Airline employee buddy pass?

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I have a friend who works for American Airlines and is giving me two buddy passes to use this fall. I want to take my girlfriend to either Hawia, Las Vegas or Cancun. Does anyone have an estimate of how much the airfare will cost with the passes would be ? I am going to be traveling in late Septemeber midweek.

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Thanks for calling AA, how can we help you?

Really, ask your 'friend'!

depend on the airline, it could be free, however, it's always on a space available basis. keep in mind you could be stuck in where-ever till a space open up for you on the return trip.

I just want to narrow down my choices based on price before bothering my friend even more. This is an extremly low budget trip.We might have free lodging in Vegas otherwise that would be off the list.

Let me tell you something about Buddy passes to those areas. Forget about it unless you are ready to fly standby for days.

My father worked for United for 36 years. I knew someone whose parents both work for United. She and her husband tried to use buddy passes for Hawaii. They spent all weekend at the airport (including that Monday) during this time of year and never got out.

Hawaii is not low budget nor is Cancun. The cheapest room package I could get for October in Cancun (4 days) was $900. My MIL is a travel agent.

I think you have the best shot cost and airfare wise in Las Vegas.

jswede4722 said: [Q]My MIL is a travel agent.

Are U Sure??

Kneuby said: [Q]I just want to narrow down my choices based on price before bothering my friend even more. This is an extremly low budget trip.We might have free lodging in Vegas otherwise that would be off the list.You don't have a choice. Double check with your friend. Policy changes often. What ever folks tells you here are worthless.

Vegas is your best bet, like ^ said. The airlines all cut down on flights now so my last six flights in the last month are all full flights. I overheard the gate agent talk about kick out a "non-rev" person to give me a seat, guess what, you are a non-rev (non-revenue). 1st in the morning or red-eye flights are your best bet and if your friend can check ahead for loading (how much the flight is full) that would help with being bumped as well.

monsieurpresident said: [Q]jswede4722 said: [Q]My MIL is a travel agent.

Are U Sure??

She found a job with another company.

lostdude said: [Q]

Vegas is your best bet, like ^ said. The airlines all cut down on flights now so my last six flights in the last month are all full flights. I overheard the gate agent talk about kick out a "non-rev" person to give me a seat, guess what, you are a non-rev (non-revenue). 1st in the morning or red-eye flights are your best bet and if your friend can check ahead for loading (how much the flight is full) that would help with being bumped as well.

There are no promises with the morning either. With less flights and flights being cancelled or delayed, paying tickets get priority.

Since 9/11, a buddy pass = standby passenger. Pre 9/11, you got seats.

Back in 97, a buddy pass got me home from England a week early when I ran out of money for $50. It was nice to fly home in first class drinking champaign and eating Godiva chocolate <img src="i/expressions/face-icon-small-happy.gif" border=0>

I am surprised that they still have buddy passes as many airlines terminated the program only weeks after 9/11. I flew AA once and will never again. I guess I was turned off by the damage luggage on one end, lost luggage on the way back the fight to get my money refunded for missing items, all the FAA citations and the mice problems in their planes. Google this stuff if you do not believe me.

jswede4722 said: [Q]The cheapest room package I could get for October in Cancun (4 days) was $900.

I would have buyer's remorse too.

jswede4722 said: [Q]drinking champaign

How do you drink a Big Ten School??

monsieurpresident said: [Q]jswede4722 said: [Q]The cheapest room package I could get for October in Cancun (4 days) was $900.

I would have buyer's remorse too.


This was for 3 people in a Ibostar (sp?) 5 apple including insurance. It was actually one of the cheapest rooms in that apple range.

I work for northwest airlines, its not really worth it go get a buddy pass for domestic tickets, its only good for international flights. for a buddy pass from detroit to new york its 112.00 one way. you can always find 150 round trip on spirit airlines. and plus its your going to places like vegas, hawaii, mexico, florida be ready to stuck there for while. even i been stuck in vegas for days. seats were available but they always kept saying due to hot weather they need to take extra fuel. If i was you just buy a regualr ticket and forget the buddy pass.

Every airline is different, but as an airline employee I would never tell anyone how much I pay because we are allowed to sell them for whatever we want. I might charge my friends more than I would my parents. It all depends on how close your friend is, and how much they are trying to make off you. Some airlines are free, some have a set price, some charge you by zones.

You can get anywhere traveling space available...if you are open and are aware of the way it works. You need to really pick your flights. You need to know your priority code. It ranges from A1 to G1. You need to know how many other non-revs are listed for a flight, and what their priority code is. If you are flying to hot climates, or if you are traveling in the winter when people weigh more...your plane could be weight restricted, so unoccupied seats mean NOTHING. This happened to me yesterday and I had to pull 10 stand-by passengers off a flight. Are you willing to split up from your companion? Also it is going to be a HUGE issue with checked bags now. Planes can only carry so much weight, and now they are carrying maybe 100 more bags than they were a week ago. This creates more weight.


