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Meet the TikTok user whose viral videos reveal the perks of her dad being a United Airlines captain

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TikTok user Caroline Deborah Milo has revealed how she lives the high life – because of her dad being a pilot

A TikTok user has revealed how she lives the high life – because of her dad being a pilot.

Caroline Deborah Milo saw her followers leap from around 100 to 25,000 overnight after she posted footage of a business-class United Airlines flight she enjoyed without cost, because of a standby ticket she was allocated via her dad’s status as a United captain.

Taken on a flight from Amsterdam to Recent York, the video, titled ‘day in my life as a pilot’s daughter’, shows the 24-year-old saying hello to her father, Michael Milo, within the cockpit before take-off after which turning the camera on her Polaris business-class seat, complete with a flowery amenity kit, complimentary slippers and premium inflight meal.

Caroline, who’s Ohio-born but currently based in Recent York, says the response to the video was ‘insane’, with the clip receiving 1.6million likes, greater than 4,000 comments and over 5,000 shares. 

Caroline and her dad, United Airlines pilot Michael Milo, in the cockpit before a flight back to the U.S from Frankfurt, Germany. He was promoted to captain after this picture was taken, which shows him with senior officer uniform stripes

Caroline and her dad, United Airlines pilot Michael Milo, within the cockpit before a flight back to the U.S from Frankfurt, Germany. He was promoted to captain after this picture was taken, which shows him with senior officer uniform stripes

She has since shot many more ‘pilot’s daughter’ TikTok videos, leading her follower count to soar to 55,000.

‘There are numerous perks of being a pilot’s daughter, one obviously being that my family and I get rather a lot more flexibility to travel to places on a whim together,’ Caroline tells MailOnline Travel.

Breaking down how the standby ticket process for airline employees and their relations works, Caroline explains that you simply join a ‘type of a waiting list’ to get on a flight, and your seniority in relation to the corporate ‘determines how high up you’re on the list’.

Caroline notes that her dad tends to be high on the list as he has been working for United Airlines for over 27 years, whereas she is usually ranked lower down because the daughter of an worker. Basically, crewmembers are given priority because ‘a lot of them commute to the airport they’re based out of’.

Caroline saw her followers leap from around 100 to 25,000 overnight after she posted footage of a business-class flight she enjoyed for free, thanks to a standby ticket she was allocated via her dad's status as a United Airlines pilot

Caroline saw her followers leap from around 100 to 25,000 overnight after she posted footage of a business-class flight she enjoyed without cost, because of a standby ticket she was allocated via her dad’s status as a United Airlines pilot

Taken on a flight from Amsterdam to New York, the viral video shows Caroline saying hello to her father in the cockpit before take-off (before he was promoted to captain) In the TikTok video, Caroline turns the camera on her Polaris business-class seat (above)

Taken on a flight from Amsterdam to Recent York, the viral video shows Caroline saying hello to her father (left) within the cockpit before take-off (before he was promoted to captain) after which turning the camera on her Polaris business-class seat (right)  

Caroline, who is Ohio-born but currently based in New York, says the reaction to the video was 'insane' The complimentary slippers that come with the Polaris seat

Caroline, who’s Ohio-born but currently based in Recent York, says the response to the video was ‘insane’. Pictured right are the complimentary slippers that include the Polaris seat

While she gets her ticket without cost, her dad does pay tax on the ticket through his paycheck. ‘Flying could be very expensive and having the discounts makes it a bit more feasible,’ says Caroline.

Over time, Caroline, who works as a junior interior designer and project manager for a design firm in Recent York, has managed to avoid wasting quite a bit of cash by flying standby – she estimates around $40,000 (£33,227).

While she doesn’t all the time bag a standby business-class ticket, it does occur ‘rather a lot more often than you’ll think’.

‘We call them the “princess seats” in our family because they make you are feeling like royalty on the United Polaris business-class seats,’ she says, adding: ‘I’d say a bit lower than half the time I’ve travelled it has been business, whether that’s international or domestic.’

The video looks inside Caroline's Polaris amenity kit The clip scans over Caroline's inflight meal - a burger, fruit and a muffin

The video looks inside Caroline’s Polaris amenity kit (left) and scans over her inflight meal (right) – a burger, fruit and a muffin

The viral clip received 1.6million likes, more than 4,000 comments and over 5,000 shares When Caroline is flying with her dad, they often get lunch together at the airport before he 'goes into operations to check on the vessel, weather, paperwork and whatever is necessary before we go'

The viral clip received 1.6million likes, greater than 4,000 comments and over 5,000 shares. When Caroline is flying along with her dad, they often get lunch together on the airport before he ‘goes into operations to envision on the vessel, weather, paperwork and whatever is crucial before we go’

Once she has secured her ticket and brought her seat, Caroline finds that the cabin crew often recognise her as an ‘extension of an worker’.

