Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Miles&Points > MilesBuzz
Reload this Page >

Flying as Couriers

Flying as Couriers

Old Apr 14, 99, 11:11 pm
  #1  
Original Member
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 1998
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 98
Flying as Couriers

Has anybody here ever had any experience with the courier organizations which offer cheap airfares if you agree to carry some packages for them as your luggage? Please elaborate. Is it worth joining one of those? What are the most common problems with them? What are the advantages, if any? Or is it all just bull ****?
Boris is offline  
Old Apr 15, 99, 5:45 am
  #2  
Original Member
 
Join Date: May 1998
Location: Guam, USA
Posts: 98
I have been a courier before. It really is an excellent deal if:

1. You have no luggage to check in.
2. You are flexible in your travel times.
3. You are an international traveler.

I joined an air courier organization but I found out later that I could have taken the same courier trips without actually being a registered air courier. For more info. check this site: http://www.aircourier.org/
diver is offline  
Old Apr 15, 99, 12:05 pm
  #3  
Original Member
 
Join Date: May 1998
Location: NY, USA
Posts: 51
Did you get FF miles on your courier trip?
Thistle is offline  
Old Apr 16, 99, 5:11 pm
  #4  
 
Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: San Francisco, CA
Programs: NW Platinum Elite, United PE, Marriott Platinum
Posts: 399
I agree with Thistle; if you get miles that's a pro, if you don't that's a no!
BA Fan is offline  
Old Apr 26, 99, 10:25 am
  #5  
Original Member
 
Join Date: May 1998
Location: USA
Programs: AAdvantage (Exec Plat), United, Delta
Posts: 261
I flew as a courier on United from LAX to Bangkok about four years ago. The agency that sold me the ticket normally charged about $400-500 for the roundtrip (compared to $800+ for least-expensive coach at the time). But as it happened, I called during Thailand's low season (to inquire about all destinations they had available), and they mentioned Bangkok for $250, if I could fly in 6 days and stay for 2 weeks.

This is common; if a courier has a shipment leaving on a certain date, they want to be able to charge as much as possible for the seat (to offset their shipping costs). But as the date approaches, if they haven't filled the seat they start dropping the price. I hear that sometimes, if they haven't filled the flight by 24 hours in advance, they will give the seat away for free, just so one of their paid staff doesn't have to make the trip (this deal usually is for repeat customers).

The process was relatively smooth, although one unnerving aspect is that the only time I had the actual ticket in my posession was while on the flight; they met me at the airport for both legs. This is apparently routine, but on the return trip, I was told to be at the airport 2-1/2 hours in advance while the courier rep only arrived an hour before the flight!

As for miles, you can ask the courier agency up front whether you will earn miles for the trip. Sometimes, the deal an agency has with a specific airline does not allow for miles. In my case, I didn't ask ahead of time, and although I provided my UA# at check-in, they didn't post. But I was able to call later and get the miles posted into the account.

From my experience, it's a great way to fly cheaply if you are not too picky about your destination, can travel lightly (you may not be able to check bags), and best of all, can travel at the last minute.
roti is offline  
Old Apr 27, 99, 10:45 am
  #6  
Original Member
 
Join Date: May 1998
Location: Guam, USA
Posts: 98
Sorry, most of the time you do not get frequent flyer miles. If you book in advance with a courier agency, then they will set you up with one of the few airlines that let you earn miles but for last minute deals - good luck!
diver is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search Engine: