Flights discounts: how to travel for free
September 3, 2015
Demand for travelling services has significantly increased as we entered the century of global cooperation, free information and unlimited travelling borders. The whole industry grew up around travellers suggesting them a wide range of services and amenities. Many airlines suggest various discount programs and opportunities to buy cheaper tickets but many people get confused with such opportunities.
Travelling at a lower cost without using flyer miles is not as elusive as it may seem. Here are non-mileage methods to get free plane tickets.
Buy overbooked tickets
Usually there are more tickets sold to a plane then it is allowed by the aircraft’s capacity. Thus airlines provide the maximum efficiency of their functioning. As soon as it is required more seats then it may be sold volunteers are asked to sell their tickets for a certain compensation. Before there was an opportunity to receive a special voucher which could be used up to a certain date but now airlines’voucherscan be used for any ticket purchase at no allowance.
Use your intuition and common sense to define which tickets may be overbooked. Usually these are flights which are demanded for business trips (for opening account abroad or forming an offshore company) and link the world’s major cities. Pay your attention to aircraft flights taking place in the end or beginning of the work week. Period of holidays and festive days is also a good time to stumble upon overbooked ticket. Prepare to postpone your trip on the day of departure so build your plans correctly and don’t waste much time on packing luggage.
Arrive to the airport several hours before the plane’s takeoff and talk to a manager. Just tell that you are not going to fly and ask whether they need volunteers. Be sure that you will be understood at once.
If you don’t have an opportunity to talk to airline’s manager or your proposal is rejected, do not stray too far from the counter so you could change your ticket in case it is suddenly required. You may be asked not to board the plane unless the situation with passengers is one hundred present clear. Of course such situation may be stressful but the discount is worth that.
If you get a proposal to return ticket and to order the new one with a discount you will have to be prepared to order the new flight. Think of such event beforehand.
Benefit with promotion events and handouts
Airlines often sponsorsome sound events like sport games, yacht shows, festivals and offer discount handouts for all comers. Having a discount of $10-20 you may get an opportunity to enjoy completely free flight if the company reduces fares as a part of marketing campaign. This is what has happened to a friend of mine.
If you want to avail of such fortune being timely aware of all enticing programs is required. Getting correct and necessary information is what brings success to your life and whether you want to get a free ticket or anything else start hunting for relevant information.
Track airlines’ official websites where all the promotional events are publicly announced. Subscribe to news and customized notifications if applicable to get the information you may need. Keep track of festivals, games, shows being sponsored by airlines.
Use concomitant vouchers
It is possible to get a discount voucher when buying a plane ticket. For example if you fly with the largest Delta Airlines Company and have the Platinum Credit Card you will get a voucher for free flights each year. US Airways suggests the similar opportunity.
Airlines issue different credit cards with various options so it is very important to pay attention to benefits which you obtain when open foreign account. You should be especially attentive to footnotes made in small print. Thus you may be required to use services of an equivocal travel agency to be able to avail of companion vouchers.
In the matter of fact you might be called upon paying the increased cost of the trip suggested by the agency before the voucher is yours. Secondly using the free tickets may be restricted by certain conditions associated with dates, directions, flights’ costs, and so on. It is a good luck to find a voucher without any restrictions but it is possible!
Keep in touch with customer service
It is not so easy to provide a perfect flight service because it is difficult to control such factors as delays in the schedule,weather, the quality of staff’s work, and so on. But all airlines provide the high-quality customer service aiming to satisfy irate customers. Thus it is easy to get a free flight as compensation.
Don’t be hypercriticalbut inaccurate service, delay of the aircraft, or anything that had brought you a real damage are good reasons for getting discount vouchers. So the next travel will not burden your wallet.
Remember that respectfulness and calmness should be your assistants in such undertaking. Write an email to customer support, give them a phone call or at best visit their office. Set out the situation, which means be reasonable and polite. Put it as your aim to clearly explain what has happened to avoid additional questions or disagreements.
