New Jersey Man Flies 23 Million Miles With Lifetime United Airlines Pass

Tom Stuker says paying $290,000 for a United Airlines lifetime pass in 1990 is the best investment of his life. The 69-year-old has flown more than 23 million miles — more than the Apollo 11 spacecraft has flown — and visited more than 100 countries. Stuker’s mileage in 2019 alone covered more than 6 trips to the moon. That year, he took 373 flights, covering 1.46 million miles. Had he paid cash for the flights, it would have cost him $2.4 million. The real boon, however, appears to have been the frequent flier miles that Struker accrued along the way. In 2009, he passed the 5 million mile mark, passing the 10 million mile mark in 2019. He was the first United Airlines customer to do so, and the points have opened all kinds of doors. As a result, he has stayed in lavish hotel suites all over the world, taken weeks-long Crystal cruises, eaten gourmet meals from Perth to Paris. He has even used the miles to remodel his brother’s house. Stuker confessed that he once cashed $50,000 worth of Walmart gift cards in a single day. Of course, there have been some less enjoyable moments. He has witnessed 4 people die during his decades of flying, all from heart attacks. Still, Stuker plans on continuing to fly. He and his wife have been on more than 120 honeymoons so far. As for how his travel has affected his carbon footprint, Stuker says, “The plane is going to fly whether I’m on it or not. It would be more relevant if I was flying a private jet.”