Instant karma got me at Global Traveler Silent Auction 2012

I had some pretty valuable knowledge I kept from Loyalty Traveler readers since March. My dilemma was whether to share some great travel deals for airline flights, hotel stays and 1,000,000 Priority Club points with readers and thereby the travel deals blogosphere or remain silent and improve my chances at landing some great deals for myself. I was planning to charge thousands of dollars today and win flights around the world for the next year and possibly buy one million Priority Club points for under $4,000.

Instant karma got me today at the Global Traveler Silent Auction 2012.

The Global Traveler auction site crashed in the ten minutes before some of the highest value items were ending two months of bids today around noon pacific time and I missed out on some spectacular prices for flights and hotels.

In retrospect I feel bad knowing that I could have probably brought thousands of additional dollars to this charity auction for Leukemia & Lymphoma Society by just publishing a single post on the Global Traveler Silent Auction 2012 in the past two months.

All of you would have suffered from the same computer server overload and malfunction that beset my efforts in the final minutes. But if this auction had been publicized in the travel deals blogosphere initiated by a post on Loyalty Traveler, I am sure there would have been bids in place, cumulatively totaling thousands of dollars more for these travel items well before the server crash at the end of the auction. I got greedy and did not share the opportunities.

Here is an example of some of the auction item bids before the crash.

7 minutes before this auction closed, the leading bid for 1,000,000 Priority Club points was $3,810 and just about the time of the Global Traveler auction system crash. I was willing to go up to $4,010 in my value analysis.



Here were some of the airline bids for auctions ending within two hours of the Global Traveler server crashed preventing access to the auction.


Philippine Airlines – One round-trip economy-class ticket to Manila

360.00 USD


Etihad Airways – Two round-trip Coral economy-class tickets from JFK or ORD to any destination on the Etihad Airways network.

860.00 USD



EVA Airways – One round-trip economy-class ticket to Taipei

310.00 USD



Qatar Airways – Two round-trip economy-class tickets system-wide from USA

885.00 USD



Singapore Airlines – Two round-trip business-class tickets from JFK to FRA on the A380

2,850.00 USD



South African Airways – Two round-trip Premium business-class tickets

4,260.00 USD



Southwest Airlines – Two round-trip tickets

560.00 USD



Swiss International Air Lines – Two round-trip business-class tickets to Zürich or Geneva

3,010.00 USD



TAP Portugal – Two round-trip business-class tickets to Portugal

1,575.00 USD



TAM Airlines – Two round-trip business-class tickets to one Brazilian destination

1,900.00 USD



Turkish Airlines – Two round-trip business-class tickets from LAX to IST

1,950.00 USD


As it turns out I didn’t benefit personally from holding back the deals from Global Traveler Silent Auction 2012 and some of you might have scored a fantastic vacation deal and helped the Leukemia charity earn more money from the Silent Auction 2012.

Lesson I think I learned today was share the knowledge.

Instant Karma’s gonna get you
Gonna knock you off your feet
Better recognize your brothers
Every one you meet
Why in the world are we here?
Surely not to live in pain and fear
Why on earth are you there?
When you’re everywhere
Come and get your share

But we all shine on
Like the moon and the stars and the sun
And we all shine on
Come on and on and on on on

John Lennon – Instant Karma


Keep an eye out for Global Traveler Silent Auction 2013. I bet next year this auction receives much more attention. And there are still some auctions ending bids on Thursday and Friday if the Global Traveler website comes back online. Delta and El Al have auctions still going.

About Ric Garrido

Ric Garrido of Monterey, California started Loyalty Traveler in 2006 for traveler education on hotel and air travel, primarily using frequent flyer and frequent guest loyalty programs for bargain travel. Loyalty Traveler joined in 2008.

More articles by Ric Garrido »



  1. I don’t hold it against you. Daily Getaways is crazy thanks to all the publicity. But then again, this is a charity! Don’t worry, the rest of us bloggers will make sure you can’t keep this a secret next year 😉

  2. It is a sad commentary on the state of the blogosphere that no other blogger actually worked this out for themselves ….!

