During this holiday week, I wanted to give a shout out to my favorite airline bloggers, writers who know exactly what's happening in the industry, even though many of them have non-journalism day jobs.
I am not sure how all of them churn out as much content each week as they do. But I am impressed at all the quality information they share.
You may already follow some of these people. But if you haven't checked out their work, you might consider it. Here are my favorites, in no particular order:
Blog: One Mile At A Time, by Ben Schlappig
Specialty: How to make the most of your airline miles.
Key attributes: A sense of humor, as well as a deep knowledge of every award-travel loophole at just about each of the world's airlines. Ask any question about any program, and it is not likely you will stump him.
Favorite recent post: Ben is taking his father on an around-the-world trip in first class. But Ben hasn't been telling his father where they were going. In this post, Ben's father tries to guess, on video, the next destination. It's great television.
Blog: View From the Wing, by Gary Leff.
Speciality: General airline news with focus on frequent flier programs. Also includes advice for travelers.
Key attributes: According to his bio, Gary has an important day job. I'm surprised, given the number of times each week he posts. He has a never-ending stream of fresh airline content.
Favorite recent post: "RANT: American Needs to Bring Back the Old Cookie!" In which Gary criticizes American Airlines catering.
Blog: Cranky Flier, by Brett Snyder
Speciality: Brett, who started his career working at United Airlines and America West, is excellent at explaining why airlines make business decisions. He focuses less on the customer experience and more on the economics of an airline. Many airline employees start the day by reading his blog.
Key attributes: Brett understands the business better than just about anyone. He can take complicated subjects and break them down for the casual reader.
Favorite recent post: Why Do US Airlines Leave Seat Belt Signs On For So Long? (Ask Cranky)
Blog: The Points Guy, by Brian Kelly and others.
Specialty: Maximizing frequent flier miles. Also gives advice for ensuring you get the right credit cards for travel perks.
Key Attributes: Works with a team of nine, according to the website, so there's plenty of content. Kelly speaks at seminars at which he helps travelers get the most bang for their buck. Also keeps passengers posted on the best deals.
Favorite recent post: "How Revenue-Based Mileage Earning Affects Leisure Travelers." A remarkably thorough analysis.
Blog: The Wandering Aramean, by Seth Miller
Speciality: Seth writes about airline news, the passenger experience and points programs. Like the others, he is remarkably productive.
Key attributes: Seth is especially good at giving analysis whenever airlines change their frequent flier programs. He also has good tips for saving money on travel.
Favorite recent post: Seth explains what it means to "nest" air tickets. Then he shows how it is done, and explains how travelers can save money by doing so.
Blog: Travelskills, by Chris McGinnis
Speciality: Airline news, with a focus on San Francisco. Chris also writes a great trip report, like this recent one from a Korean Airlines flight.
Key attributes: Chris is a journalist, and he writes easy-to-read posts about the most important airline news of the week. He also tries to have a little fun with it. Case-in-point: A post about his nine favorite travel smells.