I’m all for transparency on the blog, which is why I’m making this post. For years I’ve had the policy of not moderating comments. Moderation is a slippery slope, and not one I wanted to get involved with, because it involves a bit too much bias.

That being said, I guess it was never really fair of me to say that blog comments weren’t being moderated. I get about 5,000 spam comments per day which are automatically caught by WordPress and go straight into the spam folder, most of which involve Viagra, Cialis, Nigerian banks, and heirs to thrones.

So as many of you know (and pointed out over and over), there was a certain commenter on the blog that left hateful comments multiple times a day. I actually felt bad for the guy and thought they were so ridiculous that it didn’t bother me at all. But they were offensive to many, and at the end of the day detracted from the content of the blog because people chose to respond to him.

So I’ve decided to ban said person from posting, simply because his comments are “spam,” as far as I’m concerned. They have nothing to do with the blog posts but instead just focus on his hatred (or perhaps insecurities/self-denial), and I don’t think that’s in anyone’s best interest.

Anyway, my policy really hasn’t changed. I don’t moderate comments unless they’re spam. That’s the same thing I’ve been doing since this blog started. And as far as I’m concerned they’re spam if they have nothing to do with miles, points, travel, or the topics of the posts.

I’ll of course continue to accept hate mail targeted at me, disagreements, and the occasional love letter. ;)

  1. May 2nd, 2012 at 1:44 pm

    JettyBoy said,

    Good move. I wonder if he is a disgruntled 1K that was a victim of TOD upgrades and is looking for avenues to vent.

  2. May 2nd, 2012 at 1:44 pm

    lelee said,

    Agreed. Thats the right attitude.

  3. May 2nd, 2012 at 1:45 pm

    Lantean said,

    Good for you Lucky that you banned that *******. Your private life has nothing to do with this blog, I don’t understand why he was posting about it 10 times a day here.
    Too bad you can’t find out his identity and report him.

  4. May 2nd, 2012 at 1:45 pm

    Mariana said,

    Good for you lucky. For me those comments were distracting (as well as offensive) so it’s good to know that I can now read the comments section more peacefully and learn from them.

  5. May 2nd, 2012 at 1:46 pm

    Matt said,

    +1. Reading back, I’m surprised you didn’t do it earlier – shows a real strength that you didn’t block him for hurting you but instead for being distracting. Kudos!

  6. May 2nd, 2012 at 1:46 pm

    thrashsoundly said,

    Nice post title ;)

  7. May 2nd, 2012 at 1:47 pm

    oneeyejack said,

    hopefully you can ban his IP so he can’t post under another name/email.

  8. May 2nd, 2012 at 1:50 pm

    Richard Chen said,

    We’re all thankful for your work as I, a fellow major blog administrator, can sympathize with the demoralizing and laborious process of vetting comments.

  9. May 2nd, 2012 at 1:52 pm

    Nancy said,

    Frankly…..all I can say is well done!

    P.S. Follow Oneeyejack’s advice about banning the IP address.

  10. May 2nd, 2012 at 1:55 pm

    karen said,

    Thank you! Nuff said.

  11. May 2nd, 2012 at 1:56 pm

    lucky said,

    Thanks, guys!

    @ oneeyejack — IP is banned, worry not. And comments by those posting for the first time under an IP have to be manually approved, so I’m sure I can “catch” him if that’s the case.

  12. May 2nd, 2012 at 1:57 pm

    Peter Dominowski said,

    Well done…you did the right thing!

  13. May 2nd, 2012 at 1:59 pm

    Andy Bleuebar said,

    “I’ve gotta be frank with you guys…”

    And people say you don’t have a sense of humor…

  14. May 2nd, 2012 at 1:59 pm

    joelfreak said,

    Good move…let him go spew his crap on another medium.

  15. May 2nd, 2012 at 2:00 pm

    Victor said,

    Bravo Lucky! Thank you for stepping up and doing the right thing.

  16. May 2nd, 2012 at 2:02 pm

    Tim said,

    Since you are so concerned with spam, I hope that you will clearly disclose any benefits you receive from posting third-party offers (e.g., credit cards).

