Up In the Air–A Movie Review of Sorts

Husband is rarely interested in movies, but because this one had been so cleverly promoted by American Airlines, it piqued his interest.

Up in the Air

You see, Husband spends a lot time with American Airlines. Like George Clooney in the film, Husband travels light and navigates through the concourses of strange airports as well as he does streets of downtown Franklin. George spends his time between flights in the private lounge (the one behind the discreet, secret doors) and boasts of never buying a thing unless it adds to his frequent flyer account.

In the movie, George’s character flies around the country firing people for companies that are downsizing. Unfortunately, business is booming and that means George is always either taking off or landing. George has a goal–amassing 10 million miles making him a mythical, uber frequent flyer. In the movie, people reaching this milestone are visited by the chief pilot of American, feted with champagne and given their own titanium membership card.

But here’s what’s wrong.

In the movie we see George flying from Omaha to Dubuque to Milwaukee. He goes from Chicage to Denver to Dallas.

Short hops like those will not get you to 10 million miles. Not even in 20 years. Plus, most of those flights are on the commuter planes operated by American Eagle and the first-class seats we see George sitting in aren’t even available.

For most of us, our frequent flyer miles rarely add up to being worth more than a free magazine subscription. But if you fly on enough international flights and watch for deals offering double or triple rewards, you can earn some significant benefits.

In the movie, George finds out that those benefits aren’t worth as much as he thought they would be. In real life though, it’s nice to go behind those discreet, secret doors every now and then.


Filed under Travel

8 responses to “Up In the Air–A Movie Review of Sorts

  1. It can be nice to go behind those discreet doors, but it can also mean that you do just spend too much time going between here and there.

  2. i’ve been behind those discreet doors on two occasions in my life, courtesy of friends with more money than me! loved every minute of it!

    my frequent flier points i guard jealously… every 5 trips home rewards me with a free one!

  3. We saw it last night as well. Please remember that the movie was not a documentary about air travel. It’s a work of fiction. You have to give the director some license to play with the facts.

    I’ve been bumped into first class on more than one occasion. It’s not a subtle difference. It’s a different world entirely.

    That film made me damn glad that I don’t live in Omaha.

  4. I’ve only flown once and that was to France so those few miles are the only ones on my account!

    I’ll have to watch out for those oh-so-secret doors you speak of. Hmm….

  5. Living in Milwaukee, I could not agree more. Good catch. I don’t think I would have paid that much attention to the seats when George Clooney was in them!

  6. Ellie–When I’m behind the doors, it means pleasure trip and that can never happen enough.
    Mon–You know, most of those people are there because someone else has paid for all that travel.
    UB–Yes, I know the difference between fact and fiction. It wouldn’t have been that difficult to at least show some transcontinental flights.
    Jen–If I had only flown once, I would be damn glad it was to France.
    Zen–I worked in production for many years…it’s just second nature for me to watch things like that.

  7. went to see it with two friends, who are also frequent fliers. we had fun tagging the airports. it was the carpeting that gave them away!

    hadn’t caught the ‘regional jet’ thing, but your husband is right — ain’t no first class like that on a CRJ!

    but, once you hit ‘elite’ status? you earn more miles per segment. instead of 500 miles/leg, you get 1,000 or more, depending on your level… so ‘elite breeds elite’…

  8. with international flights they do seem to add up quick. Last time we flew home it was first class and now I´m basically ruined for coach.

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