Mark Cuban knows how to travel. The billionaire investor already owns three private jets, including a Gulfstream V private jet, which he purchased for $40 million in 1999. But, as it turns out, he doesn’t even really need his own plane because he’s one of just a handful of people who can access American Airlines’ first class cabin any time he wants.
You see, in 1981, when American Airlines was in deep financial trouble, it offered up a lifelong, unlimited first class ticket good for flying anywhere in the world for a one-time fee of $250,000. Just 28 people in the world purchased the ticket and Cuban happened to be one of them. According to Maxim, Cuban called the decision to buy the ticket “one of the best purchases [he’s] ever made.”
As part of the purchase, Cuban and the others had no restrictions on when and where they could fly. Moreover, they can still earn frequent flier miles for their global adventures.
According to The Hustle, financier Steve Rothstein and marketing executive Jacques E. Vroom Jr. also both purchased the unlimited AAirpass. Rothstein, the site noted, bought his pass in 1987 and took 10,000 flights over the next 25 years using the pass. He once reportedly used the pass to fly to Canada because he was craving a specific sandwich.
“The contract was truly unlimited,” he said. “So why not use it as intended?”
The Hustle explained that Vroom used a loan to purchase his ticket because he knew it was too good of a deal to pass up. Vroom used his ticket to fly from Texas to Maine on a regular basis to watch his son play football. And on one occasion he flew his daughter to Buenos Aires for just one single day because she was writing a report on South American culture while in middle school. Though he also used all those frequent flier miles for good. According to The Hustle, Vroom started donating all of his unused miles to AIDS patients so they could visit their families.
Sadly, you can’t buy this ticket anymore. After realizing they were losing money, American Airlines discontinued sales in 1994. But, who knows, maybe you’ll meet Cuban in an airport and he’ll offer you his companion seat for free.