Interview with The Guy
Introduction: The Guy is business traveler with more than a decade of experience traversing the globe. He’s recently taken on blogging where he shares candid reviews and thoughts on the services that he receives while traveling. From business class airline flights to temporary apartments, you’ll find a comprehensive list of reviews on his site. He most recently released an e-book, which you will find out more about in this interview.
1.) Please tell us a little bit about yourself, who you are, what you do, et cetera.
Hi, I go by the name of “The Guy”, well that is my pen name anyway. I’ve been a long term international business traveler since May 2000.
May 2000 was when I went to work on a project in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia for 17 months. Working in Saudi Arabia was a big culture change for us (no alcohol, restrictions on religious expression, limitations on social activities etc). As a result we were given the opportunity to take a week off a month with an international flight anywhere in the world. This really got me into the routine of frequent overseas travel and blessed me with an opportunity to see the world at very little cost.
They were troubled times in Saudi Arabia whilst I was there with a range of terrorist attacks on Westerners. Then the attacks happened in the US in September 2001 so it was a good time to get out before things got a lot worse.
On returning home I didn’t want to return to the work I was doing before I left and I clearly had the travel bug. Thankfully I quickly found an opportunity for travel with a UK headquartered PLC company. They have operations around the globe and had a role which involved visiting these operations on a rotational basis. Since I joined that company in late 2001 there has rarely been a month pass by when I haven’t caught a plane to some foreign land.
2.) Can you tell us a little bit about the websites and blogs that you run?
Yes, I’d love to. I’ve been running my personal travel blog now for just over a year. It is called Flights And Frustration and can be found at http://flightsandfrustration.com. On there I share my various travel experiences, new and old, as well as share tips I’ve learnt. I also have a reasonable focus on providing my truly independent reviews of things such as airlines, hotels etc. I seek to retain impartiality on my writing. If someone does compensate me for a review I will clearly state it somewhere in the article but still present my own opinion.
The Frustration in the name is there for a reason. My wife knows I like a good moan so I occasionally have a little rant when things don’t go smoothly.
I’ve also recently started a second site called Travel Blogger Interviews http://travelbloggerinterviews.com. This site is dedicated to interviewing travel bloggers from around the world. As I’ve been blogging I’ve felt very much part of the travel blogging community and made some fabulous friends. I’ve also learnt a lot from them and they all have something interesting and worthwhile to say. I noticed that a lot of them interview each other yet I’d never really found a website dedicated to just interviewing travel bloggers. It struck me as a gap in the market. Hopefully now the site will help fellow bloggers promote themselves. Also readers can hopefully discover some new perspectives on travel.
3.) You recently published your first book. What is the title and can you give us an overview of it?
The book is called “A Brief Introduction To Airline Frequent Flyer Schemes And Which Ones You Should Join”.
Basically, as I developed my travel blog I was receiving various queries from readers and a lot of interest in my articles about flying with various airlines. Whilst I have a lot of experience with airlines and their frequent flyer schemes it seems to be an area of interest to people less familiar with them than myself.
It then struck me as a good opportunity to create a book with my experiences of these schemes so I could answer many of those questions. Things such as there is no need to fly to earn frequent flyer points and that you can redeem points for gifts and things other than travel are surprising to some people. I’ve already had readers tell me how interesting they find it and they’ve learnt something new.
Whilst the book is relatively short it is jam packed with information and should help you know what to look for when deciding which frequent flyer scheme suits you for your needs.
4.) What inspired you to write this e-book? Was it something that you planned for a long time or something that just came about?
I suppose it was a realisation really. It was an area which seemed to generate interest from my blog readers. I suppose I always wanted to write a book as a follow on from my travel blog. I just gradually realized that a lot of information I took for granted wasn’t known by many. When people keep asking me about it they clearly see me as a source of knowledge on these things.
5.) What do you think that the average reader will be able to gain from reading this e-book?
Hopefully the readers will be more informed about frequent flyer schemes. They will know that you don’t need to be a flyer to earn Airmiles and claim rewards. There is also an insight into the common pitfalls and clauses in the schemes. Things such as points expiry, tier qualifications and restrictions on flights are things people often fall foul of due to lack of knowledge.
On the plus side readers will be able to know how to assess each scheme. Rather than joining lots of different airline schemes they can focus on one or two for maximum benefit. With insight to the Airline Alliances there is a wealth of opportunity if you know how to use it to your advantage.
6.) I recall that you are a business traveller, do you think that the tips provided in this e-book can be used by other travelers such as backpackers?
Absolutely. You don’t have to be a regular traveller to build up your points and status with airlines. By shopping smarter and looking for promotional deals a backpacker could earn some free flights for their future trips. Admittedly a frequent business traveller such as myself can earn a lot more benefits but there really is something for everyone.
7.) Can you give us a summary of a few of the topics that are covered in this e-book?
The book begins by explaining what a frequent flyer scheme is and why airlines have them even though the industry has gone through a tough decade financially. There is a little history lesson of how they started and how they have now mushroomed into a global phenomenon.
You will then learn about the various types of awards/points you can earn and why you need to focus on two areas of building up your status rather than one. I also guide you on some pitfalls to be aware of just in case that dream trip you are planning is lost at the last minute.
You will understand the basic principles of how any scheme works. Hopefully this will help you assess which is the most rewarding one to join. This is followed by a discussion of the various Airline Alliances and how you can use them to your advantage.
8.) How/where can potential readers find a copy of your e-book?
The book is currently only available in Kindle format at the moment. It is available worldwide on the Amazon store. In the first weekend after the launch of the book it went to number 1 in the category of Travel – Reference on the US version of the Amazon site.
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