Although travel is generally considered a costly luxury, there are several ways every traveler can save a dime or two. Believe it or not, it’s even possible to score a free flight, as long as you play your cards right.
5 Ways To Score Yourself A Free Flight:
1. VOLUNTEER TO GET BUMPED
Airlines are constantly overselling their flights with the expectation that some passengers will not show up. In the event that there aren’t enough seats, airlines will ask for volunteers to give up their reservation in exchange for some form of compensation, usually airline credit that can be worth a lot of money and can used for another ticket.
YOUR MOVE: There are specific flights that are much more likely to get overbooked. For example, flights around the holidays or flights to major business destinations. If you’re looking for a free ride, plan your travels with this in mind. On the actual day of your trip, ask the agents if they need a volunteer. Also pack light to avoid checking in your bag because airlines prefer passengers who can change plans without too much difficulty.
2. RACK UP YOUR FREQUENT FLYER MILES
If you travel a lot, it’s a good idea to join an airline frequent flyer program, in order to collect miles towards a free ticket. Many travelers are aware of this option, but there are strategies to ensure you rack up miles faster.
YOUR MOVE: If you have extra time to kill, maximize your miles earned by choosing the longest route when you fly. Every airline also has a list of partner companies that advertise their products by giving away miles. Most of the time, travelers just have to answer a simple survey or make a small purchase. Every mile adds up!
3. SEARCH FOR PROMOTIONS
Companies that are sponsored by airlines will often have promotions of some sort, either in the form of a gift card, contest or giveaway.
YOUR MOVE: In order to sweep up the best deals, you need to keep updated on the promotions by signing up for newsletters directly from the airlines. It also helps to keep updated via any social media outlets.
4. SPEND TO SAVE
If you’re a bigger shopper, using your credit card wisely can help you earn some neat travel rewards.
YOUR MOVE: An easy way to earn rewards is to first sign up for a credit card that has a good sign-up bonus, with mileage rewards. Once you are approved for the card, use it as your primary method of payment. Make sure to always pay your balance on time, and fully.
Customer service is highly valued by any company. If you’ve experienced a less-than-perfect flight, let your airline know.
YOUR MOVE: Write a professional, brief and to-the-point email to your airline. You want to avoid the details, as customer service rarely has time to sort through your sob story. Be reasonable with your complaint, and you might earn yourself some travel vouchers.
Once you’ve landed yourself a free flight, you’ll probably experience a gnarly case of jet lag. Overcome it with these tips: