Later Abagnale decided to impersonate a pilot to look more legitimate when cashing checks. He obtained a uniform by calling Pan American World Airways (Pan Am), telling the company that he was a pilot working for them who had lost his uniform while getting it cleaned at his hotel, and obtaining a new one with a fake employee ID number. He then forged a Federal Aviation Administration pilot's license. Pan Am estimated that between the ages of 16–18, Abagnale flew (as a passenger) more than 1,000,000 miles (1,600,000 km) on more than 250 flights and flew to 26 countries by deadheading. As a teenager, he noticed that his hair was graying, which he parlayed into his pilot persona by giving the appearance of being older and having more professional credentials than he did. As a company pilot, he was also able to stay at hotels free during this time. Expenses such as food or lodging were billed to the airline company. However, Abagnale did not fly on Pan Am planes, believing his charade could potentially be identified by real Pan Am pilots or employees who would be asked for genuine identification or proof of employment.