Tom Stuker loves going the extra mile. Give or take a few million.
The world’s most frequent flier just racked up a record-setting 21 million miles flown. That’s nearly 844 times around the equator.
“I’m a flying junkie,” the 65-year-old Nutley, New Jersey, resident told The Post. “If I spend more than a week in one place, I’m like, ‘I gotta get back in the air.’ I’m more afraid to be on the ground than in the air.”
On July 19, he broke his own record of 20 million — which was set only in January.
“That’s the fastest I’ve ever done a million,” said Stuker, who flies exclusively with United.
His jet-setting devotion began in 1984, when he traveled to Melbourne, Australia, to do management consulting for an auto dealer.
“I fell in love with the country,” said the now semi-retired Stuker. “I’ve been back over 350 times since.”
By 1997, Stuker’s business was thriving — and so was his obsession.
“All of a sudden, after I hit 10 million [miles], I started getting into the world records and flying more competitively,” he said.
The married father-of-three added it’s “the romance” of flying, not the destinations, that’s his passion. For the most part, he’s traveling just to travel — not for work or vacation — and is known to stay in Australia or Japan for a day.
“I mean why does Joey Chestnut eat hot dogs?” he asked of the competitive-eating champ. “I just really love everything about flying.”
That includes the first-class seats, “mega VIP status” and lavish perks that come with being the top miles gatherer, he admitted.
United regularly treats him to a multitude of luxurious bonuses, like tarmac-transfer service in a Mercedes-Benz, complimentary cocktails, the ability to skip lines and membership in its exclusive Polaris Lounge — outfitted with showers, private offices and, often, a slew of celebrities.
Stuker is full of starry stories: sitting next to Janet Jackson and Steven Tyler in first class, and getting Bill Murray to leave his brother a voicemail. (Stuker’s wife, who often travels with him, was treated to a call from Kenny G.)
“I usually try to engage them in conversations they may have never had before,” said Stuker of celebs. “I’ll ask, ‘What was your biggest disappointment growing up?’”
When he’s not chatting up his cabin-mates, Stuker will blow through all the in-flight entertainment “in about a week” — so he spends his time in the air texting, watching sports and planning more trips. He also pops an Ambien to doze through the flight.
Once he arrives at a far-flung destination, he’ll take a three-hour power nap to combat jet lag.
Many compare his lifestyle to the 2009 film “Up in the Air,” starring George Clooney as a travel addict.
“So much of that movie is bulls–t,” Stuker said. “The biggest fallacy is [that] it’s impossible for him to do the flight schedule he does when he lives in Omaha.”
Stuker also pays out of pocket for every one of his trips, saving his miles to give to family members, charities and others.
And his favorite place to go? “Home,” he said. “I don’t get to go there that often.”