Up in the Air

Up in the Air is a 2009 American comedy-drama film directed by Jason Reitman. It was written by Reitman and Sheldon Turner, based on the 2001 novel Up in the Air by Walter Kirn. The story is centered on traveling corporate "downsizer" Ryan Bingham (George Clooney). Vera Farmiga, Anna Kendrick, and Jason Bateman also star. Up in the Air was primarily filmed in St. Louis with additional scenes shot in Detroit, Omaha, Las Vegas, and Miami.


Ryan Bingham works for a human resources consultancy firm specializing in employment-termination assistance. His work constantly takes him around the country, conducting company layoffs on behalf of employers. Ryan also gives motivational speeches, using the analogy, "What's in Your Backpack?" to extol living free of burdensome relationships and material possessions. A frequent flyer, Ryan aspires to earn ten million frequent flyer miles with American Airlines. While traveling, Ryan meets a woman named Alex, a professional who also flies frequently. They begin a casual relationship, meeting up in various cities as their respective schedules allow.