She says: ‘They know I’m the pilot’s daughter and may chill out a bit more since I’m not a paying passenger that they wish to impress and keep the prestige of the airline and their job. I already love the airline, love the crew, and love the experience.’

There’s one other sweet bonus to flying standby. ‘Sometimes [the cabin crew] give me a couple of extra scoops of ice cream if there are extras at the tip,’ Caroline notes.

When she’s flying along with her dad, they often get lunch together on the airport before he ‘goes into operations to envision on the vessel, weather, paperwork and whatever is crucial before we go’.

She continues: ‘Once boarded, he comes back to greet me and lets me know the cabin crew know who I’m, that I’m in good hands, and in order to be on my best behaviour… then once things settle, I typically go as much as say “hi” to all pilots and my dad after which sit back down before we take off.’

Caroline says of flying with her dad: 'I'm always respectful of the fact that he's working and that he needs to make sure the plane is all ready for a timely and safe take-off.' Above are the pair in Anna Maria, Florida

Caroline says of flying along with her dad: ‘I’m all the time respectful of the proven fact that he’s working and that he must make certain the plane is all ready for a timely and secure take-off.’ Above are the pair in Anna Maria, Florida

Michael and his mother Beverly as he graduated from the United States Naval Academy Michael when he first started working for United Airlines

Left is Michael and his mother Beverly as he graduated from the US Naval Academy. Pictured right is Michael when he first began working for United Airlines

Caroline notes:’ He has to focus but we have now fun with it before things get serious. I’m all the time respectful of the proven fact that he’s working and that he must make certain the plane is all ready for a timely and secure take-off.’

Despite the apparent perks, there are a couple of downsides. On top of working away for 3 to 4 days at a time, Caroline says that her dad ‘often needed to work on holidays when most families have a variety of time without work and may rejoice it normally’. She says that her family adjusted to it and would postpone their Christmas celebrations until he could join them, making it a special day of their very own. ‘It isn’t the approach to life for everybody but it surely works for us,’ she says.

What’s more, if a flight is fully booked and Caroline cannot get a standby ticket, she often must rearrange her plans completely. She says: ‘You usually need a plan A, plan B and plan C when travelling on standby. Flexibility is essential, but being open to the probabilities all the time helps.’

Caroline 'wanted to be a pilot pretty badly' when she was younger, just like her father

Caroline ‘desired to be a pilot pretty badly’ when she was younger, similar to her father 

Caroline and her dad in the German ski resort of Garmisch-Partenkirchen during a layover

Caroline and her dad within the German ski resort of Garmisch-Partenkirchen during a layover

Nonetheless, Caroline is joyful to place up with these drawbacks when she considers the globetrotting lifestyle it has afforded her. She counts Switzerland, Tel Aviv and Beijing amongst essentially the most amazing destinations she has visited and has plans to explore Bhutan, India and Patagonia in years to come back, creating more travel content on TikTok all of the while.

With a transparent passion for air travel, Caroline ‘desired to be a pilot pretty badly’ when she was younger and regarded training as a pilot with the US Naval Academy, just as her father did.

Nonetheless, Caroline’s mum, who’s a teacher, and pa ‘were against the thought’, she says.

Explaining why they were reluctant for her to follow in her father’s footsteps, Caroline says: ‘[My dad’s] pilot profession has had some very rocky times. Nine-Eleven was terrifying for my family. My dad was working that day… on the time he was based in Chicago flying domestically, had two little kids at home, and in a matter of minutes every part flipped the wrong way up. Things were uncertain, every part modified, and he almost switched careers.

‘Fast forward to the recession in 2008, one other huge hit on the airlines. And fast forward to Covid. Well, all of us understand how [that] affected travel. Things have not all the time been easy.’

Caroline's family hiking in Maui, Hawaii. Pictured left to right are her younger brother Jason, her older brother Nick, her mum Deborah, her dad Michael, Caroline, and her sister-in-law Soula Sidou Milo, who also gets standby flying benefits

Caroline’s family climbing in Maui, Hawaii. Pictured left to right are her younger brother Jason, her older brother Nick, her mum Deborah, her dad Michael, Caroline, and her sister-in-law Soula Sidou Milo, who also gets standby flying advantages

Caroline continues: ‘My parents encouraged all of us to enter something different.’ Her older brother works in private equity for hotels, her younger brother remains to be in highschool, and her own interior design profession sees her ‘designing hotels all over the world’.

It is a running joke of their family that they need to all open a hotel together, combining their talents. She says: ‘Our family all the time jokes that my dad will fly us there, my older brother will finance the hotel, I’ll design the hotel, and my mom can teach us all concerning the language and culture there. It’s quite the squad!’

For more from Caroline, visit her TikTok here – www.tiktok.com/@caroline_milo.

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