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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…

A Year of Great Writing: Our Favorite Blogs in 2014

Originally posted on The Daily Post:
We discover excellent blogs, both old and new, every single day. Multiply this by 365: the amount of superb writing we’ve been collectively exposed to this past year becomes staggering. Still, even in a year bursting with talent and exciting voices, some blogs spoke to us with particular power. Here are the ones we kept returning to in 2014. Cheri Lucas Rowlands This year, I’ve followed Arabic Literature more closely — Cairo-based writer M. Lynx Qualey’s site focused on the literary and arts scenes across Egypt, Palestine, Syria, Iraq, and more. I’ve discovered so much new writing and poetry from around the world. Likewise, it’s fun to explore Sesquiotica, James Harbeck’s blog for all things words. I love the concept behind his Word Tasting Notes — word lovers, do dive in and taste. I also return to many long-time favorites, again and again. The most notable one is Brevity, the blog of the journal of the same name, which publishes writing and news from the world of creative nonfiction (and specifically concise…