‘Stay calm, check in early’: Tips from 2 frequent fliers who’ve traveled nearly 30 million miles

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By Joy Jernigan
Fred Finn and Tom Stuker stand in front of a British Airways Concorde jet at the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum on Wednesday in New York City.Today

Fred Finn and Tom Stuker get around.

Combined, the two road warriors have racked up nearly 30 million frequent flier miles. That's the equivalent of circling the globe more than 1,000 times.

Finn, 74, holds the Guinness World Record for most air miles flown and has 15 million miles to his name. He now splits his time between England and Ukraine and is semi-retired, but he but used to work for international licensing companies and once flew between New York and London three times in a single day. 

Stuker, 60, has racked up more than 13 million miles on a single airline, United. Stuker, who calls New Jersey home, is an independent consultant and sales trainer for automobile dealerships around the world. 

Watch video: Friends have flown 30 million miles combined

These well-traveled men shared a few of their travel secrets with TODAY as well as their favorite things about the journey.

Frequent flier Fred Finn and Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Group, after Finn hit 10 million miles.Today

Fred Finn

Favorite airline: PanAm in the good days, then British Airways in the Concorde days. Now Ukraine.  

Favorite destination: Home, Kenya, Ukraine and Georgia

Favorite airplane meal: Like most airplane meals but liked when PanAm served and carved in front of you

Favorite seat: 9A on Concorde 

Favorite perk: Giveaways and my 600th flight on Concorde memorabilia. (Finn also hold the Guinness World Record for most supersonic passenger journeys.)

Best advice to the average flier: Stay calm, check in early, study what you can and can’t take in

Tom Stuker is the first passenger to fly 10 million miles on United Airlines.Today

Tom Stuker

Favorite airline: United

Favorite aircraft: Three-Class 767 because five first-class seats – all single seats

Favorite airport: Chicago O’Hare, not because of shops or restaurants but people 

Favorite destination: 1st choice - home, 2nd choice - anywhere my wife and kids would like to go

Favorite airplane meal: Nice filet and a good bottle of red wine or champagne

Favorite seat: Row 1, aisle

Favorite perk: 10 million-mile party or my Global Service on United

Related: Private check-ins? Airlines offer secret perks to best customers

Other: All the first-class upgrades I get that help me provide my family and close friends an experience they wouldn’t ever get

Best advice to the average flier: Be patient. “Things happen” - treat people the way you would like to be treated

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