Interesting discussion about blogger comps…

There’s a debate brewing in the travel (or perhaps more specifically miles/points) blogosphere about comped trips/hotels/flights/etc. Gary started the discussion with a very well thought out post, asking if he should accept comped trips. The Frugal Travel Guy followed it up by saying he would never accept a comped trip.

I find the whole debate interesting on a few levels. First of all, I don’t get a whole lot comped (by that I mean that I’ve met a bunch of travel bloggers that travel a ton and never pay a cent for anything). I recently got a trip to Argentina comped, which was great, though I clearly disclosed it with every installment. Also, let’s be clear about something — it wasn’t a traditional vacation. We were literally touring wineries both days from early in the morning till after midnight. It was a blast, though far from a relaxing weekend.

Sure, subconsciously people are no doubt influenced when a stay is comped. No one tries to be, though certainly you subconsciously take a different approach when something is free. And I’ll be the first to say that this should be considered when reading a review of something that was comped.

But there are many cases where a blogger being comped things can actually work out positively. For example, I was comped a stay at the Marina Bay Sands in Singapore during my most recent trip. The hotel usually goes for around $400/night, not something I would pay for a casino hotel. At the same time, the hotel was one of the most physically stunning hotels I’ve ever stayed at (though service is a different story, and I’ll get into that during the review). In one way or another, everyone “wins” from seeing pictures of the hotel, the amazing infinity pool on the 56th floor, etc. Along the same lines, I’ll report on the service, or at times service failures, of which there were a few. Before I stayed there, it’s not a hotel I necessarily wanted to stay at. Rather, it’s a hotel I wanted to learn more about, and hopefully that’s what I can accomplish through a report of the place.

All that being said, what I find interesting is that some people are totally opposed to comped stays but have no issue with referral bonuses. I have no issue with either, as long as they’re disclosed. But with a referral bonus you’re being directly paid for recommending a product, while you’re not being paid a dime for a comped stay. I’ve not once had a credit card link on this blog which got me any sort of a referral bonus (which probably makes me an idiot), though I know at least subconsciously I’d be slightly biased in my credit card recommendations if I were paid varying amounts based on which card I recommend. If there are two cards I find great, would I rather refer the card that gives me a $2 bonus (for example) or a $10 bonus?

Anyway, just my opinion. Like I said, as long as everything is disclosed, I don’t have a problem with it, be it a comped stay, a referral bonus, or just about anything else. Readers are always free to skip over any particular installment/review, since I realize not everyone finds every review helpful. I get bitched it for just about every review I write, so I can certainly take it. šŸ˜‰

Comments

  1. I see nothing wrong with either as well. Personally, if I was in your shoes or FTG’s shoes I would never turn a comped trip down. I would never ask for one, but if I was offered something, I would take it and disclose it in any post that I made about the trip.

    You are giving these hotels/airlines/cards advertising for free basically when you go on a trip

  2. I don’t care if a blogger is compensated for a trip or if they are getting a referral. As long as it is disclosed.

    Frugal Travel Guy’s blog would not really be all that much better if he was compensated for trips because most people who visit are looking for deals… and he profits from his credit card sign ups, as well as when people sign up for certain rewards programs he is given a certain number of points.

    I think each blog has it’s downside on the direction they are taking the blog in. With Rick’s Frugal Travel blog he is now allowing his kids to blog. His son posts on travel experiences and his daughter-in-law posts about rookie travel tips… which have really been either a re-hash of his old tips, not helpful, or just rookie travel experiences. I think this has annoyed some readers as they question the usefulness or why his kids don’t have a separate blog. I think he enjoys having them evolved and also after a few years of doing the blog needs material in order to post daily. The only downside of his blog in my eyes is visually it is a horrible mess and reminds me more of a pop up ad littered with credit card ads. Though his information and opinions have been useful.

    Lucky, I enjoy your posts and travel reviews. If you were ever compensated for any trips it wouldn’t bother me as I enjoy seeing first class products where one posts non-professional photos. The only downside is that I think the photos posted of people in the lounge in their robe or people with their feet up in first class distracts from the blog overall… that material and some complaints would be more suited for your twitter posts.

  3. I am with you on this one, Lucky. Benefiting on referral bonus from readers is way worse than getting comped for trips IMHM. Someone really needs to get off his high horse.

