Why I don't give out buddy passes.

JordanD

Honorary Member
http://www.abc4.com/content/news/slc/story/Family-stuck-at-SLC-Airport-gets-help-from-ABC-4/rWWU1tyj8UO9kdCwZpW5Vg.cspx

So either the employee is a moron who didn't explain the whole "space available" part to them, or the family are just morons themselves. This is exactly why I pretty much refuse to give anyone a buddy pass anymore.


SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 News) - A family of four has been stranded in the Salt Lake City International Airport for the past five days.
Curtis Saxton, his wife, and his two children, ages 13 and 4, arrived at the airport on Wednesday night. They have been there ever since, waiting for a JetBlue flight that has enough room for them.
"We just sit and walk around and wait for our flights," said Saxton.
The family is flying with buddy passes, which they get at a huge discount. But the passes do not guarantee them seats. They are only allowed to fly if there is room after all passengers and standby passengers have boarded the plane.
"We've been here for every flight, rolled over for every flight," said Saxton. "We're still at the bottom of that list."
Their patience has run out and so has their money. Airport food is expensive, so they have been living on one meal a day.
"I have been hungry, hungry, hungry, hungry!" said Dominic, their four-year-old son. The lack of food is taking its toll on his system. He spent Sunday morning throwing up.
"It broke our heart when he was very sick this morning," said Saxton. "He is normally so bright and energetic."
All four of them are also exhausted. They are sleeping on short metal benches with very little padding. They are getting about two hours of sleep a night, and they say they have been denied pillows and blankets.
"There's a lot of people walking by and staring at you and kind of laughing at you," said Nicole Bennett, Saxton's wife. "It doesn't feel very good."
The family has also been unable to shower since Wednesday.
"You feel gross," said their 13-year-old daughter, Sadee. "It's embarrassing."
JetBlue told ABC4 that there is nothing they can do to get the family on a flight. The airline cannot give away seats that people have paid full price for, to accommodate the family.
Saxton says his relatives don't have enough money to buy full price tickets to get his family back to Virginia. So the family will continue to wait at the airport, until a flight is empty enough to squeeze them on.
A manager with JetBlue says most of their flights this coming week are already full.
Saxton requested donations or any other assistance to help his family get home.
UPDATE (Monday, August 20):
A team of paramedics was called in to examine 4-year-old Dominic. He was given a clean bill of health.
An ABC 4 viewer purchased tickets for the Saxton family, allowing them to leave on Tuesday. Other viewers have offered free lodging, food, and other assistance.
Meanwhile, a Salt Lake International Airport official told ABC 4 that Saxton has refused lodging and food assistance vouchers.
ABC 4 has contacted Saxton, who said he did not need the food vouchers due to generous donors, and that he did not want to leave the airport for fear of losing a chance at standby seats.
Saxton said he would take his family to a motel Monday night and return for their scheduled flight Tuesday morning. The motel stay was donated by United Airlines.
Stay tuned to ABC 4 News and ABC4.com for updates on this story.
 

cmhumphr

Well-Known Member
They can't be serious. It's the summer time people. Flights are full and that's just the way it is. Air travel has been cheaper than it has ever been. An alarming amount of passengers just book their tickets on Hotwire, Expedia, etc for the cheapest price period. Just the fact that they were offered all these hotels and food just mind boogles me, even though hundreds of people travel standby everyday and get stuck places. As a pilot, it is our duty to do whatever we can to get standbys, non-revs, jumpseaters on, but if the flight is full.....it's full.
 

X-Forces

Big Black Guy
My My....So much for a plan B! :rolleyes:

You know who I feel bad for, the poor guy that gave them the buddy passes. You can bet that he/she has gotten some grief, if not some disciplinary action. I am kind of with JordanD on this one, except I will do buddy passes for friends, just not friends that are both broke and idiots!

Me and my family travel standby all the time. We did India this year on United (Thanks again juxtapilot, first beer on me at NJC), and it was all ZED. What did I also have on top of several ZED tickets on various airlines? The old American Express card in my wallet.

