Family Benefits

MissedApproach

Well-Known Member
Can someone explain the typical benefits extended to the family of a pilot; ie free tickets and such. Does that only extend to immediate family or to say grandparents as well? Have many of the perks gone with the fall of the industry?
 

Mr_Creepy

Well-Known Member
[ QUOTE ]
Can someone explain the typical benefits extended to the family of a pilot; ie free tickets and such. Does that only extend to immediate family or to say grandparents as well? Have many of the perks gone with the fall of the industry?

[/ QUOTE ]

Most airlines have a program you can buy in to that gives you "free standby" or "non-rev" travel. I always wondered how they got "free" or "non-rev" out of something you pay for, although the cost is pretty low....

...which is not surprising since you can only use seats that would otherwise be empty! It doesn't cost them a thing to let you fly standby, so this is yet another "profit center."

USAirways made us pay once a year (about $250 to include my family and parents, although parents had to pay a "discount rate" for standby tickets. AMR was "pay by the flight" with the famous D-2 card.)

As far as actual tickets there were no deals. You could buy ID20s, which were 20% off of max price. You could usually beat this by 50% by walking up to the counter and getting an agent to sell you a supersaver.

Travel benefits is a whole business in itself. Standby travel sucks. As long as you live somewhere no one wants to live and only travel to somewhere no one wants to go, standby travel is acceptable. Forget about Florida. You'll be bumped and bumped and bumped. Fridays and Sundays? Just stay home or buy a ticket. Gosh even people with tickets get bumped!

TANSTAAFL (or a free ticket!)
 

ATCtexas

Well-Known Member
The benefits are going to be different depending on which airline you are working for. I worked for a regional airline in customer service and we got free passes with them and also free tickets on United including first class domestic and business class international (stand-by). We also got benefits with other airlines that usually costed around $50 round-trip (stand-by).

The passes were good for immediate family (spouse, children) and also parents. Along with all of this they gave out so many "buddy" passes a year that could be given to anybody which costed around $50 round-trip (stand-by) on the regional carrier.

As an airline pilot you can jumpseat on almost any airline for free.

I loved the flight benefits and I definetly used them for my benefit and flew all over the U.S., Canada, Japan, England, Scotland all for FREE!
 

WillNotFly4Food

Well-Known Member
I have had travel benefits via a family member for my entire life and it has been AWESOME.

A large part of stand-by, or non-rev travel is what priority you are; S1, S2, S3... with sub categories of each. A person using an S1 pass would get on before an S2, 3, etc. If two people are using the same type of pass then boarding priority falls onto your seniority ranking based upon your date of employment.

With Delta's travel benefits immediate family members (spouse, children) get unlimited free domestic travel on an S3 priority. The parents of the employee get a limited # of passes as well, but on a lower priority.

As far as international travel goes, each family member gets 18 travel days free, but you do have to pay taxes/fees on international flights. These costs may vary greatly. To give you a rough idea on how much you may spend I went round trip ATL-LGW (Atlanta - Gatwick) for just about $100. Not too shabby considering it was Business Class both ways (Delta doesn't have 1st class on international).

Employees are given 8 buddy passes a year to do with as they please. These passes allow the bearer to fly at a reduced rate and are the lowest priority of pass. Again, these prices vary and are dependant upon distance. Salt Lake City to New York was around $150 round trip last time I checked.

Children lose their privileges once they turn 23 if they are attending college. I believe you lose them at 19 or so if you're not going to school. Once you're over the age limit you still get passes but it's a different priority.

I have been taking advantage or my benefits for a long time and I really don’t have any horror stories, or bad feelings to tell you about. As long as you check the flights for open seats and are flexible on when you travel it usually works out in the end.

Long post, I know, and there's even more to it! I lose my privileges in about 5 months (turning 23) and I'm still learning new stuff about it!
 

haree

New Member
Ha!

Here in india... Pilots actually walked out because the flight was overbooked and there was no place for their family. 3 hours later a few pax were assigned to another flight and the family were accomodated.This is for FREE!

Nice ...isnt it?


My 150th post
 

Tim

New Member
At Delta once you are over 23 you go to what is called an S3B priority. Only thing lower is a buddy pass. But the cost is like 10% is think. When I got hired they were calling the free flights a benefit now its called a privilege. I guess that is the legal dept hard at work. Here in ATL non reving is hard year round. The old saying is if you want to go to heaven on Delta you go through ATL, now its even more true
 

Kristie

Mama Bear....
Staff member
THAT is so right!! Delta's pretty darn hard to travel now a days!! loads are full, planes are smaller and fewer flights etc. I usually end up non-revving on southwest or america west cuz all delta offers out of phx are CRJ flights which are usually booked... plus they make you go thru a hub to get ANYWHERE!!

but anyways - we could complain for hours about the "priveleges" we're allowed... haha

With delta, the pilots, spouses and dependent children (until 18 or 21 i think) fly for free on delta, pay for ID90's or other buddy passes on other airlines.. parents of the pilots are given particular deals on flights and the pilots are given 8 buddy passes a year for friends and family (who knows if that will discontinue though with the way management keeps talking about the benny's)....there are no benefits for grandparents or spouse family...they're supposed to use the buddy passes - but keep in mind that the BP's are the last priority and depending on the pilots seniority - they could be the last possible to get on a flight and could be stranded for hours/days on end... not very reliable really and not always a good deal either since their cost is 10% of the final fare (the day of)....

flying on the other airlines is a whole different subject cuz each airline has it's own way of dealing with ID90 passengers... for example, to fly southwest, each ID90 leg costs $25... but to fly america west, each ID90 leg is 10% of the final yield fare which going across country could cost about $150 roundtrip or more... so they're all different that way....

with delta, it's just gotten more difficult to fly standby (esp with them using more CRJ's and less nonstop flights) and i actually, now, prefer to take some of the other airlines depending on where their bases are, nonstop flights and what's all involved!! I'll pretty much only take delta if i can get myself on a 757, 767 or larger plane... or if i'm actually going to a hub (as my destination) or going overseas.. or if the flight is at least 10-20% empty so i'm pretty sure i'll get a seat after waiting till all the other passengers have boarded the plane...

hope this helps some!
 

