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US Fires 3 At PHL Over Buddy Pass Scheme  
User currently online747fan From United States of America, joined Jun 2007, 1184 posts, RR: 1
Posted (2 years 5 months 4 weeks 5 hours ago) and read 20935 times:

http://articles.philly.com/2011-10-2...1_tel-aviv-service-agent-employees

This is interesting. Hopefully this won't be an example of how it only takes the poor actions of a few individuals to negatively affect employee travel benefits for everybody (at USAirways).

56 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlinec5load From United States of America, joined Sep 2008, 917 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (2 years 5 months 4 weeks 5 hours ago) and read 20880 times:

It's this kind of stupid sh*t that ruins it for everyone else. When I worked for OH, I was always so careful not to break my travel privileges because I loved using them. With this kind of stuff happening, I really wouldn't be surprised if airlines stopped being kind in terms of travel privileges. I hope they get some kind of fraud or embezzlement charges slapped against them.


"But this airplane has 4 engines, it's an entirely different kind of flying! Altogether"
User currently offlinecontrails15 From United States of America, joined Oct 2008, 1181 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (2 years 5 months 4 weeks 5 hours ago) and read 20808 times:

We used to have paper buddy passes years ago. Some people found a way to beat the system by being able to renew the pass over and over again. They were then selling the passes and finally with an internal investigation all parties involved were terminated. Company got smart and now its done on the cpu and you have to assign the passes. No more just giving them out. Charges were never brought on them. I guess its just easier to get rid of the trash then keep it around. Your gonna get bad apples everywhere but thankfully we were able to keep our buddy pass policy.


Giants football!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
User currently offlinesrbmod From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (2 years 5 months 4 weeks 5 hours ago) and read 20804 times:

Quoting 747fan (Thread starter):
This is interesting. Hopefully this won't be an example of how it only takes the poor actions of a few individuals to negatively affect employee travel benefits for everybody (at USAirways).

Nothing new there, as similar things have occurred at other airlines and they had to change their policies in regards to the purchasing of buddy passes in order to crack down on the selling of them (There's no telling how many of us here on the site that are current or former airline employees that have sold buddy passes to friends, especially at other airlines.). Now blocking off seats on a flight in order to make it so that the people they sold the passes to can get on is new to me, and a bit risky, which is why they eventually got caught.

When I worked at AirTran years back, all buddy passes were done via through the pass office and you had paperwork to fill out with all of the information on the person that would be using the pass. When I moved over to ASA, they gave us a booklet with all of our buddy passes in it that we gave to who was using the pass. There definitely was a lot of abuse with the voucher system, and is why Delta changed their policy a couple of years ago.

Now what effect this may have on the non-rev benefits of US Airways employees, there will likely be something done. I'm not familiar with the policies and procedures for the purchasing of buddy passes at US, so I really cannot speculate on any possible changes to their policies and procedures.


User currently offlinemayor From United States of America, joined Mar 2008, 9961 posts, RR: 14
Reply 4, posted (2 years 5 months 4 weeks 5 hours ago) and read 20791 times:

This happened at DL in SLC, when I was there......2 agents got fired for trying to sell their buddy passes. Seems the sellers forgot to mention to the buyer, that, even after he paid THEM for the passes, he would still have to pay the reduced fare......it all came to a head when he tried to check in.


You're right, normally, you would think this might jeapordize everyone's travel privileges, but it seems that buddy passes are a money maker and, so, are still around. I would never sell my buddy passes and I'm very careful of who I give them to. Most years I have some left over so I just lose them.



"A committee is a group of the unprepared, appointed by the unwilling, to do the unnecessary"----Fred Allen
User currently online747fan From United States of America, joined Jun 2007, 1184 posts, RR: 1
Reply 5, posted (2 years 5 months 4 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 20522 times:

Quoting srbmod (Reply 3):
Now what effect this may have on the non-rev benefits of US Airways employees, there will likely be something done.
Quoting mayor (Reply 4):
You're right, normally, you would think this might jeapordize everyone's travel privileges, but it seems that buddy passes are a money maker and, so, are still around. I would never sell my buddy passes and I'm very careful of who I give them to.

I recently started with AA and we don't have buddy passes. Your parents & a registered companion (i.e. brother) or spouse get travel benefits, and the employee signs them up for them on our employee intranet page (these "family passes" are good for 24 trips/yearly or something like that). Seems like multiple airlines have gone a similar route, such as the JetBlue & AirTran examples mentioned in this thread.

