Frequent flyer miles are a pretty valuable currency for those who travel often. They can help people save hundreds or even thousands of dollars on flights and travel to cities all around the world. That’s why it’s surprising that one man has chosen to give away hundreds of thousands of frequent flyer miles over the last five years.
The person in question is motivational speaker Peter Shankman, who travels nearly non-stop for speaking engagements, but knows that others will benefit more from the frequent flyer miles than he does. He knew he wanted to donate them to others and finally realized that he should use them to help others spend time with their loved ones during the holidays.
As such, he started a contest where he would ultimately give away frequent flyer miles to not only close friends, family, and colleagues, but also complete strangers who otherwise wouldn’t be able to spend the holidays with their friends and family members. This year, he donated over 200,000 miles, a staggering amount.
To enter the contest, it’s pretty simple- participants just have to say where they’d like to travel and why they’d like to fly home to see their families. Several families each year are chosen and get to reunite with one another as a result.
The best thing about Peter’s gesture is that it has actually inspired others to do the same. In fact, so many other people donated their miles this year that the total pool collectively exceeded 300,000, surpassing everyone’s expectations.
“I can’t think of a better way to use [frequent flier] miles,” Peter said. “The moon is almost 250,000 miles away, and I travel more than that annually.”
One of the winners this year was Sarah Latham, who made it back to New York to see her sick grandfather. “I’m happy I won because now I have the opportunity for one last memory,” she said.