Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Flight Africa Rips Steven Frischling A New One!

The person behind the "Flight Africa" blog and @FlyEU Twitter (11k+ followers) has come forward with the following personal tale of Steven Frischling: "@flyingwithfish or Steven Frischling: The Airline Social Media Fraud"

Brilliant, brilliant, BRILLIANT!

Highlights: The blogger describes the sudden emergence of social media in 2009 and businesses eager to join in, and consultants showing up offering to help:
But amongst the good fellas who pioneered this new phenomenon, there was one douchebag called Steven Fritschling; a fraudulent guy who had used his skills to build a fishy online brand as a "Travel Strategist". Steven Frischling is to social media campaigns what burglars are to expensive art. Armed with the internet, and I must assume, loads of idle time(the current global job market offers an evil but creative mind some ample playground, especially if this idler has access to the internet), he would hop onto hundreds of airline websites in the "Contact Us" pages collecting email information. What followed next was an avalanche of social media consulting offers. He would search info about airline, pick some tips from Slideshare and package the half-baked ideas carefully as his own; offering road maps to a social media paradise.
Apparently Frischling contacted an African airline (not identified but we believe to be Kenyan Airways) offering to run their social media services. Apparently he was ignored, and did not like this.
A few weeks passed by and then one day, we started noticing a new account impersonating our official airline Twitter account. It was Steven Frischling. He was simply searching for mentions of the airline on Twitter and then replying to conversations from passengers etc with misinformation. It was his way of taking revenge.
Frischling then threatened to sue the airline for $1 million, saying the airline had ripped off all his ideas! Flight Africa posted screenshots of Twitter Direct Messages in which Frischling apparently offers to "help" with the fake Twitter account.

Of course we can't authenticate the screenshots, but what motive would Flight Africa have for making this all up? This person has nothing to gain by coming forward.

Most normal people cannot comprehend this behavior. My boss then, a great guy who was doing wonderful digital initiatives at the airline and who had taken a bold move to adopt social media at a time when it was anathema to most companies including airlines was shocked beyond words. In the corporate world of where people fancy doing things in an appropriate manner, Steven's antics are like a horror movie.
They decided to ignore him because he had no claim.
Eventually we decided to simply ignore him and by the time I left, the airline's social media campaign was a shining example for others to follow. Steven the douchebag eventually gave up when he realized that his hope of netting $ 1 million from fraud was just a bad dream but not before giving one last kick. He published an article on Boarding Area in which he expounded on his claims of how the airline had used "his ideas" and how he had a paper trail etc.
This is all vintage Frischling. It's not even shocking how he lists the airline on his resume, claiming he "Developed a total emerging media strategy for Kenya Airways." How deranged is that?

We don't know the guy's name, but thank you for coming forward with your story. This person has nothing to gain by telling this story publicly and it can't be tied to this blog/bitter brides/scheming ex-girlfriends, etc. What wild story will Frischling come up with that explains this all away?


  1. Holy shit... can't wait to see how FishDouche reacts!

  2. Sounds like a good amicus brief for the State.

  3. Randy? Hello, Randy? Anybody home? Care to defend your hand picked best of the best blogger now? Does this sound like an issue with just one person now?

  4. think of how many other stories like this are out there, but the people aren't social-media inclined enough to share it.... this has to be the tip of the iceberg.

  5. it's revealing that he has no family support at all. Imagine the stories the Frischlings could tell.

  6. http://www.linkedin.com/in/billfrischling

    of course the path that lead me here is the fisch himself so it may be bs too...

  7. 9:35 it doesn't seem like his family is a bunch of sociopaths. None of them are friends with him on Facebook. Obviously they cut him off a long time ago. Can you imagine having him as a brother? the only thing worse would be having him as a father

  8. I noticed the Flight Africa blog post has information I don't think I saw the first time. You may want to reread it. The article contains a twitter exchange I don't remember seeing the first time. Too incredible - what kind of person does this to other people? He's a lunatic. His lying is so cheap I feel like cleaning the bottoms of my shoes every time I read something written by that moron. Ew.

  9. Alright.... Now l'm confused..

    Is this the same douchebag or another Frischling who worked with televisions Discovery channel?

    What a piece of nasty work. Jail time is in order

  10. That list looks like a mistake. Each of those posts, once you visit them, seem to be associated with someone else - not SF. For Example, "Toddler" was written by Karin in Corporate Communications, and "Suriname" was written by Richard de Nooy. The first one on the current list (Lift Me Up) isn't attributed to anyone.

  11. Its amazing, the more FishFraud gets out, the more victims come forth and atrocities are discovered. You just have to wonder what else we will find out. Nobody would have know had Steven Frischling kept his end of the deal and paid his partner ($5,500 is chump change) and then not called attention to himself with the stupid response blogs - if had just ignored FishFraud he would probably be tweeting merrily away as if nothing happened.

  12. looks like simpliflying.com finally wised up and dumped fish (the Fish link is now 404 dead). However, by the looks of the google cache Shashank continued to support him until just recently despite early warnings form Fight Africa. You just gotta wonder how much these social media experts check out their sources.

  13. Hello- Earth to Randy...

  14. @flyingwithfish is still listed here: http://simpliflying.com/about/

  15. Seems like SimpliFlying has ceased all associations with FishDouche... now, only if Randy would wake up!