Ethical Dilemmas Running This Blog

I started blogging one weekend day in May 2002 on a lark. I had several friends with blogs back then, and I thought I’d try my hand at it. Only I didn’t have anything useful to contribute solely on politics and current events, which were the only blogs I knew about at the time. So I decided to write about travel and miles and points along with an eclectic amalgamation of offbeat news.


My Original Blog

My interest in stories like poop falling from the sky stems from my ‘quirky’ sense of humor, and dates back to the beginning — although my very first post was about credit card mileage-earning.

In the beginning I’d get 30 visits a day. The very first link to this site came from legal blog The Volokh Conspiracy. Within a year I was getting 500 a day, although there were exciting spikes along the way — Glenn Reynolds of Instapundit would link to me regularly, especially for my coverage of the TSA and the early bumper stickers I created to Impeach Norm Mineta as Secretary of Transportation (the TSA had been part of DOT before it was moved to the newly-created Department of Homeland Security, by the way I still find the use of ‘Homeland’ to be creepy). The tagline for the stickers was “Liberty & Security Not Bureaucracy.”

I don’t think I was getting 2000 visits a day regularly until I was about 4 years in. One thing that helped me jump to even that level were links from my boss’s blog and an opportunity to guest blog for him.

When I look back at my posts even from those first few years I’m not super proud of them. It took me a long time to find my ‘voice’.

But it was fun. I’m not naturally a great writer, but I still love the creative outlet and opportunity to express myself. I got to interact with and even to know many people who share my interests. In 2005 I even declared what I wanted for Christmas and a reader sent it to me.

Back then blogs interacted with each other more than they do today. Blogging was a conversational medium. You linked to someone’s post and shared why you agreed or disagreed with them. That’s how traffic was built. That formative experience for me has a lot to do with why I credit where I find things, and why I try to send traffic to blogs (by including them in lists of links) when I feel like they deserve greater attention.

This Blog is 100% Me, But it’s Only Part of What I Do

Long time readers know that I never went full time with blogging. As some of the other sites became full-fledged businesses, even selling out to corporations, this has remained one of the many things that I do. I still have a job, it’s where I get my health insurance, and I travel for work. I also write this blog; have an award booking service; help put together the Freddie Awards; consult with financial institutions on the travel and loyalty industries; and even serve as an expert witness in federal criminal trials.

I keep extremely busy, but it’s doing all of the different things that I love. Meanwhile I continue to build this blog. Everything I know or believe about the theory of the firm? I do the opposite.

Fortunately since it’s just one of the things that I do, and everything here is in my own voice, I write on my own terms. You don’t have to like this blog, or like every post, and I respect your opinion. But I speak my mind, I stake out positions, I don’t stay milquetoast desperate to avoid controversy and pushing some readers away.

How This Blog Makes Money

Now that the blog has a sizable readership it’s able to make money. No matter what you do it’s almost impossible to make money with a small audience, and you don’t have to go to great lengths to make money with a large one.

This blog started without any ads at all. GoogleAds didn’t even exist when I began. After a month or so Glenn Reynolds paid to take down the ad placed there by my first site host, Blogspot. After 7 months Randy Petersen offered to host my blog. But it wasn’t until 2004 that I had an ad up. “BlogAds” were selling on my site for $40 per week, and I told Randy he could keep it all to defer hosting costs and the technical help his team had given me to get things set up.

After more than five years of blogging I was making $250 a month from the site. It wasn’t long after that I was making $750 a month. I’m very fortunate to have done well since then, but it began simply as a labor of love and stayed that way for years. And in doing well I’m better able to remain ‘independent’ in my coverage of airlines and hotels, since I don’t rely on them for access or income.

On this site I make money from banner ads (paid advertising) and from affiliate links (if you are approved for some though certainly not all of the credit cards I write about, plus the occasional Amazon or other product).

I have financial relationships with banks that issue credit cards and there are financial firms that I’ve worked with as clients seeking my advice and help in understanding the economics of loyalty programs as they develop their investment strategies. Readers also become clients of my award booking service.

I make money through several ventures outside of this blog, so I don’t need to do anything I’m not comfortable with to earn a living. Instead I just keep spouting off (as some of you would say) and if people are interested they’ll keep reading it, and fortunately people have and that’s the main reason I’m compensated for the work I do here.

