How to get FREE flights

As a travel blogger, one of the hardest thing we deal with staying on the road because flights can get very expensive. However, if I told you that I have been able to convince airlines to sponsor my flights in exchange for writing an article about the experience?

Before we get started, let me make one thing very clear: this is much easier done with smaller airlines with less shareholders and less people to approve the partnership. I am sure that going to American Airlines or Cathay Pacific would be much harder to get something from a blog with 3,000 followers approved.

The truth is a lot of small national flag airlines and even regional airlines are spending millions to try and get people to fly to the country they are from as tourist. If a blogger comes to them and offers to promote them for free with a sizable reach in exchange for a flight to a location they need to promote, it is a solid win for the airline.

This does not mean that you will get every airline you ask to work with you. There are still many old timers in the head offices of airlines that only think about traditional media and will pay CNN a million to promote them instead of working with hundreds of smaller bloggers for less capital invested. It is just the nature of the beast that we deal with.

What do I tell them for free flights?

I normally just reach out to the airline of either their contact page or on Facebook and I ask to get into contact with their marketing department. They normally email me back or message me within a day or two with the email address that I need.

The next thing that I will do is send them an email pretty close to the one below. It seems to work pretty well. Of course, you would tailor in your website.

I am the founder and editor of Valenisoqo, a website that has over 32,000 views a month and over 5,000 on our mailing list. Our Facebook reach is currently at 3,020 fans. Our primary readership is from Americans and Australians traveling to the South Pacific.

I am contacting you asking if _______ would be interested in a partnership for a series of articles that is being considered.

What we are asking for

Quite simply, we want to do a series on _______ early next year. I am reaching out to see if in exchange for sponsored flights from _____, Valenisoqo would provide a 2,000 word article for each leg of the trip. Travel dates would be flexible.

Is this something you would be interest in? It would benefit your company to be before people traveling in the region and it would benefit Valenisoqo by making the trip possible. Let me know.

Now, all I need to send it and pray they go for it. In most cases, they will agree to it but ask for me to plan to travel on days they have more empty seats or something like that. Through some back and forth emailing, we come to terms and agree to it.

What experience have I had with it?

Well, I have contacted an airlines in the Philippines, SkyJet, about a trip to Bananes and ask them if they was interested. They said they would consider it if I could do mid week trips and that they had a do follow link back to their website. I always do follow links anyways so we agreed to terms.

As most of the blog is about traveling in the South Pacific, a dream of mine was to go to Nauru and to the Marshall Islands. However, it is very hard to go there. I reached out to Our Airline or Nauru Airlines with the email I posted and they agreed on the spot and loved the idea.

I have also reached out to Air Vanuatu about the possibility of partnering for a trip to Pentecost Island, a place they are trying to promote and somewhere on my bucket list. They agreed on the spot as well.

Currently, I am in discussing the details with Fiji Airways about a long term partnership that would include flights every quarter to a different country they service.

This trick might work for you. It is working for me.