I'd like to briefly enter five pieces of evidence into the record.
On April 2, 2018, Ben Schlappig wrote for the first time about about Hyatt's "Hyatt Prive" travel agent partnership. He wrote:
On May 19, 2018, he wrote about a publicly-available deal at the Park Hyatt St. Kitts for 25% off paid stays of 4 nights, and a $300-per-person stay credit.
On May 22, 2018, he wrote another post observing that Hyatt Prive benefits can be combined with the publicly-available deal in order to get free breakfast, room upgrades, and other benefits, adding that:
On May 29, 2018, he wrote a generic follow-up post about the deal, including:
On June 25, 2018, he wrote a final post about the deal:
This timeline is important, because on May 19, May 23, May 24, and May 29, readers commented on Ben Schlappig's blog that they were, in fact, able to combine the Citi Prestige 4th-night-free benefit and the Hyatt Prive offer, an opportunity that Robert Dwyer at Milenomics spelled out in detail just this week.
That means 3 of the posts linked above were written after Ben Schlappig:
- knew or should have known the original information he gave his readers was wrong;
- did not correct the original information;
- and continued to direct his readers towards his travel agent partner who earns a commission on stays booked at a higher rate based on the misinformation Schlappig originally provided.
I don't know why Ben Schlappig does this. I don't know if he actually holds his readers in contempt, or if he thinks they get so much value from his trip reports they owe him vacation reservations made through his travel agent partner.
Someone even suggested to me he might be doing this in order to generate Citi Prestige applications after he "discovers" there's an even better version of the deal available. That's possible; I can't say and am not prepared to speculate.
But if you're a Citi Prestige cardholder who's booked a stay in St. Kitts through Ben Schlappig's travel agent partner (or any other Hyatt Prive travel agent), please rebook your reservation taking advantage of the 4th-night-free you're already paying a $450 annual fee for, cancel your reservation with Ford, and tell him FQF sent you.