  17. May 2nd, 2012 at 2:03 pm

    Andy said,

    Good move. And don’t let the haters get to you.

  18. May 2nd, 2012 at 2:07 pm

    NateEs said,

    +1

  19. May 2nd, 2012 at 2:07 pm

    Scott in Dallas said,

    Keep up the great work, Ben! Posting anonymously on the internetz is probably the highlight of his sad life!

  20. May 2nd, 2012 at 2:11 pm

    Chris said,

    @Tim – a bit OT, but I think Lucky has always disclosed when he benefits from CC links (or other offers). I think maybe you’re confusing him with a more frugal blogger? ;-)

  21. May 2nd, 2012 at 2:11 pm

    Jim said,

    Good Move

  22. May 2nd, 2012 at 2:13 pm

    Wes said,

    Ditto; life’s too short to have to deal with “haters”!

  23. May 2nd, 2012 at 2:13 pm

    Jo C said,

    agree on your move !!!

  24. May 2nd, 2012 at 2:16 pm

    Steve said,

    Thank you for removing the distraction. Your blog is one of my favorites and there was no reason to read some of the terrible things that one person chose to post in response to all of the great things you tell us on a regular basis.

  25. May 2nd, 2012 at 2:18 pm

    Antonio said,

    Like

  26. May 2nd, 2012 at 2:21 pm

    Rick Ingersoll said,

    Chris don’t you think it’s getting ridiculous with all the commotion about affiliate links? Why not take the straightforward approach and assume if it is in “blue” and related to credit cards, somebody is getting paid. Sure simplifies life that way.

    And Ben, you did the right thing. You and other bloggers spend hours working on their blogs. Putting up with that crap is not in the business model anywhere or anytime.

  27. May 2nd, 2012 at 2:32 pm

    Andrew B said,

    It’s your blog, so you should be able to ban people who make offensive comments. I also vote for more clever puns in titles of posts.

  28. May 2nd, 2012 at 2:33 pm

    SAN Greg said,

    Right decision. Person was an internet bully who got his 15 seconds of shame.

  29. May 2nd, 2012 at 2:33 pm

    Dan said,

    Coins, good for you. Claps hands on the banning.

  30. May 2nd, 2012 at 2:44 pm

    Paul said,

    Thanks, Lucky. I had stopped reading the comments as I thought the discussion was becoming a distraction. A lot of useful information can be found in the comments and discussion after your posts. It will be nice to be able to read them again without taking the time to “weed out” the inane ones. Kudos!

  31. May 2nd, 2012 at 2:45 pm

    Katie S said,

    About time! :) The comments were distracting, to say the least. Your approach is appropriate and appreciated by this reader.

  32. May 2nd, 2012 at 2:45 pm

    bluto said,

    Can I be Lucky then?

  33. May 2nd, 2012 at 2:46 pm

    smitty06 said,

    Good decision. It was getting really old to see hate speech on such a positive forum. I also consider the demands for specifics on referral fees to be ridiculous. Enough already!

  34. May 2nd, 2012 at 2:48 pm

    thegasguru said,

    Its a shame it had to come to this, but I for one one am so relieved. That guys comments really were distracting to me, and often ruined the flow of some otherwise very nice discourse in the comments.

    @AndyBluebar Have you been reading this blog long? Has anyoneever accused Lucky of not having a sense of humor??? :)

    @Chris I had the good fortune to have lunch with The Frugal Travel Guy while I was in Hilton Head last month. I assure you beyond any doubt, you will never meet a more genuine, enthusiastic, and generous man. I happen to be a physician, and The Frugal Travel Guy is even trying to work out a plan to use points and miles to provide travel arrangements for doctors doing free medical care mission work in third world countries. He a great guy, and just has a love for the travel game we all play.

  35. May 2nd, 2012 at 2:49 pm

    Susan said,

    Glad you finally banned the troll!

  36. May 2nd, 2012 at 2:52 pm

    Ted F said,

    Hahaha, tell the truth Lucky, moderating comments take LOTS of time, that’s why you don’t want to do it? :) Don’t worry, I wouldn’t either if I were you for that reason.

