How American Airlines Bungled Itself Into Offering Unlimited Lifetime First Class Travel

New and notes from around the interweb:

  • Seventy years ago Chuck Yeagar broke the sound barrier. And now he’s suing Airbus. He says the aerospace giant used “his name and likeness without permission to promote a new high-speed helicopter.”

  • Register to receive double Hyatt points at MGM Resorts through December 28.

  • 30% bonus converting hotel points to Aeroplan extended through September 25

  • The Points Guy website compared duty free prices across a bunch of airports and even in different terminals of the same airport to see where it’s cheapest.

    Not quite an answer to will you save at duty free without comparing to street pricing or the same items – that likely depends on the item and where you live (how it’s taxed) but I can beat the cited prices for Johnnie Walker Blue online and my local Total Wine will price between the listed amounts for Zurich and Paris.

    Nonetheless really interesting data – especially that terminal 7 at New York JFK (primarily British Airways) is cheapest there, and that Newark’s terminal B is “10% cheaper than the shops in Terminal C.”

    By the way the Greekquent Flyer reports that with the airport closing up duty free “the duty-free at IAH terminal D is 40% off everything, but you need international ticket.”

  • Marriott fancies itself a certifier of well-being, look for them to join Hyatt in helping you cleanse your this-and-that.

  • Bank of America testing dynamic credit card CVV security codes that will change every 4 hours.

  • How the American Airlines $250,000 unlimited lifetime first class AAirpass went bad. Michael Dell and Mark Cuban still have lifetime passes, some others had their passes cancelled.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. In the 90’s I spent over $3 million on my Citi AA cards and got Platinum for life. Seemed too good to be true … and of course it was. They introduced Executive Platinum and now I am a tiny bit above dog turd.

    Still have 1.5 million miles and find it hard to use them, always fing a better alternative.

  2. Mark Cuban does not own an AA lifetime time first class pass. He transferred his to his dad. With Mark being a Billionaire & all with private jet service, not something he uses anymore.

  3. I could be wrong, but it seems to me that the elevator to the IAH Centurion lounge was behind that duty free shop. Maybe Amex will seize this opportunity to expand the lounge. please please please

  4. I was in high school when AA had the unlimited first class pass. In our family, the kids were offered free college and a car after college. I thought of asking for an AA pass and pay for my own college and car even though the AA pass was more expensive. That was about 35 years ago.

    In retrospect, if I acted on that it would have been a bad deal. Now I am in Seattle. No SEA-JFK flight. Also most of my flights would require a pain in the neck connection. Not fun. Of course, I would have flown to Europe or Asia a few times a year and maybe every other weekend within the US but that can get old if you ask any road warrior.

    So while it sounds fun to have gotten the AA pass, I think it wouldn’t be worthwhile even if you compare the air fare you could have “saved” if you bought tickets (even though you wouldn’t normally buy tickets).

    Whenever there is Free / Unlimited, people waste. So free Medicare for All + Free College for All + Free Housing for All (Bernie Sanders plan) + Free School Lunch for All would have many benefits but also a lot of waste.

  5. I always thought that AA revoking of the passes was sort of a breach of contract. We sell you unlimited flights. But if you fly too much, we will find a reason to revoke.

    We see the game plan with miles. Issue miles, then devalue. Issue life time status, then find a reason to devalue it. No difference.

  6. All the Mercury 7 are now dead, even Neil Armstrong is now dead, but Chuck Yaegar is still alive and kicking. Good for you Chuck. Two thumbs up.

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