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United Airlines' top flyer hits 1 million miles in a single year

By David Flynn     Filed under: United Airlines, United Mileage Plus

So you reckon you spend a lot of time flying? Probably not nearly as much as Tom Stuker, a Chicago-based automotive sales consultant who this year clocked up a whopping one million miles travelling on United Airlines alone.

Stuker racked up his millionth mile on December 6 onboard United flight 949 between London and Chicago, estimated to be his 400th United flight this year.

(Yes, the maths behind that boggles us – it means he's averaging more than one flight per day including weekends. We're sure that even the most avid frequent flyer could think of better things to do with their time!)

Stuker is believed to be the first commercial traveller to reach a million miles in a single year, and has flown more than 11 million miles flown on United.

To put those Ryan Bingham-esque numbers in perspective, Stuker's million mile tally is equivalent to two return trips to the Moon, while his overall 11 million mile total would see him get about a third of way to Mars.

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About David Flynn

David Flynn is the editor of Australian Business Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.


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1 on 19/12/12 by Al

He has flown one million miles and 400 flights this year on United? LOL, that sounds more like a punishment than an achievement!

1 on 19/12/12 by concordeYMML

Well if he's flying United 400 times in the space of 366 days, they must be doing something right.

1 on 19/12/12 by Al

That's true! I bet they look after him with copious upgrades and so on. If you're flying only in business class or US 'first class' and enjoying all the privileges that gives you, it would be pretty bearable.

But David's quick analysis of the maths makes me wonder how he actually manages to do business? If you're flying every day on average, how many hours do you have for meetings and so on? Maybe he meets his clients at the airport?

1 on 19/12/12 by Alex_upgrade

Given the hub system in the US, he probably needs 2 flights to get wherever he's going. That's why the flights are stacking up.

2 on 19/12/12 by KG

David: Are these one million mile "butt in seat" miles or does the amount consists of total mileage earned (eg. does it include bonus miles for class of travel and status with FF program?) The amount could be halved if the latter is the case (still a lot of flying though).

1 on 19/12/12 by David

United tells us these are all 'butt in seat' miles. Ouch!

3 on 19/12/12 by TheRealBabushka

And I felt bad about my carbon footprint!

4 on 19/12/12 by edy4eva

Apperantly been clocking a handful of miles through trips down under. This guy has had United name a plane or two after him:


1 on 19/12/12 by TheRealBabushka

Interesting article especially the bit about "...Access and premium treatment at United and Star Alliance lounges"

I wonder if he gets to use the SIN Silver Kris lounge, when flying economy; Or does he have to hang out at the Krisflyer Gold Lounge and not have a shower and hold it in if he needs the loo! :p

5 on 19/12/12 by Str8Talking

Sounds like the daily commute to work is on a plane!

6 on 20/12/12 by htc

This guy needs to learn to delegate. No doubt he has a mental problem. This isn't normal. No person, no matter how important (even Keven747) needs to be away from their family this much. 

1 on 20/12/12 by Al

HTC, you're assuming this bloke has a family or even a life!! Tell you what, doesn't sound like he has much of a life to me. I'm sure he gets plenty of jollies from the flying and perks but I reckon he doesn't look anything like 'Ryan Bingham'!

1 on 20/12/12 by htc

HA - cheers Al. I read an article about him on in the NY Times this morning and he actually does have a wife and I think it said he had kids...... bizzare! I doubt he has many hobbies. It said he once had 20+ consecutive meals on board!

7 on 21/12/12 by drgmarshall

I don't know how he's done this.  I fly to USA 3X per year with Qantas/One world to Denver, but then have to switch to United for one leg from Denver to Minot (MOT). I have yet to have United successfuly deliver the flight on time.  Yesterday, flight UA5571 was 4 hours delayed so I missed my BA connection from Denver to LHR.  I'm now sitting in LAX waiting 28 hours for the only available BA flight to get me from the USA to UK.  Thanks again United!  Meanwhile, my wife and kids are sitting in London having flown in on time to meet with me for the holidays.  Only saving is the good job done by Qantas in getting me another seat booked for my One World leg.

8 on 2/1/13 by Travelator

Family member(s) fly using his name perhaps? If US is anything like Australia anyone can fly using your name. They never check ID when you fly.

Although he would be so famous at United, FAs would notice the name and suspect something.

1 on 6/1/13 by sq421

US is nothing like Australia in that regard. TSA matches ID with your Boarding Pass when you clear security. 


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