Month: July 2015

The $250,000 Airline Pass That Was Worth Every Penny

Originally posted on Business & Money:
In the early 1980s, American Airlines started selling the AAirpass, which granted the holder unlimited first-class travel with the carrier—for life. At first, the pass cost $250,000. Sounds like a lot of money (especially three decades ago), but it’s a bargain considering that pass holders have been known to take $125,000 worth of flights in less than a month’s time. First off, you can’t buy an AAirpass any longer. Not the pass as it was first envisioned anyway. American still does sell something called the AAirpass, but it’s a shell of the original product. The current pass is available only to customers who spend a minimum of $10,000 annually on American Airlines’ flights. The main benefit for pass holders is access to fixed rates that aren’t all that cheap, but that at least ensure travelers won’t get gouged as badly as the masses when booking flights at the last minute. For example, a flight from Chicago to Dallas costs a bit over $500 for a pass holder; the same…