The Chaps Who Fly Around the World for a Living

Ben Schlappig is the world’s greatest hobbyist. While others are weekend warriors, Ben takes it seriously. During a stretch from 2014 to 2015 he flew more than 400,000 miles and spent 43 weeks sleeping exclusively in hotels. That lifestyle probably lacks appeal to most people, but to those considering themselves serious hobbyists, it’s enviable.

For most people (me included) airline miles are an abstract concept. Something that exist, but that we aren’t necessarily aware of on a daily basis. Usually you’re most conscious of them when disembarking and an upbeat flight attendant offers you a 40,000 mile bonus with your first $1,000 purchase. Is that a lot? How many fantasy miles is equal to one real mile? How many miles is Berlin from New York? 

These are a questions that someone involved with “The Hobby” could answer. A hobbyist is someone who abuses takes advantage of airline frequent flier programs to fly first class for free. They use their intimate knowledge of airline regulations to score $10,000 tickets, free champagne and a flying experience that’s way more enjoyable than what the unwashed masses suffer through.

The hobbyist lifestyle is  polarizing. Maybe it only appeals to one person in a thousand. But to that one person it probably sounds freaking amazing! I’m not a hobbyist but maybe you are? The best resource to learn more about it is Ben’s blog.

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