  4. Interesting indeed. I’ve never been on a fully comped trip, but I have certainly been sent things, for free, to review, and I have also been given a hotel stay (once) so that I will review the hotel. Just because something is sent to me, or given to me, doesn’t mean I’m not going to do an honest review. And the fact that it was free has to be disclosed. But I don’t see anything wrong with it.

  5. You’re a great writer of a very well read blog. It makes sense that hotels & airlines want you to review their products.

    As long as you’re honest, to your readers and to the hotels/airlines, I don’t see anything wrong!

    As a matter of fact, as a reader, if you were to benefit from your blog, I would definitely prefer you getting free trips all over the world and write about them, than filling your blog with of annoying ads, e-books and affiliate links!

    So, keep up the good work, enjoy as many travel opportunities as you like, and simply be as honest as you’ve always been!

    That’s my opinion šŸ™‚

  6. Agreed.. So long as it’s FULLY disclosed upfront exactly what was and was not comped and by whom, I have no issues..

    That way, the reader can determine for him/herself if the review or article is unbiased journalism or a de-facto paid advertisement…. or something in between… but at least the reader is given the all the information to make up their own mind.

  7. I have no problems with bloggers getting comped trips and hotel stays, I think it’s great. Bloggers can continue to entertain the readers without breaking the bank, the airlines/hotels/credit card companies recieve some extremely cheap advertising to just the right people, and it makes it slightly easier for a blogger like Lucky to do this full-time.

    That being said, the key is that everytime something is comped, it’s disclosed. I hate reading a blog and thinking to myself “Is this something the blogger really recommends, or did a company buy this blogger’s opinion?”

    While I’m sure most bloggers won’t recommend a product just because they get paid for it, it still happens, and that’s unfortunate. At least when it’s disclosed the readers can look at it with some healthy skepticism.
    I’m not saying that you’re doing this Lucky, but it’s still a valid point — it happens, and with big Twitter personalities like Paris Hilton selling tweets to the highest bidder, it’s important not to be too naĆÆve.

  8. No quibble from here; I agree with you. As long as the details are disclosed, the reader can take (or not) it into consideration. -C.

  9. I think you are free to do as you please, and certainly disclosure is the right way to go. And I think you write an excellent, fun and informative blog. That said I think Gary and Rick are doing the “right” thing and personally it increases my trust in their opinion, whereas I am sorry to say but the fact that you take freebies puts something of a small question mark given it will always make you feel that little bit more appreciated by the provider.

  10. People who get comped will often want to get comped more often and the only way to do so is to write less objective and less critical of te places they are reviewing. At one time I added the Vacation Gals to my google reader. After a couple of months it was deleted since much of their travel seems to be comped and their reviews are almost always positive.

    People just think they can be objective and get freebies. That just doesn’t work. Sad to see so many who think it can work.

  11. Sure, do it on occasion and disclose it to your readers. Do it too much, however, and you risk becoming like those travel magazines that litter dentists’ offices and hair salons.

  12. Sure, Frugal Travel Guy won’t take comps because his writing style isn’t interesting and he won’t get any comp offers from the industry. It’s just a bunch of ads.

    Can’t believe he took you to task over comps.

  13. I wonder if all those who say it is o.k. to be comped would feel the same way if they were paying for the advice

  14. If a blogger purchases a travel product himself and thinks it is a worthwhile investment, then I have no issue with a person receiving a referral bonus so long as it is disclosed, and the blogger must use the product regularly. What would not be right is for a travel blogger to refer a person to take action that only increases their referral or commission. For example, a blogger puts links for two credit cards, but he steers readers to the card where he earns a higher referral bonus or commission, even though the other card has better benefits but a lower referral bonus.

  15. This is an important issue for all journalists, particularly with the growth of blogs.

    Having myself worked for 10 years at The New York Times, where no employee can accept a gift with a value over $10, I’m personally sensitive to the question. My take, in today’s diverse media world, is that accepting comps, either totally free or at a reduced price, is ok (and in the case for many bloggers the only way they can experience the product(, but as Lucky has done, the key is total transparency, which means prominently mentioning the comp in the header and text of all applicable reporting, including, of course, reviews.

    Some major Web sites, however, accept comps or reduced fees and never mention it (a good example is Cruise Critic, which features reviews of cruise ships by the editorial staff, but never mentions the comp or, for that matter, the fact that the cruise ship company being reviewed is an advertiser on the site (even Cruise Critic’s President has been known to accept comps). This is editorially dishonest and violates any trust that should exist between CruiseCritic.com and its readers,

  16. Rick says he will never take a comp, and then he is going to comp all the guest speakers at the Chicago Do.(travel and hotel)

  17. My issue with the compā€™d travel it by its nature it will move your focus from trips which any one of us could take via miles or points ā€“ to higher end products that are not readily available via tricks or tips (i.e. the hotels found in the Travel and Leisure magazines I used to toss in the trash each month.)