Ethics and Earning Income From the Blog

Recently One Mile at a Time wrote about their ethics policy and it was an interesting discussion. Lucky went into detail about how he stays independent. Much of it agree with, some of it I don’t, so I thought I’d share my own perspective.

Like Lucky I always disclose in a post where there’s any sort of potential benefit to me, such as if getting approved for a credit card or buying a product I wrote about generates revenue. Most of my posts don’t have any such potential, but the more content you read the more ads are displayed so there’s incremental revenue there.

Here are One Mile at a Time’s policies:

  • Don’t accept any free travel from airlines or hotels even “invitations on delivery flights, or pre-opening stays at hotels that aren’t otherwise open to the public”

  • Don’t accept any other in-kind “gifts” that could present a conflict of interest like elite status or even tickets. He says “I also don’t accept free dinners from airline people (or take their marketing teams out to dinner.”

  • Don’t accept payments from airlines or hotels in exchange for coverage

  • Don’t advertise the site in other media

  • Don’t let airlines or hotels know in advance they’re coming

Like Lucky I don’t advertise in other media, and all of my coverage elsewhere on television, in print, and online is organic and earned however I don’t see that as an ethical issue. It’s just my approach.

I don’t generally accept free travel or other gifts, either, however there are events I want to attend for content reasons that aren’t open to the general public. I don’t need the information flow from official sources as I’ve cultivated many ‘deep’ sources within various airlines and hotel chains). And when I do decide to attend an event I have a pretty clear approach to those: a charitable donation that offsets anything I’ve received.

United ran a preview flight of their first Boeing 777-300ER with their new Polaris business class in it for media. There was no opportunity to buy a ticket on this flight, which is how I’ve gotten onto various inaugurals — buying a ticket like anyone else — so what I do in cases like that is make a charitable donation equal to the value of what I’ve received (even after accounting for any tax benefit).

In order to take the United flight I had to buy a ticket to Chicago and a flight home from San Francisco, and pay for a hotel room. I also donated the cost of a first class ticket between Chicago and San Francisco.

Status comps aren’t something I’m looking for either. I was once offered free Hilton status and I declined.

I don’t seek better treatment from airlines or hotels because of this blog, however I have occasionally let an airline know I’d like to take photos, because I don’t want to run into problems and get arrested. It’s never led to better service (or if it was better than it would have otherwise been, it’s occasionally still be downright awful). There have been a few times where hotels Googled me.

  • Oddly at the W Doha my upgrade wasn’t as good as what many Platinums were receiving

  • At the Park Hyatt Vendome the marketing manager came out to greet me. On that stay I received the lowest category room they can assign when using a confirmed suite upgrade award. On my other stays confirming suites I’ve always done better! They don’t me if I wanted a better upgrade I’d have to pay for it,

    I asked whether a room ‘like the one I had last year’ was available. I was told yes — and that I could have it for an extra 100 euros per night. I declined. While some would consider the room to be worth it, I was perfectly happy with the room I was assigned. I don’t consider a single room, usually, to be a suite but it was more than adequate for my needs.


W Doha

There are a few things that I have taken. If I attend a briefing event I usually skip out on the social stuff, I’m tired and introverted and probably want to do something else it’s not so much the ethics of a nice dinner. However I have no issue taking a sandwich in a conference room to make things a working lunch. Likewise if I’m meeting a hotel executive in one of their hotels it’s not practical for me to be the one to pick up the check, though I’m usually the one who buys under ordinary circumstances.

I agree as well with Lucky that “I don’t think there’s anything wrong with…accepting comped flights or sponsored trips.” For many it’s the best way to develop unique content and bring it to readers.

Fortunately with the different ways I earn income I don’t need to do this to experience things I want to try. And with as busy as I am the last thing I want is to go where someone else wants me to go, and spend time doing things someone else wants. The most valuable resource I have — now that I’m a dad, even more so than before — is my time. I just don’t have the time to go to events or take sponsored trips.

Ethical Conundrums Go Far Beyond What Benefits a Writer Takes for Themselves

It’s important to remember that the people you cover aren’t your friends even if you get to know them and even like them as people. I should put that a little bit differently. There are some people I’ve gotten to know that have run loyalty programs, whom I’ve stayed in touch with when they were no longer in that role and I was no longer covering their work. They can be friends but it’s important to draw a line between liking someone and letting that influence your coverage of them.