I could see where these "buddy passes" could be a money maker for airlines that still use them. But I also wouldn't be surprised if US Airways takes a similar route to AA's policy.

I know this much: I'm NEVER going to abuse my travel benefits, as I understand they're a privilege & not a right for an airline employee.


User currently offlinelonghauler From Canada, joined Mar 2004, 4760 posts, RR: 43
Reply 6, posted (2 years 5 months 4 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 20428 times:

This happened at AC as well. I guess it is pretty common in the industry.

It was solved by now requiring the employee to accompany the "buddy". Very cumbersome, yes, but it does mean the passes will now be used for what they were intended. Namely, allowing one to bring a friend with you when traveling.



Never gonna grow up, never gonna slow down .... Barefoot Blue Jean Night
User currently offlinefrmrCapCadet From United States of America, joined May 2008, 1690 posts, RR: 1
Reply 7, posted (2 years 5 months 4 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 20303 times:

Buddy passes will go the way of dodo birds, mostly because load factors have changed greatly. When planes were flying with 70% LFs buddy passes were a freebie for the airline. I suspect it is not true now.


Buffet: the airline business...has eaten up capital...like..no other (business)
User currently offlineAtlwest1 From United States of America, joined Jan 2009, 1046 posts, RR: 1
Reply 8, posted (2 years 5 months 4 weeks 2 hours ago) and read 19536 times:

FL has pass benefits for family and spouses/companions. They do have buddy passes however it is made implicitly clear that any infraction or abuse will result in revocation of all pass travel and or your job. Most people abide by that to the letter and make sure that people are aware that it is STANDBY AND YOU ARENT AFFORDED THE SAME BENEFITS AS SOMEONE WHO PURCHASED A TICKET! I still dont know how thy were able to block seats for these people. That is incredibly stupid!


ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co. or Airt
User currently offlinebohica From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 2627 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (2 years 5 months 4 weeks 2 hours ago) and read 19254 times:

The problem with ticketing fraud is that those who do it will eventually get caught. They will sell buddy passes, steal ticket stock, denied boarding vouchers, etc. The person might get away with it once or twice, but then they get greedy. That's when a mistake is made which arouses the suspicion of the airline. Once the airline catches on, they're caught. Is it really worth it to lose a career and maybe have a criminal record just to make a few bucks or go on a free trip somewhere?

User currently offlineandrefranca From Brazil, joined May 2011, 588 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (2 years 5 months 4 weeks 2 hours ago) and read 19010 times:

Quoting longhauler (Reply 6):

Sad, but it is reality in the industry, recently on JJ program you could add up to 3 "others" on your buddy pass program, but people were selling it like water and we could feel that on airports, most of people using it were not employees at all and some of them used to cause problems or scenes cause they were "bought" like it was normal tickets!

now it's blocked and only employees and immediate relatives can use it (THANK GOD)....


User currently offlinecokepopper From United States of America, joined May 2008, 1167 posts, RR: 10
Reply 11, posted (2 years 5 months 4 weeks ago) and read 17685 times:

I hope Delta takes notice. I understand the same thing happens on the JFK-TLV-JFK flights. and
a few others.


User currently offlineWA707atMSP From United States of America, joined Oct 2006, 2179 posts, RR: 12
Reply 12, posted (2 years 5 months 3 weeks 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 17244 times:

The all time stupidest buddy pass abuse happened when I worked at NW. Someone was crazy enough to sell a buddy pass on Ebay!!!!

Needless to say, he / she was canned before the auction ended. Thankfully, NW's management recognized that this was the behavior of one remarkably short sighted employee, and did not change the rules for everyone else.



Seaholm Maples are #1!
User currently offlinesrbmod From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 13, posted (2 years 5 months 3 weeks 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 16183 times:

Quoting 747fan (Reply 5):

I recently started with AA and we don't have buddy passes. Your parents & a registered companion (i.e. brother) or spouse get travel benefits, and the employee signs them up for them on our employee intranet page (these "family passes" are good for 24 trips/yearly or something like that). Seems like multiple airlines have gone a similar route, such as the JetBlue & AirTran examples mentioned in this thread.

When I worked at AirTran a number of years ago (1999-2000), you could put down your parents and a registered companion and also had (IIRC) 6 buddy passes you could use each year. You had to arrange for those through the pass bureau at FL and had to fill out paperwork and the buddy pass fee was deducted from your paycheck. Now I'm sure a few folks probably have had the person they were arranging the buddy pass for pay more than the $50 RT that they were being charged.


