Cinema's Frequent Flyers
Up In The Air (2009)
Frequent Flyer: Ryan Bingham (George Clooney)
Air Miles: Bingham’s got it made. Employed as a corporate downsizer, he spends his working life firing people across America. But his own job requires enough short-haul to bring his dream target of 10 million frequent flyer miles ever closer.
Until ambitious colleague Natalie Keener (Anna Kendrick) comes up with a plan that won’t require Bingham to travel at all. How’s he going to reach his target, then?
Free Flights? Who needs ten million frequent flyer miles? For god’s sake, man, get some perspective and start cashing in.
Frequent Flyer: James Bond (Roger Moore)
Air Miles: The undisputed champ of international travel, there can’t be many countries 007 hasn’t visited on her Majesty's secret service.
In perhaps his most startling example of globe-traversing (and beyond), Bond starts in Africa, heads back to London for orders, and then flies to California, Venice, Rio and, finally, outer space. That’s gotta be worth some hefty privileges.
Free Flights? Bond's such a fixture now, the airlines should probably be paying him for the honour of flying with them.
Fight Club (1999)
Frequent Flyer: The Narrator (Edward Norton)
Air Miles: The Narrator’s red-eye days are over. No matter that he’s accrued countless points on his business trips, he’s sick of the commute.
But when bezza mate turned mortal foe Tyler Durden (Brad Pitt) starts nihilistic terror group Project Mayhem, The Narrator has no choice but to use his miles to thwart Tyler's plans.
Ironically, though, Tyler seems to have booked his flights in The Narrator’s name – so he’s still earning points!
Free Flights? A symptom of society’s greed and malaise...but kinda useful when sticking it to the man.
Frequent Flyer: Captain Yossarian (Alan Arkin)
Air Miles: Yossarian hates flying. Every bombing mission he undertakes increases the chances of a swift and bloody death.
He longs for the day he can complete the allotted number of missions. Trouble is, the Generals, unsporting schmucks that they are, keep moving the goalposts.
The only way out: feign insanity. But if he declares his desire not to fly, it'll prove he's sane enough to carry on. That's some catch.
Free Flights? At this rate, Yossarian will be lucky to get out alive.
The Aviator (2004)
Frequent Flyer: Howard Hughes (Leonardo DiCaprio)
Air Miles: Filming planes, building planes, owning planes – Hughes barely has a foot on the ground. Just as well, ’cause the ground is crawling with germs.
Word of advice, though. Don't fly so close to the sun, Howard. The wings may be steel, but they buckle all the same when you crash.
Free Flights? He'll pass. See, Hughes has worked out a way of staying up in the air without actually flying.
Instead, he's off to the penthouse in the poshest hotels Vegas has to offer. Heck, without any flight instruments to touch, he doesn't even need to cut his fingernails.
Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008)
Frequent Flyer: Indiana Jones (Harrison Ford)
Air Miles: Now in his Fifties, Indy really ought to be cashing in those coupons. After all, he’s been travelling the globe since he was a kid.
But he doesn't have enough points! All too often he’s taken the cheaper option – steam ships, Nazi convoys, elephants… Sometimes even a plane isn’t good enough: he’s been known to skydive by dinghy, the crazy loon.
Free Flights? Sadly no. Indy’s so down on his luck there have been rumours he’s resorted to crawling inside a fridge, just so he can hitch a lift on a passing nuclear blast.
Punch-Drunk Love (2002)
Frequent Flyer: Barry Egan (Adam Sandler)
Air Miles: Angry Barry doesn’t have much look forward to in life…until he discovers Healthy Choice puddings.
A loophole in a frequent flyer points promotion makes the prize worth more than the purchase. In other words, the more he spends, the further he can fly.
Perfect timing. Now he can stalk new flame Lena Leonard (Emily Watson) when she goes away on business.
Free Flights? Limited only by the size of Barry’s belly.
