The 10 Most Popular OMAAT Posts Of 2020

Filed Under: Misc.

Around the new year I always like to share the most read OMAAT posts of the year. Suffice to say that 2020 has been unlike any other, and I’m excited for 2021. Not because stuff is suddenly going to change with the new year, but rather because there’s a light at the end of the tunnel in more than one way.

Truth be told I like to write this breakdown post not just for you guys, but also for myself. While this site typically gets nine figures of traffic annually, I spend very little time focused on optimizing that. Sure, I try to do basic things that are good for SEO, but that’s about where it ends. I logged into Google Analytics today for the first and last time of 2020 to write this post.

I’m extremely appreciative of Tiffany and my other awesome colleagues who do a great job managing stuff on the back-end, and that allows me to focus on writing 50+ posts per week.

The most read OMAAT posts of 2020

Here are the 10 OMAAT posts that were read the most in 2020, in order of traffic received:

  1. Unhappy First Class Passenger Hands Flight Attendant Rude Note
  2. American Airlines Flight Attendants Are Angry & Offended
  3. Passenger With Coronavirus Dies On United Flight
  4. Southwest Airlines Tries To Kick Off Woman For “Lewd” Outfit
  5. Ouch: Etihad Criticizes A380 Pilots For Viral Crosswind Landing
  6. Family Kicked Off United Flies Again… On Delta, Without Daughter
  7. United Airlines Updates Window Shade Policy
  8. Emirates Cabin Crew Seek Revenge On Complaining Passenger
  9. Japan May Cover Half The Cost Of Your Visit
  10. Holy Smokes: United Airlines Flights Are EMPTY

My takeaway from the most read posts

Suffice to say that the posts that are the most read are absolutely not the posts that I think are most useful, that took me the most post time to write, or that I’m most proud of.

But that’s also the joy of the internet. Posts that I find marginally interesting and that take me 15 minutes to write sometimes get way more traffic than posts that I find really interesting and take me hours to write. In that sense the above list doesn’t surprise me, perhaps with the exception of United’s window shade policy (that has widespread appeal?!).

I also want to acknowledge that I recognize that the posts that are most “popular” with the internet at large are typically not the ones most popular with longtime readers, and I don’t ever want to lose sight of that. Still, that won’t stop me from pulling up this data, even if it doesn’t impact the way I write going forward.

Here are a few more things I just pulled up that I find interesting:

  • The most read post was read ~3.7x as much as the second most read post, and ~15x as much as the tenth most read post
  • Even my favorite trip report installments of the year, including of Starlux Airlines’ A321neo business class and ANA’s new 777-300ER first class, got less than 1% of the traffic of the most read post of the year
  • In terms of monthly traffic, March was the busiest month, while November was the quietest

Bottom Line

I always find it fun to look at the most read posts of the year, not because the data changes what I’ll write about, but rather because it’s cool to reflect on what ends up going viral, perhaps for all the wrong reasons.

As always, thanks to everyone for reading. I’m incredibly fortunate to be able to do what I love every day and call it a job, even if it doesn’t feel like it. I owe that all to you guys.

2020 was obviously a rough year for the world, and there has been so much suffering. There are some things I’m personally appreciative for, like my family’s generally good health (and in particular my mom being in remission), and a new appreciation for travel and freedom of movement.

Here’s to hoping that 2021 moves us back in the right direction….

Comments
  1. I love it. Most of those posts are of the type get multiple comments indicating negative reaction to the post (it’s click bait, why are you posting such crap, you are wasting my time, etc). Yet the metrics tell a completely different story:-(

    BTW have you considered a list of your most commented posts?

  2. And those are the type of articles that nyt, cnn, fox, etc. are posting these days…. outrage sells and number don’t lie. Nyt was on the verge of bankruptcy when trump was elected and they spend the next four years writing articles about trump and people ate it up and we have not heard of nyt going bankrupt have we? Fox News knows its audience as well… they love conspiracy theories! All media knows getting people riled up can lead to selling lots of advertising. Until they figure out how to sell happy news, you can be sure we will get more of these kind of articles in the coming years until people are absolutely tire of them. The only way to get real news is to read news across multiple continents, websites, different languages and synthesize them but who has that kind of time?

  3. I guess the more “polemic” ones gets the most views. Also need to factor in that most are grounded for the year, so they are not looking most of the good articles like in depth reviews, but more like things to complain about, etc…
    Maybe popularity will change once everyone is back to traveling, maximizing points, etc…

  4. Another great year of content, so thanks for that.
    Interesting top 10, but does that mean that doing trip reports and airline reviews is actually now a waste of time?! Presumably 5+years ago all the top posts were reviews?

  5. “I guess the more “polemic” ones gets the most views.”

    While Ben didn’t note it, his top posts almost certainly get the majority of their traffic from Google search or via linking somewhere (sites or social media) with a lot of outbound traffic.

    Most “regular” readers come “direct” from bookmarks (or some other regular path), to his review posts, most of which don’t get a lot of search or linking traffic.

  6. @niko_jas, “does that mean that doing trip reports and airline reviews is actually now a waste of time?!”

    Probably not.

    Ben’s revenue comes from a split between ads (helped by big traffic), and referral links (mostly in review posts).

    If he gets most of his revenue from referral links, the main benefit of those high traffic posts is *maybe* adding regular readers who’ll later read the reviews.

    Would be fascinating if Ben wanted to reveal what his split was between ad $ and referral $, but I completely understand if that’s asking too much!

  7. Team OMAAT. What about the cocktail hour on YouTube live that was fun.
    I’m the greatest commentator on this website. Fiercely loyal OMAAT reader and aviation expert.