It isn’t always an easy line to draw because when you get to know someone you may (justifiably) given them more of a benefit of the doubt.

Maybe that’s not an ethics issue, but it’s certainly something to watch for. Let me offer something that’s more clearly an ethical dilemma that has nothing to do with my own personal benefit.

Instead it’s an example of a coverage choice I had to make, where the benefit in question wasn’t mind but a reader’s. A few years ago a reader brought me a really bad experience with an airline. The airline was 100% at fault, but the customer had gotten nowhere. I was going to write about it, and reached out to the airline for comment. Their Vice President of Communications came back with an interesting offer.

  • They wanted to handle this as a customer service issue rather than a public relations issue.

  • If I was writing about it there wasn’t much they could do. But if I was just helping a passenger get compensation they’d take care of things. This reader would get two first class tickets anywhere in the world.

I pondered that. I could help the person who reached out to me, or I could write a good story. This wasn’t something that affected safety, and it wasn’t a situation that was even likely to re-occur. So telling the story wouldn’t make others better travelers. It wouldn’t help them travel better. I decided to take the deal. For avoidance of doubt there was no benefit to me, and I gave up something personally — a good story. The reader got made (more than) whole.

I still think I did the right thing but I’m curious to know what y’all think.

I Do the Best I Can and Generally Don’t Judge Others

There are any number of ethical choices we all make on a daily basis. I don’t have a staff to bounce things off of, no editor, I’m just me and I do the best that I can to write content that interests me (the only way I could possibly still be doing this after 17 years) and hopefully engaging content and do it in a way that let’s me sleep well at night.

That doesn’t make me any more ethical than anyone else, and I’m sure readers will find fault with plenty of things I write, but it’s how I generally think about the blog.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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Comments

  1. @Matt Clancy – I think the explanation I offered, that Ben wrote a post and it prompted me to share my own thoughts, really does capture it

  2. @GUWonder I cannot imagine any travel brand thinks of me as their captive, in fact I cannot think of a single one at least of the larger ones we’re all familiar with that likes me very much. Although the funny thing is that each thinks I’m harder on them than their competitors.

  3. Thanks for the clarification on conflicts. It’s always good to know where someone is coming from.

  4. “I do not submit my posts for approval in advance and I write about offers that do not offer me referral credit.”

    Interesting. So I mis-remembered an offered contract from Amex. Is there any prohibition of your posting better offers than the one commissionable?

    “I am not always on top of every offer, and when you’ve shared offers you’re aware of in the comments I’ve always approved them!’

    Understood. I occasionally miss a better offer, too.

  5. @Matt Clancy – I don’t think this wave has anything to do with Trump, Republicans, or politics.

    I think it started with TPG’s “Winning or Losing” article and the takedown of their “Out to Lunch” article – two articles on Marriott Rewards/Bonvoy, the later one (“Winning or Losing”) being exceedingly positive, the prior one (“Out to Lunch”) being very critical. That, and other evidence of a friendly TPG-Marriott relationship (Oscars, the freakin’ FIRING of the “Out to Lunch” author, other way-too-pro-Marriott articles, etc.), led to a slew of negative comments on “Winning or Losing,” and soon after, to Gary’s very popular “No, TPG, Marriott Devaluations Aren’t Good for Members.” That one pretty much opened the floodgates – bloggers everywhere are taking swipes at TPG now, and righfully so. Thank you, Gary.

    Lucky is seemingly the one who started the “trend” of posting “code of ethics” articles (at least this wave of them; I haven’t been reading these blogs for all that long). In the face of the TPG controversy, I like these “here’s why you should(n’t?) trust me” statements – especially when they spurn conversations with/among readers. These articles are also where some of the aforementioned “swipes” are found (this one has one, as does GSTP’s).

  6. I really like your blog and respect your insights. I regard VFTW as one of the few reliable sources of accurate information out there in the blogosphere. I hope you keep it up for a long time!

  7. I recently started following you Gary on FB, and have to say, I’m impressed. I like the authentic bloggers, and while your approach is a bit different from Lucky, this type of honest article really gets me hooked.

    Congrats on following your passion, and for being what seems to be a good guy overall. Good luck with the kiddo, as I’ve got two kids (5&3) and value the mix of content you bring on travel. Keep up the good work.

