true story? 'Free-quent' flyer fly around the world for free

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Miles/Points' started by LoungeLover, May 30, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. LoungeLover

    LoungeLover Silver Member

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  2. TheBOSman

    TheBOSman Silver Member

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    Very much so, though I sincerely doubt Mr. Ford looks only at seat maps. He HAS to have an ExpertFlyer subscription, and he'd probably get more value out of it than anyone else. If you became intimately familiar with an airline's schedule and knew of a particular flight that was commonly oversold, there are ways to work it. In a similar vein, I know of a specific AA flight, on a specific day and at a specific time, that is fairly easy to get op-uped to first on if you are a PLT or even a GLD. I got op-uped on it 3 weeks in a row before I was EXP. Given enough time to research everything, I'd think I could pull off what this guy has done. As the other gentleman notes, DL and US tend to push a little harder than others in overselling. I've had 52 AA flights so far this year, and only had one flight where a bump certificate was offered, and it was a flight I was rescheduled on after my original flight, the flight before it to the same destination, was canceled, which likely overbooked the later flight.
     
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  3. jrp2

    jrp2 Gold Member

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    I think it's possible. However, I can only imagine that amount of time and effort it takes to make this work. That guy must spend an inordinate amount of time sitting at airports. Say nothing of maintaining real relationships with people in his life.
     
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  4. TheBOSman

    TheBOSman Silver Member

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    He might actually be the real life Ryan Bingham in that way, though at least Mr. Ford doesn't fire people for a living, and in fact doesn't have any job himself!
     
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  5. phraktur

    phraktur Silver Member

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    Real relationships? With...people?

    Does not compute. :)
     
  6. HaveMilesWillTravel
    Original Member

    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    "As an alternative, experts suggest purchasing a full-refundable coach fare and use that to target oversold flights. A fully refundable fare always offers the most flexibility. Booking potential oversold flight with a fully refundable ticket allows you to get all your money back in case the flight is not oversold."

    I wonder how long it would take for airlines to catch on that little trick. I'd guess it's been tried.
     
  7. jrp2

    jrp2 Gold Member

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    I know.
     
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  8. goalie
    Original Member

    goalie Gold Member

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    Sure it does-F/a's, G/a's and on occasion, pilots ;)
     
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  9. viguera
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    viguera Gold Member

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    I'll admit that I've actually thought about this seriously, especially after every bump. I mean, I know for a fact that UA consistently oversells JFK-SFO on Thursdays and Fridays. I mean every single flight is oversold, so by the time the last flight of the day comes along they have to be short 15 seats.

    Why not book a refundable ticket on that flight every month or so and cancel it if it looks like you're not going to get the bump? You can always say that your plans changed or something. :)
     
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  10. kyunbit
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    kyunbit Silver Member

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    I remember I had read a story about two security agents who would do this in their off time. They were finally caught.. and imprisoned
     
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  11. jrp2

    jrp2 Gold Member

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    what is it about doing this that would land someone in prison?
     
  12. perryplatypus

    perryplatypus Gold Member

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    I wouldn't be surprised if Delta now caught on after the publicity and thenbanned him from flying with them.
     
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  13. kw335
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    kw335 Silver Member

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    Why on earth would you publicize your name, your status, and the "tricks" you do on a blog/website? :confused:
     
  14. MSPeconomist
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    MSPeconomist Gold Member

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    Are they people? And why do you discriminate against lounge dragons?
     
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  15. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    I've been wondering that myself. Maybe he's done traveling and now wants to "cash in" -- Book? blog ad sales? Movie? Reality TV show? ;)
     
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  16. kw335
    Original Member

    kw335 Silver Member

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    Then again when I think about it, there are quite a handful of known bloggers out there who do just that. Who knows that some of them may have gotten booted from a FF program due to being "vocal". Who knows ...
     
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  17. paladin87
    Original Member

    paladin87 Silver Member

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    Because people are stupid and desperate for attention and apparently crave the ability to share every intimate detail about their lives to perfect strangers...at least that is what I get from the whole myspace, facebook, etc development.
     
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  18. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    It is called fear of anonymity: It is why some of the world's most vicious psychopaths wound up being caught -- they simply had to tell someone about who was responsible for inflicting the terror, so they would start, e.g., to taunt the police...

    For someone like that, it comes down to this simple consideration: What good does it do you to commit the "perfect" crime and no one knows that it is you who pulled off this rare feat? Do they achieve their goal?...

    ...of course they do. We are here discussing this guy, aren't we? Mission accomplished.;)
     
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  19. KathInJax

    KathInJax Silver Member

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    I went to his blog, he has 7 posts, all of them in March. He did have links to some interviews that he did. The CNN interview talked about how he combined vouchers to pay for plane tickets. Delta stopped that practice late last year and you can now only use one voucher per ticket. Maybe this guy was one of the reasons that they changed the policy?

    http://thepointsguy.com/2011/12/delta-makes-negative-changes-to-voucher-policy/
     
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  20. viguera
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    viguera Gold Member

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    Yeah I don't understand that either. Maybe you're violating the spirit of the CoC, but I certainly don't see how you could be violating any law.

    Now don't get me wrong, they could easily declare you "persona non grata" and ban you from flying, but if you don't get greedy and say fly only once every few weeks and mix the carriers, you should be able to stay under the radar.

    Think about it... You do this once a month, say with Delta one month, American the next, United the next, then US. Then go back to Delta. One (potentially) refunded flight every 4 months (or longer if you use more carriers) cannot possibly raise any red flags.

    Can it? :)
     
  21. DTWBOB

    DTWBOB Silver Member

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    I know someone else who had done it -- and yes it does take a lot of work and planning plus enough time that you can make the trip (which you can do if you're retired!).

    DTWBOB
     
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  22. goalie
    Original Member

    goalie Gold Member

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    Yes :) and my bad about omitting lounge dragons but since I don't hold a lounge membership....... ;)
     
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  23. DLroads
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    DLroads Gold Member

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    And since he is a diamond, I am wondering he did not say a word about the only one voucher per flight nowdays? I think he story is true, but a bit 'oversized'. This point would have come up (+T-72 a critical point for someone taking 52 vacations a year)
     
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  24. kw335
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    kw335 Silver Member

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    He might also know an "insider" who has access to the actual inventory of a flight. I have a friend who works at a certain Chicago/Houston-based airline, who tells me things like "this flight is oversold by this number" all the time.
     
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  25. viguera
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    viguera Gold Member

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    Yeah I think that's critical, knowing that a flight is Y -10 rather than Y0 is helpful. The airlines account for this to some extent though... flying an empty seat is bad, overselling for the sake of it and having to hand out vouchers isn't that good of a business model either.
     
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