I’ve recently become disappointed with the Boarding Area Mutual Admiration Society. (Oops, make that the Boarding Area bloggers.)
Boarding Area is an umbrella for a group of travel bloggers who once seemed to have interesting, unique, and informative voices (and occasionally still do). Now, though, most of these writers seem to all write about the same new credit-card sign-up offers; they offer similar long and boring trip reviews; they are mileage- and points-obsessed; and they get worked up about folks with opinions different from their own.
The latest example that’s got several of them in a lather is a column by well-known travel writer Chris Elliott, questioning the value (if any) of frequent flyer miles.
I’ve had an acquaintance with Chris for several years, and I’ve read his blogs and web articles off-and-on over those years. (Sometimes I like them and agree with them, and sometimes I don’t.) But several bloggers on Boarding Area (one in particular) seem to have a juvenile, vehement hatred regarding anything Chris writes. Coincidentally, I stopped regularly reading that blogger some time ago, but I still occasionally visit his site to see if there’s any chance anything of real interest might be posted. Thus, I saw his rant against Chris.
People have been criticizing (and, occasionally, praising) my writing for far longer than any of these writers have been around (back in the day when we had “Letters to the Editor” sections in magazines). It’s part of the business. I seldom agree with more than half of what ANYONE writes, especially in the realm of travel. I approach all writing with a skeptic’s eye, but in this age of blogs and social networks and OPINIONS, I can’t seem to get too worked up about someone else’s writing. If I don’t like someone’s writing or philosophy or suggestions, I just take that blog (or magazine or newspaper) off my reading list.
So for the record, here are a few travel websites and blogs that I currently do enjoy. (Note that while I read these blogs and news sites, I VERY seldom read the comments. Every idiot with a laptop can now “write” something, usually commenting without forethought or knowledge about the original writer’s research, thoughts, and words.)
- The Middle Seat (Wall St. Journal)
- Today In The Sky (USA Today)
- The Cranky Flier
- Upgrade Travel Better
- Consumer Traveler
- Chris Elliott
- Rick Steves
- Swelbar on Airlines
- Breaking Travel News
- BNET Travel
- Rick Seaney (FareCompare)
(I don’t have the time nor inclination to link these sites. I’m a writer and I’m just writing. You can google any of these sites and find them quickly.)