  8. Hi I think you do an awesome job. Keep up the good work. Keep the credit card offerings come and also do some mystery “shop” on a flight. Fly somewhere sand rate the service, food, gate agents , cleanliness of cabin, presentation of food, flight service, luggage arrival, the whole 9 yards. Happy to help in this. Keeps them on their toes.

  9. The most immoral activity of travel bloggers is their obsession with flying business class. First, most flyers fly economy and folks in business class already know that it will be nice so it’s less important to them to get reviewers’ impressions. Economy, on the other hand, can be OK or downright miserable and there is not nearly as much good information out there for the economy cabin. Second, a transpacific RT flight in business class uses as much fuel as driving a Hummer for a full year. Seriously, it is downright evil environmentally and to do it multiple times a year, well, there’s a special place down there for those folks. This is the unwritten ethical transgressions of travel bloggers.

  10. “If I was writing about it there wasn’t much they could do. But if I was just helping a passenger get compensation they’d take care of things. This reader would get two first class tickets anywhere in the world.”

    Sounds like they presented you with a bogus choice. Why would you writing about this experience mean that the airline was unable to help the customer any further? That’s a load of BS. Clearly the airline was only responding to to the fact that they were going to receive some very negative coverage.

  11. You are still my favorite travel blog. If I were a travel writer, I would take every comp available. I was probably a pirate in my last life.

  12. They fired Richard Kerr for an article they approved and copy edited on their own site? Terrible

  13. That’s an interesting ethical dilemma, help your reader or benefit yourself from the story (and probably help others if they had a similar experience); it sounds though like it was not a wide occurrence (e.g. not nearly as common as overlooked PDBs, lol). I think I would’ve made the same choice… Oh and great post!

  14. I believe the speculation above about people being fired is inaccurate

    I also did not intentionally take a swipe at anybody in this post.

  15. Gary,
    I have wondered about how you travel enough to accumulate all the miles and your attendance at events. This is very helpful, and I believe you are taking great precautions to be independent with your views. I fly American a lot, and they have failings and it is clear some of your inside sources have an ax to grind with AA. That said, I find your comments to be honest and consistent. Thanks for the post

  16. Gary – Just another example of the transparency your followers so appreciate. Travelers are unaware that that virtually every leading consumer travel magazine now accepts complimentary travel for its writers. That is why destinations are reading better and better and everything is starting to smell like a strawberry.

    The real “Fake News” is what the travel industry puts out, much of it on huge sites owned by the same corporation using “Buzz Marketing”. This is a technique where workers in the marketing department use their forty or fifty e-mail aliases to create positive buzz, “consumer reviews”, and online sabotage of the competition. TripAdvisor does not require that one has actually stayed at a hotel to post a review.

    We’re now in our second decade of operating a travel media group that accepts absolutely no advertising of any kind, no promotional funding, and no free travel. As you know, it is amazingly liberating to be able to actually tell consumers the truth about the ways of our industry. Friends in the industry do not understand how we can offer so much ad-free, hype-free content while making money. The answer is we don’t. Our sites cost us money. But each and every morning, we sit down at our computer and read e-mails from all over the country and abroad from people wanting to work with us. As you have discovered Gary, when people ask “what’s your secret” the answer is that, when it comes to travel, people are sick and tired of lies, distortions, and ads blitzes that insult the reader’s intelligence. Take care Gary.

  17. Do you think of yourself as a consumer advocate first and foremost when covering developments in the airline and hotel area?

    There are times when your coverage of a covered company or industry includes language that seems you’ve been captured (at least in part) by the companies/industries which you cover by or the apologists for such companies/industries who may provide you with material, access to material, or even confirmation.

    I know you’re not fully captive of any company or industry, and I can see why each company you cover may claim they get it worse than the others, but it doesn’t mean you’ve not been subject to being influenced by the companies/industries you cover. The question is only to which extent beyond zilch, as we are all subject to parties trying to influence opinions and coverage.

  18. I like that you’re grossing up your donations to offset gifts that you would rather have paid for for the tax benefit. Are you also giving as generously as you did before the blog net of those sorts of donations? If not, you are getting a substitution benefit from the good feeling of giving. Are you picking your own charity? If you are you are furthering your own interest in how to help the world at large. If you wanted to be neutral, you could pick a charity at random based on overall donations to all charities, or you could just give a little more for the private benefit you are getting by giving to the best charity vs. a random charity.

