Scene from the exit row of a recent United flight:
Me: (minding my own business and watching Top Gun on my iPhone)
Guy in 12E: So, where ya’ headed?
Me: Just a quick trip to San Francisco.
Guy in 12E: Bet it’s not as quick as mine.
Guy in 12E: Yep. I’m flying from IAD to SFO to SBP to LAX to IAD.
Me: You’re on a mileage run?
Guy in 12E (eyes lighting up realizing that I knew what a mileage run was): Yes, I have to maintain my 1K.
Me (thinking to myself): Wow, I’m really not nuts. (Or perhaps there were just 2 nuts seated in 12D and E.)
And so it goes. Two random guys making sure they don’t ever have to board in Zone 8.