  37. May 2nd, 2012 at 2:59 pm

    Dan said,

    Thanks!

  38. May 2nd, 2012 at 3:03 pm

    Fred said,

    I am with you….

  39. May 2nd, 2012 at 3:05 pm

    Cdiddy said,

    Agree with everyone above, good move. Though, I must say, he was so pathetic I almost felt bad for hime. It must not be easy going through life as a grown man with the mental capacity (and vocabulary) of 12 year-old.

  40. May 2nd, 2012 at 3:10 pm

    JetAway said,

    Thanks! And now back to our regularly scheduled programming…

  41. May 2nd, 2012 at 3:13 pm

    oc25 said,

    Lucky, ou can always go the route of this Texans couple: http://abcnews.go.com/Business/jury-awards-13-million-texas-defamation-suit-anonymous/story?id=16194071

  42. May 2nd, 2012 at 3:14 pm

    John said,

    Ben- Awesome!! Frank was shitting all over your excellent blog. Thanks for banning him!

  43. May 2nd, 2012 at 3:15 pm

    jeff said,

    +1

  44. May 2nd, 2012 at 3:15 pm

    Frank said,

    I’m still here……….

  45. May 2nd, 2012 at 3:16 pm

    hobo13 said,

    Ah man, I should have thought through that prank a little better.

  46. May 2nd, 2012 at 3:26 pm

    emily said,

    and this is why we love you to pieces :)

  47. May 2nd, 2012 at 3:30 pm

    jcmitchell21 said,

    I just got the title of your post … funny.

  48. May 2nd, 2012 at 3:30 pm

    Sergio said,

    good move, thanks!!!!

  49. May 2nd, 2012 at 3:32 pm

    Tisha said,

    good for you Lucky! =) That guy was horrible!

  50. May 2nd, 2012 at 3:32 pm

    MM said,

    Good move, lucky
    RIP Frank… Not!

  51. May 2nd, 2012 at 3:34 pm

    Tyler said,

    Completely fair, and I appreciate you not moderating. I have much more respect for you with that aspect than some of the other boardingarea bloggers who moderate. It takes away a feeling of community.

  52. May 2nd, 2012 at 3:50 pm

    MilesQuest said,

    I’m looking forward to the day when I have comments to moderate, LOL

  53. May 2nd, 2012 at 3:57 pm

    Lauren said,

    totally agree with your decision! and keep up the awesome work :)

  54. May 2nd, 2012 at 3:58 pm

    Laura said,

    Good show

  55. May 2nd, 2012 at 4:01 pm

    The Weekly Flyer said,

    Nice choice of words, totally agree with your decision.

  56. May 2nd, 2012 at 4:14 pm

    CEMoore said,

    Good choice Lucky

  57. May 2nd, 2012 at 4:16 pm

    John said,

    Thanks.

  58. May 2nd, 2012 at 4:18 pm

    FBKSan said,

    Heh,thought from the title you were going to reveal that… Gasp! … You were frank all along. In some sort of admittedly very strange practical joke. Anyway, thanks for the transparency!

  59. May 2nd, 2012 at 4:20 pm

    LK said,

    Good!

  60. May 2nd, 2012 at 4:23 pm

    Jeremy said,

    Keep up the great work, Ben. Heck, moderate all the haters as soon as they show. No room for them here.

  61. May 2nd, 2012 at 4:31 pm

    Rrr said,

    Let yo haters be yo motivators! Lol.

  62. May 2nd, 2012 at 4:34 pm

    FrequentMiler said,

    Good move. It will be interesting to see if he pops up on other blogs. If so, time to play wack a mole!

  63. May 2nd, 2012 at 4:43 pm

    jcb said,

    Ben, nice work. his comments were pointless and juvenile and didn’t add to anything. keep up the great site.

  64. May 2nd, 2012 at 5:24 pm

    Michael T said,

    I was going to recommend all posters be at least age 13. That would have worked as well.

