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Travel: 12 Ways You Can Fly For Free (or Almost Free)

fly for free

Most people would love to take a trip to a tropical destination or to a state or country that they have always dreamed of going. The only problem is, many people cannot afford the expensive cost of an airline ticket. Fortunately, there are a few ways you can fly for free or close to free, giving you a chance visit the places that you have always dreamed of.

1. Apply For a Frequent Flyer Credit Card

If you don’t already have one, you should apply for a frequent flyer credit card. Even if you have one, it is a good idea to apply for another one. Just about every airline is partnered with a credit card. When you apply for a frequent flyer card and you are approved, you will earn plenty of points. For example, Delta Airlines offers 30,000 frequent flyer miles if you are approved for their American Express card. United Airlines offers a Chase credit card that allows you to earn 40,000 points for being approved. Depending on the card, you might have to meet a minimum spending limit in the first few months to receive the points. When you earn these points, it will be enough to take an international flight. If it is your dream to travel internationally, these points will be a very good start.

2. Find a Companion

There are many airline credit cards that offer a free companion ticket for anyone who renews their credit card for another year. If you have a friend or family member who has this benefit, you should ask to tag along with them. They would be required to pay taxes on the ticket but if you offer to pay, they might be more willing to take you as their companion.

3. If You Have a Good Reason, Complain

If you are on a flight and something happens that makes the flight a bad experience, you could get a free ticket to fly again. If you are going to make a complaint, it needs to be for a good reason. If there were mechanical issues with the plane, if the flight was canceled and delayed several times, or if an unruly passenger caused trouble, you might be able to get a free ticket. When you make your complaint, you don’t want to send it in an email. This is not personal. Instead, send a handwritten letter describing the situation that occurred in detail. You should also include your flight number, route, and your frequent flyer number if you have one. To let the airline know that you are serious, you should send a carbon copy of the letter to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Aviation Consumer Protection Division. If you are lucky, you will get a phone call or a letter offering you a free ticket. This is something that you should not make a habit of. Both places that you sent your complaint letter will keep it on file. If you do this more than once, your letter will be flagged.

4. Shop Through the Airline Shopping Portals

All airlines have shopping portals that you can use to do all of your shopping. Most airlines carry every retailer imaginable, making it very convenient. Shopping won’t earn you a free flight right away, however, you can earn free miles without flying. If you already have plenty of miles accumulated, buying a few things through an airline shopping portal will put you over the top and you can take your free flight.

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5. Take a Special Military Space-A Flight

This isn’t an option for everyone, however, if you have a family member who is in the military or who has retired from the military, this is a benefit open to you. You can get a free flight, however, you need to be flexible with the date and time that you are going to fly. It is worth flying out at a slightly inconvenient time to get a free airline ticket.

6. Get a Job at an Airline

If you have been thinking about changing careers, you should get a job with an airline. Working for an airline has plenty of perks, including free flight whenever the airline flies. You don’t even need to be a pilot or a flight attendant to receive these benefits. As long as you are a full-time employee of the airline, you can fly for free. If you are happy with your current job, you can make friends with an airline employee. Many airlines allow their employees to fly for free with a companion.

7. Be Loyal To Your Airline

If you don’t want to keep spending money on your credit cards, you can earn frequent flyer miles the old fashioned way, by flying. If you are loyal to one airline, it won’t take long before you can earn enough miles to take a free flight.

8. Volunteer To Get Bumped

It is not uncommon for an airline to overbook a flight. If this happens, the airline will ask for volunteers who are willing to get bumped. In most cases, you will be given a free flight or a discounted flight. Since you will be put on the next available flight, you will get to your destination and you will have a free ticket to fly at a later date.

9. Take Advantage of Birthdays and the Holidays

If you have family members who ask what you want for your birthday or Christmas, tell them that you want an airline ticket. If the ticket is too much for one person to afford, your family can chip in to buy you a ticket. It is a great way get a free flight which is likely what you really want anyway.

10. Ask For Miles Instead of Cash

If you have a family member who often gives you cash for holidays and birthdays, ask for miles instead. If the relative has more miles than they will ever use or miles that are going to expire, they won’t miss the miles and you will get your free flight. It is a win-win for both of you.

11. Enter a Sweepstakes

There are plenty of sweepstakes out there where you can win free airline tickets. Most of these sweepstakes don’t require you to make a purchase and you could actually win. You can do a simple Google search to find these types of sweepstakes. If you enter enough of them, you could win free tickets.

12. Travel On Business With Your Spouse

If your spouse is being sent out of town on business, you might be able to go along for free. If the company is flying your spouse either first class or business class, you can trade in that ticket for two coach seats. This will give you a chance to travel with your spouse and you won’t need to spend a dime.

If you really want to take a trip but you cannot afford the airfare or if you just don’t want to spend the money, you should follow the tips listed above. There have been many people who have been successful using these methods and they were able to fly for free.

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