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Air Courier Travel

An air courier is someone hired by a courier company on a one-time basis to take a package(s), such as business documents, on a scheduled airline to some international destination in the world. (Of course, if you try it and like it and the company finds you reputable, they may hire you again.) A few flights may be free, but most will require you to pay for the airline ticket but at a greatly reduced rate. Some air courier companies will pay up to 85% of your round-trip airfare. There are thousands of courier flights a year although fewer than before 9/11.

Courier companies find it cheaper to have you use some of your baggage allowance to carry the package(s) instead of using air cargo. It is also quicker for the package to clear customs at the destination as going air freight may take several days to clear customs. The usual limitation is that you can't check any luggage (your checked luggage allowance is used for the courier package) and you will be limited to the number of days you can stay at your destination (normally 7 - 10 days) if they provide a round-trip fare which is usually the case. You may have to courier a package on your return trip. You pay all other expenses for the trip. 

We list some good sources of information and some air courier associations you may join for a small fee.  There are pros and cons about being an air courier and it is not for everyone. Do your research using our links on this page and talking to people and contacting some people who have been air couriers and have included their email addresses on a website. 

Air Courier Associations

International Association of Air Travel Couriers (IAATC)  $45 - 50 yearly fee, provides information to help you get a courier flight.

The Air Courier Association (ACA)
$39 fee, provides information to help you get a courier flight.

CourierTravel.org $40 fee, provides information to help you get a courier flight plus access to their search engine of courier flights.
We suggest, besides checking out the three associations listed above, that you go to all the websites we list here and look over their air courier information. You will usually find some additional information on one website that was not mentioned on other websites.  Also, some websites may not have updated their information as recently as other sites.

InstaBriefs - Air Couriers.  Good information. We drop you off at their short overview page, but click on their internal links to go to their other pages with more detailed information.
Transitions Abroad - Air Couriers  Their "Cheap Flights To Europe" article includes a few paragraphs on flying to Europe as an air courier.
New York Times Travel - Air Couriers  Although the article is dated November of 2001, it has some good background information on some of the air courier associations.
Justsaygo.com-Air Links  A great summary of all your budget air travel options including being an air courier.
Air Courier Travel  Here is an excellent article on being an air courier plus information on Air Courier associations and links to books and related air courier sites.
GoNOMAD MiniGuide Flying Cheap: Air Courier Travel. Another excellent article on air couriers. 
Courier Travel News   For $5.95 they will supply a list of all the air courier companies and how to contact each one. They also give you some basic information about being an air courier.
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