Quoting longhauler (Reply 6):
It was solved by now requiring the employee to accompany the "buddy". Very cumbersome, yes, but it does mean the passes will now be used for what they were intended. Namely, allowing one to bring a friend with you when traveling.

IIRC, that's also the way DL does it now because of prior issues with misuse of buddy passes and violations of policies. That is a bit more trouble to do, and probably makes it harder if the person the buddy pass is for is flying to your location to visit.

No matter what the policies and procedures are, there are still ways for employees to try to profit from buddy passes, as what's to stop the person they are procuring the pass for from slipping them some money under the table since even with the fees and the under the table money, it's still cheaper than a regular ticket even if they get stuck somewhere for a day or two.


User currently offlinedpcoliveira From Brazil, joined Oct 2011, 3 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (2 years 5 months 3 weeks 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 16039 times:

Almost the same here at G3. Here, we are able to add up to two buddies, plus parents and brothers/sisters. Never had a problem since I try to select well before signing them on my guest list. And, we used to see some "scenes" at the gates with "paying" paxs.

It´s a shame, and, like the colleague above, this is a privilege, and not a right.

Just out of curiosity, I´ve been observing those people and most of them do not see aviation as a long term career, but something "temporary".

Maybe a little human resources' procedures review would be nice, isn´t?


Regards,

Dave


User currently offlineTOLtommy From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 3276 posts, RR: 4
Reply 15, posted (2 years 5 months 3 weeks 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 16001 times:

Quoting srbmod (Reply 13):
IIRC, that's also the way DL does it now because of prior issues with misuse of buddy passes and violations of policies.

Delta doesn't require the employee to travel with the buddy pass user. If the employee happens to travel with the buddy, they both travel at buddy pass priority. Mine go unused because of these types of issues. I wish they'd just go away. Non-revving is hard enough these days, both as a traveller, and as an agent. Passes should be for people with skin in the game and their immediate family.


User currently offlineflyguy89 From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 1850 posts, RR: 10
Reply 16, posted (2 years 5 months 3 weeks 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 15601 times:

I'm a bit confused so hopefully some one can help clarify things for me. I realize each airline has different policies regarding buddy passes...but is it generally a big no-no to sell a buddy pass you're not going to use to some one? I ask because I've traveled on buddy passes I've paid friends to use before and I didn't think that it was a big deal.

User currently offlinesrbmod From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 17, posted (2 years 5 months 3 weeks 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 14540 times:

Quoting TOLtommy (Reply 15):

Delta doesn't require the employee to travel with the buddy pass user. If the employee happens to travel with the buddy, they both travel at buddy pass priority. Mine go unused because of these types of issues. I wish they'd just go away. Non-revving is hard enough these days, both as a traveller, and as an agent. Passes should be for people with skin in the game and their immediate family.

I think may I have misread the post I was responding to, as I was under the impression that the employee must accompany the person using the buddy pass to the ticket counter. I wasn't thinking that they had to travel with them, which could be a pain.

Non-revving isn't like it was when I was in the industry over a decade ago. There were very few routes in which it was tough to get onto a flight to/from, and I know when I worked for ASA and got to fly on DL, it was typically easy to get seating up in First Class on many routes.


User currently offlinewn700driver From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 18, posted (2 years 5 months 3 weeks 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 14445 times:

Quoting srbmod (Reply 3):

Now what effect this may have on the non-rev benefits of US Airways employees, there will likely be something done. I'm not familiar with the policies and procedures for the purchasing of buddy passes at US, so I really cannot speculate on any possible changes to their policies and procedures.

They won't change anything, largely because they don't have to. At US, everything is done online; there is no paper until your actual boarding pass is printed out at the counter or gate. Compared to other airlines, it's actually very hard at Airways to do this. You'll notice that this scheme involved a manager and a gate agent, very likely in some form of collusion. If not for the fact that they blocked the seats for Space Positive or SA1s, they wouldn't have been caught. Had the passes they cashiered gone out as regular stand-bys, and not assigned seats, we wouldn't have this thread.

But as it is, there really isn't anything Airways can do about seat-blocking, except for making examples out of these individuals, or simply removing the benefit.

Quoting srbmod (Reply 13):
Now I'm sure a few folks probably have had the person they were arranging the buddy pass for pay more than the $50 RT that they were being charged.


That actual sounds like a huge mixed message there. Of all systems, this seems the most likely to be abused, and for very good reason.

