March 20, 2023

If you find yourself flying solo a lot, some hidden perks can come with this experience. Many other travelers need to travel as a group, and they want to get to their destination together. On busy travel days, airlines tend to overbook their flights. This means they don’t have enough seats for everyone who has already paid and booked. As a solo traveler, you have a better chance of being offered compensation for taking another flight so that they can make room for travelers who need a seat. Keep reading to learn more about how you can benefit from getting bumped to another flight!

What does it mean to get bumped? If an airline doesn’t have enough seats and has too many passengers for a set flight, they will ask if anyone is willing to take another plane later in the day. They may first ask for volunteers and offer no compensation, but the more desperate they become, they will provide more benefits for travelers who are willing to be bumped.

As a solo traveler, you have an advantage! If your schedule is flexible and you have some extra time to get to or from your destination, you can make money by accepting a later flight. This is a great way to earn a free flight or two for a minor inconvenience.

If you want to have more success with getting bumped and getting a better compensation offer, check out some of our helpful tips:

  • Flying on busy days and at popular times will give you a better chance of getting bumped. That’s when the airlines overbook flights!
  • Get to the airport and check in early. Airlines usually know early on if they’re overbooked. You’ll have a better chance of being bumped if you’re checked-in and at your gate on time.
  • This usually works best for travelers with more flexible schedules—if you work for yourself or always plan extra travel time, you’ll have a better chance of taking advantage of this situation.
  • Introduce yourself and make it known that you’re willing to be bumped if need be.  
  • Try to get cash. Most airlines offer vouchers, but some will give you cash if you ask. The vouches may expire within 6 months, which could be an issue if you’re not planning to travel again soon.
  • Don’t take the first offer. Airlines will start with a lower compensation amount, hoping that someone will agree right away. Wait until they offer a higher compensation value, or ask for more.

The next time that you find yourself flying solo check to see if the flight is overbooked. You may end up getting paid extra to take a later flight.

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