Nothing was free up front — the object of the game was a return on investment.
A Hobbyist doesn't spend unless he can get the same or greater value in return.
He'll rarely leave the airports, and when he does he'll rest his head only in luxury hotels. Schlappig, 25, is one of the biggest stars among an elite group of obsessive flyers whose mission is to outwit the airlines.
Born in New York, he became obsessed with airplanes as a small child, endlessly reciting aircraft models and issuing flight announcements from the back of his parents' car.