Ari Charlestein is a travel-professional who has been getting on and off airplanes for the better part of 30 years. In 2008 and 2013 he founded First Class and Beyond (“FCB”) and Award Magic, respectively, which strive to help individual and corporate clients redeem miles without the stress of hold times and foreign call-centers. The companies generally act as award-booking services, though FCB also serves as a high-end, concierge-style business including one-on-one consultations and annual “VIP” packages.
Though he spent several years working as a dental-product sales representative in BC, his passion has always been in travel. In a typical year, Charlestein earns between 400,000 and 600,000 points/miles; this includes flying roughly 100,000 miles and staying in a hotel over 70 nights. As this passion has transformed into a career, he now devotes himself to saving others time and money by teaching them the ins and outs of the miles game he loves so much.
In a professional capacity Charlestein has been touted as an authority in the world of points and miles. This, evidenced by several speaking engagements at major industry events (such as the New York Times and the Los Angeles Times Travel Shows) as well as being featured in online and print media.