    When you write about the Marina Bay Sands stay or the Argentina trip its much less helpful to me since those are packages/stays which were customized to you as a reporter ā€“ the only way Iā€™d be able to replicated that type of trip is to drop a huge amount of real cash.

    I come to your blog because you have great information. For example, I can learn a lot about Priority Club long before I actually start using the program. It gets me the information that I need should I start to maximize the programā€¦

    My biggest fear with the comp’d trips is that you will start writing about experiences like those found in the mainstream publications. Those publications will show me that there are $1,000/night resorts, but unless they are bookable via some sort loyalty program I donā€™t really care about them.

    Regarding affiliate income, so far from what I can see the blogs are hyping good offers. If a publisher starts hyping bad offers for the income, I hope (and trust) that the community will swiftly attack that person and make them change courseā€¦

  18. Getting comped may direct you to write “nicer” review because if not you may be decreasing your chances of getting comped.

    I was a co-owner of a blog recently and my partners did not speak their minds fully to the public because they wanted better partnership with the company we were writing about. Pretty lame.

  19. Also on a side note – you might not be promoting affiliate offers, but you are benefiting in a similar way via your advertising income.

    I guarantee you that your content helps to drive the ads that are show (for me the United credit card), which helps to inflate your income. The credit card offers will be paying you much more per click than say advertisement from a luggage company. So if you write about credit card offers then your income benefits.

  20. I think objectivity is the most important thing someone like you can provide. Getting a comped trip challenges that objectivity, even if you’re trying to prevent it from doing so. Not good for business, IMHO.

  21. Personally, Lucky, I trust you to be honest about your reviews even if you’re comped, so that’s not the issue. The real issue is the suppliers: i.e., by comping you they know who you are and may treat you differently (translation: better) than the average person, which will skew the final verdict even if you are 100% honest.

    If you get comped once in a while then sure, it’s no problem to “take it or leave it” (as some other readers here suggest), since there will still be other review for us to read and accept as legit, but if all of your travel is comped, then those who choose to “leave it” will have nothing left to read.

    I suppose those comped reviews can be read just for their data content (photos, metrics, etc.) without taking into account the editorial side, but that would be a shame. I personally rely on your opinion when deciding for or against taking a certain product (along with a handpicked selection of other bloggers). I look forward to many more years of your analysis!

  22. For me, my eyebrows raised a bit with TPG comp’s just because he sought them out. Had they been offered, I would have been indifferent. I really do like his blog and it doesn’t turn me away, but I hope it doesn’t become a habit. I agree with most others, as long as there is full disclosure and it is the exception, not the rule, I don’t have any issues with it.

  23. Coins said (which probably makes me an idiot).

    Dan says I have to agree. You’re the only blogger not making a dime on referrals.

    As for comps, I have mixed opinions.
    The travelwise among us can read between the lines. Those that are new to reading blogs may not be that wise. If I know and trust the blogger, I’ll read his reviews with that trust in mind. If I don’t know the blogger, I take it with a grain of sale.
    If I caught wind that a trusted blogger was slanting their review, I’d make my opinion know.

  24. I never liked the idea of reviewers getting comps at places that they are reviewing.

    People who review restaurants don’t expect to get a free meal out of it. As was mentioned above, the comp usually effects the service that you get, as such the reviews are skewed two ways

  25. First of all, this is my first comment in this thread. Trust me, somebody is going to ask!

    There’s a lot of good opinions in these comments, and I think I’d agree with most of the folks that I don’t see this as an issue for you. Like you say, you don’t have banner ads, you don’t post CC referral links, etc. And I know I beat this drum a lot, but the fact that you post EVERY COMMENT that gets submitted adds tremendously to your credibility. Even when Karma shows up to bite your A$$ and cancel your ticket, you still post his crap. That makes your blog….. Real. Live. Honest.

    There was some truth in what FTG said when he pointed out that virtually NOBODY is going to try to replicate what you do! If anything, we come here for inspiration or to justify to our spouses that ‘NO, we’re not the craziest dude out there, cause, you know, there’s this kid in Florida who flew 300k last year!’

