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Man who's flown 23 million miles on airline's lifetime pass had two favourite seats

Man who's flown 23 million miles on airline's lifetime pass had two favourite seats

Tom Stuker is the 'world's most frequent flyer' and has racked up a fair few miles

Tom Stuker knows a thing or two about air travel. With over 23 million miles in the bank, he's is thought to be the 'world's most frequent flyer'.

Back in 1990, he bought a lifetime pass with United Airlines in 1990 for $290,000 (£227,000).

Now, while that sounds like an awful lot of money - because it is - for Stuker, it's proven to be a savvy investment.

Over the years, he's travelled the world; in 2019, he became the first passenger to fly 20 million miles with United Airlines after having hopped on 373 flights that totalled 1.46 million miles that year alone.

If he hadn't had that pass, the 69-year-old said that those trips would probably have cost him somewhere in the region of $2.44 million (£1.9m). Yikes.

As you can imagine, that kind of experience has given Stuker an insight to air travel that most of us could only dream of.

For example, what are the best seats?

Tom Stuker used had a couple of favourite seats on the 747.

While Stuker has flown on countless planes during his time, he's previously spoken about his love of the 747, which he estimated he's been on around 600 times.

The model is no longer used by United, but speaking ahead of its final flight a few years ago, Stuker was asked where he liked to sit.

"Probably the most common seat I’ve flown in was 4C, the one I’m in now, because a lot of my flights were business back and forth to Australia, or with my wife back and forth to somewhere, so those two seats, especially with the original configuration, there was a table in front of 4C and 4D," he said.

"It’s like your living room, you have a living room table in front of you and the flight attendants would put a bucket of ice and some champagne right on that table for me for the flight, so I couldn’t complain. So those were my favourite seats."

But what other pearls of wisdom has he learned over the years?

Well, Stuker once told The Washington Post that he always pretends to know the first flight attendant he meets on board the plane.

Stuker is said to be the 'world's most frequent flyer'.

Apparently, this person will usually be the head attendant and thus guarantee you a better chance at some VIP treatment.

He explained: "I always say, 'I remember you! You gave us such great service last time. I wanted to thank you again.'"

And though he undoubtedly enjoys flying, he has also seen the bad side of travelling too - namely four heart attacks on flights.

Stuker said: "I'd met a couple of them, too. Just died right in their seats. The last guy was up in business with me, Chicago to Narita (Tokyo).

"They covered him with a blanket and put the seat belt back on. What else could they do? I guarantee somebody in business was thinking, 'Hey, if he's not gonna eat his chocolate sundae, would you mind…?'"

Summing up his years of travelling, Stuker said: "At the end of the day, it's not about the places I go, it's about the people I meet."

Featured Image Credit: Instagram/@ua1flyer

Topics: US News, Travel