10 Ways to Fly for Free and Jet Set Around the Globe
by Daniel | Last Updated December 10th, 2019
Everyone loves to travel and it's estimated that 8 million people fly every day. What people don't love about traveling is the price tag that comes with it.
What if we told you there were ways for you to fly without paying anything out of pocket? That's right, fly for free!
If you're on a budget but want to go on a trip, use one of the 10 tips below to travel for free.
1. Collect Travel Points
By choosing to fly with a single airline, you can collect points that will let you earn free flights and upgrades. The first thing is to find an airline that you like to fly and is convenient for your location.
For example, if you live in Philadelphia it might be hard to rack up miles with Air France since Air France doesn't really fly in or out of the Philadelphia International Airport. Choose an airline that is common in your area like Delta or American Airlines.
After deciding on an airline, sign up for miles on their website and then buy your tickets through them directly. This will help you to collect miles and it pays in the long run.
If you're just starting and a ticket is $50 more than another airline, pay the extra money to rack up miles and get free flights later on. This will be worth it once you begin earning flight after flight.
You can even sign up for an airline's credit card to earn miles faster. Usually, they will have a sign-up initiative that usually equals a free flight. These credit cards can even help you get free checked bags and carry-ons with your airline.
After booking a flight or two through your airline you should have enough points to get a free flight! The best thing is that even if your flight is free, it will still count towards your miles.
2. Credit Card Sign-up Bonuses
In the last point, we touched base on getting a credit card for your favorite airline to help rack up points. But, if you aren't loyal to one airline and like to fly with different companies, you can still get free flights.
The secret is to sign up for each airline's credit card when they offer a great initiative. Most airline credit cards will offer enough points for signing up that will get you a free flight or two depending on how well you can make the points stretch.
Now the term credit card may cause a panic attack for some people. Usually signing up for a new credit card won't hurt your credit score too bad. It will expand your budget which helps your score go up, but what will bring your score down a few points is having another account open and it being less than a year old.
If you have great credit opening a new credit card won't make your score go down a lot. If you have bad credit, you may not get approved for a card.
It's important to note that you shouldn't rack up a big bill on these cards. This takes away from flying for free. You should use them enough so they don't close due to inactivity and always pay off the card in full to get the best of your miles.
After finding the cards that work best for you, you can apply and once you receive the card use your miles instantly. This means a free flight or two is just a few days away.
3. Airline Partner Rewards
Pledging your allegiance to one airline is the fastest and best way to get free flights. Although you may be hesitant about selecting one airline because you travel around the world with multiple companies.
We are here to tell you that this isn't the case. Most United States airlines partner with airlines around the world, this means you will still get miles traveling outside of the United States.
There are websites you can use to see what international airlines are partnered with your airline of choice. Sometimes if you fly with a partner airline you can find deals where they give you 10 times more points on the flight.
You can even call your airline and talk to a representative about whom they partner with and what airlines you can fly to receive rewards. After finding out who is affiliated with your airline, you can book the flight and then enter the ticket number into your airline's website or give them a quick call to earn your miles.
Getting these partner rewards will help you earn miles fast, especially if the partner airline is offering double or more points on your flight. This means you can fly once and have enough points to fly a few times for free.
4. Sacrifice Your Flight
Most travelers have dealt with a flight attendant asking if someone would volunteer to leave the plane due to it being full. If you haven't seen it in person, you probably know about it due to the media coverage this situation has been getting.
The thing about someone asking for a volunteer to leave the flight to make room is actually one of the easiest ways you can get free tickets. It's not a great situation and if you're on a tight schedule you may not have the opportunity to volunteer, but if you flexible, jump at this opportunity.
For those who sacrifice themselves to miss the flight, the airline will reward you generously. Usually, you will receive one or two flight vouchers for a free flight with their airline within the next year.
Also, they will reschedule your trip for free. So, you don't have to pay for your rescheduled flight and you get a few flights for free, to anywhere your heart desires.
