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Man Uses First-Class Ticket for Year’s Worth of Free Meals

A first-class passenger scammed a Chinese airport to get free meals at the VIP lounge.

By Erik Shute | January 29, 2014

A man in China discovered his first class airline ticket could get him more than just a flight.  He used the voucher to score free meals and drinks nearly every day for a year — all courtesy of the VIP airport lounge.

Malaysian Chinese newspaper Kwong Wah Yit Poh reported the man changed his flight itinerary more than 300 times within the year so he could partake in the VIP amenities at China’s Xi'an Airport.

His scam was simple: book, eat, and repeat. Over and over again. See, first class ticket holders get the VIP treatment at the airport, which included a free meal at the lounge.

Gizmodo couldn't help but applaud the idea. It says this first class “genius” would reportedly flash his legitimate ticket at the lounge before his trip and grab a bite to eat just like any other first class passenger.  Except, he never left the gate and instead, re-booked his flight for the next day.

According to the newspaper, staff members from China Eastern Airlines discovered the itinerary for a one ticket had been postponed hundreds of times.

It seems the airline finally wised up to the scam, but when it began to investigate, Nashville’s WSMV explains:

 “He realized when he was caught, he canceled his ticket, got a full refund, and left.” (Via WSMV)

When asked about the scam a spokeswoman for the airline told the media the company had no way to stop such a “rare act.”

CNN points out that “rare act” seemed like “a lot of work for a free meal” But, foodie blog Eater point out the VIP lounge had plenty of options including a full buffet and "Western food".

The presumably “full” flyer remains unidentified.  But, there’s no such thing as a free lunch, right? Well, maybe for a clever first class customer.

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