Randy Petersen Retires from Flyertalk

Last night in Seattle, Randy announced to the Flyertalk moderators in attendance that he was going to be stepping down from Flyertalk at the end of the year.

It was an emotional half hour where he shared his remembrances of individuals and events over the twelve and a half years since he started the project, and in the three years since he sold the website to Internet Brands. He’ll stay on through December 31 and posted this morning that he’s working with Internet Brands on the transition plan for the management of the community.

Flyertalk’s missydarlin pushed me to offer a toast to Randy on behalf of the 58 of us at dinner last night and so in the middle of a Vietnamese restaurant I stood up on a chair on offered my thanks and the thanks of those of us in the room and the hundreds of thousands of Flyertalk members who through fifteen million posts have come together and learned and shared and grown.

I’ve just posted the following rather meandering and incoherent thank you on the thread where Randy announced his plans.

Thank you, Randy.

As I had the good fortune to share last evening, the contribution you’ve made not just to this entire community of hundreds of thousnds of members over a dozen-plus years but deeply and personanly to me…

I was a frequent domestic business traveler when I found Flyertalk. My life has been forever changed, for the better. Flyertalk and the things that I’ve learned and experienced have become a major part of both my life and who I am. I’ve had the opportunity to see the world, to experience cultures and places, to meet special people. I’ve been forever changed by this place that you’ve give us.

For you it may be time to move on, but that’s appropriate, you’ve built something that has been special not just to one person or to a handful of lives but that has deeply touched and enhanced (the good kind, not the airline kind) the experiences of so many more people than most ever have the chance to. I know that my experience is not unique, that through Flyertalk you’ve gvien us a tremendous gift and one that’s been a very personal, laboring gift to give.

And I for one can never really thank you enough.

Congratulations, Randy, on what you’ve accomplished and for having the opportunity to see it grow into what it’s become. And best of luck now that it has matured and you’ve decided to bring this chapter of yourself to a close. May your future endeavors bring you as much joy, as much success and contentment, as this one has brought to us.

I for one know that I’ll have many opportunities to interact with and see you again, or at least I hope that’s true. And if for some reason it turns out to be true less frequently than I would have hoped, I’ll just drop in to see you in Colorado Springs.

Tell Julie that as long as we have miles and points, and thus access to flights, you can’t get rid of us that easily!!

All my best, for myself and for anyone else who wishes to share in the sentiment. We truly appreciate it.


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 owe most of my Business and Firts class Intl travel for free to Randy and FT. It is the best community out there and it started me on my addiction.

    Thanks Randy, may the wind be always at your back.

  2. Emotionally tied to people over the internet is just plain scary. While FlyerTalk and other forums offer great value it’s not the end of the world when someone leaves, especially someone who sold his company and made good money from it.

    Thanks, Randy, for your contributions, but let’s leave the emotion out of it.

  3. Travellers Unite-

    I can’t speak for others, but I have indeed met Randy in person (quite a few times) as have many others, so the emotionalism is indeed genuine and far from scary.

    Had I not met Randy, there is enough anecdotal info about what kind of guy he is personally and professionally, and what he has contributed to my travel lifestyle, that I would still have avisceral sense of missing him when he leaves.

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