Gadling’s guide to getting bumped

We’ve all heard the announcement over the intercom at the gate asking for “volunteers” to take a later flight. And most of us know that you can earn a couple of flight vouchers or sandwiches for giving up your seat, but does anyone really want to do this? Is it worth the time and suffering for a lousy plane ticket and some free airport food?

Yes, my friends, it is. And if you take ten minutes before your flight to do a little research, it can be damn gratifying.

Consider the relative discomfort that you have to endure for a few hours in exchange for a free ticket or a monetary travel voucher. Imagine where you can go or who you can surprise with that ticket; a weekend trip to Puerto Rico, dinner with friends in New York, that pickup game of badminton you’ve been dying to get in on in Phoenix. Take yourself out of the mind-set of a business or suffering traveler and focus on really getting away. The evening that you invest in this bump voucher will pay off one hundred fold when you tell your girlfriend that you’re taking her to Fort Lauderdale instead of your parents’ place for the weekend.

It’s not that hard to do. Pack light, be patient and follow Gadling’s instructions below and you’ll be on your way to greener pastures in no time. I’ve broken down the process into four steps.

Follow along as we explain the process.