Frequent Flyer: Ted Striker (Robert Hays)
Air Miles: Striker chucked his member’s card away years ago. Once a successful fighter pilot, disaster struck when six – no, seven: don't forget George Zip – men didn’t return from a raid.
Striker hasn’t flown since. But when he realises that, in order to win back his true love Elaine (Julie Haggerty), he’ll have to take to the skies once more.
Although this time, if he wants a smoking ticket, he’ll have to buy it.
Free Flights? Only if he can find the paperwork to prove he’s still entitled to ’em.
Independence Day (1996)
Frequent Flyer: President Thomas J. Whitmore (Bill Pullman)
Air Miles: Are you kidding? He’s The President . He has his own airplane on standby ready to whisk him around the world – always handy if a swift escape is needed from alien invaders.
Better than that, though, Whitmore’s a trained war pilot, so when the going gets tough... he’s there. He will not go quietly into the night. He will not vanish without a fight. Etc. Etc.
Free Flights? Please. Just get him out of here. Anything to avoid another of those hokey speeches.
Porco Rosso (1992)
Frequent Flyer: Porco Rosso, the ‘Red Pig’
Air Miles: Once he was Italian fighter pilot Marco Pagott, Ace of the Adriatic. Now, cursed with the face of a pig, he finds work as a bounty hunter protecting ships from sky pirates.
But - nose or snout - we don't think there's is better in a dogfight. Ace moustache, too.
Free Flights? You’d think. But nobody seems very keen on letting a pig into first-class. Porcophobes.
Jackie Brown (1997)
Frequent Flyer: Jackie Brown (Pam Grier)
Air Miles: Jackie’s working life as a stewardess doesn’t have many perks, and she ain’t getting any younger. So she's always up for supplementing her meagre income.
But when that entails smuggling money for gun runner Ordell Robbie (Samuel L. Jackson) and dodging the Feds on her tail, she probably dreams of being curled up with a good book instead of 30,000ft in the sky.
Free Flights? She deserves one. C'mon Jackie, stop serving drinks to the cattle and treat yourself to a glass of champers in first-class.
Broken Flowers (2005)
Frequent Flyer: Don Johnston (Bill Murray)
Air Miles: Ageing Lothario Johnston’s certainly been around... with women. So when a letter arrives from one of his many exes claiming he has a son, Don doesn’t know where to start.
The solution: a multi-stop flight across America to reunite with his old flames and find out which is the mother of his child.
Free Flights: He's probably entitled now, but he’s run out of lovers to visit. No wonder he looks so glum.
Those Magnificent Men In Their Flying Machines (1965)
Frequent flyers: Several, easily spotted.
All together now - They go up-diddley-up! They go down-diddley-down!
Air Miles: In terms of distance, not many. Just a quick hop over from London to Paris as part of an air race. This was the days before Eurostar, you see.
But with fourteen contestants in the running, the collective award mounts up.
Free Flights? Enough for one seat only. Shame they can’t share it.
Mission: Impossible (1996)
Frequent Flyer: Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise)
Air Miles: Prague, Sydney, Vatican City, Shanghai – Ethan’s covered an impossible amount of ground as the IMF's finest
Trouble is, he’s also a covert operative and master of disguise, so all those points are spread over several accounts.
Free Flights? His best bet for a freebie is to wear the face of someone else on this list.
Ruling out spies (too good at fighting), whack-jobs (too unpredictable) and pigs (too porcine), that leaves… Clooney.
The Terminal (2004)
Infrequent flyer: Victor Navorski (Tom Hanks)
Air Miles: Hardly. This is Navorski’s first trip abroad; the people of Krakozhia don’t get out much.
Victor’s headed to America to fulfil his father’s dying wish but things don’t look good. One change in government in Krakozhia while he’s mid-air leaves him stranded in JFK.
And he didn’t sign up for the airport lounge. Bugger.
Free Flights? We doubt Navorski will ever want fly again after this.