    And honestly, you seldom have a ‘nuts and bolts’ list of how to execute a promotion like TPG and Gary do. Nothing wrong with that, BTW — they cover those bases really well, and just giving your comments on a particular promo is really useful.

    So I think my point is that you are a little different than the other 3 or 4 bloggers listed. I think a bunch of us read your blog for the sheer entertainment value! And if comped trips bring that entertainment, so be it.

  26. It’s been interesting to see how the different bloggers themselves have reacted on this topic. It’s definitely sensitive for them because we readers are questioning their integrity.

    I’ve seen FTG get his back up when his readers have asked him to disclose his credit card referrals. Same (or worse) is Dan’s Deals, where you dare not question the product he is pushing.

    That’s what’s nice about your comment area (and Gary’s)—you are willing to “take the heat” by not moderating the comments. This is healthy and adds to the respect we readers have for you.

  27. …and just as I wrote that, I noticed you are moderating my comment…probably because I used a different email account… (ha ha, I outsmarted myself!)

  28. I agree with the others that as long as you disclose (in clear terms) the comp, then that’s as far as you need to go ethics-wise.

    However, I do agree with the others that you probably get treated better on comps than we would as normal travelers. I remember your review of London Park Lane and you almost certainly got a better upgrade than an off-the-streets RA would have. That post doesn’t offer me much useful information, because I know I can’t count on that level of service and that type of upgrade.

    So I’d say take comps sparingly and try to (as much as you can) get treated like a normal customer.

  29. Thanks for the feedback, folks, I appreciate it and I’m learning quite a bit. What I’ve taken away from this is that I’ll continue with my approach, though only make comps a very small portion of my travels (think less than 10%) and continue to fully disclose them (which I think I’ve done a good job at thus far). Of course that’s assuming there are any travel companies out there willing to comp me anything. šŸ˜‰

    One thing I find funny is that the assumption is that you’re treated like royalty on a comped stay. It’s kind of funny, because you’d *think* so, but that’s not really the case. I was comped a stay at the Marina Bay Sands, arrived at the hotel at 4PM to check-in (well past the check-in time), and my room wasn’t ready. As a matter of fact, it wouldn’t be ready until 7:30PM. And this is a 2,500 room hotel where I was just given a standard room.

    One other thing I’ve taken away from this is that I’ll stick as much to the facts as possible when reviewing comped stays/products. I usually focus on the “soft” product more, which is what’s more likely to be influenced by the fact that a stay was comped. The facts remain the facts, however.

    @ bluecat — Hah, comments have to be “approved” the first time for any given email address/IP. I approve all comments, though, aside from the occasional male enhancement spam that makes it through the initial spam filters.

  30. Lucky,

    I think the simplest way to look at this issue is to realize that without comps, your “boss” is collectively the readers. To the extent that you delivers value to the reader, ie. an entertaining informative blog, you keep the “boss” happy and retain readers. If you decide to accept the comps, you then effectively get an additional “boss”; one who arguably wants a different product than that of your other/original boss.

    So what to do? You, and really all bloggers in the same situation, must decide if you can come up with a system that still delivers value to both parties. Full disclosure on the blog is a good start but I would also posit that you should draw up some kind of contract or MOA, assuming that you haven’t already, that clearly states the conditions and expectations under which a comp’ed product will be given/received. And to top it off, the contract / MOA should really be between your two “bosses” under which you would operate. Therefore, soliciting info, as you are doing, is a great way to find out under what circumstances we will continue to trust your reports and information if you do, in fact, decide to take on an additional boss. While it obviously can be done, I think you will find the experience not unlike those who have chosen to take on an additional girlfriend/boyfriend.

    Ultimately, the market WILL decide whether or not you made the right choice. Your readership will either increase or decrease, and as a result, your ā€œvalueā€ to those providing the comp will either increase or decrease in direct proportion.

    Regardless your decision, I wish you luck(y)

  31. You are one of the best travel bloggers on the net and you will need an income at some point so I think finding revenue via ads, comps or hopefully TV appearances, will be in your future.

    One thing to consider, though, as a person just pointed out above, “My issue with the compā€™d travel it by its nature it will move your focus from trips which any one of us could take via miles or points ā€“ to higher end products that are not readily available via tricks or tips (i.e. the hotels found in the Travel and Leisure magazines I used to toss in the trash each month.)”

    This is critical. Who wants to read about how you got comped to a $2000 suite in Bora Bora? That doesn’t help your readers who are trying to figure out how to use a eVIP award on an AA metal flight to the best advantage when they purchase the lowest economy fare.