MQAAord

Scheherazade
Staff member
Each airline's pass travel system works a little differently. With Delta's, your boarding priority is based on what your pass priority is (S3, S3B, S4) AND what the employee's date of hire is. So if you're traveling as a S3, and your employee's date of hire is, say, 10/21/99, and another S3 shows up who's employee's date of hire is 11/05/95, they are 'senior' and will get on the plane first. American's system is different, you still have different pass priorities, such as a D1, D2, or D3, a D1 will always get on before a D2, and so forth, but if you as a D2 show up for your flight 2 hours before departure, you will get on the plane before any D2 who shows up after you, it's based on time of check-in, and you can check in at the airport for your flight up to 4 hours in advance of the departure time. Both systems have their good and bad points, and I really don't think one is 'better' than the other, they're just different.

Just a note, pilot jumpseat priority can differ also, at Delta, a pilot jumpseat is given first come first serve, and a pilot can call and actually 'reserve' the jumpseat for a particular flight. At American, a pilot is not assigned the jumpseat unless all the seats in the back are full. Then, the jumpseat is given to the pilot with the highest senority, regardless of check-in time. Also, if said jumpseat is on an AA aircraft, any AA pilot has priority to that jumpseat before an Eagle pilot, or a pilot from another airline. Conversely, if said jumpseat is on an Eagle aircraft, any Eagle pilot has priority on that jumpseat over an AA pilot, or a pilot from another airline.

It's confusing at first, but you learn as you go. Especially if you're a commuter, you get used to the system real quick! Last summer commuting between IND and LGA/JFK I used both my husband's travel card on Delta (ACA had 3 flights a day direct between IND and LGA) and my travel card on AA (I had to go from IND to ORD or sometimes even DFW to get to LGA). Standby travel can be tricky, especially if you're traveling with kids, or a big group. When people would ask me if I could give them cheap tickets, I would tell them to buy a ticket online. You get just as good, if not better a price, a guaranteed seat, and a lot less headache. Most airlines have dress codes for their non-rev passengers, and some gate agents have been known to be real sticklers. As a non-rev, you usually can't wear shorts, T-shirts, sweatshirts, beach wear (including flip-flops), and if you're sitting in first class the dress rules are even more stringent. (Often no denim, and no sneakers.) Also, as a non-rev your behavior reflects on the employee! At AA I knew a few people who had their own travel benifits recinded because of how someone acted while riding on their passes! Apparantly in at least one case the person using the pass didn't understand the concept of 'standby' and threw a hissy fit when the flight was full and they didn't get on, they created such a scene that the employee lost their travel card. Forever.
 

Tim

New Member
There have been some folks at Delta who were terminated because they sold their buddy passes. I recently heard that last year Delta made over $1.5 million off buddy passes. Not sure how close the number is but we see alot of bags indentifying them. I told a few friends I gave my passes to that if they acted stupid and I got in trouble or fired that they had to support my family and pay my bills. So far no troubles.
 

fly22

Well-Known Member
I've heard that SWA gives their employees unlimited space, meaning you do not fly stand-by or nonrev. I've also been told that this is extended to their parents as well. Can anyone verify that?
 

MQAAord

Scheherazade
Staff member
According to SWA's website, employees and their families recieve unlimited space-available travel on Southwest Airlines. This means as a SWA employee you receive an unlimited number of space-available passes. You can travel on SWA as many times as you want, however the travel is space-available. That means standby. Sorry
 

fly22

Well-Known Member
[ QUOTE ]
According to SWA's website, employees and their families recieve unlimited space-available travel on Southwest Airlines. This means as a SWA employee you receive an unlimited number of space-available passes. You can travel on SWA as many times as you want, however the travel is space-available. That means standby. Sorry


[/ QUOTE ]No, that means you'll never freaking fly, I've never flown with them when they've had extra seats.
 

Derg

Cap, Roci
Staff member
Pretty much industry standard.

My mom gets unlimited space available passes, but she doesn't fly so I think her travel card is still sitting being the old "Montgomery Wards" card with the punch holes in it.
 

Wife2TheCaptain

New Member
At my husband's company myself and our kids fly for free on his airline. We get discounts on other airlines as well. This is of course standby. Then his parents fly for free. He also gets what are called flexipasses each quarter to give to friends and other family that they can fly standby at a discount.
 

Tazman282

New Member
Now how about Fed Ex and UPS, how exactly does that work with the whole family flying?

Do they even offer anything at all?
 

sixpack

New Member
[ QUOTE ]
Here in india... Pilots actually walked out because the flight was overbooked and there was no place for their family. 3 hours later a few pax were assigned to another flight and the family were accomodated.This is for FREE!


[/ QUOTE ] Some Indian co-workers told me stories about growing up in India. They described bus rides with chickens in the isles, and about 100 people in a bus that holds forty. In fact, one of the guys told me he started college a year late because he fell out of the bus when it hit a bump.

Guess things have change in India in the past 20 years.
 
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