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Money Tip: Checking Your Gate Early Can Pay-Off Big

This weekend I learned a big lesson: Visiting your plane's gate long before you're expected to board can pay-off big time. While I usually avoid sitting around at my gate waiting to board, a ticket telling me that no seat had been assigned made visiting the gate unavoidable. The airline attendants were looking for volunteers to be bumped from the over-sold flight, and my fiancé and I agreed that if the wait was three hours or less we'd volunteer our seats.

The wait until the next flight was exactly three hours, and we were each rewarded with a $400 voucher and meal vouchers for the time we'd be in the airport. With a busy travel schedule heading in to the end of the year, the collective $800 will certainly help with those expenses. The vouchers are good for one year and are transferable to other travelers, and that kind of flexibility ensures the vouchers won't go to waste. So, next time you're facing a lengthy layover, stop by the gate before you go and grab a bite to eat — it could present you with a money making opportunity.

Have you ever volunteered to be bumped from your flight in exchange for vouchers?

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