I’ve Resigned as Flyertalk’s TalkBoard President and Senior Moderator

I have just tendered my resignation from Flyertalk’s member-elected TalkBoard, on which I’ve served since 2003 (and as its President since 2005). I’ve also resigned as a moderator, I’ve moderated in the MilesBuzz forum since early 2003 and as a senior moderator since the beginning of that program.

I have nothing negative to say about Flyertalk. Sure, there are things that I’d do differently there, but given the role I’ve held on Flyertalk for the past several years anything that I think is wrong — whether I could have changed it or not — I have to take a certain responsibility for. After Randy Petersen its founder, and after the current Community Director, if anyone is responsible for things I have to raise my hand. (I wouldn’t take credit for any of the positives, that goes entirely to the members.)

My reason is simple. Randy Petersen, the founder of Flyertalk, is getting back into the travel community space. And I’ve decided to put my energies and online attentions to joining in building his new community. You’ll be hearing a great deal more about it in this space in the coming weeks.

It was a difficult decision because of what Flyertalk has meant to me, and continues to mean to me, but I’m excited by the prospect of joining Randy’s new site. Everything that I’ve learned about travel I’ve learned as a part of a community that he created, and the idea of creating ex-nihilo a new community that learns from all of the efforts of the past decade, that has the potential to build from a new technology platform the friendliest, most welcoming travel community online — with great, organized, easy to access information — is a compelling proposition.

And of course I have no desire to poke anyone in the eye. Internet Brands, which now owns Flyertalk, will no doubt see this effort as competition. To me, it’s about doing what I can to help my friend Randy, for whom I have the utmost respect. And mostly it’s about helping travelers to improve their lives on the road and at home, to make the most out of their miles and points and meet their goals. That’s why I blog here, and it’s why I go online each day .. still on Flyertalk just as a member, but over the next few weeks you’ll see Randy’s new community and that’s where you’ll find me most often.

I’ll share things here on my blog that I wouldn’t write on Flyertalk, because it’s not my intention to use that site to promote another. At the same time, it’s really about building a new community and it has not much at all to do with Flyertalk. I hope that with enough hard work and passion, the next decade in the new community will be even more rewarding than the last decade has been for me.

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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  1. I have been on FT for a couple of years now and they have given me great info on planning trips, ect.

    You will be missed.

    What will the new site be called?

  2. You will be missed greatly on FlyerTalk but I have to say I look forward to seeing Randy’s new space. I am sure with the combined efforts of yourself and Randy it will be the best yet. Good Luck!!

  3. One way or another, this is certainly going to be a game changer. We live in interesting times!

  4. Hopefully Randy’s new site will rid itself of the self promoters who constantly trump others ideas, spread bad advice and attempt to take all the credit. Hoping Randy can build a community devoid of the attention hogs.

  5. Thanks for all the work you have put into Flyertalk over the years. I look forward to joining the new site that Randy is putting together.

  6. Wow. Internet Brands should have gotten a better non-compete agreement. 🙂

    This will be interesting.

  7. Thanks Gary for your contributions to Flyertalk and we look forward to the new site. Your blog is very helpful and has made a big difference in my travel experiences.

  8. Appreciated your “moderatorship” on FT and hope to still see you around. I’ve only been active on it a year or so, but seems that some of the old guard are jumping ship from FT – is this a sign of thing going afoul?

    This may be a dumb question but what do you mean by Randy “getting back into the travel community space”? I thought he already had another blog/website besides FT?

    In any case, good luck with the new ventures!

  9. “thought he already had another blog/website besides FT?” you are on it – lol
    sorry to here the new but can’t wait for the new site I find flyertalk to large sometimes.

  10. Good luck to you. If you’re saying it’s a competitor then I’m sure FT has a lot to worry about, loss of unique visits/mo will be a tough hit to their revenues.

    Glad you have the sort of non-compete (or lack thereof) that allows you to do this. I’d love to leave my current position to join a friend but am somewhat tied…

  11. Thank you for all the service you’ve given to the FT community. It has been noticed and appreciated.

    All the best for the new endeavor.

  12. Congratulations, Gary! I wish you the best and look forward to continuing to learn from you!

  13. @al613 – Boarding Area is not a part of FT, but a creation of Randy Petersen and others. To explain it might go something like this:

    “Hi, I’m Randy Petersen. You may remember me from such online travel communities as BoardingArea blogs, Flyertalk, and Webflyer.”

    He had an integral hand in creating all of these which is why you see so many FTers over here.


  14. Gary: I’ve enjoyed all your help and assistance at FT and look forward to your newest endeavor.

  15. Here’s wishing you the best. The easy road is to continue with the same-old, same-old. Good for you for shaking things up. Flyertalk is still a go-to site for me, but I’m jazzed by the thought of you two guys creating something new. Congrats.

  16. I am going to have to start abbreviating now MP instead of FT…may be confused with Mileage Plus:-)

  17. Gary,
    I fly over a hundred segments a year. I have never posted on ft but have lurked for many years. Of all the blogs and discussions, I typically find yours to be the most insightful and useful. Thank you for what you do, as can be seen by the posters you make a difference in the lives of many. I MAY even post on your new venture. Looking forward to your new endeavor.

  18. Gary, Happy to know you are going to do better things with Randy, looking forward to see your blogs and tips there.

  19. I have some very close friends and have done thing for them that are over the top. Thats what good friends are for, you can count on them. Good luck with the new adventure.

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