It would help if you told us for which airline you work; maybe someone out here works for the same and can tell you the policy. On UA
, we could give buddy passes to friends, and we had a certain number of buddy passes with certain Star airlines, although I'm pretty sure that if you use a Star companion, the employee must travel as well. Also, I think, not sure, that you can take no more than two companions with you if you use UA
buddy passes on UA
. (I'm furloughed, so the policy may have changed.)
I flew SFO
back in 2000 (in the midst of the pilot slowdown). I had no problem getting on, but I do remember some companions did not get on b/c the flight was weight-restricted. If I recall, Australia flights from the US were often weight-restricted and the loads were not necessarily indicative of whether or not you'd get on. I've heard from friends at UA
that Asia flights are very, very full this year. As Bobnwas says, best to check with your airline and ask your co-workers; they'll know best.