Some people fly a lot. And some people fly way more than the rest of us could ever imagine. Tom Stuker is one of those people who spends more time on the road than at home. He estimates he flies 200 to 250 days each year.
As Stuker approaches his 20 millionth mile flown on United, Money magazine tapped him for some of his tips and tricks for surviving the skies.
Some of his advice is standard, but it still bears repeating.
Be nice to the flight attendants. Don't forget your "pleases" and "thank yous."
Respect your fellow passengers. You don't need to be screaming into your phone throughout the whole boarding process. It's rude. Conduct your business beforehand so everyone can enjoy some peace and quiet.
And when something goes wrong and you get delayed on the tarmac? Remember that it's an equally sucky situation for flight attendants, too. So curb your rage. Don't take it out on them.
Stuker also revealed his go-to tip for getting great service. At the beginning of the flight, he tells the flight attendant: "I think I've flown with you before, and if that was you, I don't think I had time to say thank you, you were great."
It's a slam dunk every time. If that flight attendant was having a bad day, it just got turned around. Everyone likes to be memorable and complimented. It's no surprise that when Stuker pulls out this card, he gets great service. It's also entirely likely he did fly with them, since he stays loyal to United and takes so many flights every year.
What's also worth noting, though, is that he likely always flies first-class, thanks to his elite status. That means Stuker gets good service regardless (along with the free champagne, ice cream sundaes, and meals served on real plates). But it's refreshing to hear that he strives to be polite to flight attendants anyway.
You can try Stuker's trick, or you can just try being a decent human being who is polite to your fellow human beings, be they flight attendants or your seatmates. Here's something he always says to the crew when boarding: "How are you doing? Glad to be on this flight." That's a great way to start.