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

Tom Stuker made an unusual but extremely clever investment in the '90s. Now he's sharing his tips and tricks.

by | Published on 3rd Jul 2023

A man named Tom Stuker made an unusual but extremely clever investment in the ’90s.

He wisely bought a lifetime United Airlines pass for $290,000 and has since saved millions on flights.

Over 23 million miles later, the world’s most frequent flyer is sharing precious tips and details about his experience.

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The lifetime pass gives Stuker the chance to fly United (in first class, by the way) to any destination he wants, as often as he wants.

He says he always picks seat 1B, which is located in the first row as you enter the aircraft, on the left-hand side of the plane, and it’s an aisle seat.

So there you go, first travel tip from the world’s most frequent flyer: aisle beats window.

When it comes to etiquette on board, Stuker says the worst part, by far, is when people use their phones with no headphones.

He also doesn’t particularly appreciate it when people take business calls during the flight.

Stuker says he once jokingly told a fellow flyer to “bring donuts next time you’re going to have all of us to your business meeting”.

Despite boarding thousands of flights, Stuker says he’s hardly ever missed one, and that’s probably also due to the fact that he never checks bags and only travels with hand luggage.

Through the years, he’s had the chance to try all sorts of drinks and foods on board and he says lobster mac’n’cheese is his favorite, “hands down”.

Stuker has been racking up miles since acquiring the United lifetime pass in 1990 – a decision he unsurprisingly calls “the best investment” of his life.

Partly because he got the chance to travel and see the world, but also because he was able to save roughly $2.4 million on plane tickets.

This is Stuker aged 36 during his first-ever United flight (left), Stuker aged 69 today (right).

In 2011, United decided to name a Boeing 747 after Stuker when he hit the coveted 10-million miles mark.

In 2019, he became the first passenger to fly 20 million miles with United.

Not only that, Stuker also added that 2019 was his best year overall, with 373 flights and 1.4 million miles.

And the best part is Stuker, who’s now 69, has no intention of stopping.

The bad news, for the rest of us, is United’s unlimited lifetime pass is no longer available.



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