For the past four years, Ian Bearce has taken a six-hour, 1,204-mile commute from his home in Maple Grove to his job in Manhattan. Every week he hops on a flight out of MSP at 7 a.m. Monday and returns to his family on the 6 p.m. flight Friday night, racking up about 375,000 frequent flier miles annually.
Last night the Bearces were featured on the CBS Evening News after he posted a timelapse video of his weekly ordeal.prestigious visual effects firm based in Manhattan.
"We had just bought a house, were just kind of getting settled, and because the economy wasn't real stable at the time, we couldn't sell our house and we didn't really want to move to one of the most expensive areas in the nation," said Ian's wife, Megan, when we reached her last night.
"It was a little bumpy at first, but we actually found more and more people who were doing the same sort of thing, in different variations," she said.
Last fall Megan published a book based on their experience and stories from the surprising amount of people who deal with so-called "super commutes."
"There's people who commute to North Dakota to work the oil fields, there's lots of professors who drive between Minneapolis and Mankato, or workers who drive from Minneapolis to Rochester every day," she said. "You'd be surprised how common it is."
Last year the Bearces spent about $13,000 on plane tickets and got about seven tickets paid for with frequent flier miles.
Megan works as a marriage and family therapist. Her commute?
"I only go between Maple Grove and Wayzata, so it's like 10 minutes. It's much more manageable, let me tell you," she said.
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