  3. 2 months != Instant! You’ve been accumulating bad karma for 2 months…well, more likely as long as you’ve been feeling guilty over it. 🙂

    I expect the points would have been bid up close to $.006/point, so the charity would have been close to $2000 richer. Of course, if the site hadn’t crashed, they might have made it anyway. Maybe everyone buying was what crashed it.

    It still seems to be down and redirecting to the main page, where clicking on the auction slide doesn’t appear to do anything since it just reloads the main page.

    Considering that searching for “” only gets 4 results, I would say they didn’t do a good job of publicizing the auction.

    And Raffles is correct about no one else blogging about this either.

    Thank you for fessing up on this. It brings out the conflict for a blogger on a limited offer deal like this. Legitimate deals where everyone can participate and it doesn’t limit the blogger don’t touch this. The only thing close is those deals that might be shut down because of the overuse/abuse of them.

    I expect that as you get compensated more for your blogging, you’ll decide to report these. “Purity of the press”, if you will.

  4. While I appreciate your apology, I am disappointed that you feel no greater sense of responsibility to your readership. Otherwise, you would have shared your knowledge a long time ago.

    Easier to fess up now that your efforts failed.

  5. @Charles Clarke – Global Traveler did a poor job of getting this great auction out to the public. I came across the auction in a Google alert on Priority Club and saw the one million points offer.

    There were less than 200 registered users for the auction as of yesterday if I read the webpage correctly.

    I am still stuck in the situation that I need travel deals myself to get out and about around the world. There are some good travel gigs pitched to me, but mostly they require getting myself there on my own dime. And airfare is mostly expensive these days.

  6. Ron – I promise you, for every titbit Gary puts in View From The Wing, there are another 5 things that he is not writing about because he wants to keep them quiet. There are also a few private invite-only forums out there now where select groups can share stuff outside of FT, where posting stuff is the equivalent of putting a full page ad in the New York Times shouting out ‘Loophole’.

  7. Please don’t feel guilty. You share so much wonderful information with your readers – a lot of which we wouldn’t have known about otherwise. Now we’ll know to keep our eyes posted for the silent auction when they launch it next year.

  8. Out of curiosity:

    Assume you had won. Would you have retroactively reported on it here?

    (I am not blaming you in any way, Ric, I just find it to be an interesting situation/dilemma. You certainly deserve a way of supporting yourself and your site, which many of us benefit from, and I’d rather see you not cover every deal than to see a flood of credit card pitches)

  9. Ric, I get a page can not be displayed message when I click on the link for the auction page on the global traveler mag homepage. Is the auction all over, or is the site having problems?

  10. I just got back into the auction. Priority Club points are still there everyone and still under $4,000.

    Looks like the Priority Club points auction ends Friday around noon Pacific time.

    Now you can all try your luck on the remaining items.

  11. As expected, they finally went for $6100. $.006/point + $100 for convenience and/or legitimacy.

    Ric, you stated that you were willing to go up to $4010 by your value analysis. How did you arrive at that number?

  12. @Charles – I picked $4,010 as an end point based on being able to get good value for the points based on prevailing hotel rates.

    Holiday Inn, Holiday Inn Express, Hotel Indigo and Crowne Plaza at 25,000 would be a $100 hotel night using points.

    I knew I could regularly find hotel rooms over $100 in published rate where I would save with points. 30,000 IC hotels would be a bargain at $120.

    At $60 per 10,000 points the difference between the published rates and paying for points is still good value in many hotels, particularly with a PointBreaks. But it is already possible to get points for $60 per 10,000 through Points & Cash booking and cancellation.

    From 1998-2002 I used to get many of my travel deals through auctions.

    Basic strategy I use is to come in at the last minute with an automatic bid $50 to $200 higher than the last bid. Generally that eliminates much of the competition that is raising $10 to $25 a time.

    $4,010 was my number since people tend to pick major stop points like $4,000 for their automatic bid limit. I figured $4,010 would likely beat any other automatic bid limit when the bidding was $3,810.

    But the site crashed. And the leukemia charity made a lot more money in the extra day of bidding.

    No regrets from me.

Comments are closed.