Some people (mostly just my mom) told me they didn't like my last post so I thought I should come back with a better explanation of WHY you shouldn't ask flight crews for free flights.
I'll start by telling you a story...
About a year and a half ago when I still lived in Denver, I went on a date. It went horribly. I'll admit that at that point I hadn't been on a date for about two years and didn't really know what I was doing, but that's not the point. Anyway, it was terrible. Awkward and clanky and we really just didn't have any chemistry whatsoever. After not seeing or hearing from him for over six months, I got a text.
"Hey there, I have a funeral to go to this weekened in Boston and it was really unexpected. Do you think you can spare a buddy pass for me?"
"Hi. I am so sorry to hear about your loss, but unfortunately I don't have buddy passes to give out like that."
He then proceeded to call me a liar and greedy and an asshole because he "has friends in the aviation industry" and they "give him buddy passes all the time."
I decided it was best to not respond.
The point is that people think buddy passes are a small thing. They think that free flights are fun and glamorous. They slide into my DMs and ask me how I'm doing after five years and then BAM, they ask for a free flight like it's a piece of gum.
Honestly, It's not something that makes me angry or annoyed. I understand that some people truly don't get what it means. Which is why I'd like to take some time and explain.
So here are just a few reasons you shouldn't ask a flight attendant (or anyone in aviation) for free flights.
It's not as simple as you think
Trust me, if I could give out free buddy passes to all the people I care about, I would, but it's just not that simple. Every airline has their own rules on how to handle friends and family traveling for free.
For me specifically: I get to fly for free, my parents fly for free, I get one more pass rider that flies for free as much as they want, and I get 24 "buddy passes."
Buddy passes are one time standby tickets. They are the worst. So I forfeit them to have another one person that flies for free as much as they want.
Some airlines get more. Some get less. But unless you are my sibling (and even that was a challenge) I can't just hand you free one time flights.
Our Job is on the line
I know that seems a bit dramatic, but it is the truth. When we give someone our travel benefits, we have to trust that they will follow all of the rules, and I promise you there are so many rules.
Last year United Airlines was in the news because someone tweeted that a passenger was not allowed on because of their leggings. I promise you that no airline cares what a paying passenger wears, but if you are traveling for free (like this young woman was) you have to follow the rules. And I have to trust you enough to know that you will.
Otherwise, I could lose MY travel benefits for any amount of time. Even worse, I could lose my job.
There is also the security thing
Airport security is high and tight. It takes weeks for someone to get approved to travel for free. Even my siblings have to fax in their birth certificates and state ID's to get approval for free flights. Even if someone I did know and trust asked me for a free flight, I wouldn't be able to give it to them without a months notice.
It's not even as glamorous as you think
Okay but seriously do you really want to drive all the way to the airport to sit there all day, not get on a flight because they're all full, and then just drive home? Buddy passes but you at the bottom of the standby list. You hold no rank. AND AND AND they aren't even really free. You have to pay the taxes on them. Which sometimes can be (GUESS WHAT) exactly what the ticket would cost if you were responsible and bought it in advance.
So those are my reasons. I don't come into your work place and start demanding free things, please don't do it to us. I will say I love it when people are like,
"Can I have a free flight? I'll give you my discount next time you come into [insert workplace here]."
Please. Keep your 20% discount. I don't need to save the $0.78 on my coffee. I'm good.
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