The $250,000 Unlimited Flight Pass offer: A Terrible Mistake


We all make mistakes, even companies. After all, companies are people, too.

In the 1980s, American Airlines were short of money. And the airline desperately needed it for fuel… which costs money. 

In desperate times, come desperate solutions. Such as the airpass of American Airlines. The idea was simple. When the pass was first offered in 1981, it cost $250,000, and you could spend an additional $150,000 for a companion pass. So, if you bought both you were looking at a total of $400,000.

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In exchange for that, you got unlimited, free first-class travel anywhere in the world, on any American Airlines flight, for life and with the companion pass, you could take anyone with you. So, 28 people bought this offer.

Even though $400,000 is a lot of money, soon American Airlines realized that they had made a terrible mistake in their pricing. American Airlines assumed people won’t use the pass much, but they failed to consider super travelers like Steven Rothstein. 

Steve Rothstein, who paid a mere $250,000 for his ticket in 1987, has made hundreds of overseas trips.Angel Chevrestt

Steven, a Chicago investment banker, bought the unlimited Airpass in 1987. Over the next 25 years, he booked over 10,000 flights. That’s an average of more than a flight a day. He would fly to London for lunch with a friend, or to Boston for a baseball game, then back home for dinner. Sometimes he would fly to Providence, Rhode Islands, just to get his favorite sandwich. This meant that whenever Steven got hungry, American Airlines had to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars in fuel, and other costs – not to mention lost ticket sales.

Rhode Island

A lot of other people used this pass much more than expected, too. Mike Joyce once used his pass to fly round-trip to London 16 times – in 25 days. Keep in mind, too, that back in the 80s, when the pass was first offered, flying cost a lot more than it does now. When you adjust for inflation, the cost of flying is now about 50% less.

Soon, American Airlines realized the terrible mistake they’d made. They estimated that super travelers like Rothstein were costing them over $1 million a year each.

By 2008, Rothstein had traveled over 10 million miles or 16,000,000 km. Rothstein and others would often use their passes to help complete strangers for a free flight. That normally wouldn’t be a problem – except that in order to have the option to do it, the pass-holders would regularly book their companion pass seat under a fake name, like Bag Rothstein, or Benedict Cumberbatch.

In 2008, American Airlines accused Rothstein and two others of fraud, and said by booking under false names, they had broken their contract. 

Security agents cornered them at airports, revoked their passes, and told them that they would never fly on American Airlines again. And the passengers did what all Americans would do – sued the company, but for Rothstain’s case at least, the outcome wasn’t clear as it was settled privately out-of-court. 

American Airlines stopped regularly offering the ultimate lifetime pass in 1994, though they did offer it once in 2004, for $3 million, plus $2 million for a companion pass, which no one bought. After all, with $5 million, you can buy your own plane.

25 people, though, still have lifetime passes including Michael Dell, from Dell computers, and Mark Cuban from Shark Tank. 

Heart Soothing Stories That Will Make You Think Someone Has Cut Onions

We often have the chance to meet good-hearted people or we encounter the sweetest moments with someone or someone who does a very good deed to us. Or just the cases of humans being just humans might inspire and elevate our spirits. Thus is this collection Today we have chosen for you all some of the most emotional cases of people who run into the sweetest situations from others or they did it themselves.

Bellow, you have all that you need to soothe your heart. I advise every one of you to grab a tissue because someone is going to cut some onions right at night. Yes us Earthwonders we are cutting onions today!

Don’t forget to let us know what do you think about this collection and follow us for more upcoming content.

1. For those with golden heart


My parents split when I was in first grade. My mom met my step-dad, mark when I was in second grade. We moved in with him by the time I was in 3rd we moved into his house. He treated my siblings and me as his own since day 1. He even would watch Gilmore Girls with me and my sister every afternoon. After my mom died when I was 16, Mark didn’t make us go live with our biological dad. He continued raising us as his own. He started out as my mom’s boyfriend and became my dad, my best friend, my go-to for advice.

Mark ended up working 3 jobs while having heart failure, asthma, and diabetes. He did everything he could to provide for my sister and me. He passed away 6 days before I graduated college in 2016. It’s been a few years but I still have trouble on Father’s Day. He could have ditched us when our mom died and we didn’t have enough income. But he didn’t. He was there fighting to put food on the table. Happy Father’s Day to all of the fathers who fight for their children.

2. In the name of his angel brother.


3. This Little Fella After Winning First Place In A Bike Tournament


4. Important Memories On Google Maps


5. I Am Finally Cancer Free! Really Excited To Live Life To The Fullest And Have Fun Again


6. He Has Cerebral Palsy, Mitochondrial Disease, And Was In Special Education Until The 7th Grade. He Just Graduated With His Aa And Highest Honors. Pride Is An Understatement


He just received a full-ride scholarship to the school of his dreams. My son is going to rock the world as a lawyer!


7. At The Salt Lake City Farmer’s Market A Few Years Back


8. My Favorite Graduation Photo. This Woman At My Campus’ Subway Kept Me Fed For 4 Years, And When I Was Low On Money, She Came Through For Me


9. Balloon Seller’s Kind Gesture


10. This Is The Day Our Daughter Was Declared In Remission From Stage 2 Liver Cancer


11. A Year Ago I Was Depressed And Suicidal. Today Things Have Gotten Better


12. When My Grandad Passed Away My Grandmother (She Is 85) Started Learning Painting To Distract Herself. After A Year She Gave Me This Painting


13. Best Neighbours


14. Jimmy Carter an ex USA president

15. My Best Bud And I Cleaned Up A Ton Of Trash Today On Our Day Off


16. I Just Found Out That My Neighbors Tell Their Dog I’m Outside When They Want Him To Hurry Up And Get Out The Door. This Is Him Waiting For A Treat From Me


17. Had The European Championship For Wheelchair Basketball. Took The Bronze Medal, And A Ticket To The World Championships In Japan Next Year


Keep working hard lads, you’ll reach good places.

18. Don’t really have anyone to celebrate with, so I thought I’d share with you guys. I’m one year sober!


19. Random Girl At Farmer’s Market Seduces My Partner In Front Of My Very Eyes


20. In France, Peyo, A Beautiful 15-Year-Old Stallion, Often Comes To Comfort And Soothe Terminally Ill Patients At The Techer Hospital In Calais


The horse always chooses which patient he wants to see, kicking his hoof outside the door.

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