The Frequent Traveler Media Awards

The voice of expert media.

The voice of the media that follows the loyalty industry votes annually in the Frequent Traveler Media Awards.

A group of notable journalists chooses the winners of three Frequent Traveler Media Awards.

The Media Awards Board Chair

David Feldman

Chair, Titan & Media Awards

David is a publisher and global speaker on airline & hotel loyalty programs, and an expert on loyalty program design, finances, and economics. 

As a consultant with New World Loyalty, David works closely with airline & hotel programs to develop strategic solutions to loyalty challenges, and is a leading industry expert on loyalty psychology and behavioral motivation.

The Media Awards Judges

Harriett Baskes

Seattle-based journalist Harriet Baskas writes about airports and airlines, on-the-ground travel, museums and a wide variety of other topics (many offbeat) for outlets that include,,, Global Traveler and others.

She is the creator of the blog and published a book with that title just eight weeks before September 11, 2001.

Harriet served as the manager of three community radio stations in the Pacific Northwest and created award-winning radio programs for National Public Radio and regional public radio stations. She is the author of seven books, including Hidden Treasures: What Museums Can’t or Won’t Show You, Washington Curiosities and Oregon Curiosities.

Micheline Maynard

Micheline Maynard is a journalist, author and professor. She writes for Skift,, The New York Times and the Australian Broadcasting Company. She has covered aviation for and the Times, where she was a senior business correspondent and Detroit bureau chief. She teaches journalism and business at the University of Michigan.

Scott McCartney

Scott McCartney writes a weekly Wall Street Journal column on airlines and travel called “The Middle Seat,’’ which is one of the paper’s most-read and most-emailed fixtures.

McCartney has been on the airline and aviation beat since 1995 and makes numerous radio, national television and online video appearances. He was part of the Journal’s team that won the Pulitzer Prize for breaking news reporting for coverage of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

He is the author of four books, the most recent of which is THE WALL STREET JOURNAL GUIDE TO POWER TRAVEL: How to Arrive with Your Dignity, Sanity, and Wallet Intact. McCartney is also an on-air contributor to the PBS television series “The Travel Detective with Peter Greenberg.’’

A native of Boston and graduate of Duke University, McCartney spent 11 years with The Associated Press before joining the Journal in 1993.

He is an instrument-rated, multi-engine private pilot, and lives in Dallas.

Ben Mutzabaugh

Ben Mutzabaugh is a travel reporter for USA TODAY. He has written “Today in the Sky,” a daily blog about air travel and the airline industry, since 2002. He has detailed knowledge of aviation and airline news and trends, plus airfare tips from a consumer perspective.

Mutzabaugh appears regularly on a number of national networks to discuss the latest air travel topics. He has appeared on the NBC Today Show, the CBS This Morning, the PBS NewsHour, MSNBC, CNBC, Fox News and numerous local stations across the nation.

Today in the Sky is the 2010 winner of Society of American Travel Writers’ Lowell Thomas Award for the nation’s “Best Travel Blog,” and won the bronze medal in 2011 for the same award. Today in the Sky also on Presstime Magazine’s 2008 award for best topical reporting for large sites and Editor & Publishers’ Eppy award in 2006 and 2009 that recognized it as the nation’s best business blog.  And in 2013, Today in the Sky took home a Silver Award from the North American Travel Journalists Association for “Best Publication Travel Blog.”

Mutzabaugh joined USA TODAY in 2000. He is a 1997 graduate of Pennsylvania State University.

A native of Harrisburg, Pa., his first flight was a US Air flight between Baltimore and West Palm Beach in the 1980s. A resident of Washington, D.C., Ben’s favorite travel destinations include San Francisco, New York, Toronto, Berlin and Tulum, Mexico.

Benet Wilson

Benét J. Wilson is a veteran freelance aviation/travel journalist and blogger based in Baltimore. She has worked for aviation trade publications including Aviation Week and Aviation Daily. She has also managed communications for two airlines, an aircraft engine manufacturer and two aviation nonprofit organizations. Her clients have included Airport Business magazine, the Runway Girl Network, USA Today,, Tnooz, the Airline Passenger Experience magazine, ACI-NA Centerlines magazine, and Airport World. She graduated from American University in Washington, D.C., with a B.A. in broadcast journalism. She is an Air Force brat and is a student pilot.

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