Video of Tom Stuker’s 10 million mile celebration at Chicago O’Hare

Yesterday I posted about United’s most frequent flyer finally hitting 10 million miler status on a flight from Los Angeles to Chicago. Well, it appears as if United went all out with the celebration, from giving him a Titanium Global Services card to naming a 747 after him. Check out the video of the celebtration upon arrival in Chicago here:

Kudos to United for the event!

Filed Under: Media, Travel
  1. Ben, how many miles have you flown so far?

    And it might be a dumb question, but are these miles counted besides award miles just for statistics? So if you want to book a 100k award, do these 100k get deducted from your account and you are further from a X million miles milestone?

  2. @ Ralph — Butt in seat I’ve probably done about 1.5 million between all flights. But that’s not revenue miles on a single airline.

    The 10 million miles he earned are lifetime miles, which are different than elite qualifying miles and redeemable miles. The lifetime miles balance never goes down — it’s simply the number of “butt in seat” revenue miles one has flown on United.

    Then where are elite qualifying miles, which are the number of elite miles earned every year (including bonuses for flying in paid first or business class), and that amount resets at the beginning of each year.

    Lastly there are redeemable miles, of which Tom says he has earned about 50 million. Those are the miles you actually “spend,” and the balance goes down when you redeem for awards.

    Hope that makes sense!

  3. At the rate I’m going, it should only take me about 350 more years to hit 10 million miles.

  4. I feel so not worthy with only 930K on UA. GAWD I hope they keep the paultry lifetime 1P for us for a little while longer, I’d really like to hit that so I don’t have to do min 50K a year.

  5. All I can say is its a real shame he had to fly 10 Million miles on United. May his next 10 million bring him on better airlines…

  6. Again, TEN Million butt-seat mil is a LOT and UA loves this guy. I’m curious about a few things… Maybe Ben or a reader can fill me in. I’m guessing that he buys (pays for) the least cost ugradable coach seat and t hen uses miles/point to sit where he chooses. How does it really work? Next, he talks about using lots of award miles. When award seats are taken or not available on a given flight, does United just make another seat for this fellow? I cannot imagine United ever telling him, ‘sorry, no seats available.’ How does this really work? Thanks. There may be better airlines in our world, but I think this fellow has found a home that he likes. -C.

  7. @Cedarglen Note that he is United “Global Services”. GS is an unpublished elite tier obtained (mostly) based on revenue spent with the airline. The GS folks are given special treatment above and beyond what the supposed top-tier United 1K frequent flyers are given. There are perks like being able to bump other passengers out of seats last minute, special call lines, special handling at the airport, etc. Definitely a class above what even the typical frequent flyer experiences. Good question on whether he buys full-fare first class or coach tix all the time. I suspect a lot of his tix are changeable/refundable if he is flying this much.

  8. I’m at just over 2 million BIS miles – not sure I want to fly another 8 million …

  9. @jsgoldbe. Thanks. I had forgotten about the Global Services part (something I’ll never see) and the substantial perks that go with it – even bumping other paid pax. Yup, I got it. I’m still guessing here, but if he wants to use award miles for himself, the GF of his sons, where no award seasts are available – UA probably mints some new ones that never see the website availability. And no, I’m not suggesting that such is a bad thing. Give the love affair between UA and this fellow, he can probably get any seats, on any flights for a quick phone call, no music-on-hold involved. What a story it is and thanks for your insight. -C. (Cedarglen)

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