There are frequent flyers, there are very frequent flyers, and then there are OMG VERY VERY VERY FREQUENT FLYERS.
In 2011 I wrote about Tom Stuker, who at the time was earning 10 million miler status with United. That’s insane, given that United calculates million miler status based on your “butt in seat” revenue miles flown on United. That’s right, we’re not talking about 10 million award miles, or even 10 million miles taking into account elite bonuses for flying first or business class.
United held a huge celebration for Tom at the time, and even named a plane after him. Good for him, given how much he has flown.
Think he has slowed down since then? Nope. The International Business Times has a story about how Tom Stuker will pass 18 million miler status with United next week.
That. Is. Crazy. He passed 10 million miler less than six years ago, meaning he has averaged over 1.3 million flown revenue miles per year on United.
Tom is president of an automotive consulting company, which helps struggling car dealerships improve their sales tactics. It’s understandable that would require a lot of travel, but over a million miles a year? Wow.
There’s a lot of speculation about his travels. It’s entirely possible that he pays for every flight out of pocket, though it’s also rumored that he purchased a lifetime flying pass back in the day, and has been using that ever since. If that’s the case, I can’t imagine how much that pass is costing United. I don’t think Tom has confirmed or denied one way or another how he books his tickets.
The article goes on to reference his feelings about the with Dr. Dao incident, given that he considers United to be part of his family:
“I’m a big United loyalist, I consider them almost like a second family to me. So it was upsetting to see all of this negative press,” Stuker told International Business Times in a phone interview Tuesday.
“It’s terrible,” he said of Dao’s treatment. “I don’t care what the situation is, it never, never, never should happen on any airline to any human being, whatsoever.”
“It’s going to make every airline … reassess how they go about it,” said Stuker about airlines’ practice of bumping ticketed passengers from flights. United Airlines altered its policy over the weekend so that crewmembers would no longer be allowed to unseat passengers that had already boarded the plane.
Congrats to Tom… I think. 18 million flown miles with United is, well, just, wow…