You may or may not be able to replicate this man's success. But it worked for him, and he really did eat one meal every day for an entire year. And it was 100% free.

It happened thanks to a loophole. We don't know his name or anything else about him, but here's how he did it.

At the Xi'an International Airport, our anonymous friend went to the ticket counter and purchased a first class plane ticket from Eastern China Airlines. First class passengers are given access to a VIP lounge, you see, and just the fact that you've made it into the VIP lounge means that you're entitled to a free meal, courtesy of the airline.

As long as you can afford the first class ticket, anyone should be able to get this far, right?

Here's where the man proved his moxie. Instead of enjoying his meal and then hopping on the plane (or exiting the airport), he ate and then returned to the ticket counter, where he asked to postpone his flight until the next day. Being customer-friendly, the attendant naturally rebooked his ticket for a different flight on the following day. So he went back the next day and did the same thing again. And again. And again.

He continued this routine day after day for a solid year.

Even more remarkably, Eastern China Airlines didn't discover his actions until the end of said year, and it wasn't because someone at the check-in desk or the VIP lounge recognized the guy they'd been seeing every day for twelve months. They figured out what he was up to thanks to their computer system, where someone finally realized that his original ticket had been re-booked more than 300 times in a row.

Thanks to the whole first class/VIP loophole thing, there was nothing the airlines could legally do to make the man stop exploiting the system. But they couldn't just let his little scheme go on forever, either. So they spoke with him, pointing out that they'd figured out what he was doing. And he kindly stopped.

Perhaps the best part of the entire story is what happened next. What we failed to mention earlier is that his first class ticket was fully refundable.

That's right: After agreeing to stop eating his daily free meal, he went straight to the ticket counter and returned his ticket for a full refund. So in the end, his year's worth of meals cost him exactly $0.

What do you think? Was he a freeloader or a genius?

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