Based on the numerous passionate comments in response to the United’s Most Frequent Flyer entry on Friday, it seems that BoardingArea readers truly do have a limit when it comes to how much flying they are willing to undertake in a year, regardless of the miles and status to be earned! The overwhelming majority of comments questioned the work-life balance of someone who was actually able to hit 1 million BIS miles within a year. Though, other comments were congratulatory in nature. I’ve copied those comments to the bottom of this post, what do you think??
Want more information on United’s most frequent flyer? It turns out there is also a FlyerTalk forum devoted to Tom’s achievement with Tom himself answering some member questions, including how he tracks his trips (TripIt) and his next destination (Honolulu next week). Here are some more answers:
A common question asked of me is where is my favorite place to go . Answer: Home. 2nd favorite place is anywhere with my wife. She flies over 100,000 miles a year with me….. All honeymoons.
This is my highest BIS year. A little over 1,050,000 miles. My EQM’s will be 1.5 million plus and my EQS will be 520 plus. I will never fly this much in a year again.
Hi Fredd. A happy holiday to you and the mrs. Don’t get me wrong, I have had my share of problems. With 350 plus flights this year stuff happens. Overall things have been good. Be proactive. Treat people nice before they serve you. Be patient. And when things go wrong understand that their is a reason why their is a reason that their is an eraser on a pencil. We all make mistakes. I know I am singing to the choir, just want more people to be understanding and patient. What goes around comes around.
Rob, Merry Christmas to you and Nancy. I was hoping to cross the finish line with you. This was it. I shot the wad. Never again this many BIS. 700K maybe but not a million! Lol! Look forward to catching up with you in the new year. Don’t forget to catch my show Car Lot Rescue on Spike coming out Feb 10th. Talk to you soon!
First time hitting 1 million BIS on United in one year. I have done 1million plus EQM several years but only 1 year of 1 million BIS.
Here are those comments from the original post:
what in the fawk.. thats awesome! AND someone pays for him to travel. even when I worked in-flight we barely flew 200K in a year. ass in seat.. darn. wow.. hahaha the only word that sums it up.. WOW…
I wonder how much time he spent in the plane as compared to his own home. What would be his family life if he has any?
WOW 1 million miles in a year!
BIS or PQM?
Honestly, sounds like a miserable life, I fly 200 BIS and am out of the country about 1/4th of a year and thats with many short 3 days trips along with some longer ones, that means hes on the ground for less than a day in some cases… screw that
I wonder what he does with the miles he earns? I seriously doubt he makes additional award trips with them.
Levy Flight says:
How many miles is Tom flying in total? This is just UA.
Todd, upgrade awards?
Very possible. My old boss used to rake up around 30k BIS miles per month by going to China 2 times per month. This dude must live in the sky.
Let’s do some math. 1,000,000 miles divided by an average air speed of 500 mph = 2,000 hours in the air. There are only 8,760 hours in a year, so about a quarter of his life is spent at 35,000 feet.
I wonder what his radiation exposure level is?
Nah keep your miles. I want my life.
Do you really have a life to fly that many miles? Wonder if he is still married? you can only fly for so long after 500000 miles, wouldnt you ask yourself?
no friends, no family and lets face it, dont give me that excuse that United is my family because in United eyes you are just a paying customer when it boils down to it.
Joshua Pickles says:
I met him at the gate while boarding NRT-ORD last January and he had already flown over 100k in 2012. Tom is just the nicest guy I have met in the FF world. Had a lot of fun with him convincing other passengers how he is such a famous United passenger, and he tried to out do me by telling everyone about how many miles I had earned buying $1 coins from the mint. My most memorable flight ever.
Tom // Sit in first says:
He has gone too far (literally and figuratively).
Ed C says:
He’s going to kill us on the SMD4 UA challenge! Lol
One Million Miles (400 legs?) in slightly less than a year is a bit too impressive. I suspect that the unfortunate fellow has zero home life – he’s never there – and has chosen to make his life on United’s aircraft. On the bright side, with his miles and status, he book any upgradable coach seat fare and ride in 2B without a blink. I wonder if UA ever bumps a full-fare F-Class rider in favor of Tom. He’s probably got the guest room in Smisek’s home on stand-by, should he need it. Lastly, I wonder what United offers him when a flight is cancelled due to weather or mechanical issues. I cannot imagine that he sits at the gate or even in a lounge, for m ore than ten minutes. NetJets anyone?
More seriously, I mete this fellow shortly before his “big award” last year. Quiet, polite and as humble as they come, his only comment about United was something like, “They get me where I need to be…” I’d bet that his delays are rather rare. For those interested, Tom has already stated that he spends a lot of his miles on (perhaps short) vacation trips with his G.F. Consulting about automotive sales must be a very good business….
You all criticize him for spending a quarter of his life in an airplane… Maybe, he has no office and he works from home the rest of the time… We all spend nearly 2000 hours at work… Me, I think I would rather be in the air then sitting at my desk…
I love this game, I love my perks, and I love my first class award redemptions, however I also love my family, my house, my community, and spending time on the ground! Does Tom spend any time on the ground?
Lynn DiNapolitano says:
I feel that I have to comment on this. I am OBSESSED. I feel great when I take-off on my next journey and count down the days to the next trip. At a million A** in seat miles a year, how can this man still be enjoying the ride? My family and close friends look at me like I’m crazy but I would never actually want to fly this much.
Anthony G says:
I HOPE HOPE HOPE that he is generous with charities with all the miles he must have.
Haley R says:
@Cook – I wonder when he finds time to go on short vacations with his GF as your state. If I was traveling that often I would not be getting back on a plane.