    Please keep in mind your intended audience. The “unobtainable” is not worthy of a review. I’d much rather hear you find discoveries through upgrades, points, etc. For example, your reviews of the Intercontinental hotels at Ohare and in Downtown San Francisco were eye-openors and made me want to become a Royal Ambassador (I haven’t figured out a way yet to do that!). By the same token, I’m completely fascinated about your award bookings and how you can maximize your trips through open-jaws, layovers, stopovers, etc. and, most importantly, what is the best bang for the mile in certain alliances when heading overseas. Your insight here is very valuable and that is why I encourage you to be as intricate on how you go about these bookings as possible.

    In the end, as long as you have your integrity, I don’t care how you make you a living — be it through comps, ads, books, etc.

    I just hope you continue to be prolific in your posts because you are on the best.

  32. I think the key issue you need to think about is what you want your blog to be about. Are you trying to entertain and inform, or to provide critical reviews? Obviously there aren’t entirely clear-cut lines between these functions, but frankly it really is something of an iron law that you can’t be truly impartial if you’re being comped, no matter how much you think you can. It’s the point of comping things in the first place — providers of goods and services want favorable attention — and its the reason reviewers from more mainstream organizations don’t accept free trips or meals.

    So it comes down to what you want to be. If all you want to do is write entertaining trip reports, then I see no problem with accepting comps. On the other hand, you want to provide critical reviews, then I think you need to forgo them entirely.

    Personally I think you could be a very successful career as a travel reviewer and writer. Your style is good and informative, and you’ve been around enough to have a solid sense of pluses and minuses between different carriers and hotel chains. I also think you have a clear voice on travel-related issues that is worth listening to and that could become even more authoritative over time. So I guess my question is, if you’re only taking comps infrequently, then why not just forgo them entirely?

  33. I am always amused by the contorted ethics of mileage hounds. The same people who have no problem whatsoever churning coins at a cost of shipping and bank fees to their fellow taxpayer are somehow critical of others who are offered complimentary travel in exchange for critiquing it as a FREE service to their readers.

    And some of these same people are also the ones getting referral bonuses.

    Hey, churn coins all you want, get referral bonuses all you want, I don’t care. But don’t act like you are better than your peers.

  34. agreed Carl, but they are making money and miles directly and then using it for trips. Making money/ miles off a promo or referral is much much different than getting a comp trip and reviewing.
    The question is not if one is better than the other. Its just that expectations are different in comped trips. I think Lucky could do both if he wanted to. His audience will adjust accordingly.

  35. @Carl, Well said! Many of us “get away” with the tricks we play because we are dealing with big companies, anonymously, over the web. Imagine how many of us would have the cajones to do what we do if it was the mom and pop store on the corner and you had to look them in the eye every time you applied for a new credit card.

    (Ducking for cover now!)

  36. @Carl —

    I’ve wondered throughout this discussion (spanning 3 blogs) if those who are so opposed to Ben/Gary/Brian taking comped trips is just that they are jealous that they aren’t being given comped trips????

    At a minimum, it’s a lot easier to tell somebody else not to take them, then it is to not take them yourself!

  37. You know what’s ironic is that after waxing poetic about integrity, FTG follows it up with 5 referral links masquerading as a blog post about “maximizing united miles”, then doesn’t have the integrity to refrain from censoring comments in his site. Not your finest 24 hours FTG.

  38. “At a minimum, itā€™s a lot easier to tell somebody else not to take them, then it is to not take them yourself!”

    And that is the problem. It is much easier to claim you will remain unbiased than it is to do so. Once you get accustomed to getting things comped you tend to want to get more freebies and may be less likely to criticize and be objective.

    Trying to compare this to coin churning (which I haven’t done) is crazy. In one case someone is providing, supposedly objective, reviews, in the other case someone is just earning miles and providing nothing in return to others.

    This is where people constant fall into the trap of thinking “just this one time” and it leads to problems. Kind of like the politician or person in authority who gets a perk here and there. Then it leads to more and expectations of constant favorable treatment.

    Doing the right thing isn’t easy or always in your best interest. I don’t mind signing up for freebies/miles but I’m not going to lie to credit card companies about having a business or higher income, etc. I don’t think it is unrealistic for bloggers to refrain from freebies.

  39. Ben,

    What constitutes full disclosure? Certainly as a reader of your blog posts, I knew the Mendoza trip was sponsored by AA and Hyatt, and you did a good job of reminding your readers of that in every blog post.

