Tom Stuker, the owner of an automative sales and dealership consulting company, recently eclipsed the 19M mile mark with United MileagePlus. The carrier says it’s the most miles earned by any one member in the 37-year history of the program. United’s #1 member began flying in 1970 for work trips from Chicago to Hawaii and Europe and joined MileagePlus in 1982. He had already joined the Million Miler club within just a few months and would go on to earn more than 510K miles each and every year. Frequent trips to Sydney and 15 travel days a month keep his earnings high.
United’s one million milers get lifetime Gold status, but Stuker has lifetime Global Services status! United’s provided him some awesome gratitude perks along the way too as reported by Business Insider:
When Stuker hit 10 million miles on United on July 9, 2011, the airline threw a party for him at the United Red Carpet Club at Chicago O’Hare International Airport. Those in attendance included his friends, family, United’s then-CEO and top leadership and United personnel.
United named a Boeing 747 in Stuker’s honor for his 10-million-mile celebration.
United also arranged for Stuker to throw out the opening pitch at the Cubs game at Wrigley Field on July 16, 2011.
Stucker donates a ton of his miles to charitable donations in addition to taking care of friends and family and getting thank you gifts for United employees.
“I have a friend in Australia who lost his son to brain cancer three years ago,” Stuker said. “So I donate between 1 million to 2 million miles, plus taxes, a year to auction off flights for four couples from Australia to the United States to benefit his charity.” After the couples are chosen, he uses his miles to book their trips.
In 2017, Stuker’s donation helped raise $58,000 for his friend’s charity, Bailey’s Day. “That was one of the happiest days of my year. I’m happy that I can do this with my miles,” he said.
Tom is on his way to 20M miles (expected in the summer of 2019) and you can follow his progress via his FlyerTalk thread here and the full Business Insider piece on him here.