Christopher Elliott mentions View from the Wing and several other travel blogs — inclusing some that are new to me — in a column in today’s New York Times.
- If there is such a thing as an established business travel blog, it probably belongs to Gary Leff, the chief financial officer of a university research center in the Washington, D.C. area. Mr. Leff’s “View from the Wing” (blogs.flyertalk.com/viewwing/) focuses on award-related news interspersed with his personal observation about travel. He rips into the Westin Sydney in Australia, for example, for adding a $1.30 fee to his bill as “a donation” to a United Nations charity, and says he is little mollified by the fact it removed the charge after he complained.
But unlike political bloggers, who tend to approach their Web journals with a strong ideological agenda, Mr. Leff says he does not have a mission – except, maybe, to help others by pointing out some of the hazards and opportunities of the road. “Travel is a small niche in blogging,” he said. “Award programs are just a small part of that niche. Some of the subjects I write about are only interesting to a small group of people.”
Perhaps the group is not large, at least in comparison to the overall travel industry. But to the hotels, airlines and car rental companies, business travelers who are likely to read blogs such as Mr. Leff’s are their best customers. And blogs have become the latest way to reach them.