Flights of Fancy - Airline Blogs
Ed Perkins on Travel
If big-name Websites, travel magazines, and guidebooks can't satisfy your appetite for travel information, hundreds of online blogs are happy to oblige you with still more. There's no way I can cover the wide world of blogging in a comprehensive way -- there are far too many of them, and they come and go like the tides -- but I can at least sort out some of those you might especially like.
First, if you've been living on a different planet and don't know what a blog is, the answer is simple: It's an Internet site mounted by just about anyone with a yen to share his or her information and opinions with the world. Some blogs are openly commercial and sponsored by people trying to sell you something; some are additional outlets for writers who also work through other media, and some are purely voluntary labors of love -- or, sometimes, hate.
Because most of you seem to be concerned about airlines more than any other segment of the travel industry, I'll start with airlines. And I further limit this look to blogs that are at least partially independent -- that are not run by airlines or the big online agencies. Although many of them carry online ads (with links to travel sellers), they generally aren't selling anything (other than, in some cases, their own stuff). Some encourage and post comments by readers, some provide RSS feeds, some publish periodic newsletters, and some solicit contributions. I'm starting with those having a traveler rather than industry focus. Here's a sampling of a very large field, listed alphabetically:
-- Airfarewatchdog Blog (www.airfarewatchdog.com):
Colleague George Hobica's group keeps tabs on airfare developments, issues email bulletin, posts comments, and links with suppliers.
-- BNET's Travel Industry Buzz (www.industry.bnet.com/travel):
Posts links to published news stories, posts comments.
-- Johnny Jet's Travel Blog (www.johnnyjet.com/blog/myblog.html):
Issues email newsletter, links to extensive JohnnyJet travel portal.
-- Online Travel Review (www.onlinetravelreview.com):
Posts extensive original content by blogger, issues email bulletin.
Conde Nast Traveler's
-- The Airline Blog (www.theairlineblog.blogspot.com):
Posts comments by the blogger, links to published stories.
-- The Cranky Flier (www.crankyflier.com):
Posts a mix of bloggers' comments, links to news stories elsewhere, and reader comments, issues email newsletter and RSS feeds.
Two blogs address one of my pet topics -- upgrading from cattle car coach without paying a fortune:
-- Travel Better (www.upgradetravelbetter.com):
Posts some useful information, but too much of the content is general airline stuff rather than specific to upgrades and cheap premium seats.
-- Wing Tips (www.firstclassflyer.com/tips):
Stays on point, but serves mainly as a teaser for subscriptions to First Class Flyer's expensive newsletter.
Other sites zero in on (or at least specialize in) frequent flyer matters. In general, frequent flyer blogs are pretty good about highlighting opportunities to earn miles and points but weak on how to score seats to popular destinations:
-- Flyertalk (www.flyertalk.com):
-- Frequent Flyer
Posts extensive program data plus limited news stories.
-- Up Front with
Colleague Tim Winship posts his own editorial content, plus extensive links through SmarterTravel.
If these aren't enough to keep you busy for a day or two, the Thirty Thousand Feet Website (http://www.thirtythousandfeet.com/blogs.htm) tabulates more than 40 different airline related blogs, including some of the ones I cite. Beyond that, the Blogtoplist site (www.blogtoplist.com/travel) posts links to more than 2,500 travel-related blogs: It includes brief descriptions of content but is not sortable below the general "travel" level. Although many such all-inclusive lists provide worldwide coverage, most of the blogs are in English or have English versions. And, again as usual, such lists typically include a few broken links or links to defunct sites.
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(c) 2009 Ed Perkins on Travel by Tribune Media Services, Inc.
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