There’s going to be a monumental flying moment at some point tomorrow, where Hollywood becomes reality and one man crosses a threshold previously never crossed. This story on Yahoo! Finance about Tom Stuker 10-millionth Mileage Plus mile racked up with United Airlines is the real-life version of George Clooney’s blockbuster, Up In The Air. Three things about this story intrigued me, and prompted me to reflect on my own previous travel experiences.
View From His Seat – I wonder what Tom thinks of the Proclaimers “I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)” song? I wonder if during Mr. Stuker’s 10-million miles, he ever thought about how many miles he’d have had to walk to get where he was going. While physically not possible, just his 200 flights to and from Australia alone tallied more than 3.7-million miles. Now that’s some havering!
Head In The Clouds – Mr. Stuker says he cultivated some of his best business concepts while soaring above the earth at 35,000 feet. I can absolutely appreciate this and, in my own sense, relate to him on this. While confined to the small space, the mind wanders, enabling free flowing consciousness. While the majority of my ideas tend to never get beyond an initial pitch to clients and prospects, I’m happy to see that others wrangled in winning opportunities while flying. This motivates me to want to try harder, think smarter and fly farther.
Focused On The Horizon – I’m not sure where Mr. Stuker’s mind will be as he heads home from L.A. tomorrow. While I’m sure the pomp and circumstance of this moment won’t be lost on this savvy traveler, I’d like to think that it’s just another takeoff and landing. Come Sunday, he’ll ready himself for another week and probably head back to O’Hare to catch another flight somewhere.
What can we learn from this international man of business travel? I’d like to think that loyalty in this day and age pays, and that when you do align yourself with a company, they’ll reward you in the end. After all, Mr. Stuker said it himself…there are still lots of places he’d like to go. I hope United does the right thing and gives him his own private reservation line, a golden ticket and clear skies to wherever he wants to fly.
Congrats Tom, this is awesome and congrats to United for this crowning achievement!