Man bought unlimited flight pass in 1990 – you won’t believe how many air miles he’s racked up 

  • Tom Stuker bought the pass in 1990 and says it is the ‘best investment’ of his lifetime 
  • He’s since taken more than 12,000 flights and racked up 24 million miles 
  • He says he’s saved millions of dollars on flights over the years and is still going 

Published on Jul 02, 2024 at 11:38 AM (UTC+4)
by Claire Reid

Last updated on Jul 03, 2024 at 11:35 AM (UTC+4)
Edited by Tom Wood

A man who spent $290,000 in 1990 for an unlimited air travel pass has flown more than 24 million miles. 

Tom Stuker handed over $290,000 (equivalent to around $500,000 today) for a United Airlines ‘lifetime pass’ – a pretty hefty sum. 

But Stucker has absolutely no regrets and has branded the pass the ‘best investment’ of his life. 

And he’s certainly got his money’s worth over the years.

READ MORE! Man who bought lifetime airline pass in 1990 has saved $2.44 MILLION on travel

How far has he actually traveled on the pass?

He’s taken more than 12,000 flights, visited over 100 countries, and flown a somewhat unfathomable 38,624,256km (24 million miles. For context, the moon is around 384,400km (238,855 miles) away. 

All in all, Stuker says he’s saved $2.44 million with his savvy investment and he’s still going. 

In fact, he only hit the 24 million mile mark in May of this year. 

Although he’s clocked up more air miles than most of us can even begin to imagine, Stuker has defended the environmental impact of his plane use – saying private jets were a much bigger issue. 

“I’m not adding to the footprint,” Stuker told GQ in 2021. 

“The plane is going to fly whether I’m on it or not. It would be much more relevant if I was flying in a private jet. Those are the people who can help the environment much more than I can if they flew commercial.”

He’s previously shared his flight tips

He’s previously shared some tips on how we can all enjoy better travel – and let’s face it, if anyone would know it would be this guy, right?

In an interview with The Washington Post, Stuker says he always pretends to know the first flight attendant as he boards – given how many he’s likely met over the years, I’m sure a lot of the time he’s not actually pretending.

“I always say, ‘I remember you! You gave us such great service last time. I wanted to thank you again,’” he said.

He also urges people to check the seat map just before boarding – so you can potentially nab yourself a better spot, if there’s one empty.

And says to skip checked luggage if you want a smooth and easy transition through the airport. Instead, he says ‘laundromats…and stores’ are your friends. 

I guess we’ll catch up with Tom when he hits 25 million miles. 

# Tags - Travel


Claire Reid

Claire Reid is a journalist who hails from the UK but is now living in New Zealand. She began her career after graduating with a degree in Journalism from Liverpool John Moore’s University and has more than a decade of experience, writing for both local newspapers and national news sites. Across her career she's covered a wide variety of topics, including celebrity, cryptocurrency, politics, true crime and just about everything in between.