Guy mileage running in a suit, are you out there?

I’ll keep this short and sweet. I did a direct turn mileage run yesterday on American from Tampa to Miami to San Francisco to Miami to Tampa. I didn’t have more than an hour at any airport. Given that I was flying on a Saturday, there was a guy that I remembered from the outbound flights, since he was wearing a suit and tie the entire flight (he never took the tie off, and was the only one in first class even remotely dressed up). Then on my return flight from San Francisco to Miami an hour later, there he was again.

He was in first class for all segments. On the surface I was actually mildly creeped out, but then it occurred to me that he probably kept giving me weird looks because he probably wondered why the hell I was on all four of his flights as well, and not because he’s JOSH.

Sir, are out out there? You’re a champion for wearing a suit for over 20 hours and not once taking your tie off, even on the redeye. I don’t know why you did it, but you’re a champ.

So is the guy out there? Or along the same lines, does anyone else mileage run in a suit (and voluntarily wear a tie for 20+ hours straight)? I’m fascinated. It just comes to show you that you can’t profile a mileage runner. If I had to guess one person on any of yesterday’s flights that didn’t “look” like a mileage runner, it would’ve been him.

Filed Under: Mileage Runs, Travel
  1. I am forbidden from wearing a tie unless it is a special occasion. To do so would cause me to lose all credibility in my industry (where only half the department even wears khakis to work). Plus, there is a reason we call ties nooses 😉

  2. @ Brian @ Antonio — He definitely wasn’t for a variety of reasons:
    a) Air marshals don’t work 20+ hour shifts
    b) He was traveling alone — while air marshals always act like they don’t know anyone on the plane, as soon as they get off the plane they reunite with their “partner.” He was alone during the layovers, as I saw him in the Admirals Club.
    c) He had an Executive Platinum tag. Air marshals don’t earn miles/status.
    d) He was in a window seat for a couple of the flights.

  3. @ MZLT — On a Saturday morning? I suppose it’s possible in theory, though he could have taken his tie off, like everyone else does. It seems he was specifically dressing up to fly.

  4. Lucky,

    I’m not your guy; but I often MR in a suit. Work on either end usually covers the cost of a ticket. Some of us just can’t help it.

  5. @ Rob — Very true, though a) he had an Executive Platinum tag and b) there were upgrade lists on two of the four flights.

  6. Rob said,

    “I’ve heard stories of non-revs on United taking transcons in First to get free meals.”

    Now I’ve heard it all. We need a food bank for non-revs! I’m truly stunned.

  7. Did he have any luggage? Other possible explainations: he was going to a wedding and one of his flights was cancelled and he decided to return.

    He could also be a private pilot repositioning to san fran then along the way was told he wasn’t needed there.

    It could’ve been related to the reno airshow. Some insurance rep, lawyer or other related person that was told to get there asap and then was told that they weren’t needed.

  8. Probably an Associate with a large law firm delivering court or legal papers to a firm rep at the other end. This was an favorite Associate “duty” at my firm.

  9. A few companies I work with sometimes have to hand deliver important signed documents, or even fly them out to get signed and then fly them back. Usually when its too important to courier or at the weekends when there isn’t a next day service. Possible explanation…

  10. Lucky why didn’t you on the 4th flight go and introduce yourself, I know I would have, that way you know.
    Wearing a tie for 20 hours would be tough, I am surprised someone who lives in Florida would own one.

  11. Love all the possible explanations! I’m 99.9% sure the guy was just a mileage runner. The guy seemed too senior to be delivering papers (he was in his upper 50s, probably).

    Folks, I’m 99.9% sure he was just a mileage runner!

    He was also really chatty with the crew, and on both flights stood in the galley for at least an hour talking to the crew.

    When he landed in San Francisco he went to the Admirals Club just like me, so it’s not like he went landside to meet anyone.

    Folks, he was a mileage runner, seriously!

  12. I must admit that, while not a suit, I make a habit of dressing in a properly pressed shirt and slacks when I do a MR, (or anytime I get on an airplane, for that matter.)

    It actually got a comment from the purser on an AA JFK-MCO flight in July, (delayed on the tarmac for turtles, which some of you might recall.) She asked where my shorts and flip flops were!

    Kudos to the distinguished gent….more of us should endeavor to keep it classy.

  13. Actually they were two separate guys, twins in fact, with the same suit. One was going out West for a wedding while the other was coming back East for a funeral. The suits were black, non?

  14. It’s not Deja Vu.. it’s a glitch in the Matrix. It means they’re changing something.

    Was it the same black cat?

  15. Lol, you think classy has anything to do with what you wear on an airplane? Nope. Class is about how you act, not what you wear. In fact, it’s usually the people who think they have to “dress up” to impress others that lack class.

    @J. Michael Collins said:
    Kudos to the distinguished gent….more of us should endeavor to keep it classy.

  16. Lol, I doubt it. Miles get you upgrades, money gets you upgrades, both of which have nothing to do with dressing up in a monkey suit.

    “Maybe he believes the tie gets him the upgrades.”

  17. Sometimes, someone else’s “normal” is not what most of us would consider normal. For some folks, wearing a suit and tie is just what they pull on every day (especially for the more “mature” among us). Kinda like their version of wearing PJs in the airport.

  18. I gather this chap thinks he wil get better service by being dressed up in a suit. In my experience, this proves to be true. Maybe he wishes to take the Ryan Bingham persona when he flies.

  19. @Steve,

    I look at it more as an issue of self-respect, as opposed to impressing others. I’m lucky enough to fly J/F exclusively, and I always appreciate when other travelers in premium cabins make an effort to maintain the sartorial dignity of the environment. I would find it off-putting to see jeans and t-shirts at a Michelin starred restaurant, because it reduces the ambiance. I feel much the same way about premium travel. It says something about society that standards of dress continue to decline….analogous, I think, to standards of behavior and decorum.

Leave a Reply

If you'd like to participate in the discussion, please adhere to our commenting guidelines. Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *