Imagine spending your life flying from airport to airport for free.
Sound like fun? No? Personally, it sounds like a special kind of hell.
As they say, "There's something for everyone" and I think this Rolling Stone article proves it.
It appears that there's a small group of people who make flying for free a game. It is fascinating to read exactly how great they are at it. It's not like they simply fly coach, but they get great perks.
The obvious questions are, "How do they do it?" and "Can I do the same thing?"
They do it by taking advantage of every perk that airlines offer. For example, they may bumped on flights earning a free ticket. They may use credit cards to get airline miles. They often don't care where they are going, so they can take the cheapest flight. They use a combination of all of these.
Sometimes they do things that others would consider unethical. For example, airlines have given passengers apology vouchers of $200-400 if there's something broken on the plane. The idea would be to rack up these whenever possible.
At the risk of living up to my "Lazy" name, this simply seems like too much work to me. It seems like it becomes your life. I think it also helps to be obsessive compulsive, but I'm not a psychologist.
So can you do the same thing? I don't think you'd want to. (If you do, you are probably already doing it, right?)
However, all is not lost. I know quite a few personal finance bloggers who sign up for credit cards to get the airline miles only to cancel them later. Racking up hard inquiries is not the best thing for your credit score, but if your credit is good in other areas, it won't hurt it too much.
I don't travel too much, so getting free flights is not that big of a deal for me. However, now that my kids are approaching the ages of 2 and 3 it's going to be a lot more expensive to fly. Maybe I should put some time into racking up frequent flyer miles.
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