Laid-Up Photographer Chases Missed Miles

Laid-Up Photographer Chases Missed Miles

A car accident nine months ago has an architectural photographer based in the San Francisco Bay Area fighting back in one of the most unusual ways.

The gentleman, who we’ll call “Paul,” is focusing his attention on lost miles and upgrades. Paul recently retained Inside Flyer’s Editor and Publisher Randy Petersen as an expert witness in his fight for an insurance settlement of roughly $100,000. This includes lost wages, medical bills and lost miles and perks from United Airlines. As of Oct. 4, Paul does not have an attorney and is hoping to negotiate a settlement with only the help of Petersen.

As a 1K member, Paul gets six upgrades per year on international flights and 48 domestic upgrades. Also at stake are at least 200,000 miles that Paul says he would have earned if not for the accident.

He’d like the value for those lost perks and miles.

Paul says the Feb. 13 accident in which he suffered knee and back injuries is keeping him from his work abroad and now threatens his princely status as a 1K member on United. In the past, when it appeared Paul wouldn’t have enough travel to keep the status, he says he took 14 trips in two days to make up the difference.

That’s not an option this year, he says.

“There are two issues: I can’t sit on a plane for 18 hours — it is painful enough to sit around for two hours, and (secondly) and I bring 300 pounds of luggage — all my camera gear,” Paul said.

Paul told Inside Flyer that the insurance adjuster for Farmer’s Insurance was initially shocked when he made his demands for lost miles and perks. Paul asked Petersen to act as his travel expert when the adjuster told him that it would need to seek an expert to review his claims.

“I’m annoyed,” he said. “Quite frankly, I’m a mileage whore.”

Paul has saved roughly 450,000 in frequent flyer miles. If all goes his way, he won’t need to spend his miles for future travel once he’s up and running — err, snapping.

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