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|United Airlines Customer Tom Stuker to Fly 10 Millionth Mile This Saturday|
CHICAGO, July 8, 2011 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ --
Miles above the U.S. heartland, nearly half-way between the Atlantic and Pacific coasts, one customer aboard United Airlines (NYSE: UAL) flight 942 from Los Angeles to Chicago this Saturday will reach a first-ever milestone: earning 10 million miles in flight.
Tom Stuker, a Chicago-based automotive sales consultant, joined Mileage Plus in 1982 and, since then, has logged 5,962 United flights - plus or minus one or two - including more than 200 roundtrips to Australia and nearly 30 to Asia. Stuker has touched down at airports in all 50 U.S. states, including 70 trips to Hawai'i.
As United's most-frequent flyer, Stuker is the airline's first customer since the program launched in 1981 - and perhaps the first traveler ever - to fly 10 million miles. To equal his feat, a traveler could circle the globe 400 times, fly to the moon and back 20 times, or fly roundtrip between United's largest hubs in Houston and Chicago about 5,400 times.
"We are honored that Tom has chosen to fly with us for the past three decades," said Jeff Smisek, president and chief executive officer of United Continental Holdings. "We deeply appreciate his loyalty to our airline and look forward to serving him as he flies his next 10 million miles."
While averaging nearly 29,000 miles in the air each month for 29 years, what does the mega-miler do during all those flights?
"I don't sleep as much as I'd like," Stuker said. "But I have found that the quiet and solitude allow me to be my most creative. During long flights, I've come up with some of my most innovative business ideas."
More than your average road warrior, Stuker, whose frequent travel earned him an appearance on the NBC sitcom "Seinfeld," is at home on an airplane.
"I can recommend what food and wine to order and which movies to watch," he said. "I'm like the Siskel and Ebert of the plane because I have already seen every one of them."
The Next 10 Million
Upon arrival this Saturday evening at Chicago O'Hare International Airport, Stuker will join family, friends, United employees with whom he has worked over the years and United executives to celebrate his achievement.
"While flying those 10 million miles, I have collected just as many great memories, smiles, experiences and new relationships along the way," said Stuker. "The thousands of people at United have made my travels wonderful experiences."
The merger of United and Continental will enable Stuker to see even more of the world.
"From New York, I'm looking forward to nonstops to places I've never been, like Scotland, Portugal, Mumbai and a few islands in the Caribbean," he said.
United launched Mileage Plus in 1981, making it one of the world's oldest, largest and most-rewarding travel loyalty programs.
Mileage Plus received the Frequent Traveler award for best airline elite program in 2011, the second year in a row. In addition, readers of Global Traveler magazine voted Mileage Plus best frequent flyer program in 2010 for the seventh year in a row. Members can earn miles by flying United, Continental, their regional affiliates and partner carriers, including those in the Star Alliance, and by purchasing products or services from more than 100 participating partners in more than 10,000 locations worldwide. Mileage Plus offers members the most extensive selection of award travel destinations, including more than 800 cities in more than 139 countries.
About United Continental Holdings, Inc.
United Continental Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: UAL) is the holding company for both United Airlines and Continental Airlines. Together with United Express, Continental Express and Continental Connection, these airlines operate a total of approximately 5,675 flights a day to 372 airports on six continents from their hubs in Chicago, Cleveland, Denver, Guam, Houston, Los Angeles, New York/Newark Liberty, San Francisco, Tokyo and Washington, D.C. United and Continental are members of Star Alliance, which offers 21,000 daily flights to 1,160 airports in 181 countries worldwide through its 27 member airlines. United and Continental's more than 80,000 employees reside in every U.S. state and in many countries around the world. For more information about United Continental Holdings, Inc., go to unitedcontinentalholdings.com. For more information about the airlines, see united.com and continental.com, and follow each company on Twitter and Facebook.
SOURCE United Continental Holdings, Inc.
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