Thank you.

Thank you for stopping by to visit my blog. Thank you for commenting and sharing you experiences. Thank you for the e-mails — expressions of your own thanks, but also your questions, I love answering them and working through puzzles with you, and I love knowing when I’ve contributed in some way to you.

I’ve said this many times before but I really do consider myself one of the luckiest people, and certainly much more fortunate than I could have ever imagined.

I was a semi-frequent flyer as a young child. My parents divorced when I was young and I flew back and forth between the coasts. I remember boarding planes and looking at first class cabins — not imagining who would pay so much more for the seats, and knowing that i would never be one of those people.

And of course I haven’t ever paid for one of those seats — other than on a mistake fare I haven’t ever purchased an international business or first class ticket. I’ve been fortunate to travel the world, and to do it in the sort of comfort I couldn’t have imagined. I’ve stayed in remarkable places, met remarkable people, and I’ve seen and experienced interesting things — none of which I could even have imagined growing up or at the beginning of my professional life.

I started this blog in 2002 when I was first documenting my own learning. I wasn’t an expert, but I knew more than many, and I did get lots of questions about miles and points and it seemed interesting to people. I knew others who were blogging and I thought I had a unique voice to offer. And yet looking back through the archives of earlier posts I didn’t have much of a voice at all! I’m also deeply shy, which some people can find off-putting when I meet them (thinking that by not being outgoing with them I must not be interested). The written form has allowed me to connect so well with many.

This hobby has enriched my life in so many ways, and I’m very grateful for it.

This blog has, too. In many ways it’s still the same personal blog I first started, I write and share what is interesting to me. Now there are just a whole lot more people reading it, and I appreciate each and every one of you.

I leave the comments section pretty much moderation-free. I’ve only ever asked one person not to participate, and I only delete extremely graphic content and comments that include extraneous personal information about people. That takes a thick skin. This is, after all, the internet. I don’t always have as thick a skin as I should, but I try my best, because each and every comment has something to teach me or challenge me. And certainly the positive feedback touches me deeply.

So thank you. Thank you. I look forward to continuing to share this journey together, and I appreciate this opportunity to reflect — and to acknowledge.

  1. Jason said,

    Thanks for all the help and information over the years!

  2. Alan said,

    Thank Y-O-U Gary. Your blog is — by far — the best travel blog of them all!!!

  3. Greg M said,

    Happy Thanksgiving!

  4. Robert Hanson said,

    My wife and I owe you more Thanks than I can possibly express.

    Yours was the first “travel blog” I found, and we have taken a number of FC TATL vacations, staying in almost free hotel rooms, that would not have happened without that discovery.

    I know one is not supposed to use all caps online, since that is tantamount to shouting, but this is an appropriate exception:

    THANK YOU !!!!!

  5. Martin said,

    Happy thanksgiving! Thank YOU very much for sharing all of your secrets. I have been able to travel to places I never would have thought possible without miles and points. You do a great job on your blog and you deserve all the best. I really like how you express that you are really grateful because unfortunately, I know some people that buy international first class tickets 5-10 times a year and think that it is normal. So keep up the good work, and I wish you all the best this thanksgiving!

  6. dhammer53 said,

    I still remember the 1000 post update you did back in the day!!

  7. Alison said,

    Love reading your trip reports and advice. Thx.

  8. Gavin said,

    And thanks back to you.

  9. Jason said,

    Thanks gary…..happy thanksgiving

  10. winger said,

    Happy Thanksgiving, Gary.

  11. Vlad said,

    Thanks to both you and my fellow posters for engaging, entertaining thought and perspective–with the right amount of respectfulness and decency to make this feel like a community.

  12. bruce said,

    Back at you Gary….you are a blessing to many!!!! Happy Thanksgiving!!!!!

  13. Joseph M said,

    Thanks YOU!!!! You provide a great read. Thank you for all your hard work.

  14. Ranjit S said,

    Thank you Gary! Happy Thanksiving!

  15. alanea said,

    Happy Thanksgiving Gary!

  16. Rami said,

    Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family

  17. Lucy said,

    Happy Thanksgiving Gary!

  18. Barry R said,

    Gary – you are FIRST CLASS! You are the only blogger who takes the time to respond to even the most elementary of questions about miles and points. There are a lot of “johnny come-late-lies” in the FF blog-business, but you are the only one in my opinion who provides a truly professional insight. So, thank you!

  19. Stuart Falk said,

    Happy Thanksgiving Gary and thank you for all your practical and insightful posts throughout the year.

  20. Marshall Jackson said,

    Not sure I ever told you, but yours was the first blog I ever read…. way back before I knew how to spell blog. Happy Thanksgiving to you, and thank you for all the information shared here.

  21. justSaying said,

    Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family1

  22. Sice said,

    Thanks Gary! I think the only thing more I need from you is a babysitting service :-)

  23. TheBeerHunter said,

    Thanks to YOU Gary for all you have shared. I really enjoy reading your blog because of the thoughtfulness about the things you post about. I like too that you are pretty unscripted sometimes and you come off like, well, a real person :) Keep up the good work, I really look forward to your posts each day!

  24. Andy said,

    Thank you Gary. What a thoughtful post. All my best.

  25. StephenM said,

    And thanks to you, Gary. You have certainly helped me in many ways. I have never met you so I don’t know how shy you are. But you surely are a master of “The written form.”

  26. Nik said,

    Thank you! And happy thanksgiving!

  27. Eric C said,

    Thanks for what you do; it’s helped me to accomplish many of the same things you’ve outlined and I appreciate the effort you put forth into it.

  28. Alan Kolling said,

    Gary, yours is now the only Freq Flyer blog I read every day, as I generally find the others somewhat redundant. I also greatly appreciate your personal advice and help getting me tickets for flights I could never have gotten myself on several occasions in the past. I hope to finally meet you at one of the FF gatherings in the near future. Thanks again!

  29. Andrew said,

    Love you Gary! Hope to cross paths with you one day to just shake your hand and thank you for what you have done for my family.

  30. gregorygrady said,

    Am I the ONE person who you asked not to participate? Not as far as I know. Instead you just delete all of my comments (for the past year) because you can’t handle it when I call you out, so you really just PRETEND like you don’t moderate comments? What a load of hooey……..

  31. Nurse Traveler said,

    Thank you Gary! Your blog has certainly enriched my knowledge of the industry and I appreciate your insights and all that you share.

  32. Paul said,

    You’re the class of the sector. The pimping is kept to a minimum and isn’t shoved down your throat like all the other businesses, er, blogs do.

  33. Gary said,

    @greggorygrady – for what it’s worth I am not deleting this one, but yes you are the one and only person I have asked not to participate here.

  34. Rod said,

    #33 is priceless! Well done.
    Gary has kept me informed and graciously and promptly
    responded to my questions. And he has taught this
    former airline employee a trick or two to boot.
    Keep up the good work.

  35. Bonnie said,

    And thank YOU, Gary…for not only the constant updated info you so generously provide to all of us… but your support and ability to help me make my travel experiences superb! Bonnie

  36. Mike said,

    I don’t read a lot of blogs but I make sure to read every post you put up. Thanks!

  37. Andy said,

    @Gary – only been reading your blogs for a couple of years, you amaze me where you get the time from to do this, so its much appreciated the effort you go to for all of us. Hope you had a great Thanksgiving (we dont celebrate it here) have a great Christmas and all the very best for 2014.


  38. Barry said,

    You’re welcome.

  39. Add A Comment

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