disgusted, and literally vomiting. That’s how disgusting this disgusting this is to me. I’m vomiting Seth, vomiting.

  50. @Rick Ingersoll–the reason people aren’t addressing the “serious compromise” that you proposed is that you haven’t offered a rational defense of the completely asinine remark you made concerning UA discriminating against you on the basis of age. Your statement was:

    “Unfortunately others have already travelled for the receipted amount of 8 miles and it would be discriminatory to allow them to travel at that rate and not me. I am a senior citizen and couldn’t make arrangements that quickly to travel yesterday.”

    Your argument is saying, “Others have already flown on this deal…the reason I haven’t flown on this deal is because I’m a senior citizen; if I wasn’t a senior citizen, I would’ve flown on this deal already; therefore, by not allowing me to fly on this deal, you’re discriminating against me.”

    Besides this being mind-blowingly absurd, you said in a later comment:

    “And if you read the post I was not discriminated on based on age. I was discriminated because some got. to fly it, and to date I won’t .” If your argument was in fact that you were discriminated against because some got it and others didn’t, why on earth bring up your age to support that argument–what does that have to do with anything?

    You can obfuscate all you want by not addressing the comment and telling people to “lighten up” or “pay attention to the real issue” of your “compromise,” but that doesn’t change the issue that your comment is one of the most absurd things I’ve read in any aviation/travel-related forum in a long, long time.

    What’s even scarier is that you sound dead set on taking this to the DOT–thanks for wasting all of our taxpayer dollars forcing them to get in the middle of such a well-reasoned argument 😎

  51. Rick..I told you a couple of years ago and I’ll tell you the same thing today..Put your ego in your pocket !

    You are such a whiner !

  52. Not the emoticon I was going for. But @Rick, you’re still not making sense in your above response to Seth:

    “Thanks Seth. Two separate facts.

    Sentence #1. I was discriminated against because others flew and I’m so far being denied the fact.

    Sentence #2. Yes I am a senior citizen. Would it make you feel any better if I said I couldn’t go because I was taking care of my grandson that day? or at the beach?”

    Let’s do some reasoning here. What is the connection between the two sentences? Your first fact states your argument: “I was discriminated against because others flew and I have so far been denied.” The next sentence after a statement like that is usually a supporting fact that adds to the initial statement. In this case, your supporting statement to the argument that you were discriminated against is that you were discriminated against because you’re a senior citizen.

    The second sentence (fact 2, as you call it) either has to be a supporting and related sentence to the original statement, or a totally non-relevant piece of information. I think you’re a better writer to include a totally useless and irrelevant piece of information, so what else can be inferred from this?

    Again, to restate what I said earlier, your argument translates as: “I am being discriminated against because others have flown on this and I haven’t. The reason I haven’t flown on this yet is because I’m a senior citizen. Therefore, if I weren’t a senior citizen, I would’ve flown on this, and wouldn’t have been discriminated against.” So what you’re saying is because you are a senior citizen (which is why you didn’t fly on this deal), you’re being discriminated against!

  53. Rick has dug himself into such a hole that now I can’t possibly forget this situation every time I see his name. Way to go!

  54. @Simon: “I’m vomiting Seth, vomiting.” Sound like you’re sick. Can I have your ticket?

  55. Seth,

    Why have such a belligerent post that clearly personally attacks your fellow blogger? I kind of agree with Rick, this just looks like a post to get more traffic to the site…

    Everyone has their things that they get fired up about, some people just get fired up about not honoring price mistakes. Some people get upset about TSA. Some people get upset when beverages aren’t served on bumpy flights. But that doesn’t mean you have to call them out by name in your posts.

    You don’t post when just anyone posts something stupid on FT or MP, it’s only when a big name posts something stupid. Why?

    1. Indeed, Jonathan, I do not post on my blog every time anyone posts something stupid on FlyerTalk. I do reply there reasonably often but, quite frankly, it would be rather boring here.

      In this case, however, I felt that the discrimination claim due to age was particularly egregious. When someone – particularly someone who has historically been so well regarded in the community – does something this ridiculous I believe it is worth calling attention to. It is, in my opinion, news both because of the crazy it exudes as well as the person making the claim. The malicious IT worker claim was also ludicrous but because the member involved there isn’t a “known entity” the outrage isn’t the same. Such is life.

  56. I smell a meme developing.

    I am a senior citizen and I did not get free sprinkles on my ice cream.

    I am a senior citizen and I could not see the red light, officer.

