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Travel · July 22, 2015

7 Money-Saving, Mileage-Building Hacks from the Man Who Flies for Free

Understand and Master Manufacture Spend

This is the practice of amassing as many credit cards as possible (oof!) to accrue miles. Since most credit cards award points for every dollar spent, Schlappig was able to do this without spending a dollar: He used the credit cards to purchase dollar coins and then used them to pay off the charge.

Collect Bumping Vouchers

This is when something on your flightlike headphone audio or an overhead lightisnt working. The airline will often compensate you for the inconvenience, so speak up. If you're traveling with someone you want to impress, it might be worth holding your tongue.

Mileage Running

Schlappig flies incessantly on steeply discounted flights to get easy miles. Major airlines are starting to crack down on this behavior, but, as opposed to dollars spent, this is a great way to boost your traveler status.

Use the Internet

There are sites like Schlappig's Pointspro where seasoned airline hackers can determine if the flights they want to take are truly full, how to bump up their flight status, and how to capitalize on overbooked flights.

Try Hidden-City Ticketing (aka Throwaway Ticketing)

This is when you sneakily use your layover as your final destination (like buying a ticket from Point A to Point C then actually leaving at Point B). This is a booking technique that confuses the price algorithm to deduct the cost of fuel from a ticket. But be careful: It only works on one-way trips, because the airline will automatically cancel the remainder of your itinerary.

Hunt the Web for Mistake Fares

Sometimes companies will accidentally post lower prices for airlines and hotels due to a code issue or overlooked error. Pay attention to these and grab as many as possible.

Beef Up Your Knowledge

For intense flyers, visit Frequent Traveler University, a week-long boot camp hosted to educate people on beating the system. They also provide networking opportunities with experienced airline junkies and hackers alike.


Britni Birt

Always willing to pay extra for avocado. Always doing it for the Insta.