Darren Booth—author of the popular "Frequently Flying" blog, who began his life-long passion for travel as an airline intern before becoming an expert in elite travel—has died. Booth, a former CNBC.com blogger, was 41.
"Darren was ill for many years," his mother, Sharon, said in an email to CNBC on Wednesday. He "did experience some periods of remission, but he is now at peace and free from pain."
Booth died Saturday, according to a blog post authored by his parents, Sharon and Larry Booth. No cause of death was given. "We are so saddened and grief-stricken," they wrote on "Frequently Flying."
"He felt so honored to be part of the blogging 'family,'" they wrote in the post, and offered thanks to readers, pro and con. "Flight and travel were his absolute passion."
You had me at jumpseat
Booth was born in Skokie, Ill., and grew up in suburban Chicago near O'Hare airport. He pursued his love for flight and travel right out of college. He graduated from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, based in Daytona Beach, Fla., in 1994 with a bachelor's degree in Aviation Business Administration and Airline Management, according to his resume.
Also during the early '90s, Booth landed one of his first travel jobs, at the Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport. He maintained operations databases, monitored air traffic control operations and performed field inspections.
Booth also was a flight dispatch intern for United Airlines in 1993. He tracked and reported flight performance and was allowed to fly jumpseat on United flights.
In the late '90s, he worked in various roles for Newton Square, Pa.-based Apple Vacations, which offers travel packages. While managing operations and rolling out new products for the online travel portal, Booth learned first-hand about navigating travel's dizzying array of choices—expertise he would later share as a travel blogger.