If you love traveling the world and want someone else to pay for it, there’s a company I just found that will help you do just that. The name of the company is Airmule and they will pay you to pack light and not check any bags on your next international flight. That’s right. You read that correctly. They will literally pay you up to $600 per roundtrip ticket to/from the United States for your unused baggage allowance. Sounds too good to be true? Let me explain.
On most international flights, you will have the ability to check two free bags (included in the price of your ticket). But by not checking any of your own bags and selling your free baggage allowance to Airmule instead, you can earn $150 back per bag, per flight. So on a roundtrip flight to/from the United States, you can earn $150 x 2 bags per direction = $600 back into your pocket. Do you have elite status with an airline and can check a third bag for free? That’s another $300 in your pocket ($900 total) for something you probably weren’t going to use anyways.
Sounds pretty amazing right? I love traveling the world and I can definitely travel with a small carry-on bag. Sure, I’ll sell you my “two free checked bags” to make some quick cash. That’s a no brainer. . . except it’s not. It’s actually a horrible idea and one I would never recommend anyone do.
So here’s how it works. Airmule pairs you, “the traveler,” with people who need to send items overseas, “the sender.” You simply go to Airmule’s website or use their mobile app, list all your upcoming international flights and state how many available bags the sender can check.
Airmule will then connect you with a sender who needs to ship “something” to your destination. An Airmule rep will then meet you at the airport on the day of travel and hand you a box containing “something.” You will then check the box as part of your free baggage allowance and fly to your destination. When you arrive at your destination, just pick up the box from baggage claim and deliver it to the Airmule representative waiting for you at the airport. Money will then magically appear in your account.
That’s it. Sounds pretty simple right? And if you can travel light, this might be a good way for you to travel the world and make some money on the side. Well, except, it’s not. Not even close. I mean, can you guys imagine all the possible ways things can go wrong here?? I can’t even begin to tell you how horrible this idea sounds and no amount of money is worth me ending up in a Chinese prison. Not even for one night. No way.
Airmule claims that all their senders are “TSA verified” and all the items have been screened but what does that even mean? Did TSA already screen the items? But where? When? How? And did someone put something else in the box after it was screened? Who knows?
But wait. Airmule will let you, the traveler, inspect the items before transporting them. Okay. . . like I know what I’m doing or what I’m looking for? Is there a kilo of cocaine in this dollhouse? No clue. Or a thumb drive containing stolen government secrets in that iPod?? Couldn’t tell you. I sure as heck wouldn’t know what to look for and neither will you! Or better yet, what prevents you, the traveler, from stashing your own kilo of cocaine into some sender’s dollhouse and when you get caught, just say, “Nope, that’s not mine. I’m just the mule?” This just doesn’t make any sense at all!
Airmule claims that they will back you up if something goes wrong and they will verify the contents do not belong to you with a “paper trail” of documents. Yeah. . . sure. . . good luck getting an Airmule representative to bail you out of a Chinese prison at 2:00 AM because the sender secretly stashed something somewhere. No thanks. I could be wrong here but the way I see it, the moment you check that box in and the airline agent asks you, “Do you own this box? Did you pack the contents of this box yourself?” You own it and all the responsibly falls on you.
Airmule has actually been around for over a year but I only recently became aware of them. I saw an ad pop up on my Facebook and some of my friends actually “liked” it. It was too tempting to not click and read but the more I looked into it, the more suspicious I became.
Heck, they are even targeting frequent fliers with ads like this.
Really? Travel a million miles to China and back within 24 months transporting a bunch of unknown goods? Nope, that doesn’t look suspicious at all!
To be fair, I don’t have any personal knowledge of Airmule nor do I know anything more about them. Airmule sounds like a legitimate company with a reasonable business model but even if you trust Airmule as a company, can you really trust all the senders using Airmule? I don’t think I can. What do you guys think? Ready to sign up with Airmule to make some extra “mule la” or do you think Airmule is just looking for their next jackass? Please let me know your thoughts in the comments section below.
I have reached out to Airmule to inquire about how they will protect travelers from unintentionally transporting contraband. I will update this post when I hear back from them.
Has anyone used Airmule before or think they want to make some easy cash on the side? I would love to hear from you. Thanks for reading!