Midweek is the way to go though. Sundays and Fridays are generally the busiest travel days. My main point is...DO NOT PLAN TRIPS when you are traveling stand-by. You may end up losing money or just being extremely disappointed. Keep your options open until as close to your travel dates as you possibly can. If you make hotel reservations, for god's sake don't use Priceline or one of those. Make sure you can cancel! And call the airlines reservations line as often as you can to find out numbers for any flight you plan on taking.

Indiana said: [Q]You need to know your priority code. It ranges from A1 to G1. You need to know how many other non-revs are listed for a flight, and what their priority code is.

Considering OP is not an employee & the recent terrorism scare, I'd be shocked if any airline agent would provide him that information.

[Q]Also it is going to be a HUGE issue with checked bags now. Planes can only carry so much weight, and now they are carrying maybe 100 more bags than they were a week ago. This creates more weight.

I do not see why the airplane weights more. If the person carries on or it is put in the airplane, it still adds to the airplanes overall weight.


Yeah, but they don't count the weight of the bag unless its in the hold.
If its a carry-on, its part of a different calculation. That calculation actually still stays the same, funnily enough, so they're taking on more fuel than they need because the cabin is lighter than they think.

Anyway, load restrictions are funny things when going standby. My husband's family was a United family for 30 years. They were based in Hawaii, so they pretty much couldn't go anywhere, which sucked for them, because they couldn't get home if they left. They would try to go to Japan, which seems easy enough from Hawaii, and the planes always had space *leaving* Hawaii, but never coming back from Japan.

Took me a while to figure that one out. I was like "Where did all the people go? They can't have just disappeared into the islands." Turns out, the airlines make more money flying empty seats back from Japan with full holds of cargo, so they're too weight restricted to get nonrevs on board. Or award seats, for that matter.

When I worked for an airline, I could jumpseat (was an FA) and my husband is a pilot, so we didn't need buddy passes. If we had to be strapped in the whole flight, so be it, but we got where we were going. Its much harder to fight for the actual seats than for the 2 or three jumpseats on most routes.

jswede4722 said:

[Q]Indiana said: [Q]Also it is going to be a HUGE issue with checked bags now. Planes can only carry so much weight, and now they are carrying maybe 100 more bags than they were a week ago. This creates more weight.

I do not see why the airplane weights more. If the person carries on or it is put in the airplane, it still adds to the airplanes overall weight.

Due to the recent restrictions on carry-ons, some airlines have relaxed the weight limits for checked baggage. Also, some airlines now allow 3 pieces of checked baggage per person vs the original 2.

So, planes weigh more now.



[Q]Considering OP is not an employee & the recent terrorism scare, I'd be shocked if any airline agent would provide him that information.

Well, it depends on how much of a friend the "friend" is. Personally I don't give my passes to anyone who isn't really a friend, and my friends know this information when they fly. I wouldn't think calling an 800 number would get you this information though.

As for the weight thing, it is all on averages. Carry on bags weigh nothing. A checked bag is 30 lbs. A heavy checked bag is 70. Most airlines are waiving fees for excess and heavy bags, although this probably won't last, and believe me people can and will take advantage this. So planes are weighing thousands of pounds more than they were a week ago.

[Q]jswede4722 said: [Q]Indiana said: [Q]You need to know your priority code. It ranges from A1 to G1. You need to know how many other non-revs are listed for a flight, and what their priority code is.

Considering OP is not an employee & the recent terrorism scare, I'd be shocked if any airline agent would provide him that information.

Well prepare to be shocked. I recently had an experience flying on a buddy pass on US Airways/America West. I was at priority level SA7. Employees fly at level SA3. If I had traveled with my employee friend, I would have traveled at the same priority as him. The gate agent had no problem telling me what priority I was, or where I was on the standby list.

I flew Nashville (BNA) to Seattle (SEA) via Charlotte (CLT). My cost for that one way was $40 plus taxes, so $56 and change. Then I flew Seattle (SEA) to Phoenix (PHX). Because this is an America West/US Airways hub, I was at the airport at 4:30 AM and didn't get on a flight until 2:30 PM. That was the fifth flight that day. My cost for that was approximately $39.

As others have said, if you're not prepared to be stuck for a day or more waiting for a flight back out, don't take the vacation. Always have a contingency plan.

</blockquote>

A girlfriend of mine gets buddy passes from her dad, who retired from United. We've only used them to fly out to NYC from SFO and all times, we were "booked" on the red eye and flown first class. I've had to pay $250 for the flight (for taxes I think), but other than that, we've never had a problem!

You should ask your friend anyway to see how it "works" with AA.

Good luck!



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