Schlappig has turned his passion into his work, blogging about his experience on his website, One Mile at a Time. He's also launched an award travel booking service, PointsPros, where consultants help travelers navigate the rewards systems and redeem miles.
While he admits he's a bit of an outlier because he's constantly travelling, he thinks the average person who has family and business schedules to work around can also find value.
"If you want to take your family to Europe in summer in business class that's perfectly possible on miles, while it might not otherwise be something a family can afford."
Travelers just have to understand how to best use the programs.
"The problem is that these programs are so complicated and that's kind of by design because they want most members to not redeem optimally," said Schlappig.
"You just have to know how to do it, and then you can get huge value out of it."
Despite the fact that he's spent the last 10 years traveling around the globe practically for free, he said the airlines like him.
"They think of people who are so obsessed with programs as kind of ambassadors for their brands. They love how engaged we are in the program," he said.
—CNBC's Jackson Stone contributed to this report.