Using Points and Miles
All the airlines practice loyalty programs for their customers and sometimes it may be really easy to earn points and miles for free travel. You may rarely enjoy a free ticket but an essential discount may be at your disposal.
- Pay with a credit card
Using credit cards proposed by airlines is a good way to earn free miles. It is important to do it wisely and to avoid payment failures. Use the card to pay your daily expenses and get the travel rewards.
Never keep an outstanding debt on a travel credit card because you may end being charged fines and having no earned miles. Pull out the credit card when making small purchases like groceries or paying utility bills as this will help you to avoid problems with debt.
- Get rewarded for getting a card
If you earn and spend much money with you travel credit card than you have all chances to enjoy a free flight. Otherwise it takes much time to earn the necessary amount of free miles. However you can get a sign-up bonus when you order a credit card. And never allow outstanding balance on this card as it may spoil all the joy of using the free miles.
- Buy the miles directly
Airlines make agreements with many other companies engaged in retail. Hence consumers get free miles when buying services or products from airlines’ partners. While such practice is widespread among most of the companies some of them directly offer buying miles.
You may find airlines which suggest buying miles at a lower price depending on the destination point, flight date, or flight length. Thus you may pay half of the voyage’s real price.
- Hunt for partner awards
Once you have free points of miles the next task is to exchange them for a beneficial deal. Airlines are not interested is changing your miles to free tickets so you need to make a good search to get a cost decrease.
The best way to take advantage of your miles is to use the program of airline partner awards but it is not so easy to find a relevant flight. You can use online search for Delta partner awards. And if it is impossible to find an award online there is an option to redeem miles.
- Get miles for your flights
The distance which you have travelled with an airline may add you pleasant bonuses. It makes sense especially when you have business trips paid by a company. Don’t forget to show your flying number when buying a ticket. Track the record of your mileage and timely correct all mistakes to have opportunity to honestly earn your free miles.
- Choose a longer distance
If you have some free time and you have to travel somewhere choose the longest route to a destination point. Many people use this trick to earn more travel miles. Of course such approach doesn’t fit busy people who track their time.
- Be attentive to airlines’ partners
Distributing travel miles among consumers is a widespread tactic among airlines’ partners. Thus retailers as well as service providers may give you miles for watching a video, testing a program, subscribing to a newsletter, answering surveys, etc.
This is not a way to gain a free flight but you can get several miles without spending money and much time. Make a research and you will find out that there is a huge variety of such options to get miles. Watch the mileage section at airline’s site or visit partners’ web pages.
- Get miles with online shopping
Online malls are getting more and more popular today and airlines don’t miss the chance to promote themselves within e-commerce. Online shopping centers suggest miles for making an online purchase from their site. Being mall’s authorized user you need to click the link to the retailer’s site and cookies set on your computer will inform the mall system about miles you have collected.
- Benefit with mileage transfer offers
Hotels and affiliated credit card issuers provide an opportunity to transfer travel miles to airline programs. Thus you may earn points using the hotel service and then turn them into miles. By using a credit card provided by a hotel you may earn points without even staying at the hotel.
- Be stable when choosing an airline
It is not a secret that being a regular customer is rewarded. It is a good idea to choose one or two airlines, neglecting minor benefits which may be provided by other companies. Thus your miles would be concentrated with one carrier which makes it possible to benefit from cheap flights faster.
However some airlines create cooperative programs suggesting customers an account for collecting miles from different airlines. You can use collected miles with any company which participates in cooperation.
- Participate in special programs
Sometimes airlines offer free miles to their customers to expand the target audience or to promote the new line. Note that you have to register in the program anticipatorily. Be attentive to email notifications sent by an airline not to blow up such opportunity. The registration is free of charge and you can apply for as many programs as possible.
Getting flights for free or at least with a significant discount is not a simple issue. You need to track a huge amount of information, be patient and prudent. But it is really possible to travel for free, just catch your fortune.