airplane wingHave you ever thought about asking your friend who works for the airlines for a buddy pass, but weren’t sure if it was cool to do so? Do. Chances are, no one asks him for them and the allotted amount he’s given every year go unused.

Buddy passes can’t be sold or traded, and typically expire one year from issue date, so more than likely your friend will be glad you asked and happy to help you out, rather than let them go to waste. However, there are exceptions.

Exception #1: Your friend doesn’t give out his buddy passes.

Airline employees are responsible for the behavior of the people they give their passes to. If the person flying on their buddy pass gets out of line, is rude to a gate agent or doesn’t turn off his cell phone after repeated requests by the flight attendant, for example, it could be reported to the employee’s supervisor. The employee may be reprimanded, or even lose their travel benefits completely. For this reason, a very small percentage of employees choose not to take any chances, and make it a personal policy not to share their buddy passes. If this is the case, you shouldn’t take it personally.


Exception #2: You are asking on behalf of a friend or family member.

While you may know this person to be very responsible and polite, if your friend doesn’t know them, they may not feel comfortable risking their travel benefits on them.

Exception #3: You are only an acquaintance.

Would you risk your travel benefits on someone you didn’t know very well?

Exception #4: You have been known to get out of line, act irresponsibly or rude.

If this is you, don’t be surprised if your friend tells you he’s all out of buddy passes for the year.

You won’t know if exception #1 applies until you ask, and if none of the others do, there is no reason not to make use of a very under-utilized benefit your friend has earned to share with friends like you. Who knows, you may be the only person asking, and never have to pay full price to fly again.

Chris is a designer, WAHM and pilot’s wife living in Colorado. She writes as Standby Traveling Mom as well as at Follow her on Twitter as @BirdBanter.

Creative Commons License photo credit: indigo –