Would you spend a day going through garbage for a couple of free round trip airline tickets? A lot of people apparently are (along with some making a lot of extra cash) with the Wendy’s free airline miles promotion with discount airline AirTran according to a usatoday.com story:
Under the promotion, Wendy’s and discount airline AirTran are offering free frequent-flier rewards when customers purchase 20- or 32-ounce soft-drinks. Coupons from the side of the cups can be redeemed toward airfare on the Orlando, airline; 64 coupons are worth a round-trip flight anywhere AirTran flies. Eighty-four million of the cups will be distributed.
Since the promotion was launched in early November, the coupons have become hot-ticket items on auction and clearinghouse websites like eBay and Craigslist. And because AirTran flies from Los Angeles to Boston, even the Bahamas, the promotion has attracted unusually broad interest.
With online sellers generally demanding between $150 to $200 for 128 coupons (two round-trip flights’ worth), the coupons represent a considerable savings over buying the plane tickets outright: Two coach class round-trip AirTran tickets from San Francisco to Miami sold recently for $720, for example.
Some sellers even boast of their foul efforts to obtain the coupons: One eBay seller from Nashville, who sold 65 coupons for $75, prominently featured a photo of the dumpster out of which he’d fished them.
I do this to a lesser extent in Japan all the time. Year round soft drink manufacturers have contest where you collect stickers off the can and send them in for prizes. I pick up cans that have been thrown on the sidewalk, take off the stickers and throw the cans in the proper place when I walk. I probably collect 10 to 20 stickers a day and they have yielded me a treasure trove of goodies at no cost. In fact, I’ve resold many of these winning items as premiums and have yielded well over $1000 a year from this activity.
Not only has it benefited me financially, I’ve been given the nickname of “the foreign cleaning man” by many of my neighbors who think I do it simply to keep the area around where I live clean. Too bad I’m not in the US – I’d probably be taking a little walk down to my local Wendy’s about now.