747fan
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US Fires 3 At PHL Over Buddy Pass Scheme

Sun Oct 23, 2011 2:12 pm

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).
 
c5load
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RE: US Fires 3 At PHL Over Buddy Pass Scheme

Sun Oct 23, 2011 2:22 pm

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.
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contrails15
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RE: US Fires 3 At PHL Over Buddy Pass Scheme

Sun Oct 23, 2011 2:30 pm

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.
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srbmod
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RE: US Fires 3 At PHL Over Buddy Pass Scheme

Sun Oct 23, 2011 2:30 pm

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.
 
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RE: US Fires 3 At PHL Over Buddy Pass Scheme

Sun Oct 23, 2011 2:32 pm

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.
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747fan
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RE: US Fires 3 At PHL Over Buddy Pass Scheme

Sun Oct 23, 2011 3:16 pm

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.
 
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RE: US Fires 3 At PHL Over Buddy Pass Scheme

Sun Oct 23, 2011 3:27 pm

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.
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frmrCapCadet
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RE: US Fires 3 At PHL Over Buddy Pass Scheme

Sun Oct 23, 2011 3:50 pm

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.
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Atlwest1
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RE: US Fires 3 At PHL Over Buddy Pass Scheme

Sun Oct 23, 2011 4:54 pm

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!
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bohica
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RE: US Fires 3 At PHL Over Buddy Pass Scheme

Sun Oct 23, 2011 5:13 pm

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?
 
andrefranca
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RE: US Fires 3 At PHL Over Buddy Pass Scheme

Sun Oct 23, 2011 5:27 pm

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)....
 
cokepopper
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RE: US Fires 3 At PHL Over Buddy Pass Scheme

Sun Oct 23, 2011 7:05 pm

I hope Delta takes notice. I understand the same thing happens on the JFK-TLV-JFK flights. and
a few others.
 
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RE: US Fires 3 At PHL Over Buddy Pass Scheme

Sun Oct 23, 2011 7:36 pm

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.
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srbmod
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RE: US Fires 3 At PHL Over Buddy Pass Scheme

Sun Oct 23, 2011 9:06 pm

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.
 
dpcoliveira
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RE: US Fires 3 At PHL Over Buddy Pass Scheme

Sun Oct 23, 2011 9:16 pm

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
 
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RE: US Fires 3 At PHL Over Buddy Pass Scheme

Sun Oct 23, 2011 9:18 pm

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.
 
flyguy89
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RE: US Fires 3 At PHL Over Buddy Pass Scheme

Sun Oct 23, 2011 9:50 pm

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.
 
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RE: US Fires 3 At PHL Over Buddy Pass Scheme

Sun Oct 23, 2011 11:34 pm

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.
 
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RE: US Fires 3 At PHL Over Buddy Pass Scheme

Sun Oct 23, 2011 11:45 pm

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.
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toltommy
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RE: US Fires 3 At PHL Over Buddy Pass Scheme

Sun Oct 23, 2011 11:55 pm

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.
 
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RE: US Fires 3 At PHL Over Buddy Pass Scheme

Sun Oct 23, 2011 11:56 pm

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??
 
SJUSXM
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RE: US Fires 3 At PHL Over Buddy Pass Scheme

Mon Oct 24, 2011 12:02 am

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.
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RE: US Fires 3 At PHL Over Buddy Pass Scheme

Mon Oct 24, 2011 12:17 am

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.
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thegman
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RE: US Fires 3 At PHL Over Buddy Pass Scheme

Mon Oct 24, 2011 1:23 am

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.
 
EXCOASA1982
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RE: US Fires 3 At PHL Over Buddy Pass Scheme

Mon Oct 24, 2011 2:18 am

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!
 
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RE: US Fires 3 At PHL Over Buddy Pass Scheme

Mon Oct 24, 2011 2:39 am

Quoting thegman (Reply 23):

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.


