For those that have not read the news, Randy is retiring and closing InsideFlyer’s print arm.
It is hard to explain what the collection of Miles and Points used to be like. When I first started flying from the UK, we were the poor relation of most schemes. BA didn’t even have a way to collect miles and points back then. Sometimes we got mailings, but there was no email, no bulletin board nor blog to guide us. I became a TWA flyer and on a newsstand (I think in Baltimore) I found a copy of InsideFlyer and was instantly amazed.
There, in a thick publication were a host of promotion codes, news stories never sent to the UK, and reviews. I was won over!
Back in those days hotels and airlines were not really set up to check whether you were entitled to a promo code. Indeed, they really were not set up to segment their clients – pretty much everyone got access to everything.
Hundreds of thousands of bonus points later, I found out that Randy had launched an online bulletin board, this was Flyertalk. I logged on a few times and then largely ignored it for a good while. My date of joining was May 5 1998. I was member 196. I’m planning a little party in 2018! Reading Randy’s editorials I learned where I was comfortable being when earning points – no fraud, nothing on the edge of proper behaviour. The balance between consumer and airline needs to be respected.
A few years later when FT was expanding I became a Moderator and was lucky enough to attend a number of Moderator meetings (I’ve been to all but the first), the Freddie Awards and more recently the events organised by Randy for Boarding Area, his newest venture. All sponsored by Mr. Petersen.
To say that Randy has been unfailing gracious, even when I’ve been pushy (you all know I can be that), is an understatement. Always Randy understood that I was making suggestions with a view to doing the best for whatever organisation we were discussing, and accepted that. Randy never thought that his opinion was always right, but was happy in the role of Benign Dictator at Flyertalk when it was needed. Milepoint came about to capture the best of what Flyertalk was whilst leaving the nastiness behind, sounds like Randy was all over that one!
InsideFlyer was my first real introduction to the world of miles and points and earning them using Randy’s tips has given me some of the great experiences of my life – two flights on Concorde, trips to Australia and the Barrier Reef, and some great hotel stays. I thank Randy for his efforts, a labour of love if ever there was one.
What the next part of his life holds will remain to be seen, but for now, a huge Thank You from this frequent flyer.