Many of you who have visited my website, http://www.skaymarshall.com and read my bio know that I worked and retired from Trans World Airlines after 36 years. A while back, I had a friend ask me to blog about non-revenue travel. So that’s what I’m going to do today. Turp said everyone thinks airline employees have it so good because they get to travel free, but someone needs to tell them that there are a lot of problems for non-revs when they fly.
Turp is right there are difficulties to flying stand-by even for those who have paid full fare but missed their flight, and then are placed on a waiting list for the next flight. If that flight is full they could end up waiting for the next one or the next one.
Standby is not the same as non-revenue travel so don’t get confused here. Standby is usually a paying passenger who didn’t show up on time for his flight, and he’s not allowed to bump other paying passengers off their flight so he can get a seat. All non-revs are subject to being bumped by anyone even by other non-revenue travelers.
When I worked for TWA, we were allowed to board a flight by seniority. Some airlines use the first come first serve method for allowing non-revs on a flight. No matter what method is used, we are the last to board, and if the plane is full we are left sitting at the airport for the next flight.
Some airlines have agreements between one another where they honor tickets from other carriers. These tickets are discounted by 50%, 75%, or 90%, and all of those people would get on the flight before a TWA non-rev. Also, military always go before non-rev flyers and sometimes even before paying passengers depending on the situation.
Another thing, I must remind you of is that airline personnel have the same expenses at the other end of the flight as any paying passenger. Like everyone else, we have to save for our trips.
The longest I’ve ever had to wait for a flight is three days, but that’s another story, and I’ll tell you about it next week when I talk about my travel experiences while working at TWA.
One other thing I want to add is that I haven't heard from my contest winner, RobynL, and I need her address to send her prize.
Next Sunday, I’ll return with my adventures as a non-rev. Have a great week.