Please don’t read this

If you’re a regular reader, then you probably know this is the blog everyone loves to hate.

Travel companies have been trying to take me down for years. Ditto for the federal government, which is unimpressed with my relentless criticism of the TSA. And if you’re a fan of those frequent-flier blogs or sites, you know they’d kill me if they had a chance (no, seriously).

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Generali Global Assistance. Generali Global Assistance has been a leading provider of travel insurance and other assistance services for more than 25 years. We offer a full suite of innovative, vertically integrated travel insurance and emergency services. Generali Global Assistance is part of The Europ Assistance (EA) Group, who pioneered the travel assistance industry in 1963 and continues to be the leader in providing real-time assistance anywhere in the world, delivering on our motto – You Live, We Care.

They don’t want you to read what I have to say – especially now.

Please become an underwriter

I need your support. Never before has the contrast between the bad guys and the good guys been clearer, or the need for your help been greater.

It costs about $20,000 to publish this site every year. That barely covers the ISP bills, the web design work and other IT-related expenses. Never mind the time it takes to help sort through the hundreds of cases I receive every day and mediate the disputes.

It’s been a slow start to 2013, in terms of fundraising. We’re about 20 percent of the way to meeting our February financial goal.

Become an underwriter now and you’ll help keep this site running.

If I can’t raise the money, I still have options. I could go the way of those ethically-challenged mileage blogs and sites, and I could start slipping scammy affiliate links into my stories and talking up a product I don’t believe in, pocketing the generous commission check every month.

I could tone things down and make nice with the industry and suck up to the Department of Homeland Security in order to increase my advertiser appeal.

But I feel this site would lose its soul. It would certainly no longer be accountable to you. Instead, it would become a paid-for advertisement, a sell-out.

Get a premium

This week, I’m honored to be joined by several forward-looking corporate underwriters who also believe in this site’s mission. I’m giving away five Superbungee Shoulder Straps from our friends at Skooba Design, plus a weekend rental from Hertz.

Sign up at any level as an underwriter, and you’ll qualify for the giveaway.

By the way, when companies like these join the effort, here’s the message they’re sending: Like you, they believe in good customer service, in a quality product at a fair price. Even if you don’t win one of the products, I hope you’ll consider giving your business to these companies.

I hope you’ll join them. If you want to support a truly deserving cause, this is your chance.

Here’s how to become an underwriter.