Score Free Airfare This Holiday Season

Getting “bumped” is not good in the grocery line, but it can be great if you’re at the airport.  Although flying during the holidays is a giant hassle characterized by crowds, traffic, long security lines, and delays, the holidays present an opportunity—for YOU!  Airlines routinely over-book their flights, knowing that some passengers will not show up.  When more passengers check-in than there are seats on the airplane, the airlines will ask for a few passengers to voluntarily “bump” themselves onto a later flight and compensate them with a voucher for free airfare on a future trip.

During peak travel times, when the airlines are really desperate for volunteers, the amount of the travel voucher may even be negotiable.  To take advantage of this, go to the counter at your gate and tell the agent that you are willing to be bumped if the flight is oversold.  Because the number of overbooked seats is limited, you want to be first on the bump list.  If they call your name, quickly ascertain the facts: (1) find out how much they are offering in airfare credit, and (2) be sure to ask when the next flight will be.  There could be flights every hour or only one flight a day so evaluate if you are willing to wait that long.  Often when there is a long delay, the airline includes food or hotel vouchers.

Have safe and profitable travels!

Nikki Weil is co-founder of for saving time, money, and hassles.

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