I just wanted to share this great piece by veteran flight attendant James Wysong, author of Flying High with A Frank Steward: More Air Travel Tales From the Flight Crew, who writes a column at MSNBC.com. (If you’re not regularly reading his stuff, I recommend it. He has terrific insider knowledge of how the airline industry works.) In “How to survive the overcrowded skies”, he provides 10 tips for preparing yourself for the overcrowding that is inevitable in the coming months as airlines cut flights.
Most people dread the idea of being bumped, because it means a delay in their travel plans, missing connecting flights, etc. But Jean Scott, the “Frugal Gambler”, often talks about taking advantage of the opportunity to be bumped, since she and her husband regularly score free flights that way. They’re retired, so their schedule is much more flexible. I have never had the opportunity to try it myself, unfortunately, but it sounds like a good deal to me. If your schedule is flexible enough to take a voluntary bump, and the airline is offering compensation for future tickets, you should consider it. Nothing’s better than flying free!