  65. May 2nd, 2012 at 5:50 pm

    Ted F said,

    @Michael T and enforce it like how Facebook enforces it?

  66. May 2nd, 2012 at 6:49 pm

    k2o said,

    I was hoping your great lead in line was going to say just this…Good for you Lucky! Love your stuff as always.

  67. May 2nd, 2012 at 7:32 pm

    NYCWahoo said,

    I really enjoy reading your blog(even though you, Gary and Brian post same stuff all the tune)

    As they say, “don’t let the haters get to you.”

  68. May 2nd, 2012 at 8:04 pm

    Robert Hanson said,

    Somehow, it seems that many of the commentators today missed your point. You are still not moderating comments. Frank didn’t comment, he spammed….and did so in a frankly distasteful way….

  69. May 2nd, 2012 at 8:36 pm

    RT said,

    Good decision!

  70. May 2nd, 2012 at 10:01 pm

    Ryan said,

    You have every right (and reason) to ban his comments. I wish that you would moderate other offensive comments as well. It surprised me when you did not say anything to a reader who commented that he was disgusted by any homosexual behavior after you wrote about a run in you had with a hotel guest. I don’t think homophobic comments should be tolerated at all. Your writing reads as if you are much older than you really are. However, considering your age, I would hope that you would have a slightly more progressive policy towards intolerant comments. You have to consider your entire audience, not just the straight ones. This is your blog and ultimately you are the one who has the right to moderate.

  71. May 2nd, 2012 at 10:37 pm

    Chris said,

    @Rick – My point was not to debate the merit (or necessity) of disclosure, but rather that Lucky always discloses whether or not he is getting any benefits from “third-party offers”. Since Tim was unjustly accusing him, I was trying to redirect his feedback to a more appropriate blogger. Although, one can’t help but wonder if that comment would have been moderated had it been on your blog.

    @Thegasguru – I wasn’t trying to pick on Rick when I made that comment. To be honest, I don’t care whether bloggers disclose the perks or not. I was just standing up for Lucky.

  72. May 2nd, 2012 at 11:37 pm

    wfb said,

    Thanks for bouncing the miscreant.

  73. May 3rd, 2012 at 8:28 am

    Holly said,

    As the proud mom of a gay son, I’m glad you did this Lucky.

  74. May 3rd, 2012 at 8:37 am

    steve64 said,

    I’m not too sure why you think you “gotta be frank” :)
    But am glad you’ve taken this action. Personally, I had no problem ignoring those irrelevant posts from someone with obvious issues. However, the constant responses were (IMHO)a bit frightening … feeding the guy with the attention he was looking for (but now I’m doing it :o )

    Logging a post to get my IP on the “good” list before it’s needed !!

  75. May 3rd, 2012 at 9:37 am

    DRI said,

    I guess what will be his nickname next time when he tries to post a comment here…maybe “unlucky”?

  76. May 3rd, 2012 at 10:19 am

    msp2anywhere said,

    Let’s be frank: surely you were contemplating this for a while? ;)

  77. May 3rd, 2012 at 2:28 pm

    James said,

    Nothing could be furter from the truth.

  78. May 3rd, 2012 at 5:28 pm

    Dax said,

    I like the hands-off approach and I enjoy spirited debate and dissent as much as anyone, but Frank’s comments usually had nothing to do with anything being discussed prior to his posts. His childish comments were nothing more than random personal attacks. Needless to say, he won’t be missed.

  79. October 31st, 2012 at 12:49 am

    The blog ate your comments! - One Mile at a Time said,

    [...] y’all know I don’t really moderate comments (aside from extreme circumstances), and the way WordPress usually seems to operate is that if you’ve left a comment on the blog [...]

  80. November 9th, 2013 at 4:31 am

    Brian said,

    So I agree with filtering the hate, but you have continued to filter the constructive questions/comments as to why you don’t fly UA anymore. Rumors persist amongst bloggers that you’ve been banned from UA. Come clean?!

  81. April 11th, 2014 at 10:21 pm

    hkairlinenews said,

    @ Michael T – Crap then, I’m in the wrong place. (I will be in less than a month though…)

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