It takes the average Delta Air Lines passenger 22 years to fly one million miles, according to the carrier's statistics. Yet over the past three decades, one flyer, named Todd, has accumulated more miles than anyone in the airline's history. In his own impressive rebound from the pandemic, Todd jumped from 13 million to 14 million miles in just 18 months, breaking the 14 million mile mark on March 6th this year.
Todd is based in San Diego, and flies regularly through Delta Air Lines' hub at John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK). A self-confessed avgeek, Todd's love of flying began at just eight years old, when he took his first flight onboard Pan Am. His favorite of Delta Air Lines' aircraft used to be the now-retired Boeing 747-400, but nowadays, he prefers the carrier's more modern fleet of Airbus A350-900s and Airbus A330neos.
Summing up his passion for air travel, Todd said,
“I think one of the most amazing things about flying is that in the span of three, seven or 10 hours, you can be transported to an environment or a culture that’s completely different or be reconnecting with family and friends thousands of miles away."
Marking the special occasion onboard and on the ground
Todd reached the incredible unique milestone on March 6th when he flew from Zurich (ZRH) to New York (JFK). The trip coincided with his birthday, and Delta Air Lines was on hand to help him celebrate in style. Flight attendants onboard presented Todd with a personalized birthday cake, and congratulated him on becoming the carrier's first and only 14 Million Miler.
Unusually, the flight crew also received an ACARS message (Aircraft Communication Addressing and Reporting System) from Delta Air Lines' Operations and Customer Center with special instructions. The system is normally reserved for crucial operational instructions, but this special message read,
“Please take a moment to have the crew acknowledge his achievement and wish him a happy birthday. On behalf of the Delta OCC it’s been an honor to help [Todd] achieve this milestone.”
Upon arrival at JFK airport, Todd was whisked through customs before being escorted to the Sky Club, where he is well-known among the staff, for further celebrations.
Delta Air Lines flies daily between Zurich and New York JFK, deploying its Boeing 767-400ERs on the route. Today, the airline is the largest operator of the aircraft type - according to the latest data from ch-aviation.com, Delta Air Lines' 21 Boeing 767-400ERs have an average age of 22.3 years, each carrying a maximum of 238 passengers.
Delta Diamond Medallion status
Regular flyers on Delta Air Lines can achieve Medallion status with the carrier, which ranges from Silver through Gold, Platinum, and lastly, Diamond tiers. To reach the lowest tier, Silver, passengers must rack up at least 25,000 miles in a year, or spend at least $3,000 on Medallion Qualification purchases. With his title as Delta Air Lines' most frequent flyer, it is safe to say that Todd is well and truly in the Diamond tier.
This article originally appeared on Simple Flying