Eat and drink free for a year

A Chinese businessman bought a first-class, fully-refundable ticket aboard Eastern China Airline. On the scheduled departure date, he presented it for access to the Xi’an International Airport’s VIP lounge, where first-class travellers dine and drink free.

Then, instead of boarding the flight he changed his flight’s departure date to the following day. The next day he turned up with his newly-issued ticket for the revised date, ate and drank free and then changed his ticket date again.

Airline staff recognized what was happening only after noticing that his ticket had been re-booked 300 times during its year-long validity. They admitted that, under their rules for first-class travel, there was nothing they could do to stop the frequent diner.

Eastern China Airline officials confronted the businessman and persuaded him to stop. The ticket was fully refundable, so he cashed it before its expiry date and got back all his money. An airline spokeswoman called the scheme a ‘rare act’.

First reported in the Chinese-language newspaper Kwong Wah Yit Poh in Malaysia in January 2014. You can find versions in other languages by Web search: “China Eastern Airline first class ticket free meals” should do it for English.