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John Smith
Founder. CEO


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A Little History

I’ve been traveling from a very young age – my family is from Germany, so I’ve been flying back and forth between the US and Germany since I was a child. As it is for most families traveling internationally with children our flights were far from glamorous (we typically flew Condor from Tampa, back when they still had a smoking section), but I still loved the journey, and seeing new places, and most especially – the airport.

I have a soft spot for the old “flip-style” Departures board in Frankfurt for that reason.

The summer I was 14 I received a flyer from United in the mail. They were running an outrageous promotion which offered 5,000 extra miles for every segment flown, with a maximum of 50,000 bonus miles. Now, even if you knew nothing about miles and points this would sound like a pretty amazing deal, so I started researching, which led me to FlyerTalk, and my entire world perspective changed.

I did the math, and convinced my parents that allowing their youngest child to fly back and forth across the country all summer was not only a great idea, but would mean our next trip to Europe would be in Lufthansa First Class.

They went for it, and a few months later I was a 14-year-old with top-tier airline elite status, and had spent almost the entire summer in airports.

And I was hooked.

I’ve been chronicling my thoughts and travels here at One Mile at a Time since early 2008, when I started this blog from my college dorm room. Prior to that I spent a great deal of time doing the same on FlyerTalk, and served on the TalkBoard for four years (including a stint as Vice President, which I mention mainly because it was one of the few things I’ve done that my dad could appreciate). I’ve also written articles for TravelSort and other publications, and have reviewed countless products along the way.

I’ve flown over four million miles since that first summer, visiting nearly 100 countries on six continents and spending thousands of nights in hotels.

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Media Requests

I love to talk about miles and points with anyone who will listen, and have been cited as a travel expert in various publications.

I am available for interviews and appearances, and am happy to speak on:

I’m fortunate to have had so many great trips it’s hard to choose, but the special birthday trips I’ve taken with my Mom and Dad are some of the closest to my heart.

John Smith

Meet the Sunyok Team

I believe that anyone can elevate their travel experience by leveraging their resources.


A frequent traveler for both business and pleasure


Tiffany Funk is a passionate traveler


Kate’s a lawyer based in Calgary


Mike has an insatiable appetite for travel.


An aviation geek

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