The ‘Eifrig Family Travel Rule’ Could Put $200-$600 in Your Pocket

One simple rule has put thousands of dollars in my family’s pockets over the years…

Knowing this rule makes dealing with your next canceled flight far easier… and could save you a few hundred dollars. And with the holiday travel season looming, now’s a great time to learn it…

As regular readers know, I love to travel – both to experience the world and to get a firsthand look at the ebb and flow of the global economy. And lately, I’ve noticed how busy flights and airports are…

For example, last month alone I touched down in Baltimore… Raleigh, North Carolina… Calistoga, California… Vancouver, Canada… Rome, Italy… and Rancho Santana, Nicaragua.

There’s never an empty seat next to me anymore. Tourist destinations – like Las Vegas, Miami, and New York City – have packed airports and overbooked flights.

That makes now a great time to try out one of my favorite money-saving travel hacks…

Recently, my flight was booked tight… But I didn’t worry. Instead, I got to the airport a little early, walked up to the counter at the gate, and talked to the agent. Ultimately, I accepted $600 from the airline to take a later flight.

Not bad pay for a five-minute conversation and getting on a flight a couple hours later. Essentially, I got paid to wait…

It’s a trick called “voluntary denied boarding.” You can volunteer to give up your seat on an overbooked flight and take a later flight… In return, you’ll receive an airline voucher for a certain amount, often between $200 and $600, as well as a ticket on the next available flight.

And if you don’t like the agent’s offer, you can negotiate. (I like to ask for a first-class seat on the rebooked flight.)

This conversation is also a good time to confirm when the next flight will be and whether the compensation has an expiration date. (The standard now is one year.) Also ask if there are any blackout dates on which you can’t use the ticket.

And if the next available flight isn’t until the next day, the airline should pick up your hotel tab. If it doesn’t offer, make sure to ask.

I’ve used this “travel hack” many times since 1980. My family and I have a standing agreement around the holidays. If a family member can get “bumped” to a new flight and make money on the deal, it’s completely fine to do so. This has had me arriving on Thanksgiving morning more than once in exchange for giving up a Wednesday afternoon or evening ticket.

One of our Retirement Millionaire Daily editors, Steven Longenecker, used to volunteer to “take a bump” nearly every time he flew through Atlanta on AirTran Airways (now owned by Southwest Airlines)… getting free flight vouchers almost every time.

And nothing is stopping you from volunteering to be bumped again on your re-ticketed flight if that one is also overbooked, and getting another voucher. This is my favorite move.