    But then I saw you posted a short summary of your Hyatt Mendoza review on Flyertalk with a link to your full review. Had anybody followed your link to the full review, they would have gotten the disclosure, but in your short one or two line summary you used the terms “fantastic stay” and “absolute bargain”, without any disclosure in that summary post, so that readers that didn’t bother to follow the link to your full review do not get any disclosure.

    Judge for yourself, did that post merit a disclosure from you at the time you posted it or not?

    http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/16300199-post30.html

    (forget about the follow up posts that other people posted after that, it was up to you to disclose or not right there in that post.)

    I’m hoping that was just a one-off mistake or accidental omission, but unfortunately you never bothered to come back with any follow up even after the sponsorship was discussed by me and others in that thread.

    Thanks,
    -David

  40. Cutting to the chase, I find the disclosure to be far more complete when I know what someone is comped (e.g., a hotel room that I can independently calculate) instead of having someone disclose to me that a nebulous referral fee, of which I have no idea, is being given. Telling me that you are comped a specific hotel room or a flight is tantamount to telling me the dollar value of what you received. Telling me you receive a “referral fee” is asking me to suspend my opinion, one way or the other. I feel the former is the more forthright.

  41. @hobo13 – Absolutely. As mileage junkies, we can be very jealous of perks others receive that we don’t, which I believe leads to some of the opposition to Ben’s comps that is masqueraded as integrity based.

  42. @ LIH Prem — Sorry, I don’t have as much time to read FlyerTalk as I’d like to; I didn’t read any of that follow up discussion (someone could have PMed me if they had an issue with it). šŸ˜‰

    At the time I thought that was sufficiently transparent when I posted it. I mentioned I was staying as part of a media event, and my opinions were limited to saying that it was a fantastic value (based solely on the fact that it’s a Park Hyatt for 8,000 points per night) and that I had a great stay (with no support for the statement other than a link to my post — which has full disclosure). I certainly should have made it “idiot proof” and spelled out that it was comped, which I’ve done now.

  43. @lucky, thanks, next time I will just PM you if something like that comes up again.

    -David

  44. I stopped reading Frugal Hypocrite Guy’s blog about two years ago when he posted this – http://www.frugaltravelguy.com/2009/04/credit-card-for-those-without-credit.html (Yes, I am the Steve to which he refers in his edit.

    How can someone who tries to make a living off of others by “recommending” this product be critical of what someone else takes as a comp. His post was written with the (paid) ADVICE that someone purchase horrible card – as though they would be doing themselves a favor.

    Anyway, your disclosure was fine. I don’t know how recent a change this is, but when I went looking through his archives to find this article, it seems as though he has re-written his blanket disclosure statement, which now pretty much tells everyone that everything they click on from his site is a paid ad.

  45. Ben,
    I’m under the impression that the OP always returns to his thread to read the comments. I’m sort of surprised to read that you didn’t. But lately, I’ve heard lots of things that have surprised me, and frankly, I’m disappointed.

  46. @ Dan — I wasn’t the OP, I merely made a post in the thread. I’ve done that at least 23,000 times on FlyerTalk, so I think it’s unrealistic for me to go back to every post I’ve ever made to see if anyone had any follow up questions/comments. If I started the thread, sure, that’s different, but I was merely adding to it.

  47. Reading these comments make it seem like there’s a war going on in frequent flyer travel blog land. From what I read, everyone praised their peers, then gave a statement on their personal feelings of the issues. Seems like a non-issue.
    I was shocked to learn that it’s possible to make a living off frequent flyer miles blogging.
    Personally, the comps in question sound horrible to me since they’re only covering 1 person. What’s up with the no significant others allowed??? Where’s the fun in a luxury hotel without a companion?

  48. C’mon guys, set Ben’s comments in the FT PH Mendoza thread aside. His post in that thread said something along the lines of ‘it was a fantastic visit and a great value’.

    We can debate the merits of saying it was a ‘fantastic (comped) stay’ but nobody in there right mind should debate that 8000 Hyatt Points for a Park Hyatt property isn’t an amazing value! Heck, I told Ben that the GH SCL was an amazing value at 8000 points, and it’s *only* a Grand…..

    Ask yourself this — if you had friends going to Mendoza who happened to have Hyatt points, would you tell them to stay at the PH Mendoza? Even if you had NEVER been there? I would answer YES and YES.

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