If the proverbial poo poo was to hit the rotating blades, the card comes out and the tickets home are bought. Would I be hating life for a month or two afterwards, sure, but I would be doing so from home and not an airport lounge trying to scramble for food, smelling like a hobo.

Take some responsible people.
 

Derg

Cap, Roci
Staff member
I have zero sympathy.

If "Plan B" - like purchasing tickets/hotels/Greyhound Bus/Whatever is so prohibitively expensive, do not embark on "Plan A".

Chances are, with the publicity, someone is probably looking at a suspension of privileges. I know SouthernJets would have my ass if these passengers were traveling on my PPR.

Where was the employee? "Yeah man, call the news, I can't help you"? If someone is traveling on one of my buddy passes, gets stranded and contacts the media "for help", I'm kicking that ass.
 

Derg

Cap, Roci
Staff member
If the proverbial poo poo was to hit the rotating blades, the card comes out and the tickets home are bought. Would I be hating life for a month or two afterwards, sure, but I would be doing so from home and not an airport lounge trying to scramble for food, smelling like a hobo.

Take some responsible people.
Hell yes.

What in the hell are some people thinking?!
 

drunkenbeagle

Gang Member
I have zero sympathy.

If "Plan B" - like purchasing tickets/hotels/Greyhound Bus/Whatever is so prohibitively expensive, do not embark on "Plan A".
Been stranded (multiple days) exactly once in my life. On a revenue ticket, and the carrier essential told me to pound sand for a week. It was a route only they flew. And it was in my younger and poorer days, so chartering a jet wasn't really viable. All hotels booked too.

Eventually got "home" -- 350 miles from my car, but that was as far as they were getting me.

But yeah, a Buddy Pass is a great idea if you can afford a full fare ticket when it doesn't work out. Playing Devil's advocate though, even buying a full fare ticket doesn't do much for you when everything is sold out, which is pretty often these days.
 

ljg

Well-Known Member
An entire family on buddy passes? Who would do that to people he/she cared about? "Yeah man, take the whole fam to Utah. Damn near free."
 

jtrain609

I'm a carnal, organic anagram.
An entire family on buddy passes? Who would do that to people he/she cared about? "Yeah man, take the whole fam to Utah. Damn near free."
Best part is that if they were going to JFK, there's one red eye per day. And obviously once they get to JFK they still need to get to where ever it is they were going in Virginia.
 

Derg

Cap, Roci
Staff member
Best part is that if they were going to JFK, there's one red eye per day. And obviously once they get to JFK they still need to get to where ever it is they were going in Virginia.
Correcto!

And if they think anyone in JFK is going to have sympathy, good luck.

You can have sucking chest wound at JFK and people will bitch at you for bleeding while they're in line at Starbucks!
 

cmhumphr

Well-Known Member
People often forget that the railway and bus system here in the United States is still alive a kickin'. Although people probably don't want to ride Amtrak anymore after that derailment in Maryland earlier today. It's a lot cheaper than air travel, and a bus is even cheaper.
 

titansox

Well-Known Member
People often forget that the railway and bus system here in the United States is still alive a kickin'. Although people probably don't want to ride Amtrak anymore after that derailment in Maryland earlier today. It's a lot cheaper than air travel, and a bus is even cheaper.
Buses are really cheap but amtrak isn't that much cheaper than flying. When I was looking to go from IAD to MCO a few weeks ago it was $200 (and 1 hours 50 minutes) whereas the train was like $140 (17 hours ride).


Edit: I was just looking for a random date in September and flying on United is $90 (2h 4m) and taking the train is $115 (17h 46m).
 

drunkenbeagle

Gang Member
Buses are really cheap but amtrak isn't that much cheaper than flying. When I was looking to go from IAD to MCO a few weeks ago it was $200 (and 1 hours 50 minutes) whereas the train was like $140 (17 hours ride).
Every time I have taken Amtrak, it has been more expensive than flying. I would take it more, but it is really expensive.
 
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