To expand upon my earlier post, it's interesting to note how non-reving has changed over the 23 years that I've been doing it on Delta. Before the VRU employee travel line became active about 10 years ago, you would call Delta domestic reservations (this is kind of a no-no now), identify yourself as an employee, and ask the agent if they have time to check flight availability for you. If so, you gave them the dates and flights you were interested in and they'd tell you the seat availability. Then, you'd give them the names of the passenger(s) and ask them to be listed for the flight.
As you'd prepare for the flight, men would dress in a coat and tie since this was the dress code until a few years ago. As it became obvious that people wearing suits were probably nonrevs, Delta relaxed this dress code in the coach cabin and first class on the weekends. Eventually, the "coat and tie" rule was dropped altogether. Passengers were then told to wear a collared shirt, nice pants, and nice shoes. Then fairly recently, Delta allows jeans and tennis shoes in coach only, but still requires business casual for First or Business class. On transoceanic travel, nonrevs were boarded in Business class or coach, but not first. On board, you're expected to behave yourself and conceal your status as a NRSA
passenger to the extent possible, and then deplane after everyone else has deplaned.
For dependents, each flight segment in excess of three free roundtrips per year would have a $8 service charge which was then increased to $16. Then, a $16 service charge applied to SA
-3 travel per travel day (not segment) except for a SA
-2 vacation pass. Eventually, the service charges were dropped. Parents had somewhat of a different pass, which was suspended for a year and then reinstated.
After 10 years of service, the employee and spouse would be issued grey pass cards that were able to be used in self service airport listing kiosks in a few cities like SA
- Georgia">ATL and SA
- Texas">DFW (These kiosks disappears several years ago) and were able to write their own passes (except for Vacation S2
passes). Upon arrival at the ticket counter (or you could have just gone directly to the departure gate) you would present your paper pass to the agent to get activated on the standby list (IDs were not checked). Sometimes, they'd give you a "standby list verification card" printed on the gree airline ticket cardstock, but usually they wouldn't give you any kind of document and just say "OK, I have you on the list". Then you'd go to the departure gate and wait to be called up for a boarding pass and the agent would collect your flight coupon. Then you'd usually board at "final boarding call" after all other passengers are already onboard.
When the blue PPR pass cards came along, paper passes were no longer required. You'd simply present your pass card and ID
to the ticket agent to get activated, or you could use the airport standby list VRU telephones and then wait to be called in the boarding area.
In recent times, you can list for a flight on the VRU telephone or by DeltaNet over the internet. At the airport, you can use a self service kiosk in just about any location. The kiosk will spit out a "Seat Request" card which is now necessary in most locations to clear security. In cities with Gate Information Display Systems (GIDS) monitors in the gate area, you simply look for your name to appear on the "Cleared" list along with a seat assignment and then board with a seat request card, Delta ID
card, old boarding pass or reciept, or blue pass card. In some cities, the agent will still call you up for a boarding pass.
In the future, I believe we'll see a "print your own seat request card" similar to the current online checkin for Skymiles members as well as other technology-based enhancements, such as the ability to purchase tickets online for those pass riders who much purchase yield fare tickets (such as nondependents and travel companions).
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