It is how America West went bankrupt.
In '98, I took contract in San Francisco, continued to live in Austin. I bought a couple of round trip tickets for the first weekends I was coming home, and they were the last ones I paid for. I got nearly 18 months of free travel (except for my time in airports), because I was willing to be bumped at least once on pretty much any leg of any flight. The gate people thought I was great to work with. They could never pay for a hotel, but I had a laptop and they would let me run a power strip so that I could keep working. My family and boss knew that I was going to eventually get home or back at the office.