    I enjoyed your interesting question about the story vs. the compensation. It was selfless of you to give up the story. I hope you offered the choice to the victim. If they preferred the story, you should have gone with that.

  19. @GUWonder – I don’t think of myself as anything first and foremost other than… myself. Was it Kierkegaard or Dick Van Patten who said “If you label me, you negate me”?

    I write what I think, and at various times I have on different lenses, I guess I can see how – if I’m explaining why a company might have done something – you’d see that as justifying or sanctioning. I just see it as sharing insight I’m able to offer readers, often context that they won’t get from other blogs in similar space.

  20. I’ve been reading your blog since nearly the beginning – it was a link from either the Volokh Conspiracy or Marginal Revolution in 2003 that lead me to you as I was a reader of both at the time. The only issue where it seems there might be a conflict of interest is that it appears that you have more positive coverage of credit cards where you have an affiliate relationship versus others. It may be subconscious bias but your posts certainly read that way. For example, you’ve had several posts over the last year touting the benefits of the Sapphire Preferred over the Reserve, which is surprising unless you’re getting a higher commission on one versus the other.

  21. Gary,

    I always love your responses, especially the ones that have the kind of eclecticism shown in your most recent response to me.

    You being you has made me a fan of your blog too. And what you write does keep me interested and engaged. And your blogs success and utility for consumers is why I want to nudge you at times toward a more obviously consumer-friendly stance if only because companies with a lot of clout need a lot more criticism of their anti-consumer ways to even have a slight chance not to get fleeced even worse than already takes place.

  22. This is a beautiful thing that you stayed the course and did the transformation blogging business work. And not that you’re a “travel blogging side hustle millionaire,” what are your days like Gary? Do you travel all week and create content on the fly? Or do you blog as a “side hustle millionaire” working from home?

  23. … for consumers to even have a slight chance not to get fleeced even worse than already takes place and is on the slate.

  24. @GUWonder I think I do plenty of consumer advocacy — whether it’s taking individual reader problems and getting them solved, pushing to get hotel chains to open award space at recalcitrant properties, I’ve been on a Don Quixote quest over devaluations at several programs. But I’m also not Christopher Elliott who never met a cosnumer who did anything wrong or company that acted reasonably. I call ’em as I see ’em, but on the whole if there was one thing I’m about it’s explaining what’s ‘really going on’ so that consumers can make their own informed choices.

  25. Thanks, Gary, for what you do. I’m one of your earliest readers, and I believe you have kept the faith with me and other frequent travelers better than most.

  26. Gary,
    Keep on doing what you do best! Your columns often hit the mark. If/when they don’t, your readers certainly won’t shy away from telling you! 🙂
    You deep travel experience coupled with the fact that you haven’t left the working world to be a full-time travel blogger enables a well-informed perspective on travel.
    Keep ’em coming!

  27. @James Osborne — It is not “immoral” for travel bloggers to focus on luxury travel. It may be “unfortunate,” but common sense explains why it is so. Think about car enthusiasts. Are they more likely to be excited by luxury sports cars or work-a-day Hyundai Elantras? I do think many blogs, including this one, paint an unrealistic picture of how easy or practical it is to fly in international business class. I honestly don’t think anyone could fly up front as often as the bloggers do by applying the principles they mention in their blogs. There are a few tricks that could possibly support such a lifestyle, but those aren’t the tricks that are going to get much attention in the blogs.

  28. Thanks for explaining this, and thanks for your ethics. Not to be political but ethics have declined quite a bit in the past two years, from the top Down. It’s been contagious.

