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Day 9: The cost of flying for free

by Aaron Crowder on in 100-days

If you follow me on social media you know that I’ve been traveling a LOT lately. Multiple trips a month level of traveling. It’s been so much fun!

For context: my ex and co-parent (who I get along with famously) works for an airline. She started back at the beginning of February. When she finished training is when I first started traveling a lot because she was nice enough to add me to her benefits until such a time as she has a new partner she wants to share them with.

What this means though, is that I’m flying standby. I may or may not make any given flight. That’s just the risk you run flying for free.

The cost

The flight is free, but what’s your time worth? Are you okay burning hours of your life sitting in an airport? If not, then standby may not be for you.

The true cost of flying for free is your time. I’ll say it again: when you fly for free you’re actually paying with your time instead of money.

Can you handle being stuck in an airport all day? What about overnight? Are you traveling to something you can’t miss? Then flying standby might not be for you.

Why I’m okay with it

I’m able to work from anywhere with my job as a software engineer. I bring my laptop everywhere. If I don’t make a flight I’m not going to miss work. Even if I’m in the airport all day long, I can just get my computer out and get my work done.

I also travel with my kids a lot. Parents know that getting kids through the airport is one of the biggest challenges. But my girls have done it so much that they’re pros. We’ve learned tricks to make security easier. They’ve got iPads to make killing time less painful.


I know it’s not for everyone. That’s why I wrote this post. I don’t want people to think flying for free is actually free. The cost for some may be more than you’re willing to pay. If I was traveling to something I couldn’t miss I’d either pay for a ticket or travel a day early just in case. But most of the time? Give me airports, blue skies, and new experiences all day!