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 course of a few hours. Its extremely frustrating when trying to plan anything.
 
redtag501
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RE: US Fires 3 At PHL Over Buddy Pass Scheme

Mon Oct 24, 2011 2:54 am

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 pass tickets from the ticket counter. I engaged the individual in conversation at my station on day where he informed me he was a fellow ticket agent from Chicago. I issued him a roundtrip pass ticket between Chicago and New Orleans. When he boarded the train that night to Chicago, the conductor asked him for his ticket and he opened a briefcase that was full of tickets. The conductor asked him what he did for Amtrak and the man told him he was a security agent for the company. Sensing that the man was lying, the conductor came to the ticket counter to ask me what I thought. I advised him not to pursue the matter himself but then I called Amtrak Security to report the incident. I learned later that someone from Security met the train on arrival in Chicago, caught the man and shook him down for the details. Turned out he had been using his roommate's pass to illegally obtain pass tickets, traveling various routes and picking up the tickets enroute, then selling them for a personal profit back home in Chicago. I never learned if the roommate was implicated or if the man himself had faced charges. But I never even got a word of thanks from the company either.
 
747fan
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RE: US Fires 3 At PHL Over Buddy Pass Scheme

Mon Oct 24, 2011 3:21 am

Quoting SJUSXM (Reply 21):
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.

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 with AA (or at least in my case, Eagle) that you can place 12 people on your buddy pass list after you've reached 2 years of seniority. We (employee and his/her spouse or registered companion) also get 4 D1 passes.

This is what is said about American Connection/Chatauqua:
"AA’s on-line travel program extends to travel on flights operated as American Connection. This includes travel by D3 guests, AA20, and A9 emergency travel. Travel on American Connection by Parents, Registered Companions, and D3 guests deducts from the employee’s AA annual pass bank."

[Edited 2011-10-23 20:25:22]
 
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RE: US Fires 3 At PHL Over Buddy Pass Scheme

Mon Oct 24, 2011 3:22 am

Quoting flyguy89 (Reply 16):
is it generally a big no-no to sell a buddy pass you're not going to use to some one?

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 potentially been a revenue passenger.

Quoting TOLtommy (Reply 19):
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.

The dress codes were relaxed because the non-revs stuck out like sore thumbs; very few people fly with coats and ties anymore and you could spot the non-revs a mile away.

Quoting thegman (Reply 23):
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.

This is why many companies use products like AAI's "Predator" flight-firming system that automatically cancels unticketed space. That's actually the bigger issue in this case at US; the deliberate blocking of seats to increase the likelihood of seats being open for non-revs is fraud.
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RE: US Fires 3 At PHL Over Buddy Pass Scheme

Mon Oct 24, 2011 3:38 am

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. 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.
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. I wasn't thinking that they had to travel with them, which could be a pain.

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 website, including payment. Also, you don't have to travel under the buddy pass priority if you're on the same flight, but if you want to fly at the same time, you probably should.

Quoting EA CO AS (Reply 28):
Another big reason is you're essentially depriving the company revenue from what would have potentially been a revenue passenger.

Not really. The company is getting revenue from the buddy pass, but they won't deprive a paying passenger from getting a seat.

Quoting EA CO AS (Reply 28):
The dress codes were relaxed because the non-revs stuck out like sore thumbs; very few people fly with coats and ties anymore and you could spot the non-revs a mile away.

I know....many a time, in Florida, I figured I was the only person within a 100 mile radius of the airport that was wearing a coat and tie.  
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RE: US Fires 3 At PHL Over Buddy Pass Scheme

Mon Oct 24, 2011 3:42 am

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 OAL pass riders are employees and have a more valid reason to non-rev over guests or non immediate family of the airline they are trying to fly on. But I have yet to ever see any airline allow OAL staff over it's buddy pass priority level. You would get more responsible and respectful passengers in that way and perhaps even more revenue (OAL ZED/ID passes might cost more than the airline's buddy pass quote)

I have been bothered by many especially those whom used up all their passes to offer me money for left over buddy passes over the various years. I always flat out said no.

I rarely gave out buddy passes and always kept them to very close friends whom I trusted, so it resulted in me always letting some go to waste at the end of the year.

But regarding PHL, I think the case where several US agents had management access to the timekeeping system and added in imaginary manual overtime plus premiums on top of their work schedules. I think it ran up to millions of dollars in fake overtime over the ring of employees.
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RE: US Fires 3 At PHL Over Buddy Pass Scheme

Mon Oct 24, 2011 3:59 am

Quoting malaysia (Reply 30):
but most OAL pass riders are employees and have a more valid reason to non-rev over guests or non immediate family of the airline they are trying to fly on.

