Michael Wong Academy

Flight Contests

Do you know how to make money online with flight contests? Are all flight contests scams? How much money can you make with flight contests? Read on for all the answers.

Quick links

Flight contests quick facts

Work where?
Pay by
Joining fee?
Minimum age
75% of finder's fee (€15-$186+)
PayPal, bank transfer
Independent contractor
Some require it
None required

What are flight contests?

Flight contests bring together travellers looking for cheap flights with people who are good at finding them online via popular flight search engines and airline websites.

These people are known in the industry as "flight hackers" or "flight experts".

The flight contest sites claim flight contests can help travellers save 20-30% of the cost of flights. With flights often costing $1000s, you can see how the savings of $100s, or even over $1000 can be achieved.

How do flight contests work?

Here's how it works:

  1. Traveller launches a flight contest.
  2. You research flight search engines (Expedia.com, Kayak.com, etc.) and airline websites for the lowest fares.
  3. You submit flights to compete for the prize.
  4. At the end of the contest, the traveller picks the best flights, typically the one with the lowest fares, and awards the winner the finder's fee.
  5. The traveller receives the booking details to book their flights.

Do you need any formal training?

Of the two sites listed below, Flightfox seems to allow anyone to apply. However, I think your chances of being accepted will increase greatly, if you have some prior flight hacking experience.

Charles from Darjeelin told me applicants must have a flight hacking track record. For example, being a travel blogger, travel agent, etc.

All you need is an internet connection, anywhere in the world. This makes it an ideal work from home opportunity.

How long do flight contests last?

Flight contests typically run for 3-5 days.

Are there many flight contests available?

Flight contests are relatively new, so there aren't a huge number of contests at the moment. At the time of writing, Flightfox offer about 80 live contests from a total of 7,263 flight contests.

Flight contests are a relatively new type of online money making opportunity. Few people know about it, so it's a good time to get in and gain some useful experience.

Where can I learn more about "flight hacking"?

A popular site amongst flight hackers is FlyerTalk. Its forums have over 450,000 members and 19 million posts! Go there to pick up some tips from the experts.

Are all online flight contests scams?

I did a lot of research on this topic. And here's the conclusion I came to...

Flight contests are a legitimate way to make money online.

Major publications, such as The New York Times and Sydney Morning Herald, have written about the flight contest companies mentioned further down this page.

Companies offering flight contests don't charge for applications. If you come across flight contests that require payment for applying, entering, or more information, run the other way! :-)

If you have any opinions or experiences with flight contests, please post your comments at the bottom of this page.

How much money can you make with flight contests?

Flight contest winners typically earn 75% of the finder's fee offered by the traveller. Finder's fees can range from €20 to over $100. One flight contest listed in Flightfox offered a finder's fee of $248. However, most finder's fees are in the $20 to $50 range.

Make up to $60+ per hour

According to Flightfox, a good flight hacker can make in excess of $60 per hour on Flightfox. Their top flight experts win 1 in every 2 contests, and can make $1,000s per month. They also have in-house contests with bonuses of up to $1,000.

Mom of 5 made $4,000 in 3 months

Here's a real life example of what you could earn as a flight hacker, according to this New York Times article, "The Lowest Fare? Ask the Crowd".

Monique Krestyn is a mother of 5 young children from Massachusetts, in the United States. In one contest she won $100, but more typically the winnings are $20 or $30.

She says, "In 3 months, I've made $4,000 and that's just utilizing my downtime when home and family aren't demanding me."

Nice! :-)

Payment types

The flight contest companies typically pay winnings via PayPal and bank transfer.

If you don't know what PayPal is or don't have a PayPal account, visit PayPal.com for more information.

Top 2 flight contests that pay cash prizes

Here are my top 2 flight contests, ranked by the cash prizes on offer.

  1. Flightfox: is an Australian crowdsourcing flight search platform. It offers about 80 live flight contests from a total of 7,260, at the time of writing.

    Flightfox has about 900 flight experts. Only about 10% are really active. The company has raised $800,000 in seed funding from Silicon Valley and Australian investors.


    • Finder's fee range from $29 to $248. Most are between $29 and $49.
    • Winner receives 75% of the finder's fee.
    • Flight contests run for 3-5 days.
    • Anyone can apply to be a flight hacker.
  2. Word of caution: I wrote to Flightfox twice for information about their service, and they failed to respond to either of my emails. I hope this isn't an indication of their service to all users. Darjeelin on the other hand responded the same day.

  3. Darjeelin: is a European crowdsourcing travel platform, having launched in the UK, France, Germany, and Spain.

    Darjeelin claims its "flight experts" can produce savings as much as 25%.


    • Fixed €20 finder's fee.
    • Winner receives 75% (€15) of the finder's fee.
    • Each flight contest is re-routed to 4-6 contestants, giving you a 1 in 4-6 chance of winning the contest.
    • Flight contests run for 3 days.


    • You must have a flight hacking track record. For example, travel blogger, travel agent, etc.

Flight contests forum

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