Thanks for your question.
The logic of translating the word as "caught up" is poor. If we are caught "up" to meet the Lord "in the air" there are limitations in terms of altitude which makes the idea not sound. Are we to believe that Jesus and the saints will be in that narrow band of atmosphere - at most 20,000 feet or so (and that's being generous) while the earth is destroyed? However, having the saints caught away to be with the Lord on the earth (i.e. not "over the earth") when he comes, makes sense. We are told that when he returns, his feet will stand on the Mount of Olives. To be with him, we will have to be taken there "caught away" as Philip was in Acts 8.
"In the air" is significant because for those raised from the dead. They will be taken from the depths of the earth to once again be "in the air." The air just means the atmosphere; a place where respiration is possible. The term "clouds" is used in Hebrews 12:1 to describe the great number of the faithful. Thessalonians is not talking about the saints going up to meet the Lord in low orbit as he returns (but not quite all the way) to the earth. It is a picture of the faithful being taken away as that "great cloud of witnesses" to be with their Lord when he returns to the earth - all the way to the earth - and establishes his Father's glorious kingdom.
I hope you have found this helpful