A year and a half ago a Chinese billionaire earned 2 billion Membership Rewards points in a single transaction but they were Hong Kong Membership Rewards points which are on a totally different scale (and it was probably an exercise in overcoming the regime’s currency controls).
A corrupt FIFA executive was found to have improperly earned at least 26 million American Express points. Randy Petersen called him a ‘piker’ compared to someone in the program has well over 120 million.
Those are credit card points. Butt in seat flown miles are a whole different story.
In 2009 he was flying 700,000 miles per year. Last year he hit 17 million flown, which would mean 7 million in 5 years or 1.4 million per year — twice his earlier pace. That would be 3835 miles per day which would require flying literally a third of the hours in each year.
While 700,000 a year is doable, and he reportedly flew a million miles in 2012 1.4 million blows my mind — as an average — since it requires flying even more in subsequent years to ‘make up for’ having flown ‘just’ one million in a year.
There’s a great deal of mythology around Stuker. For instance,
- In one story he completed a promo in the 80s to fly to all 50 states when United even flew to Deleware just to be able to say that they did, and he received something like a year’s first class travel.
- In another story he had purchased an unlimited travel pass years ago, so he essentially made money (in the form of MileagePlus miles converted to gift cards) by flying.
In any case, the man has a Titanium Global Services card and a United plane named after him.
Here he meets the other world’s most traveled man in Munich.
Stuker started flying more often in 1984 when he traveled extensively for work. He has flown over 300 times to Australia for work and for pleasure and tries to visit Hawaii “three-to-four times a year.” After so many years of flying with United, he has not wavered in his staunch support of the company.
Having flown “over 9,000 flights with United” ever since “a high school trip in 1971.”
No doubt he’s eaten more than his share of cheeseburgers. Goodness knows he’s not flying United’s Basic Economy.