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.

Me: Really?

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.