Up in the Air: Where Was the 2009 Movie Filmed?

Starring George Clooney, Vera Farmiga, Anna Kendrick, and Jason Bateman, ‘Up in the Air’ is a comedy-drama film that presents a unique perspective on the concept of commitment. From the place where you spend years working to the person you commit to for life, the 2009 movie offers a peek into the world of a traveling downsize expert named Ryan Bingham who doesn’t have a home and finds comfort in traveling and always being up in the air.

Directed by Jason Reitman, the film’s protagonist is seen traveling across the country; thus, it features several scenic skylines and incredible shots from the clouds that elevate the visual aesthetic of the film. Along with the compelling performances and realistic narrative, the movie also offers stunning visuals. If you wish to know the filming details, don’t worry, we won’t leave you guessing the locations. Here’s everything you need to know!

Up in the Air Filming Locations

As suggested by the film’s title, ‘Up in the Air’ divides the setting of the sequences into various destinations featuring several scenic backdrops taken at the airport or straight up in the air. The movie was primarily shot in Missouri and Michigan, while several sequences were set in Vegas, Omaha, and Miami. Pre-production likely commenced in late 2008 and filming was in full swing since early 2009, reportedly wrapping up after over 50 productive days in Spring 2009. Looking for specific locations where the movie was taped? Let’s dive in!

St. Louis County, Missouri


A majority of the shooting of the recession-themed movie took place in St. Louis, Missouri. The shooting schedule in the city began in March 2009 and ended in late April of the same year with over 80 sets in 50 locations utilized throughout the area. As the movie needed airport scenes in abundance, many of them were shot at St. Louis Lambert International Airport at 10701 Lambert International Boulevard, particularly at Concourse C and Concourse D for 20 hours every day for 5 days.

The sequences wherein we see Clooney’s character check in to lavish hotels and suites were all shot in real locations. For the heavy exposure they were getting, big brands like American Airlines and Hilton Hotels waived the fee for shooting in the properties they owned. The director Jason Reitman was very particular about choosing real brands to work with as it highlights the obsession of people with miles and that luxury lifestyle.

Accordingly, apart from the airport, the cast and crew also shot several scenes at Hilton St. Louis at the Ballpark at 1 South Broadway, Hilton St. Louis Airport at 10330 Natural Bridge Road, the Mansion House Apartments, DHR International building at 8000 Maryland Avenue, the General American building at 700 Market Street as well as Renaissance Grand Hotel. The 2340 Whittemore Place stood in for Alex’s home in Chicago. The Cheshire Inn at 6300 Clayton Road was used to film the wedding sequences.

Dubbed “Rome of the West,” St. Louis is the second-largest city in Missouri and offers a wide array of picturesque locations for filming movies and shows. Over the years, the city has served as a filming site for movies such as ‘The Empty Man,’ ‘The Card Counter,’ and ‘National Lampoon’s Vacation.’

The scene where Clooney and Farmiga break into a high school was shot in a real high school in the city of Affton. For these scenes, the production team chose the Affton High School, located at 8309 MacKenzie Road in Affton in St. Louis County. Moreover, Maplewood United Methodist Church at 7409 Flora Avenue in a suburb of St. Louis, Maplewood, doubled up as a shooting spot for the wedding party.

Detroit, Michigan

The cast and crew also visited Detroit, a stunning city in Wayne county in the southeastern part of Michigan. A few sequences were shot at Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport at 11050 West G Rogell Drive, specifically at McNamara and Berry Terminals, the latter of which was permanently closed down.

Omaha, Nebraska

The city of Omaha in Douglas County in Nebraska also served as a filming site for a few scenes. The Visitor’s Bureau at 306 South 10th Street, Howard Street, as well as a condo in the Old Market area of downtown Omaha were chosen as shooting sites for the film. The south edge of the main terminal at Eppley Airfield at 4501 Abbott Drive also doubled up as a taping spot for ‘Up in the Air.’

Other Locations in the US

In one scene, we see Clooney’s character rejoice after receiving the invite to give a “challenge speech,” so to say, at GoalQuest in Vegas. This scene was most likely shot in an actual location in Nevada, Vegas. Besides Vegas, the production team also utilized a few spots from Miami and California to tape some minor scenes.

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Specifically, the Ontario International Airport at 2900 East Airport Drive in Ontario, California, was visited by the cast and crew for filming. As the protagonist takes us on a journey around the country, it feels no less than a virtual tour of the states.

Read More: Is Up in the Air Based on a True Story?