Cha-Ching!  When you’re not in a rush and have time to wait in an Airport, it is 100% worth it to be a flight volunteer.  Airlines routinely overbook planes to ensure maximum revenue, so take advantage when they search for volunteers to board the next flight.

Volunteers are compensated with travel vouchers (money) and even upgrades to their seat assignments!  t and have gotten my next trip’s flights paid for, just by waiting in the airport a few hours.  Although volunteer opportunities are not available for every flight, if you follow these steps you may just cash in!

Determine Your Personal Time Limits
Depending on your personal schedule and work schedule, decide how much time you’re willing to spend waiting to catch the next flight.  If an airline is willing to give you a $250 voucher to wait 3 hours to take the next available flight,  I would do it.  But, it’s a personal decision that needs to work for you.

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Examine Your Surroundings
Airports are extremely comfortable with ample seating, free WiFi, excellent restaurants and stores.  On the other hand, some airports, especially in developing countries, don’t have the comfortable amenities you may be used to.  Consider your surroundings and decide to accept a travel voucher.  Make sure the airport you’re in is somewhere you could comfortably wait.

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Ask Not, Want Not
As soon as you make it to your gate, ask the gate agent if they are accepting a flight volunteer to take the next flight.  Additionally, be proactive and don’t wait for the traditional announcement over the PA system.  You may get lucky and be among the first to secure a travel voucher.  Even though the airline may not be seeking volunteers, it never hurts to ask.  The worst that could happen is that they are not looking for volunteers.  If that’s the case, you can stay on your original flight and proceed as usual.

Pack Lightly
There are so many reasons as to why carrying on your baggage is beneficial to a savvy traveler.  Add this reason to the list – if vouchers are available, you must only have a carry-on bag for certain airlines.  Furthermore, if you checked your bags, you could miss out on this opportunity to cash in.  Think twice before you pack that extra large suitcase – do you really need to pack all of those clothes?

Receiving Your Voucher
If you’re lucky enough to be a flight volunteer and receive a travel voucher, make sure you take a picture of it with your mobile device.  In the event you lose your voucher, you’ll have a backup picture of it that you can use to book your next flight.  Treat vouchers like cash (because they basically are!) and properly secure it.

I’ve received about $600- $700 in travel vouchers over the past few years and waited 2-4 hours each time.  That wait was absolutely worth it!  Keep these simple steps in mind the next time you’re at an airport and have an open schedule.  Who knows, you may walk away with enough travel vouchers for a future flight!