Not really, since they are supposed to be for pleasure use, only.
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deltairlines
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RE: US Fires 3 At PHL Over Buddy Pass Scheme

Mon Oct 24, 2011 4:08 am

Quoting malaysia (Reply 30):
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 OAL pass riders are employees and have a more valid reason to non-rev over guests or non immediate family of the airline they are trying to fly on. But I have yet to ever see any airline allow OAL staff over it's buddy pass priority level. You would get more responsible and respectful passengers in that way and perhaps even more revenue (OAL ZED/ID passes might cost more than the airline's buddy pass quote)

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 package.

As it stands, buddy passes also have some perks. I work for an airline and can fly ZED on another airline. I also have friends that work at said other airline and they have offered me their buddy passes. I might pay a premium to use the buddy pass (and in most cases from what I've seen, the cost for a buddy pass is higher than a ZED for the cases I've looked at), but the buddy pass gives me two things - a higher priority, and access to the premium cabin on long-haul flights (whereas on a ZED, I'm only eligible for economy). I'll gladly pay a $200-300 premium over the ZED costs to be able to sit up front across an ocean rather than sit in the back.
 
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RE: US Fires 3 At PHL Over Buddy Pass Scheme

Mon Oct 24, 2011 4:20 am

Quoting mayor (Reply 29):
Quoting EA CO AS (Reply 28):
Another big reason is you're essentially depriving the company revenue from what would have potentially been a revenue passenger.

Not really. The company is getting revenue from the buddy pass, but they won't deprive a paying passenger from getting a seat.

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 space-available at greatly reduced revenue than buying a positive-space ticket.
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adamblang
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RE: US Fires 3 At PHL Over Buddy Pass Scheme

Mon Oct 24, 2011 4:46 am

Quoting flyguy89 (Reply 16):
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.

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 revoked). However, the company has a fee (a reasonable convenience charge + international taxes, if applicable) for non-family (people who aren't parents, children, or a spouse / domestic partner) pass users. When non-family friends have flown on some of my annual allotment of passes, I've asked for their credit card and punched it into the automated listing system so I don't have to go through the hassle of collecting money after charging the fee to my own card. Perhaps you were reimbursing your friend for the listing fee they had paid on your behalf?
The views and opinions expressed here are my own and do not necessarily reflect those of my employer or its partners.
 
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adamblang
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RE: US Fires 3 At PHL Over Buddy Pass Scheme

Mon Oct 24, 2011 4:55 am

Quoting thegman (Reply 23):
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.
Quoting armitageshanks (Reply 25):
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 course of a few hours. Its extremely frustrating when trying to plan anything.

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 previously full flight or to dump a bunch of new travelers onto a previously light flight. (Or it could be fraud because the systems aren't in place to detect and remove suspicious reservations.)
The views and opinions expressed here are my own and do not necessarily reflect those of my employer or its partners.
 
pqdtw
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RE: US Fires 3 At PHL Over Buddy Pass Scheme

Mon Oct 24, 2011 8:28 am

Quoting DeltAirlines (Reply 32):


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 riders don't *officially* get upgraded, and the date of hire is the date of travel, which actually puts them under a Buddy for standby priority.
 
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EA CO AS
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RE: US Fires 3 At PHL Over Buddy Pass Scheme

Mon Oct 24, 2011 8:46 am

Quoting adamblang (Reply 35):
A 20 seat swing might not be be fraud.

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 benefits of these specific employees.

Trust me, management conducts VERY thorough investigations of these matters before taking action. None of this was coincidental.
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thegman
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RE: US Fires 3 At PHL Over Buddy Pass Scheme

Mon Oct 24, 2011 11:17 am

Quoting adamblang (Reply 35):
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 previously full flight or to dump a bunch of new travelers onto a previously light flight. (Or it could be fraud because the systems aren't in place to detect and remove suspicious reservations.)

I see it happen most at outstations.
 
holzmann
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RE: US Fires 3 At PHL Over Buddy Pass Scheme

Mon Oct 24, 2011 2:18 pm

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 person would then pay the agent directly for the pass. Of course, I'd be clear to them that this meant flying stand-by as an S4 with a relatively new employee start date. Everyone went home happy.
 
