The L.A. Times had a very interesting story over the weekend about American Airlines’ “AAirpass” program. It sounds like a dream: for anywhere between $250,000 (when the program began) and $3 million (the most recent offer, in 2004, which nobody took up), AA customers could purchase tickets that gave them unlimited first-class travel for life. As Ken Bensinger writes, “It was almost like owning a fleet of private jets.” But now the financially troubled airline is cutting off these incredibly frequent fliers (Jacques Vroom, of Dallas, has logged more than 37 million miles). The program, it seems, is costing the company more than a million dollars per pass holder per year. The airline told some of the passengers via letters delivered at check-in that their passes were canceled. Needless to say, there are lawsuits filed.
Some thoughts about this. 1) I’m surprised that the L.A. Times, and not the DMN, or Texas Monthly, or National Magazine Award winner Tim Rogers, broke the story. 2) I really, really want one of these passes.