Courier flights are a great way of making substantial savings on international flights, for very little effort - you need to be able to turn up on time, and be responsible enough to look after the courier documents during the flight. Aside from that, there's very few other requirements other than you be a healthy adult, male or female, of at least 18 or 21 years of age depending on the airline.
Couriers must be in possession of a valid passport and be of smart appearance with good English. You'll travel on a scheduled BA or Virgin flight (main source of courier flights from London) carrying documents to a specific destination in countries which still demand that documentation is handed over in person.
Courier services from the UK are primarily through British Airways, and Virgin Atlantic. By registering with them, it is possible to save between 30%-75% of the value of your flight. Other airlines do courier services too, but we'll leave you to hunt out the ones that do the flights you want.
Offers courier flights to: New York, Newark, Boston, Washington, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Miami, Tokyo, Johannesburg, Cape Town, Athens, Chicago, Orlando, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Toronto and Sydney.
Offers courier flights to: New York, Miami, Bangkok, Tokyo, Buenos Aires and Mauritius.
The big bonus of these flights is obviously the massive savings you can make. but be warned, there are conditions to them. Often you have to return on a specific flight, bringing documents back again (usually around 2 weeks later), and there is only one courier seat per provider per flight, so it's not for travelling with the family! (of course, you are more than welcome to book normal seats through the usual means for anyone wanting to accompany you). This means it's perfect for a single traveller wanting to get away for a couple of weeks, has no set timescale, and can travel whenever they're needed. There is an added advantage with Virgin Atlantic, in that although they tend to be more expensive, you can often negotiate different return dates to the usual 1 to 2 week period, and have an extended stay of up to 6 weeks.