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mayor
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RE: US Fires 3 At PHL Over Buddy Pass Scheme

Mon Oct 24, 2011 2:36 pm

Quoting EA CO AS (Reply 33):
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 space-available at greatly reduced revenue than buying a positive-space ticket.

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 the deals, nowadays. Flying on a buddy pass is NOT a sure thing, especially in today's world. The only way it would be better for them, as a buddy pass, rather than full fare, is if they were also blocking the seats to make sure there were some available.



The people I let have my DL buddy passes, pay the fare, etc........there is no other fee for the passes other than what you would find with any normal ticket.......taxes, departure fees, etc. So, anyone selling their buddy passes is doing so against the rules which either get their pass privileges (all of them) pulled or, worse, gets them terminated. I'm sure it's much more rampant than we realize, but I would hope the company would just punish the guilty instead of everyone by discontinuing the program. However, if the program disappeared, it wouldn't break my heart, either.
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RE: US Fires 3 At PHL Over Buddy Pass Scheme

Mon Oct 24, 2011 7:27 pm

Quoting mayor (Reply 40):
Quoting EA CO AS (Reply 33):
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 space-available at greatly reduced revenue than buying a positive-space ticket.

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 the deals, nowadays

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.
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nwadeicer
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RE: US Fires 3 At PHL Over Buddy Pass Scheme

Mon Oct 24, 2011 8:24 pm

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 required to fly with the buddy to their destination. I believe the other alternative was that if your buddy lived elsewhere it was acceptable for him to fly to the destination but I also had to fly to that destination within a day or two as well.

Buddy passes are not worth it. I have had so many people wanting them from me that I just say I cannot get them anymore. As was stated previously, non-revving is darn near impossible, coupled that with buddy passes flying after all current, retired, and OAL employees, forget it.

Non-revving is just not worth it anymore.
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billreid
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RE: US Fires 3 At PHL Over Buddy Pass Scheme

Mon Oct 24, 2011 9:20 pm

Quoting Atlwest1 (Reply 8):
I still dont know how thy were able to block seats for these people.

Perhaps, I call in and reserve 10 seats on a revenue basis and then I don't fly.
Some people don't get it. Business is about making MONEY!
 
BCEaglesCO757
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RE: US Fires 3 At PHL Over Buddy Pass Scheme

Mon Oct 24, 2011 11:44 pm

Quoting 747fan (Reply 5):
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).

Thats it ? I will ssay at CO,it's unlimited,anywhere for employees,family member and companion.

Quoting WA707atMSP (Reply 12):
The all time stupidest buddy pass abuse happened when I worked at NW. Someone was crazy enough to sell a buddy pass on Ebay!!!!

I remember about 6-7 years ago this French guy at CO was posting flyers on every available wall and breakroom that he had a tour company and was operating tours to France. Really.

Of course he was terminated. I remember seeing him in the employee one morning after he had been let go,rounding up names to get his job back. I'll never forget the first two names on that list.

John Hancock and John Doe.

Man,people are tough.

Quoting 777ord (Reply 20):
It's pathetic what some people will do to make a buck.

I'm no condoning it,but when I started at CO the pay was $8.70/hr and they hired parft-timers only. It usually took a good 2-3 year to go full-time. It was hard and there were tons of people waiting to go full-time. So I don't condone it,but I see why some may have done it. It was really quick and easy money.

I don't use mine at all. Too much hassle. I've learned to cut to the chase when I get a call or email with a 'sad story' or 'emergency'. And try to push them towards CO.com or some travel website.

3-4 years ago CO got rid of a TON of people related to passes. 5-6+ years ago you could find anyone wanting to buy or sell passes. Now ? NO ONE does.
 
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mayor
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RE: US Fires 3 At PHL Over Buddy Pass Scheme

Tue Oct 25, 2011 4:22 am

Quoting BCEaglesCO757 (Reply 44):
Thats it ? I will ssay at CO,it's unlimited,anywhere for employees,family member and companion.

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, employees or companions. Those categories, in most instances, have their own passes. Now, other airlines may be different, but that's what buddy passes are at DL.

