The story of a man who has flown 23 million miles
And he earned a guest appearance on "Seinfeld" while doing it
Rick Reilly at The Washington Post had a great story last month on Tom Stuker, a man who's flown "more miles than any other human being in history."
In 1990, United offered a lifetime pass for $290,000. Stuker jumped on it and has pretty much lived in seat 1B — his favorite — ever since. He once went 12 straight days without sleeping in a bed. Just kept jetting from Newark to San Francisco to Bangkok to Dubai and back again, the equivalent of four trips around the world, leaving the sky only for the airport lounge.
Why? Duh. For the miles. “Best investment of my life,” Stuker says. He realized that frequent-flier miles aren’t just valuable for booking more flights. Once you get them, they can be redeemed through the airline, and Stuker has lived like a sultan on United miles ever since — lavish hotel suites all over the world, weeks-long Crystal cruises, gourmet meals from Perth to Paris.
According to Stuker, 2019 was his best year. He took 373 flights that covered 1.46 million miles. If he had bought all these flights in cash, it would have cost him $2.44 million.
He says he even parlayed the miles into enough gift cards to redo his brother’s house. The miles maestro once cashed $50,000 worth of Walmart gift cards in a single day. United quit offering the passes a long time ago, so don’t get any ideas.
And finally, a “Seinfeld” connection:
Get this — years ago he won a charity auction by bidding 451,000 miles to be on a “Seinfeld” episode. (The one where George’s fiancée dies from licking envelopes. Stuker’s in the diner.)
Read the full story at The Washington Post.