5. Have Kids, Fly For Free
If you have a child of any age, even an infant, sign them up for frequent flyer miles. Yes, we said to sign your infant up for frequent flyer miles!
Any child can be signed up for frequent flyer miles under your account. They earn the same amount of miles you do for flying, even if their seat is free.
This means you will earn double the miles on every flight. It's one of the easiest ways to never pay for a flight again.
When your child turns 18 you will not be able to use their miles since they are considered an adult. But this does leave you with 18 years to earn as many free flights as you can.
6. Pull Your Miles Together
If everyone in your household is over the age of 18, there is a way to combine your miles. Some airlines let households pool their miles together so they can get rewards, perks, and free flights as a group. This helps to ensure you all get the same flight and the seats you want in one order rather than checking out multiple times.
To find out if your airline will let you combine rewards under the same address, check their website. If it's unclear there's no harm in giving your airline a call.
It's good to point out that everyone will still earn individual miles. So if you are a family of 3 traveling together, it's kind of like earning 3 times the points.
7. Link Multiple Rewards Programs
By this point, you know that rewards programs are a big deal. They are the fastest way for you to earn free flights and to keep getting free flights.
But we all know that having multiple rewards programs and different places can quickly become a headache. That's why we are here to tell you that you can link programs to your frequent flyer miles.
If you have a loyalty program to a hotel you can link it to your frequent flyer program. The hotel must be an affiliate of the airline and if you're not sure to check their website or give them a call.
Pro tip: You can even book cruises through airlines to get points. The next time you book a relaxing cruise getaway try to go through your airline so you won't have to pay for your next flight.
By linking rewards programs you will earn points faster. This will lead to you never having to pay for a flight again.
8. Take Advantage of Bonuses
Just like any store, airlines will offer bonuses for flights bought directly through them. These bonuses can be anything from free access to lounges, no carry on or checked bag fees, and even multiple points.
The best way to stay on top of these deals is to sign up for your airline's email. Even if you have multiple airlines you travel though it's a good idea to make an email address just to receive these promotions.
By buying tickets when it's the best bang for your buck, you will earn free flights in an instant. It's even better when you book a flight for free by redeeming your miles and then earn enough for another free flight.
9. If There Is a Bump, Ask For Miles
If you believe that every trip goes smoothly, you're lying to yourself. It's great when we go on trips that have no bumps in the road, but the reality is most trips may not be smooth.
Disturbances in your travels may be annoying, but you can make the best out of it by asking for miles. If your flight is delayed, canceled, or both, there is no harm in asking the attendants to give you a few extra miles to make up for the bumpy trip.
10. Work for an Airline
This may seem like a no brainer, but if you work for an airline you will see the world and get free flights to destinations of your choice. It's one of the best perks working for an airline.
You can be anything from a pilot to a mechanic. These free flights are limited to where the airline flies, so if it's only the continental United States you will only get free flights within this area.
Some airlines let you fly immediate family members for free with the use of vouchers. If you want to plan a family trip, this is the best way to ensure you all fly for free.
You can even use your vouchers to bring a friend on a free flight. If you have a friend that's traveling with you then give them your companion voucher.
This is the foolproof way for you to fly for free. Even if you don't work for an airline but knows someone who does, it doesn't hurt to see if they can get you a voucher for a free flight.
Now It's Time To Start Flying For Free
From signing up for frequent flyer programs to using your child's miles, have given you the top ten ways to fly for free and to keep earning them. Taking advantage of airline perks and deals will get you to your first free flight in no time.
Remember that combining your hotel rewards and seeing if you can book other trips like cruises through your airline will help you to never pay for a flight again. Even seeing what international airlines partner with your airline will ensure that you don't loose miles and perks.
Now it's time for you to test out these hacks and to watch the free flights pile in. For more information on traveling and to get the best travel tips, check out my website here.
Welcome to LuggageGuru!
My name is Daniel and I am a full-time world traveler and constantly on the move.