Quoting NWAdeicer (Reply 42):
Non-revving is just not worth it anymore.

If you're an active employee, retirees and buddy passes shouldn't affect your travel as they are lower on the priority list.

Quoting EA CO AS (Reply 41):
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.

Maybe at AS, but in my own experience at DL, both active and retired, I haven't had anyone ASK me for a buddy pass......if anything, it was ME offering the use of them to friends. Of course, I think every airline has a different procedure and definition for buddy passes.
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BCEaglesCO757
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RE: US Fires 3 At PHL Over Buddy Pass Scheme

Tue Oct 25, 2011 9:35 am

Quoting mayor (Reply 45):
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, employees or companions. Those categories, in most instances, have their own passes. Now, other airlines may be different, but that's what buddy passes are at DL.

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 buddy passes. Now that may be that he is new there and onm probation, but I'm just repeating what he said.

[Edited 2011-10-25 02:38:25]
 
Rdh3e
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RE: US Fires 3 At PHL Over Buddy Pass Scheme

Tue Oct 25, 2011 3:30 pm

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 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 priority.

Quoting wn700driver (Reply 18):
At Airways, the employee pays nothing, ever. It's up to the traveler in question to pay for the passes at the airport.

UA it comes out of my paycheck, therefore giving you more incentive to consider who you give your passes to and whether they are good for the money. Some flights (ORD-LAX-SYD) can be over $700 for a companion on a RT.

Quoting mayor (Reply 40):
The people I let have my DL buddy passes, pay the fare, etc........there is no other fee for the passes other than what you would find with any normal ticket.......taxes, departure fees, etc. So, anyone selling their buddy passes is doing so against the rules which either get their pass privileges (all of them) pulled or, worse, gets them terminated.

For us, the Companion fare is something along the lines of 10% of the highest unrestricted economy fare, plus taxes and fees. The 10% fare I believe is based on the prior month and updated monthly or quarterly.

I cherish my pass benefits, we get 24 segment passes for companions to fly on, but to date I've never used more than half. Unless you're going INTL there is almost no point. Domestic is dead for companion travel. I brought one of my friends into town from DC a couple weeks ago and he sat for 12 hours on both ends coming and going because the flights are so packed. And if you know the UA schedule between ORD-DC then you know it's over 20 daily, and still jammed.
 
HPRamper
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RE: US Fires 3 At PHL Over Buddy Pass Scheme

Tue Oct 25, 2011 9:27 pm

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.

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 yours) we always had a ton of buddy passes kicking around because nobody knew what to do with them.

Quoting WA707atMSP (Reply 12):
The all time stupidest buddy pass abuse happened when I worked at NW. Someone was crazy enough to sell a buddy pass on Ebay!!!!

I've seen buddy passes on Ebay for multiple airlines.

Quoting TOLtommy (Reply 15):
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.

Encouraging people to fly on buddy passes - which are the lowest standby priority - these days is cruel and unusual punishment. I just made the mistake of trying to fly on a Zed pass from PDX-MSP and it took me 27 hours and a night of sleeping on the floor at SLC. One family, mom and kids, had been stuck at PDX for over two days before they finally got back to DTW as something close to 15 consecutive flights were overbooked. The airlines do not WANT standby pax these days. Buddy passes are a relic of a past system where there were plenty of seats to go around and as such they aren't worth much at face value which is why these chumps at US tried to finangle the system for their benefit.
 
wn700driver
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RE: US Fires 3 At PHL Over Buddy Pass Scheme

Tue Oct 25, 2011 11:35 pm

Quoting rdh3e (Reply 47):

UA it comes out of my paycheck, therefore giving you more incentive to consider who you give your passes to and whether they are good for the money. Some flights (ORD-LAX-SYD) can be over $700 for a companion on a RT.

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, and I actually wound up with a "no pay due" for one period. Needless to say, I got a little tight-arsed about it.

Quoting rdh3e (Reply 47):

For us, the Companion fare is something along the lines of 10% of the highest unrestricted economy fare, plus taxes and fees. The 10% fare I believe is based on the prior month and updated monthly or quarterly.

Yeah, basically the ID90 plan.
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