That Nightline Segment with One Mile at a Time and a Few of Us Bit Players

Last night ABC’s Nightline did a segment on Ben at One Mile at a Time. Kerri at Heels First Travel and I played bit parts.

This segment grew out of a Rolling Stone feature on Ben and this hobby.

The article and coverage generate attention and debate. Hi, I’m Ben… And I Don’t Travel The World For Free and Welcome to One Mile at a Time and the comments to them are a start to wade in. Ben is no stranger to attention and controversy, what I think should stand out above all is he came to this as a passion and the business developed later, much different from those coming to it with a business plan first, and that enthusiasm is what his fans most enjoy.

I remember the Frequent Traveler University where Ben (to his surprise) and I dueled for charity over wearing a ladies scarf from the China Southern New York-Guangzhou inaugural. Ben is no stranger to China Southern, his China Southern A380 First Class Platinum Private Suite went viral in China, China Southern took it very seriously, and in the aftermath he publicly worked through When Airlines Take Actions Based On Your Blog Post.

I am too self-conscious to watch the limited media that I do. My wife banned me from talking anything North Korea, but not miles and points. It was fun to participate. My mother-in-law was with me while my wife was at the office, and was bewildered as we took a detour from our way to the airport bound for Charleston to stop at a makeshift TV studio in the basement of the Andaz 5th Avenue. Ben was open to supplying lemon poppyseed pancakes, though I had had them before at the treat of another Hyatt Diamond and found them a bit too sweet.

The ABC crew were gentlemen all, one had been in China in the Tiananmen Square-era and I was just back from China a few days before. ABC correspondent David Wright was a fun interlocutor as we dived into the credit cards he uses (Amex pay with points!) and the airlines he flies.

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  • Al

    awesome video and post. what an inspiration to all travellers out there

  • Don

    You guys were mega-awesome!

  • Rapid Travel Chai

    @Don, @Al – thanks, kind words on the internet!

  • Nicely done. 🙂

  • Ivan Y

    Unlike the RS article, this segment was much more professional (unsensationalized), IMHO.

    But it WAS amusing to hear Keri and you called “Ben’s apprentices” 🙂

  • DavidB

    Obviously none of you got the real message of Kern’s “Up in the Air” and the essentially vacuous life the central character had been living despite achieving his ultimate goal. Time for a reset guys!

  • Rapid Travel Chai

    @DavidB – we all do things our own way. Ben has his travel style that’s well known, Kerri loves national parks and solo travel, I am working to visit every country in the world and fly economy. This past weekend took wife and her mother to Charleston for their seafood addiction and spent several roasting days touring the soul food spots, if only it were vacuous on my waistline.

  • Shannon

    Really too much OMAAT recently…even at this place…sign

  • Kevin S

    I agree with Ivan, the article was done at the usual RS low standards. Really don’t need to know about Lucky’s ex-BF and a low blow on an airplane. Although real counter-culture figures once were featured on the RS cover and not big boobs Kim, the editorial standards were sloppy even back in the early 1970’s.

    Now I sort of recall NBC Today Show doing a ‘travel hacker’ segment a few years back. Something about flying to Florida and doing lunch on the cheap. Anyone else remember?

  • Rapid Travel Chai

    @Kevin S – Nightline did a segment on Rick (Frugal Travel Guy) and the Chicago Seminars in 2011 and he and others like Mommy Points have appeared on that program occasionally since. NBC I don’t recall.

  • Benny

    Nice to be featured even if it was a small bit!