Hitching a Ride on an Airplane
Flying can be frustrating to say the least. Hours upon hours in airports, praying for checked baggage to arrive at the same place that you do, increasingly stringent security measures — it all makes for a stressful day to be sure.
Add onto that the sheer cost of flying, taxes, fuel surcharges, and other erroneous fees, and if you're like me you are seething before the plane even takes off.
Have you ever thought about hitch-hiking? On an airplane? (See also: Alternatives to Flying: Other Ways to Get From Here to There)
Try Air Tech.
The premise of these services is that airline companies who don't fill flights would rather the seats go at a discount than not at all. So they sell their extra seats to the above companies, who in turn offer them to their subscribers.
Here's how it works: You purchase a "voucher" to fly from Los Angeles to Hawaii for $179 for example. Once you have the pass in hand (and within a year of purchasing it usually), you submit your travel window or preferred dates of travel. You will be notified of any available seats, and you basically fly on a glorified stand-by basis. You need to be flexible in your travel; sometimes your preferred date of travel isn't available, or there's only a flight to a neighboring city (or even country) on that day. If you are a business traveller or have a very specific window of availability, it is suggested that you book a confirmed flight instead.
But if you have an open itinerary and want to get on a plane inexpensively, air-hitch-hiking seems to be a way to do it on the cheap.
Most of the available flight routes I found in my research were from selected US cities to Europe or Hawaii.
I don't have any experience with these services, so I turn it to you: Has anybody flown with either of these companies? Or are there other ways to fly inexpensively that Wise Bread Bloggers need to know about? Drop us a comment and let us know!