Think of any hobby and someone is probably obsessed with it. For documentaries, the more esoteric, the more intriguing. Well there is a bloc of people obsessed with accumulating frequent flyer miles. And it makes for a mesmerizing documentary short.

Documentarian Gabriel Leigh has just over 1 million frequent-flyer miles. Compared to the subjects he interviews, it's pocket change. There are people with 10, 20, 30 million frequent flyer miles. Let that sink in for a moment. 30 million. That's enough to circles the earth 206 times.

One would think that these frequent flyers are businessmen that have to shuttle back and forth between China and America all the time. No, they are just genuinely obsessed with the act of flying while simultaneously maximizing their frequent flyer miles. They fly to far-away destinations simply to fly back to their original destination for the sole purpose of accumulating more miles.


For most, flying is just a means to an end. For the frequent-flyer obsessed, it is the end. Almost a zen experience for them, with the airport playing the part of a rock garden.


Frequent Flyer from Gabriel Leigh on Vimeo.

For the most ourageous part of the documentary, skip to 15 minutes in. Your jaw will drop.

Thanks to reader Claire Buoyant for the tip.