As an aspiring million mile flyer, I find it necessary and proper to offer my congratulations to Tom Stuker, United's most frequent flyer and a true "Up in the Air" figure. After 29 years of flying, he crossed the 10,000,0000 (ten million) mile threshold on a Los Angeles to Chicago United flight Saturday afternoon. A large crowd was waiting for him at the Concourse C Red Carpet Club, including United CEO Jeff Smisek, to recognize Stuker for the milestone.
Among his many gifts was a "Titanium Global Services" card. Global Services status is the highest tier of elite status on United and earned based not on miles flown, but on revenue. Clearly, Stuker's ten million miles weren't all on L and K (cheap economy) fares. His coolest gift, by far, was the unveiling of a 747-400 named in his honor. That is impressive.
It would have been fun to be part of the festivities, but at least we have a video record of the presentation. It is 20 minutes long, but if you are an airline nut like me, you should enjoy it:
Notice that Stuker calls out his "angels" at the Dearborn Call Center. By chance, I reached the Global Services desk in Dearborn last night when I calling to book an award. The agent, while not the most swift (I had to familiarize her with United's award rules), perked up when I mentioned Stuker and confirmed that everyone in Dearborn knows him and he's a pleasure to deal with.
It is worth noting that these 10,000,000 miles were not from credit cards or class of service bonuses--United only counts revenue "butt-in-seat" miles toward your lifetime tally, making Stuker's accomplishment all the more remarkable.
Congratulations to you Tom Stuker. Time to start work on 20,000,0000!