Travel as an Air Courier
There was a time when you could fly as an air courier, but it's no longer true. This story is a trip back in time.
GoNOMAD MINI GUIDE
Flying Cheap: Air Courier Travel
Editor's Note. There was a time, way back before 9/11, that you could travel as an air courier. But those days are long gone. Consider this story a trip down memory lane. If you want more info on air couriers as of 2013, visit this website where George Hobica and Alexander Basek provide the sad story-it's all over.
How do you fly to London for 0 round-trip? Hong Kong for 0? Rio for $150? Mexico for FREE? Easy. Travel as an air courier. There are numerous air courier companies that will fly you to cities around the world for prices that no consolidator or Internet special can beat.
Being an air courier requires nothing more than signing up, being willing or able to travel light on short notice, and being responsible enough to meet a representative in an airport for a few minutes before beginning your vacation.
It’s not hard, but like some other alternative transportation options, it requires a little more planning than simply buying a ticket and climbing aboard. This basic guide to courier travel will get you started.
WHY TRAVEL AS AN AIR COURIER?
One reason: cost. Short of winning an Internet auction (rare and hard), or redeeming your frequent flier miles, there is no other way to travel by plane as cheaply. It’s also fun: a bit of adventure in what is usually a routine mode of transportation.
WHAT IS AN AIR COURIER?
An air courier is basically a freelance deliveryman/woman who is hired by a delivery company to escort cargo by plane. In reality, you are a passenger on a plane whose baggage allowance (or excess) is used for shipping goods or documents quickly. As payment for your temporary employment for the company, you get a discounted (sometimes FREE!) round-trip ticket to a destination.
But, a courier is also the point person for the shipment, which means that you will be often be carrying the paperwork for the shipment and are responsible for making sure that the paperwork is received in its destination. However, once the shipment and the paperwork arrive in the destination, you are free. You may never even see the shipment, or if you do, most certainly won’t handle it directly. Don’t worry, you aren’t transporting drugs or contraband: usually, the cargo is nothing more than documents or small parcels and it’s all perfectly legal.