In September 1987, experienced American stockbroker Steven Rothstein made the best deal of his life.
At that time, for $ 250,000 at the time, he bought one of the life tickets with the airline. American Airlines Sought to prove its economic strength at the end of the 20th century.
Through that ‘lifepass’ he amassed more 30 million miles In The endless journeys he has made for 21 years.
”Steven He boarded the plane as if most people were going by bus”, In an article signed by his journalist daughter Carolyn in 2019, summarizing his wife Nancy Rothstein for more than three decades.
This was the case until December 13, 2008, when the airline that changed his destination decided it was ‘time’ to land.
In this case, the lawsuit was settled out of court.
And his privilege was revoked.
‘Get the Most Out’ of a Different Marketing Strategy
According to renowned investigative journalist Ken Bensinger, in the ‘Los Angeles Times’ article, American Airlines introduced the first editions of its loyalty program.Airbus‘In 1981.
The range of options, due to its astonishing size, guarantees an unlimited ticket, the price of which depends on the age of the buyer.
Considering that opportunity and his frequency as a business traveler, Rothstein, a 37-year-old financier at the time, decided in 1987 to invest the $ 250,000 it would cost him. Lifetime ticket First class.
He fainted at the thought of having to travel as much as he wanted, without paying more than the money invested, and two years later bought a company ticket for $ 150,000 with the same conditions.
A rule that allowed his wife to sit in that seat, even if he was traveling on a plane before or next to his wife, was put forward as the best ‘life insurance’. Accident.
Since then, he has been interested in flying “like a favorite”.
“It’s not a strange thing for him to travel from Chicago to Los Angeles during the day and to Tokyo at night.”Said his ex-wife.
We thought that Airbus would be something that companies could buy for their high-ranking workers Smarter than us”, A. in 1985 and 1998. Bob Grant, managing director of the airline, coordinated the marketing strategy.
The benefits of being a ‘part’ of the team
With such a license, Rothstein frequently visited the airline’s vehicles and met with all of its employees.
In addition, his passenger seat was, in some cases, occupied by dozens of people Rarely known.
“At one point he took my brother’s best friend on his first flight to watch a game of football (…) to someone at the National Security’s office who wanted to see his dying father. It helped to get the others to where they needed to go.” Said his daughter.
In fact, as Caroline explained, that was the real gift that Steven’s lifetime ticket represented: fraud “Relationships for Life”.
For example, with her he accepted an interesting challenge: take her to 50 states of his country.
“When I was 11 we put together a big map of the United States. After each trip, I will add a pin to the state I visited; Another to the places he wanted to go … When we went to Thirty States, I told him to stop. I wanted to do new adventures when I came of age, ”said the executive’s travel assistant.
Wanderlust began to become a lynchpin for the existence of Steven and his family.
He had enough love (and luggage) to start storing everything left over from his experiences (soaps, dryers, sheets, towels and other). A special room It became a kind of refuge.
The mystery of this way of life is so great that, almost fifty years before the beginning of the new millennium, it seemed immortal.
But everything that goes up must come down.
Moments of strong turmoil
On October 6, 2002, his youngest son, Josh, 15, died. Terrible traffic accident.
From there, in a clear state of anguish, Steven’s relationship with that unlimited travel ticket was reinforced by the human dignity that allowed him to know it.
“When everyone was asleep at home, there was no one to talk to me. I felt lonely because Josh was dead. I would call the American Airlines booking number and talk to the agents for an hour to find out what they knew.) I was very confused and very lonely, and I called American Airlines. , Because they are the logical people I can talk to ”Steven agreed with his daughter.
In fact, this bond was so strong, many airline workers Attended the funeral De Josh.
The company, on an organizational and human level, pointed to everything that was in his life.
When he boarded a flight from Chicago to London in December 2008, he was surprised when an airline official told him that his ‘Airbus’ had been canceled.
Until then it was impossible.
After three years of litigation, Steven Rothstein violated his contract with American Airlines because he was able to get it checked in North American courts. “Speculation”.
From what her daughter said, it is normal to book flights lightly with a partner without even knowing if the person can go.
The facts presented before the courts are accurate: in May 2005 and December 2008, Rothstein booked 2,648 air tickets for fellow passengers. 2,269 were canceled Or your lender did not come.
For the most skeptical, this conduct is unworthy of termination of contract. Most likely, they believed they wanted to reduce the juicy benefit of unlimited bass.
According to one of the American Airlines workers who spoke with Ken Pensinger, it is not surprising that the contract will cost them more than a million dollars each year.
After the court ruling, the spectacular life of the man who traveled around the world more than 500 times in his voyage was completed, taking into account that the circumference of the earth is 40,000 kilometers.
“The shock of snatching it from him really pushed him to the ground,” his ex-wife said.
“They stole my personality”, Steven himself was convicted.