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Man Shocked By Reason Airline Took Away His $250K Travel Pass

Back in the 1980s, American Airlines was struggling and introduced a travel offer that seems too good to be true: the unlimited travel pass. One man who purchased the ticket has been making the most of it for 30 years. American Airlines is now looking for a way out of the offer, considering this particular frequent flyer has cost the company millions.

Steve Rothstein is one of about five dozen people who coughed up for the highly coveted AAir unlimited pass. The pass was first introduced in 1981, when lifetime members of AAir could purchase a ticket for unlimited travel for $250,000 (Rothstein got his in 1987 for $233,509.93, taking advantage of a discount). You could also purchase an additional companion pass for $150,000-- which Rothstein did. What a bargain it turned out to be.

Since purchasing the unlimited flight passes, Rothstein has traveled more than 10 million miles. He's hopped on over 10,000 flights. He's flown across America for a ballgame or a sandwich at his favorite shop, then flown home. He'll go to another country to see a museum or shop, then fly back home that very night.

Rothstein, having purchased a companion ticket, has even been able to ship other people around the world. He sent his daughter to a Swiss boarding school, and he's helped complete strangers with travel emergencies.

“I felt those random acts of kindness were exactly the sorts of things that we’re meant to do as people,” said Rothstein, a New York investment banker. He's also given away the more than 40 million frequent-flier miles he's racked up, since he doesn't need them.

American Airlines figured out that Rothstein's travel habits have cost them $21,000,000. They became desperate to cut him off. They tried to revoke his tickets on the grounds of fraudulent use, because sometimes Rothstein made up fictitious names when making travel plans if he didn't know who would accompany him.

The two finally came to an undisclosed agreement and settled out of court. If you're thinking about getting yourself some of these free flying passes, forget it-- they haven't been offered since 2004, and at that point had inflated to the price of $3 million. It is unlikely any airline will ever make that mistake again.

Source: NY Post
Photo: NY Post/Angel Chevrestt , TC Mag

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