Here’s The Unusual Way Airline Loyalty Members Can Earn Miles Without Ever Flying

If you’re a frequent flier – or even an occasional one – it makes total sense to join an airline loyalty system. There’s usually no cost to sign up and you can earn some seriously valuable bonuses… sometimes, without ever leaving the ground.

One unexpected way that loyalty members can earn everything from miles to actual cash is by being flexible with their travel plans. In fact, if you allow yourself to be voluntarily kicked off your flight, you could score hundreds of dollars of perks.

Here’s what we mean. Occasionally, airlines will overbook flights. This is sometimes done on purpose when there is a high chance that some passengers will not arrive. In the event that the flight is overbooked and all passengers do show up, the airline will often ask for volunteers to give up their seat, known as “being bumped,” in return for some pretty tempting benefits.

In all cases, the volunteer will be offered the opportunity to rebook the journey on the next flight to their destination. Bumped passengers will also often receive added goodies like an upgraded seat on that flight, tons of bonus miles, or even real cash. In some situations, being bumped from your flight can result in flying just a few hours later and recouping all the money spent on the flight.

So the next time you hear flight staff asking for volunteers to give up their seats, you should definitely ask what they’re offering in return.