I think the ultimate in travel luxury is the lifetime pass, or its equivalent, to something.
- Walt Disney World sold lifetime passes to select visitors and associates in the 1970s and 1980s, and Disneyland has been known to give them out to “significant” guests (i.e., the first guest, the 100,000,000th guest, the first child born at DL, etc.).
- Disney also once also considered what was to be called an “ultimate pass,” that would have been good at WDW and DL. It wasn’t good for a lifetime, but a third-to-a-quarter of a lifetime wouldn’t have been so bad.
- The U.S. National Park Service used to offer a Golden Age Passport that got seniors free entry for life into U.S. national parks, but they discontinued the program in 2007 (it was replaced with the America The Beautiful pass, which used to cost $10 but went up to $80 in 2017).
- American Airlines used to sell a lifetime pass, but they stopped the program decades ago.
- JetBlue, on very rare occasion, has offered a “fly all you want for a month” deal (the official name is “All You Can Jet”). Prices (at the time…it’s been YEARS since they offered it) included $699 for 30 days of unlimited travel or $499 for 30 days of unlimited travel (excluding Fridays and Saturdays).
American and JetBlue are the only times I’ve seen any of the mainline U.S.-based airlines offer any sort of “fly as much as you want” deals.
There’s a new type of “fly as much as you want” pass that’ll be happening next week, but unfortunately, it’s not in the U.S. On October 19th, Japan-based Peach Aviation Ltd. will be selling “all you can fly” passes that will allow holders to fly anywhere they want on Peach’s 33 domestic routes in Japan, and as often as they’d like, throughout the month of November.
The pass is called the “Peach Hodai Pass” (Hodai roughly translate to “all you can”).
The price for this deal is amazing. Peach is a low-cost carrier, so the passes will be very affordable – they’re going to start at just ¥19,800 (about US $182). That’s even cheaper than Japan’s famed bullet train (a single Shinkansen ticket from Tokyo to Osaka is about ¥14,000).
Two versions of the Peach Hodai Pass will be available. The Light pass would cover just your airfare, while the Standard pass includes the perks of one free checked bag and no extra charge for selecting your seat on the plane (they normal charges ¥1,800 and ¥590, respectively, for those).
They’re going to tier the pricing for the Peach Hodai Pass, based on when you buy it. The Light starts at ¥19,800 and the Standard at ¥29,800. But those are only the prices for the first 30 total passes sold. After that, both prices rise by ¥10,000 – so Light will be ¥29,800 and Standard will be ¥39,800 for the Standard – which are still awesome prices for flying all over Japan for a month.
The passes will go on sale on Peach’s website at noon (JST) on October 19 (11pm ET 10/18). They’re only going to offer 150 of them.
You may recall that Joe and I had plans to go to Japan in November, 2020 but Covid cancelled those. We rescheduled for this November but eventually cancelled them as well. Pity on that – not just because we haven’t been to Japan in 6 years and want to go back, but because if we could have snagged 2 of those Peach Hodai Passes, it would have saved us a bundle on Bullet Train tickets! Oh well…
H/T Japan Today
Feature Photo: Rawpixel
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Red Carpet Clubs sold lifetime passes for $99 way back when. And Playboy had lifetime subscriptions for around that same price.
Eastern Air Lines also briefly had monthly passes in the 80s. At least a couple punk bands (Mission of Burma probably being the most notable) took advantage of this by scheduling tours via Eastern instead of driving around the country in a van.
Eastern and TWA also had annual passes for unlimited travel offered to senior citizens. The Eastern deal was $999 and, incredibly, if you felt that you did not get $999 worth of travel in the year, you could ask Eastern to calculate the value of your trips and then they’d refund you the difference. Here’s an article about the latter: https://www.chicagotribune.com/news/ct-xpm-1988-01-10-8803210477-story.html
US Air had a Liberty Fare pass that allowed unlimited travel for 15 days. They literally gave you a blank book of paper tickets that you wrote in your name and flight,tore off, and handed the ticket to the boarding gate attendant.