United Airlines customer to fly 10 millionth mile this weekend

Discussion in 'Off The Beaten Track' started by UMBS Go Blue, Jul 8, 2011.

  1. UMBS Go Blue

    UMBS Go Blue KWEEN 2016! YES WE KWAN!

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    Thought those of you who enjoyed the movie "Up in the Air" and who can recognize almost all the airport scenes in the movie - because, like me, you've actually been through all those airports and lounges - could identify with this press release:

    That's 29,000 miles flown, per month, every month, for the last 29 years. He cashed in some of his miles for an appearance on "Seinfeld" once, and he has a Boeing 777 jet named after him.

    He even got his own TV news story a while back.

    Here's another news article that distinguishes between merely earning 10 million miles (which, for elite fliers, are padded with bonus miles) and actually flying 10 million miles. In Ryan Bingham/George Clooney's case in "Up in the Air," I'm pretty sure he had only earned 10 million miles, not flown them. Because Mr. Stuker has flown 10 million miles, he has actually earned far more than that - something like 30 million miles.

    As a middling Premier Executive-level elite flier on United, I can attest to the fact that I don't have to pay baggage fees, get upgrades to First most of the time, and get my pick of seats in cattle class when I don't get upgraded. You also never know who you could sit next to - on my way out of Spokane after 2010 Nationals, Evan Lysacek, himself obviously an elite flier, happened to be sitting next to me. ;)
     
  2. michiruwater

    michiruwater Well-Known Member

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    Yes, Ryan Bingham had earned 10 million miles as opposed to flown them.

    This is mind-boggling. How does anyone have the time or $ to fly that many miles??
     
  3. UMBS Go Blue

    UMBS Go Blue KWEEN 2016! YES WE KWAN!

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    From the Nightline link, it seems that he's a self-employed consultant. If he was actually a senior executive at a large company (like, say, Steve Jobs at Apple) he'd probably fly on a private plane instead. :hat1:

    Come to think of it, since he flies that much, he ought to consider whether a NetJets / executive jet membership would be more economical, comfortable, time-sensitive, and value-added than flying scheduled commercial airline service (even in First) - after all, it's good enough for the likes of Warren Buffett or Roger Federer.
     
  4. overedge

    overedge Well-Known Member

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    Actually I'm surprised the story isn't about you, UMBS :lol:
     
  5. UMBS Go Blue

    UMBS Go Blue KWEEN 2016! YES WE KWAN!

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    I'm not Mr. Stuker's age yet, and I've spread around my flying a bit more. :shuffle:

    United - 229K miles earned, 110K miles actually flown on United
    Delta/Northwest - 497K miles earned, 253K miles flown
    American - 412K miles earned, ~200K miles flown
     
  6. Gazpacho

    Gazpacho Well-Known Member

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    Wow, I feel sorry for anyone who has to spend that much time in an airplane. I wouldn't want to be in his position.
     
  7. BigB08822

    BigB08822 Well-Known Member

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    I bet he has some pretty amazing stories to share. He should write a book!
     
  8. Ajax

    Ajax Well-Known Member

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    I feel sorry for anyone who has to fly United that much, I hate them! I've only flown with them 3 times, and each time there was a 4hour delay, always due to a fault of the airline. They gave me travel vouchers to make up for the problems, but the vouchers come with a billion conditions that make redemption very difficult. Ugh!

    You can get a lot of bonus miles if you sign up for an airline-affiliated credit card. I had the Delta Amex and am taking a free trip to Montana in August without having even spent anything on the card (thank you sign-up bonus!) :)
     
  9. Gazpacho

    Gazpacho Well-Known Member

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    Those miles don't count toward Elite status (or whatever United calls it). US Airways lets you buy into Elite status, but for most airlines, it's based on butt-in-seat miles. Toward the end of the year, people will do mileage runs where they'll take a trip from Singapore and back without ever leaving the airport, just to get the miles.

    I really do feel sorry for people who have to fly so often for work. Even with the perks, I wouldn't be able to stand it.
     
  10. UMBS Go Blue

    UMBS Go Blue KWEEN 2016! YES WE KWAN!

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    The initial sign-up bonus can be enticing, but once it's been cashed in, having an airline credit card on an ongoing basis may not necessarily be the most points-/rewards-maximizing credit card option depending on one's spending habits. Another thing to note is that cashing in airline miles on domestic economy class (or even first class) trips usually does not give you as much bang for the buck as cashing in, say, 4 times the miles for an international business class trip that would otherwise cost 10 times as much when comparing the actual cash ticket price.

    For consultants, national sales reps, and other jet-set business types, traveling so much is a fact of life. Often, you are on the road a lot during the week and you're only home during the weekends. In my case, I am now West Coast based and, in a previous gig, had periods where I flew out East for a week, every week, before heading back West for the weekend. Sometimes I'd stay out East for a weekend and get my hotel expenses paid for because they'd be much cheaper than flying me back West for the weekend, but in most cases I needed the weekend down time back West to take care of personal things.

    On the plus side, being on a plane, especially up front, can be a self-enforced, confined-space solitude where you can get things done: work on that memo or presentation, catch up on emails, catch up on business/personal reading, watch a movie on your laptop, or just get some rest (hopefully with noise-cancelling headphones). Depending on the introvert/extrovert vibe between you, your seatmate, or the folks at the airline lounge, you can also get some pretty good networking done.

    It is grueling, especially if you have a family. It's not an ideal lifestyle choice for most people, that's for sure, although young single professionals can probably deal with it better depending on how much :summer: :psoty: :rockstar: you can get on the side while on the road. :shuffle:
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2011