Randy Petersen owns BoardingArea.com, which hosts Steven Frischling's blog.
Many are confused as to why Randy allows Frischling to stay on BoardingArea after all this damning evidence has surfaced, in which Frischling has been accused of/exposed as a liar, a fraud and a fabricator of sources.
Randy seems like a nice enough fellow. His Twitter profile says he is, "Known as the frequent flyer guru: I can see for miles and miles and miles ..."
If Randy can see for miles and miles, why can't he see the dangers of being associated with Steven Frischling? More things are going to come out about him, and Randy's own credibility is going to be severely compromised. People are going to ask, "If Randy Petersen knew Frischling was of questionable character, why did he continue to showcase his blog on BoardingArea.com?"
We emailed Randy a couple times with the facts of what was going on. No answer. Finally we got a response on Twitter:
Really. BoardingArea.com has the same standards as Google's Blogspot? Nothing more he can think of? Let's list the strict criteria required to start our blog here: an email address and an Internet connection.
Is this the criteria to get a blog featured on BoardingArea? Well Randy, we absolutely would love to be one of your bloggers!
Here's our bio for BoardingArea.com: "FishFraud is a globe-hopping professional blogger who has racked up more than 500 billion miles since he started keeping track this morning. FishFraud's travel tends to be less than leisurely, including the time he flew to the moon and back in six minutes, or the time he pulled a jet filled with orphans and kittens across three states using only his teeth. FishFraud lives on Sesame Street, 102 yards from the Snuffleupagus Methadone Clinic."
We assume you won't ask for verification for any of our claims, considering you didn't factcheck or even spellcheck Frischling's bio (and ours is less ridiculous). At least ours has correct punctuation and no typos. (Please add that to the end of our bio as another one of our many accomplishments.)
However, contrary to Randy's assertion that anyone with a pulse can have a blog on BoardingArea, check this out:
The business travel blogs you will find on BoardingArea are the best of the best, the cream of the crop, the cat's meow ... you get the idea. Each blog in the BoardingArea network has been hand selected by our team for its quality of content, its timeliness, and, last but not least, for its entertainment value.
Interesting. So, according to a paragraph above Randy's own signature, the BoardingArea blogs are "hand selected" very carefully. Clearly the BoardingArea "team" certainly has not done a good job vetting any of their bloggers for credibility. We don't know why they considered Steven Frischling to be a business blogger in the first place. He is a self-admitted utter failure in his own photography business. His work was apparently so poor as a contractor that he was forced to forge a letter of reference from a coworker, hilariously misspelling the poor guy's name.
Randy says he can't think of any other reason he hosts Flying with Fish outside of Frischling's impressive criteria of having an email address and Internet connection. Well, we can think of a reason.
Could it be that Randy makes money off of Steven Frischling?
From a 2008 New York Times article:
Mr. Petersen says he will pay the nine bloggers to "consistently blog news and information." He is also helping them sell what he calls sponsorships and is sharing revenue with the bloggers.
Hmm, the business model for BoardingArea is unclear. Some of the blogs don't appear to have any ads on or corporate sponsors. However, at least two of the blogs, PointsWizard and LoyaltyTraveler, are full of ads and promotional corporate content. The money he could be making off these likely is directly tied to the traffic to his site.
So when Steven's latest blog is full of, let's say, sexually salacious quotes he claims TSA agents told him, BoardingArea.com is going to get a huge spike in traffic from the general population, media and those with Google News searches for keyword "penis."
Could this increased traffic he brings be Randy's reason for not disassociating himself from Mr. Frischling? That is the only thing that makes sense.
The amount of damming material that we have uncovered in the past week alone suggests that Frischling is an extremely dishonest individual who cannot be trusted. But Randy Petersen is choosing to look away.
Miles and miles in the other direction.