    I am a senior citizen and I am a Hyatt Diamond. Where is my upgrade?

  57. Thank you Jonathon. And to support my earlier claim, I emailed Seth telling him I thought he had crossed a line today. Part of his reply was and I quote:

    “But when given something this incredibly bizarre to work with I would be a fool to ignore the opportunity”

    So it was because I was as you called me “a quite well known personality”

    Here is news for all of you. Bloggers are not “personalities”. We are people that are in this game just like you. Nothing special, we just write about what we see and do. Anybody can be a blogger. There is nothing special about anyone of us. But to some it seems we are something to write about that may increase readership. Thanks for making my point so very clearly.

  58. my head hurts to try to read this.

    but, I like one suggestion I heard somewhere….. that people should show their good sides and donate those 4 miles to charity.

    actually, I hate the word “should”, but you know what I mean.


  59. @Rick, I don’t know you personally and will refrain from establishing any sort of opinion of you until the unlikely day that I meet you in person and actually get to know you and how you treat others.

    I do, however, think that your value to me as a resource has been diminished by this whole thing, and Seth has provided me with a useful piece of information. You say you’re not a personality, and I appreciate that, but the whole bit about Seth stepping over the line seems silly to me.

    You have made it your profession to share your knowledge and opinions about the mileage/points game with the public. You are a public figure by your own choice. Calling out Keith Olberman or Glenn Beck for something stupid they say is not the same as calling out some random poster on an internet message board. Calling you out on something stupid you say is not the same as calling me out on something stupid I say on flyertalk or milepoint. Nobody–I hope–relies on my opinions like they do yours. Any reliance on your opinion is by your own design because if nobody relied on your opinion, you wouldn’t make any money by providing it to the public. While you are not a “personality”, you are a public figure, and as such, you open yourself up to public criticism.

  60. Seth,

    I understand wanting to keep your blog exciting. I think you do an excellent job at posting diverse pieces and I’m not going to do something dramatic like stop reading you (as others have suggested they would do to Rick). I disagree with approaches that people take to this stuff on a daily basis – but at the end of the day I just use it to think critically about how I want to act.

    I just don’t see the point in personally calling him out. Quite frankly, it’s just not a “nice” thing to do (I know saying that’s not nice will raise a chuckle out of, well, everyone, but I think it’s best put as nice). We all have a common goal here – get as many miles and points as we can. I don’t see why we have taken such an abrasive approach towards each other and I would like to think that this could be turned around (I mean the mile and point community in general). Maybe it’s the internet effect and we can hide behind our posting names.

  61. Keep dodging Seth. Sorry you can’t admit your misinterpretation of my comment although clarified here on several occassions. And also sorry it got so personal between the two of us. And sorry you think I’m worth quoting. I’m not, and I’m moving on. I’ve played long enough in your sandbox today.

    1. You’ve claimed to clarify it here, Rick, but let it stand on FT where it started. Go there and disavow the claim. Make it clear to all the others who have latched on to that part of the fight that it isn’t what you really meant. Until then, this is all just a joke anyways.

      Also, classy more sharing a fraction of a private email conversation, one which you started and called “personal.” Why not share the whole thing?

      I didn’t post this because I think you are a bad person or because I dislike you. I posted it because I think it is horrible advice with misguided motivation. I think it is absolutely crazy. Just like the claim that it was a malicious IT employee trying to pull a fast one on the company. Both claims are, to me ridiculous.

      And I find that entertaining. My blog is filled with stories about what I find entertaining. I hope that from time to time others do, too, but in the meantime I’ll focus on what I enjoy.

  62. To sum up:

    Rick is from North Carolina.

    Seth is from New York.

    You guys both bring a lot to the table. Just sayin’

  63. rick’s just angry bc its a blog where he can’t censor anything negative about him.

    what a baby… angry that someone quotes his text from a post. like bloggers are some elite frat where no one can ever say anything negative about one another.

    what a joke he is

  64. Rick’s (Frugal Travel Guy) delusional protestations have confirmed my opinion of his blog: unoriginal and self-serving.

    1. Hey there, everyone…

      I’ve decided to close the comments on this post, at least for a few hours. I didn’t intend for this to be a discussion focused on just one person. I was hoping that others would see the opinions voiced and focus on those instead. That isn’t happening so I’m calling for a cooling off period.

      No promises that it opens back up, but this was never about attacking one person directly and I think it has strayed a bit farther than I’m comfortable with right now.

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