NY Post – Steve Rothstein bought a golden ticket from American Airlines in 1987 — granting him a lifetime of unlimited travel. He clocked more than 10 million miles and 10,000 flights. He used his power to fly hopeless strangers home, a friend to the Louvre, and a priest to Rome to meet the pope. He hopped planes to other cities just for a baseball game or a sandwich. Everybody, even American’s CEO, knew his name. “[I] became a hero at the airline,” Rothstein, 61, a Manhattan investment banker, told The Post. “I could just show up and get a seat.” Rothstein, then living in Chicago, bought his AAirpass for $250,000, plus a companion ticket for $150,000 more. “I could go someplace and I wouldn’t even have to think about it,” he said. “Just make the reservation and go.” He traveled 18 times in July 2004 alone, jetting to Nova Scotia, Maine, London, Los Angeles and Denver. Once a business meeting in Miami was postponed for a day, so he took a junket to Caracas. He booked flights under fake names such as “Bag Rothstein” if he didn’t know who his companion would be — a practice that the airline later used to accuse him of fraud. Because of the AAirpass, his daughter went to boarding school in Switzerland. He took his son to dozens of nationwide sporting events including the Yankees-Mets Subway Series. Some days he flew to Providence, RI, home of his alma mater, Brown University, just for a baloney-and-Swiss-cheese melt from a place called Geoff’s. “A very fun Saturday would be to wake up early and fly to Detroit, rent a car and go to Ontario, have lunch and spend $50 or $100 buying Canadian things,” Rothstein said. He’d be home in time for dinner with his wife and friends.“But I wouldn’t say, ‘Oh, I went to Canada today.’ That would sound obnoxious.” Still, the charmed traveler paid his fortune forward. He gave away all of his 14 million air miles. If a stranded traveler was crying — such as one woman desperately trying to return to Bronxville, NY, because her children didn’t have a baby sitter — he’d offer her his companion seat.
Frequent flier Steve Rothstein’s travels under American Airline’s AAirpass program since 1987, which allowed him first-class flights for life:
* 10,000: Number of flights
* 10 million: Miles traveled
* 40 million: Frequent-flier miles earned
* 500: Trips to England
* 70: Trips Australia
* 120: Tokyo flights
* $21 million: Cost of the flights to American Airlines
* $250,000: What Rothstein paid for his AAirpass in 1987
* $3 million: Cost of an AAirpass in 2004, the last year it was offered
* 0: Number that sold that year
I know most of you guys are gonna be like “Fuck this guy! He’s the reason I gotta pay $35 to check my bags!” Well thats probably true but I don’t travel enough for that to bother me so I don’t fucking care. This dude ponied up a quarter of a million bucks back in ’87 for a golden ticket and he fuckin did it right. What, do you expect a dude named Steven Rothstein to buy a lifetime pass and just fly once or twice a year like the rest of us? Fuck that noise! Dude is getting his money’s worth. If I had unlimited travel I’d do the same shit. I’d fly to Philly for a cheesesteak for lunch. Over to Italy for some dinner. Drunk at night hop a flight to Ireland to piss on the Blarney Stone. Zip over France to rub one out on top of the Eiffel Tower. Off to Amsterdam for some drugs and prostitutes and head back to Laguardia to start blogging again Monday morning. I wanna go to the Mets game tonite but it looks like they’re on the West Coast. Don’t care! I got a golden ticket bitches. Hey smokeshow, whats your name? You wanna fly to Miami tonite? You can ride in my companion seat.
Fuck you American Airlines! A lifetime pass is a lifetime pass. Not my fault I take advantage of your stupid golden ticket