Shelley and I got back yesterday from a fabulous trip to Chile. On this trip we got to explore Easter Island and Patagonia. Both were great, and we’ll definitely be going back to see even more of that country. Given it’s enormous diversity of landscapes and natural beauty I think you could spend several months there and still not see it all.
Per our usual we did this trip as inexpensively as we could. And on our way back to Austin we got an extra ‘travel for free’ bonus! When we arrived in Miami from Santiago to catch out Delta flights to Austin (we flew LAN from Santiago) we got asked if we would be willing to take a travel voucher for taking a later flight home. Obviously they had overbooked, so they were looking for volunteers. They even asked us the minimum amount per person that we’d be willing to take, and we chose the maximum amount available – $500.
Well, long story short, we both got bumped, and we both got a $500 travel voucher that can be used for up to a year in the future – woo hoo! On top of that, we got put on first class for our flight from Miami to Atlanta AND our flight from Atlanta to Austin – double woo hoo!! And we still got in at a decent time to Austin, only getting delayed by a total of 2 ½ hours. We’ll exchange 2 ½ hours of our time for $1000 worth of travel just about any time, especially if it also gets us bumped to first class for the last flight legs home.
Neither one of us have had the opportunity to get a flight voucher for getting bumped from a flight in a long time, so we’re glad we finally got the opportunity to do it again.
And since we booked the flights using miles to begin with (i.e. for FREE flights) – we actually MADE MONEY on them! This is just another tool in our (your!) arsenal of travel skills to get the biggest bang for our (your!) travel bucks.
And Shelley brought up a good additional point. Yesterday was Labor Day, obviously one of the biggest travel days of the year in general in the US. That certainly increased our chances of getting the opportunity to volunteer to get bumped. As Shelley pointed out, you could even PLAN to fly on a busy travel day to help increase your chances of getting the opportunity to take a travel voucher for getting bumped. Sure, that’s a little more ‘out there’, but it’s something to think about. I know a guy who was flying with his wife and 3 kids once on a busy travel day, and they intentionally got bumped twice for travel vouchers and still got home on the same day!