  29. Gary,
    Even limiting my comments to those bloggers who are, to the best of their knowledge and ability, attempting in good faith to make their columns “ethical,” every one of those bloggers will draw the lines at slightly different locations because their circumstances will be, to some extent and in various ways, different — and because, like much of life, it doesn’t come at us in black and white. It’s nuanced; there are advantages and disadvantages/costs and benefits in multiple dimensions and on multiple planes (no pun intended).
    You honor us — your readers — by taking ethics considerations seriously, thinking about the choices that come to your attention, both the obscure ones and the obvious ones, and endeavoring to make the most responsible choices you can, all things considered.
    Would I make precisely the same choices you’ve made in all cases? That’s most unlikely. Would any other reader? Also very unlikely. Equally unlikely: that any two of your readers would make precisely the same set of choices even if 100% committed to ethicality.
    In many years of reading your blog posts and often acting on their ideas and suggestions, I’ve never felt “used and abused.” I thank you for the useful information you’ve provided, for the opportunities for amazing travel experiences my wife and I’ve had that, in many cases, I think it’s quite unlikely we would have had otherwise. This strikes me as a healthy symbiotic relationship — you enjoy obtaining the content for and writing your blog posts and are able to pursue your travel passion to an extent you could not otherwise have managed; your readers are able to pursue their travel passions to an extent they otherwise could not have managed.
    So I hope you’ll keep up the good work — and that you’ll continue to remain mindful of ethical considerations and choices, and to make conscious and conscientious decisions about those choices.
    P.S. My intention, tomorrow, is to obtain yet another credit card you’ve recommended, using the link in one of your posts. I hope you enjoy the benefits of the points or other compensation you’ll receive as a result; I certainly intend to enjoy the benefits of the points I’ll receive from the sign-on and spend bonuses.

  30. I greatly appreciate that Gary is willing to take a position and defend it. I agree that too many other bloggers, including ones I happily follow, avoid controversy. I also appreciate the “deep sources” that provide insights no other blog captures, even if it is at the expense of a wider focus (i.e. VFTW is one writer with inside sources vs a site run by a large staff doing open source research). I hope these things never change.

  31. @Gary. I enjoy your blog because in my opinion:
    –You discuss a wide variety of interesting issues;
    –You do your best to be ethical, which is the most any of us fallible human beings can do;
    –You do a lot of original research on travel and companies; and
    –You have an insightful mind and do your homework.
    I may nitpick on a few items you write about; but overall, I think you are doing a wonderful job. Keep up the good work.

  32. Gary, thanks so much for sharing this. I value your words quite a bit as a novice blogger. Now I’m considering my own statement of ethics for my site.

  33. This is important for readers. We need to know we’re not buying a cat in a bag/being sold a pup. It’s pretty obvious to me, even prior to reading these ethics statements, that the high integrity blogs stand out: this one, Liveandletsfly, OMAAT, Loyalty Lobby, plus many other smaller ones.
    Some others just don’t pass the sniff test, including the one that pronounced the new Marriott program to be the best thing ever just hours after the launch. Dodgy.

  34. A blogpost on this subject is usually “I’m better than others and now you’re gonna hear about it”.

    This one was not.

    You could have been a much bigger blog and made a ton more money and also made things easier for yourself by hiring other writers. But you have not for the reasons above

    And that’s why I respect you over any other blogger out there.

  35. By you thinking about ethics and then clearly articulating your ethics, you have achieved what most people do not – you have established what I call a “going in position” for your work. That means you already know in advance what you will and will not do. That makes it far easier (and more consistent) than acting upon each situation that comes along independently. Keep up the good work.

  36. Gary, this is my favorite travel blog. One thing that really sets you apart in my mind is that you travel so much for your regular employment and not just for the blog or reviews. You end in up in coach without an upgrade at times (like most of the rest of us EXPs), you travel ordinary routes domestically, etc. You are responsive on Twitter (and that really distinguishes you) Thank you for the insightful article.

    P.S. If you want someone to proofread your articles, I would be happy to do so gratis. It is part of what I do everyday.

  37. As others have said, Gary, thank you for being (seemingly) genuine.
    You, Summer, and Brett are the cream of the crop. Straight-forward. Relate-able. Candid.
    It’s a loss to the community that Summer got folded into TPG… This post gives me confidence that we can rely on your humor for some time to come.

    Cheers

  38. @Gary Leff: You list the current American Airlines offers for its personal and business cards here: https://viewfromthewing.com/2019/04/04/two-new-biggest-offers-for-american-airlines-credit-cards-130000-miles/. You call them “Two New Biggest Offers for American Airlines Credit Cards”. On April 4 I showed you in the comments section that they aren’t, and suggested that you change your write-up. You didn’t. To my memory, this has occurred twice before. So this brings up two questions:

    1. Does your contract with your link provider prohibit you from mentioning offers better than the ones for which they are paying you?

    2. How is your treatment of this issue ethical?

    I discuss how other bloggers have handled this issue on my website in the What’s New section at 4/13/2019 . You might want to take a look. No disaster seems to have fallen on those who mentioned the better offers. They still seem to be earning commissions.

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