At Airways, the employee pays nothing, ever. It's up to the traveler in question to pay for the passes at the airport.


User currently offlineTOLtommy From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 3276 posts, RR: 4
Reply 19, posted (2 years 5 months 3 weeks 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 14344 times:

Quoting srbmod (Reply 17):
I think may I have misread the post I was responding to, as I was under the impression that the employee must accompany the person using the buddy pass to the ticket counter.

In Delta's system, the employee has to purchase the ticket thru the employee travel website. It can be paid for by credit card, doesn't have to be the employees. There is not payroll deduct for buddy passes.

Quoting srbmod (Reply 17):
Non-revving isn't like it was when I was in the industry over a decade ago.

Nor when I started two decades ago. First Class was easy to snag, but there was a serious dress code as well. Elite programs make FC near impossible domestically, yield management keeps the planes much fuller, and the number of commuters these days means there are usually a lot of people scrambling for a few seats. Its not the perk it once was.

Quoting flyguy89 (Reply 16):
but is it generally a big no-no to sell a buddy pass you're not going to use to some one? I ask because I've traveled on buddy passes I've paid friends to use before and I didn't think that it was a big deal.

I think at most airlines it would cost an employee their pass privileges at minimum, could very well cost them their job if caught. Most carriers have some kind of fee for buddy passes. Nothing wrong with asking you to pay those. Its when they ask you to pay more, and pocket it. Thats a no-no.


User currently offline777ord From United States of America, joined May 2010, 456 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (2 years 5 months 3 weeks 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 14319 times:

Quoting WA707atMSP (Reply 12):

This particular event seems to be taught at other airlines going thru indoc/orientation. When I started with Eagle years ago, this example was given.

It's pathetic what some people will do to make a buck. Getting of them is a great idea!!! Perhaps black list them from flying with them-US- again??


User currently offlineSJUSXM From United States of America, joined Aug 2006, 293 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (2 years 5 months 3 weeks 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 14248 times:

Quoting 747fan (Reply 5):
I recently started with SA)">AA and we don't have buddy passes. Your parents & a registered companion (i.e. brother) or spouse get travel benefits, and the employee signs them up for them on our employee intranet page (these "family passes" are good for 24 trips/yearly or something like that). Seems like multiple airlines have gone a similar route, such as the JetBlue & AirTran examples mentioned in this thread.

Your registered companion/spouse & dependant children get the SAME benefits that you do---D2 status on all SA)">AA/MQ coded flights. You can also place 10(8?) people on your buddy pass list. Once these people are on the list, they get D3 benefits, so its a reduced price-like US and DL. You get 24 of these to use between any people on that list. However, once someone is placed on this list, they must stay there for one calendar year. These passes are good on SA)">AA/MQ but not Chautaqua.



AT7, ER3, ER4, ER5, CR7, E70, E75, F100, M82, M83, 722, 732, 738, 752, 762, 763, AB6, 320, 321, 772, 77W
User currently offlinewn700driver From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 22, posted (2 years 5 months 3 weeks 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 14088 times:

Quoting 777ord (Reply 20):
Perhaps black list them from flying with them-US- again??

Why? If anything I would think they airline would be just fine with taking their money in the future. I know I would.


User currently offlinethegman From United States of America, joined Nov 2008, 606 posts, RR: 0
Reply 23, posted (2 years 5 months 3 weeks 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 13395 times:

Quoting wn700driver (Reply 18):
But as it is, there really isn't anything Airways can do about seat-blocking, except for making examples out of these individuals, or simply removing the benefit.

Seat blocking in general is also rampant. Many times I will show up and a flight that was previously oversold now has 10 open seats.


User currently offlineEXCOASA1982 From United States of America, joined Oct 2008, 164 posts, RR: 0
Reply 24, posted (2 years 5 months 3 weeks 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 12837 times:

Quoting TOLtommy (Reply 15):
Delta doesn't require the employee to travel with the buddy pass user. If the employee happens to travel with the buddy, they both travel at buddy pass priority. Mine go unused because of these types of issues. I wish they'd just go away. Non-revving is hard enough these days, both as a traveller, and as an agent. Passes should be for people with skin in the game and their immediate family.

That is really interesting about the priority level. At CO it works the opposite. Buddy Pass ride flies at employees priority if they are traveling on the same aircraft. I would love for it to be the other way around. With the new combined UA benefits starting in Jan, they are giving the option to forgo buddy passes, in lieu of being added an addition companion which I think is an awesome idea!


