Category Archives: Blogs
Well loyal readers it has been year of writing this blog. I have enjoyed it immensely and I have learned a lot about the world of travel blogging.
It’s time for a change.
I am confronted about where to take this blog, if there is a place to go at all. Looking at the world of travel bloggers, consultants, and others I have noticed several things. These things have bothered me. These things make me want to do something different. So, it’s time for a change.
This is not the end of the puckinflight blog, far from it. The blog will continue. I am in the process of designing a new space on Squarespace.com where there will still be a blog, and something more. 😉 I don’t want to give out too many details, but it’s exciting. I know you will want to see it, and you will be the first to know.
After I posted yesterday about so called “travel consulting” I thought that would be the end of it. Not of the idea of travel consulting, but my interest in it. However, I got hate mail. Most surprisingly it was from the UPGRD.com group. They commented on my post. I was of two minds when it came to their comment. About half of the original comment was personally insulting to me, which I deleted before allowing to be posted. It caused me to think about a comments policy. To be fair, heckling and trolling are both internet past-times but I am not going to allow personal attacks in the comments. Sorry.
Matthew was kind enough to send me several private messages through Flyertalk.com ending with, “The true scam is you, Mr. Butler. I pity you.”
Then I got an e-mail again from the UPGRD.com group demanding that I pay them $150.00. The funny part about this is I sent them an e-mail a week ago stating that I was not in need of their services and there was no reply. It was only after my post yesterday that the frankly bizarre demands for payment started up again. I am not sure of the logic behind their e-mails; but I sent them my actual phone number for them to call me they if they wish to discuss my post and their fee. They have not as yet done so.
These interactions show a lack of maturity when it comes to moving from blogger on the internet to running a business. If someone were to use their services what they do is go online and put a reward ticket on hold. Even after you, the user, ticket it, UPGRD.com still has access to all of your personal information. I would not trust an organization, much less one that does not have bonding, a physical address, or even a phone number with my personal information. Therefore, I would advise anyone who is seeking out such services to avoid, at least for now, the UPGRD.com expert award search.
I write this blog for fun. It helps me improve my writing and I enjoy sharing my adventures with you all who read my blog. Has it gone too far though? The most controversial activity right now in the blogging universe is referral links. Bloggers promote credit cards which can be churned for points. When someone applies for a credit card via, the blogger gets paid. Sure it is a win for the blogger and possibly the person getting the card, but in the age of financial austerity I don’t think more consumer debt the way go. Also I REFUSE to recommend any financial product generally, because each person’s financial situation is different.
But travel bloggers have started to diversify out of credit cards referrals and enter the world of “travel consulting.”
Travel consulting is a relatively new field where people who are so called experts offer their services to the general public. These people are not travel agents and generally run a fly-by-night operation. They don’t have a physical location, they don’t have E&O insurance, and there is no real recourse against them if something goes wrong.
Apparently I am a thief. This is news to me, but according to a person whom I have never met has declared me to be one. It’s also on the internet so it must be true. Rather than get into a semantic debate on what theft is which would be interesting only to law nerds, lets talk about mistakes. We’re human, you, me, Mr. Elliott, we are all human. That means we all make mistakes. For example, while driving to work today, I accidentally drifted off the side of the road. I was listening to NPR and far too into the discussion of the immigration problem and I blanked on what I should have been doing. The car and myself are fine but it was still a mistake.
Right behind making mistakes is paying for them. I pay for my mistakes, I’ve paid for quite a few. People mock me for my marginal writing and spelling errors and I feel ashamed. What I don’t do is blame other people or try and avoid responsibility for those mistakes. It then becomes the other person’s choice to accept that I made a mistake or not.
Most of you loyal readers have been reading about my trip to Myanmar. This trip was built on the back of an obscene mistake fare on the part of Korean Airlines (KE). KE wanted to cancel all of the tickets and in fact did so, but the US government said we will fine any airline that voids a “mistake fare.” Now, in Mr. Elliott’s ethical universe taking advantage of a mistake fare is stealing. If KE wanted to avoid issuing those tickets in the first place they could have. But they chose to use a system with minimal safeguards in pursuit of profit. It is that system that allowed these tickets to be issued. It is the same for all the airlines, they made their choice and they wanted to avoid responsibility for those choices. Umm no.
If the airlines want to be able to avoid responsibility for their mistakes then they should play by the same rules that ticket buyers do a 24 hr cancellation policy for both the passenger and the airline. But even after the twenty four hours I still would have been ok with giving up at least my ticket. I grew up Catholic, for me forgiveness is available to anyone for anything. The catch is we all have to ask. We (the royal we) have to admit what we did was wrong, be sorry for it, and ask to be forgiven for it. Now if you follow those three steps (most don’t) you’ll find yourself humbled before the other person. If KE had called me and said “we screwed up” and “what can we do to make this right?” I would have given up my ticket. I didn’t want to go to Myanmar. I would have settled on a coach ticket to New Zealand or someplace else I wanted to go.
The abdication of personal responsibility is the problem here. While two wrongs, or at least one wrong and one somewhat questionable choice do not make a right, it is fundamentally not right to allow companies, groups and individuals to avoid responsibility for their actions just because of an honest mistake that happened because of lax safeguards they set up.
Seeing as I am not listed I would like to recommend the flying pinto
It’s a great flight attendant blog, and well worth a read. So please vote!
This weekend in the U.S. is Memorial day. For that do not know this is where American’s are supposed to take moment and think about the men and women who have served their country through military service.
A lot of people will be taking to the roads and skies this weekend to celebrate the three-day weekend and the traditional start of summer. I will be one of them. However, it would be remiss of me not to take a moment to thank all those who have served and are serving in America’s armed forces.
Tags: Memorial Day
The for-profit aviation blogger is an interesting person. They are out there and they want you to click on their link to any number of credit cards. Basically they the blogger gets a “referral commission” when you get approved for a card using a link to their page,
Right now, you can tell who the for-profits are because they are pimping the Chase BA visa. They are telling you about all of the cool features ect all in the hope of getting you to click their link so they can get paid. There is nothing wrong with getting paid, heck I want to get paid. I am not going to get paid because of this blog though.
This begs the question who am I and why did I start this blog. Well I am a late 20’s aviation addict. I am fascinated by all aspects of commercial air transport. I started this blog not because I had any particular agenda but mostly I wanted to improve my writing. I figured that by writing short pieces about aviation, I’ll be able to improve my writing and get some news out there.