  8. Sad… You have written MANY excellent posts and none of them is on the list. Service on board (even if these have been reduced this year) and FF news are at least for me, the most interesting.

    On your list, the only one remotely interesting is about UAL requesting window shades open for safety, which has been a requisite in many parts of the world for the past 5 years. I’d like to know if the other US majors have followed. Don’t thin kso.

    The other topics, but maybe I am particular, are on par with National Enquirer titles such as “Man finds barking too loud, eats dog” or “Woman gives birth to mermaid”.

  9. Can’t remember how many years I’ve been reading OMAAT now, but suffice to say we are getting older quickly… Keep up the good work and cheers to 2021! Excited for your big update/rollout as well.

  10. The list above is what I like to call the bill paying list. It’s the viral, click bate posts that will generate views and click-through. The posts are necessary so that people like me can enjoy the excellent, thoughtful content we have grown to love from you Lucky. Happy New Years Ben!

  11. Here’s my take away. Want to prove that society is been on a downhill decline over the past couple of decades. Just go to an airport and look around.

    I would love to go back in time to 1965 to a group of well behaved, properly dressed (and no I don’t be mean suits and ties and dresses but no wife beaters and short shorts on people that have never seen a gym) passengers at a gate. I’d say ladies and gentlemen I have this magic devise (my Iphone) that will show you want air travel will be like in 55 years from now in the year 2020. You can imagine the look of glee as they think they’re going to see a video of unbelievable luxury and comfort. Then show them one of the more recent brawls on a commercial flight. And the looks on their faces thereafter.

  12. Ben, I’ve enjoyed reading your blog every day this year, and just wanted to say “thank you” for all your excellent work!

  13. Welcome to 2021 – sadly it is no different to 2020!

    Facebook is kindly doing its normal thing of showing you were you were in years past. Two of the more fun destinations included Korea and Tahiti. Both were all on points of course. The Tahiti trip was one of the reasons I love travel. It shows me sitting next to a local 8 year old. She was teaching me French and I was teaching her English. It was not planned – just randomly sat next to her on a ferry.

    I find the Top Ten posts quite sad really – but am also guilty of reading them. I can only blame being in lockdown (5km, 1 hour exercise, no visitors) for 112 days, plus lesser restrictions for another 20 days – and that was wave 2.

    Stay safe everyone and Happy New Year.

  14. @George N Romey – for old, white, conservative guys, 1965 was probably a better time; for much of what America looks like demographically these days, not so much

  15. Similar to others, I’m not thrilled by the top ten … let’s hope that 2021 gets – perhaps just marginally – better! Take care, Ben!

  16. Most of those posts I would categorize as “Where’s the outrage?” type of posts. Unfortunately, much of America is has embraced blaming (and blame-shifting) as a means of justifying one’s self-perceived and self-assessed moral high ground. We’ve all fallen victim to it to some degree.

    I would have been happy with more posts featuring Winston, lol.

  17. Hey Ben, thank you for all the great content over the years. I appreciate you for being you.

    Hope you and your loved ones have a great 2021 🙂

  18. I guess my top 10 will be (most of) those articles on which I commented upon and have retained for future reference. They relate to miles sales, new aircraft, new routes, Tiffany’s Vietnam travels and so on. Judicious ‘housekeeping’ winnows out the less interesting and unimportant during the year.
    Passing issues such as people and airlines behaving badly, gossip, credit card deals and luxury hotel accommodation don’t do it for me.

  19. Don’t understand all the people whining about content they don’t like; if you don’t like it don’t read it. It’s not like Ben has decided to stop doing reviews to do gossip instead. The drop in the number of reviews are due to factors beyond anyone’s control. Ben runs a business, and there’s nothing wrong with having something for everyone.

    Happy new year, and hopefully we all have a better 2021!

  20. The top 8 is outrage porn lol.

    Hopefully the top posts next year are somewhere along the lines of “The new Emirates F /Starlux J is fantastic!” or “CSR now awards 6x UR points on travel!”

  21. Ben, Just a line to say thank you for your amazing blog. It is about the only thing that I subscribe to and receive every single day, and have never for a second thought of unsubscribing (and I am a journalist, a pretty ruthless with what I allow in the inbox). The daily feed is always – always – interesting, educational, thought-provoking. I just love to have the inside track on the industry. And particularly through 2020, it has kept me going while we were all grounded. Thank you thank you thank you. chris

  22. Ben. It’s been a different year and I know we will all be hoping for the trip reports that you are the best in the industry at providing. Here’s to 2021 where I can enjoy reading which vintage Krug is the best and nothing else.

  23. For what it is worth from a long time reader, I love (and miss) the trip reports. I may read the other stuff but to me, the trip reports are the best.

  24. Ben – Would you consider posting your personal top-10 posts of 2020, or the top-10 that you think are most helpful? Thanks for everything you’re doing!

  25. And this is why the new media, blogs, and websites require a fee for reading. The true readers dont want clickbait but want the trip reports and news that matters to them not the clickbait. The media world today only cares about likes, shares and clicks. Ethiad’s new business class seats information is the stuff the true readers want. The internet wants stories about a baby kicked off a plane for not wearing a mask. I love how Lucky finds a balance of the clickbait which is necessary without having a paywall and the trip report/real news. That said im all for a paywall if it gets rid of all the clickbait and leads to more reports!

  26. The Etihad A380 Crosswind Landing is not available anymore and I missed it…….. Says it’s private!! 🙁
    Anyone know where to find it??

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