25 armitageshanks : Same here. I've listed as standby on flights on many occasions and have seen the availability swing by 20 or more seats in either direction over the
26 redtag501 : Many years ago while with Amtrak, I busted a guy traveling around the country on his roommate's pass. During stopovers and turnarounds he would obtain
27 747fan : Thanks, I didn't even realize AA/MQ did buddy passes as I was told differently. I just went through my summary of travel privileges and it appears wi
28 EA CO AS : Absolutely. They're a benefit and aren't to be sold. Another big reason is you're essentially depriving the company revenue from what would have pote
29 Post contains images mayor : You neither have to travel with them NOR accompany them to the ticket counter to pay for their passes.....it can all be done on the DL employee websi
30 malaysia : It is even worse when OAL pass riders are below buddy pass priority, I do understand the concept that inline stuff should be first above OAL, but most
31 mayor : Not really, since they are supposed to be for pleasure use, only.
32 DeltAirlines : It's not a revenue thing, it's an employee perk thing. Allowing your benefits to be used at a higher priority is part of the employee's compensation
33 EA CO AS : Incorrect. That's one of the reasons my company's RM department hates our guest passes - they encourage people who know employees to try and fly spac
34 adamblang : Were you paying your friend or were you paying the airline's fees? At Frontier, selling your passes'll get you fired (or at minimum your privileges r
35 adamblang : A 20 seat swing might not be be fraud. All it takes is a late inbound flight with a number of connecting passengers to suddenly free up seats on a pr
36 pqdtw : Exactly-- rather would get the upgrade! Buddy pass riders and ZED Fare riders on Delta both travel at S4 priority. The difference is that ZED fare ri
37 EA CO AS : Except the same 10-20 seat swing always occurred within 1 hour of flight time, and always on flights where guest pass travelers were using the benefi
38 thegman : I see it happen most at outstations.
39 holzmann : I use to enjoy donating mine for charity purposes. They use to be paper vouchers at Delta, and I use to bring people over to the Hilton on VA Ave. The
40 mayor : I doubt that anyone that had to wait standby, at the bottom of the food chain, would rather do that than buy a full fare ticket, especially with all
41 EA CO AS : Doubt all you want, but it happens frequently. I had a friend ask me for a guest pass just two months ago because they wanted to save money.
42 NWAdeicer : I believe it was about 8-10 years ago at NW that a few were caught selling their buddy passes on eBay. After that, for a short period, we were require
43 billreid : Perhaps, I call in and reserve 10 seats on a revenue basis and then I don't fly.
44 BCEaglesCO757 : Thats it ? I will ssay at CO,it's unlimited,anywhere for employees,family member and companion. I remember about 6-7 years ago this French guy at CO
45 mayor : I think we're comparing apples to oranges, here. "Buddy Passes" (at least at DL) are available for use for anyone that is NOT a family member, employ
46 BCEaglesCO757 : I agree. But when I quoted 747fan in reply 44, he was specifically talking about employee and family passes at AA. As he said they don't have have bu
47 rdh3e : That is odd. At UA, up to 2 companions can fly with the employee at the employee's original seniority. If you go above 2, you fly at companion priori
48 HPRamper : At US, we had both. As basically our whole immediate family could fly for free (spouse/partner, kids, parents, even partner's kids if they were not y
49 wn700driver : Lol, I remember this my UAL days, and not so fondly. This was about a million years or so back, during the ESOP era. My partner used a few of these,
50 jetdeltamsy : Perhaps I should remain quiet about this, but i'm counting on anonynimity keeeping me safe. At AA, we sell D3's to people who are friends of employees
51 mayor : See, this is where the confusion lies and maybe it's just the difference between the airlines.....At DL, "buddy passes" are basically purchased by wh
52 LONGisland89 : AA prohibits employees from making a profit, as long as you're ''selling'' the D3's at the listed NRSA charges, then you should be fine. But lets say
53 EA CO AS : Not sure if I'm reading this the same way, so perhaps jetdeltamsy can elaborate - are you simply charging the traveler what the D3 pass would cost yo
54 mayor : Sounds to me like they are selling the passes and on top of that, the purchaser is also having to pay the discounted fare. At DL that would be a viol
55 EA CO AS : In a way, doing it the DL way would be an improvement - the AS method is easy since it allows the user to buy their pass on alaskaair.com, but it's d
56 Post contains images mayor : Well, I make it perfectly clear that they are flying standby and who goes before them. So far, everyone has understood what I was talking about. But
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