Monday, November 12, 2018

The Travel Voucher

This blog has been pretty heavy lately, so here's something a bit lighter. A lot lighter.

For years, I have hoped to have the opportunity to help the airlines. Let me rephrase this. You know how airlines sometimes oversell flights? I don’t understand the reason behind this, but they do. Anyway, when this occurs, airlines will ask for volunteers to give up their seat to go on a later flight in exchange for some type of travel voucher. Every time this has happened to me in the past, either I had to be on that flight (for something work or family related), it would be frowned upon if I took the later flight but let my young kids fly alone, or the airline already had enough volunteers.

Traveling to Charleston earlier this month, United Airlies asked for volunteers to get put on a later flight as well as a $700 travel voucher. I was apprehensive since I didn’t think I could do this, but two people I was with encouraged me to go for it. One even used the “you waited in line for burritos” argument and said I was the king of getting free things, so why wouldn’t I do this? It was a very persuasive.

By the time I approached the desk, the voucher was up to $800. I was sold. The flight boarded, and I waited at the gate to make sure it was full. It was. I had to wait at the gate for another 20 minutes after the flight departed from the gate, but at the end, United gave me a $1000 voucher. WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

The next step was the airline giving me a voucher to take a shuttle from Dulles to National for a flight on American Airlines. I'm not sure how United got me on an American flight, but I wasn't going to complain. I took the shuttle with another woman who also took United's offer for the voucher and later flight. We talked about our families and how the voucher would help us visit family living in other areas. Oh, I also received a $10 food voucher. It didn’t cover my entire Five Guys meal, but it was close.

Of course, it turned out that the woman who shared the shuttle had the seat next to me on the plane. At that point, we had nothing else to say to each other. Hooray for books and headphones! I made it in Charleston in plenty of time and now I have a $1000 to spend on United! With three kids, that might (might!) cover one family flight next summer.

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