Welcome to my next trip report, a brief recount of my journey earlier this year to Honolulu with a very special flyer – United’s most frequent flyer to be precise, Tom Stuker. In celebration of his recent passing of the 23 million mile mark, I’m recounting the great trip we had together to Honolulu on United Airlines…for three hours.
A Quick Jaunt To Honolulu With Tom Stuker, United’s Most Loyal Flyer
I first met Tom Stuker by chance when we wound up on the same flight from Newark to Cape Town just a week before the pandemic began in March 2020. Over the last two years, we have become friends and as he approached the 23 million mile mark on United (that’s right…23 million miles flown over the last 40 years), I thought it would be fun to fly with him and therefore see him in his element.
Flying to Honolulu provides a relatively easy way to rack up lifetime flight miles. During this trip, Stuker flew from Newark to Honolulu, then several days of quick turns in Chicago before coming home for some clean clothes (and then promptly jetting off to Melbourne or to London).
We had a great time chatting and I think very highly of Tom…I’ll dedicate a whole post in this trip report to what we did during our layover in Honolulu…a hilarious story that I look back on with a huge smile.
This trip also gave me a chance to review a couple of United’s longhaul Hawaii flights; flights I have not been on for many years. It’s always great to return to Honolulu… even if only for a few hours.
This trip report will include the following segments:
- United Airlines 767-400 Business Class Newark – Honolulu
- United Club Honolulu
- A Productive Layover With United’s Most Frequent Flyer
- The Beautiful Gardens Of Honolulu Airport
- United Airlines 777-300ER Business Class Honolulu – Chicago
Mileage runs are a lot of fun and I had a hoot traveling with Tom Stuker, a gentleman and a true lover of flying. Flying with Stuker to Honolulu and back gave me great insight into the way in which he thinks and to the current Hawaiian service levels on United. I look forward to sharing both with you.
how did you get into the polaris lounge on a non eligible route?
We just stepped in there so he could show me a plaque on the wall dedicated to him. We did not eat or drink or stay more than a few minutes.
You both are loyal enough you should have been able to get some food and drink in the Polaris lounge
23M miles should give you access to any lounge you want.:.
How does that work? Does tom even scan his boarding pass? Do they all know him? Can he get into the polaris lounge on any flight?
Quick turns in ORD, are you saying he is just flying to/from HNL repeatedly for the sake of flying or is there an actual real reason for the trip?
“In celebration of his recent passing of the 23 million mile mark,.” I personally don’t see anything to celebrate here. Someone that flew 23 million miles means they don’t have a family or if they do they don’t have time for them. Add to that he did alls those miles with United. At least if it was with Singapore or Emirates but United? Feel sorry for him.
Exactly what I was thinking….feel bad for his lack of family life and doubly for flying that many miles on United. Seems like a cruel punishment
If I recall correctly I think his wife joins him on many trips. Not sure if he has kids. This man has probably never paid for a flight in 20 years
But it seems like all he does if fly…which while great, isn’t the best way to enjoy life. But, to each their own…
Heh. I read that as “in celebration of his recent passing.” Happy to see that he is still with us, though almost certainly 35,000 feet higher than most.
@Matthew, do you know if he gets complimentary access (+ guest!) to Polaris Lounges whenever he flies UA (and/or *A)? I don’t know how often he flies on non-eligible itineraries (domestic, Canada, Mexico, Hawaii, etc.), so it’s probably rare. Since he seems very low maintenance, it probably wouldn’t cost UA too much. I’d like to think that this would be the least UA could do for him…
Where is he based, ORD?
Nice post, Matthew.
I had my opportunity to meet Tom and his wife a number of years ago up front (in the United First cabin) on a on a Melbourne AU to Calfornia nonstop. A genuinely nice guy!!
@ Matthew — So sad.
I met Tom at LHR several years ago before a flight back to ORD. He was a great guy to talk with, and it was interesting learning about his career and travel habits. I disagree with his favorite seat on the old first class equipped 763s, but maybe I’m just too light a sleeper. I look forward to the rest of this trip report!
What is his career?
He works as a consultant in automotive sales.
I met Tom by chance once at LAX. He was on the same flight as me but I didn’t know as he was sitting a few rows ahead of me in Polaris. Had a quick chat with him and got a picture with him with his 19 million mile jacket! Loved that meeting! Wish to meet him again on another flight!
I met Tom a couple of weeks back and we really hit it off and he shared so many stories of his travels. Very interesting guy. But he was a different Tom. Yip, pretty sure that was someone else.
Jennifer Lopez was an on the street mexican.if it wasnt for selina s murder.she would be working a macys trying to pick up a businessman shopping for his wife. Your attitude with people sucks. And that’s makes you ugly
I had an uncle named Tom. He died.
Yeah, it would have been nice to get at least a line or two about who the heck this guy is. Sorry if maybe he’s been featured in past posts, but just the courtesy for those who may not have caught them in the past (casual or first time readers) is kind of a standard thing. Other option would be to reference a previous post.