Chapter 4 : Go Even Cheaper As
Note: This may be on eof the most out-of-date chapters,
since with new regulations there are few opportunities to be
an air courier. It still makes for interesting reading on how
things used to be.
Courier companies ship things using the luggage space of an
aircraft passenger. It can be quicker, cheaper, and more reliable
than sending the shipment unaccompanied, since checked luggage
bypasses many of the typical customs delays. The company purchases
tickets, and then they resells them to you. In exchange for your
luggage space, they give you a discount on the airfare.
I saved $160 on my plane tickets this way when I went to Ecuador
the first time. I had several suitcases full of car parts, but
there was a representative of the courier company on either end,
and I looked inside the luggage, so I knew what I was carrying.
I carried a plane propeller on the return trip, which wasn't
much trouble, and made a good story.
It's easiest to be an air courier if you travel alone. Occasionally,
a courier company will have opportunities for flights on or near
the same date. If not, your travel partner can pay full fare
on the same flight. Keep in mind that you are usually allowed
carry-on luggage only, since the point is for the shipping company
to use your checked luggage allowance.
Once in a while, air couriers fly internationally for free.
Otherwise the fare is almost always very cheap. It's a matter
of how badly the company needs you and how flexible you are.
Can you fly to London on Friday?
Air courier opportunities are becoming rarer, due to the recent
heavier regulation of international flights, but there still
are opportunities. Find out more at the International Association
of Air Travel Couriers Website (www.courier.org).
The traveler sees what he sees. The tourist sees what he
has come to see. - G.K. Chesterton
Continue with Chapter 5 here: Cheap
Note: This chapter on traveling as an air courier was
part of the e-book Travel Secrets. Now all chapters are
free on this site. See the homepage (the link is at the bottom
of this page) for a list of all chapters and links to them.