If you're one of those people who feels slighted when the Platinum Gold Plus Sky Club Stonecutter members get to board the airplane before you, here's one of their ranks who will make you pity their privilege. Tom Stuker has flown over 1 million miles with United this year, making him "one of commercial aviation's highest-mileage travelers." So does all that traveling mean he sits in a throne made of chinchilla fur on every flight? Mentholated foot rubs? Unlimited in-flight access to electronics during take-off AND landing? "I do an awful lot of red-eyes,"Stuker says. "More of my nights are in a plane than in a bed, including maybe even counting hotels." But hey, at least he's THE BEST at trying to sleep while breathing in stale air inside a tube hurtling across this tiny orb.
Like any person who competes at something that no one else really cares to compete in, Stuker is keenly aware of another man who is believed to hold the world record: Fred Finn, a man in his 70s who has flown more than 15 million miles across the globe. "I'm only 59 years old and, God willing, I'm going to be passing him in a couple of years," Stuker told the Times, presumably as he crumpled up a copy of Hemispheres in his hand. "He knows who I am."
Stuker's job as a consultant for automobile dealerships is what prompts all the travel, and he readily admits to being 50 pounds overweight ("People suggest excuses for me like, ‘Oh, it’s because you travel so much.’ But I say bull, there’s a lot of skinny people who fly a lot."). He's even getting his own show on Spike TV called "Car Lot Rescue."
"It’s TV, so it’s all ramped up. Within each 42 minutes, you see me go in there, beat the heck out of everybody, shake up the place, uncover problems, get everybody to hate me, fix the problems, get everybody to love me—and at the end, I save the world and we all sing Kumbaya.”
And then Stuker gets back on the plane.