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Flying Non-Rev

Discussion in 'Getting There & Getting Around' started by StormHawk, Jul 4, 2013.

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  1. StormHawk

    StormHawk High-Roller

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    I just accepted a position with American Eagle (AA regional subsidiary). I haven't been through the benefits in detail yet. Can anyone fill me in on non-rev basics? Or flying AA in general (I've never flown AA since I've been old enough to be coherent to it). TIA
     
  2. da1chifan

    da1chifan High-Roller

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    I don't know how it is on AA, but on DAL, you really aren't supposed to discuss it with "outsiders". LOL :rolleyes2: :wink2:

    I can tell you it SUCKS. Plain and simple, you are standby. And after all the airline bankruptcies and in just an effort to save money, they oversell more than ever.

    The pecking order is basically this:

    1. Paying customers
    2. Employee company business
    3. Employee emergency travel
    4. Employees and families - and this goes by seniority (date of hire)
    5. Retirees
    6. Buddies

    If I have tons of flexibility and don't need/want to be somewhere at a certain time, I fly Delta non-rev. If I want to get there and get back without a hassle, I either buy a reduced positive space ticket or fly another airline. FWIW, I have flown Delta 1 out of last 10 trips and other airlines 9, if that is any indication..... Not to mention my husband has a date of hire of 1988......
     
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2013
  3. da1chifan

    da1chifan High-Roller

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    Since you are now employed, you will be able to check flight loads. Take a gander at that and watch a flight as it gets 3-4 hours from departure..... Then figure where you'd fit in.

    I used to be amazed! I'd be completely GTG for a flight 3 days away, tons of empty seats. The night before, you start to worry....... Before you leave for the airport, you wonder if you should even bother.............
     
  4. shifter

    shifter Degenerate Gambler

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    we have friends that just retired from Delta after many years. they only fly non-rev when they have absolutely no timing plans and it's nowhere near a holiday. but they use the free flights all the time because it's great for free vacations when timing isn't important.
     
  5. matguy

    matguy High-Roller

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    A buddy of mine was at Alaska for a while and we flew to Vegas on his [whatever it's called] on my first trip to Vegas. The flight in was fine, but on the way out on Sunday evening we were stuck 'till Monday night, I believe one of the the last flights of the night on Monday, if not the last flight. We got bumped by seniority at least 5 times, he was even trying to bribe employees with seniority to let us go first, none took it.

    Sure, Sunday night was a dumb time to try to get out, but we didn't know that. Either way, yeah, do -not- expect to get to your destination nor home anywhere near your expected time. For me, coming from Seattle, it's certainly not worth the savings to be possibly stuck at the airport overnight.
     
  6. theshaah

    theshaah Low-Roller

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    Lucky for you, here at Vegas Message Board you have your very own Airline Employee to ask for info. I've been working in the industry (and subsequently non-reving) for the last 7 years.

    Flying non-rev quite simply is a pain in the butt. It's a pain in the butt but it can be even more of a pain in the butt if you are trying to travel with a companion or buddy pass.

    Everyone else who has chimed in here pretty much hit the nail on the head.

    You will be one of the last people cleared to fly. Most often you won't even know if you have a seat until you are climbing on the plane (or...on the other hand waving goodbye to the aircraft as it's pushing back from the gate without you on it.).

    I will say that I have been non-reving now for 7 years. In that time I have only been stranded twice (well technically once) I got stranded at the salt lake city airport when I was traveling to Las Vegas, Vegas was full so I tried for San Diego which was also full, so I tried for Los Angeles which ended up filling up at the last minute and I was the LAST standby on the list and the ONLY stand by who didn't get on the flight. It was a long cold boring night spent in the SLC airport. The other time was about a year ago coming home from las vegas I couldn't get to orlando so I had to fly to Atlanta, spend the night from about midnight to 5:30 in the morning waiting for the first flight out to orlando which thankfully I got on.

    But you can go some very interesting and exotic places with your flight benefits and if you took a job as a flight attendant you often get jumpseating priveleges on other airlines.
     
  7. 44inarow

    44inarow VIP Whale

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    I flew AA non-rev for 20-odd years growing up and would be happy to talk to you about it, just PM me.

    I'll tell you that part of it depends on what classification you can get; D2 is definitely manageable, but D3 is rough. And don't ever try to fly out of Vegas on a Sunday, I once spent 24 hours waiting for flights to DFW, and then another 18 hours trying to get from DFW back to NYC. You have to be conscious when flying into smaller airports where overnight delays might happen, because you're not getting a hotel voucher. I also got used to never, ever checking bags, because even if it's "allowed", you never know if you're getting on that flight until the last minute, and you want to have your bags with you if you wind up on different flights.

    It also depends on what your service charges are for your flights. I eventually found that the domestic service charges were high enough that it was usually worth it to just buy a ticket (on AA or otherwise) and know I could get where I was going. Internationally, however, was a whole other story; the service charges for a long-haul premium cabin ticket were usually far below what a revenue passenger would pay, and not much above what my non-rev service charge would be for a coach ticket.

    Like I said, I'm happy to share my experiences, just shoot me a PM.
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2013
  8. 44inarow

    44inarow VIP Whale

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    To translate this to AA, #2 is a variety of A-fares, while #3 is A9 emergency travel. #4-5 are the D2 passes that most employees (and retirees) get; there are also limited D1 passes, which afford you higher priority, but you're generally going to be on D2 (unless there's some limitation that keeps you at D3 when you're first starting out), and that's just based on when the reservations are made. A more senior employee likely will know more people who can look out for him in the reservations queue, but hire date itself doesn't go into the priority list, at least to my knowledge. Replace #5 with parents, and that's next, followed by the D3 buddy passes.
     
  9. da1chifan

    da1chifan High-Roller

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    Wow, that is a bit different from DAL.

    Since DAL uses date of hire, it doesn't matter if a junior guy books 4 months ahead of time, the senior guy can book 30 minutes before flight and bump him (or at least move him further down the standby list). I wish it went by when the flight was booked!
     
  10. 44inarow

    44inarow VIP Whale

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    It's been a while since I've been doing it with employee status, but I'm pretty sure that it's either when the reservation was made, or when you "check in" for the flight (as opposed to just initially listing yourself in the system). I don't recall it being by hire date. That being said, it's sort of hard to say for sure nowadays, because the standby list that you see includes both rev and non-rev standbys, the former including things like people trying to standby for earlier/later flights, or people who got bumped from a flight and are standing by for the next flight even though it's "full", so unless you're actually looking at the list in the system it's tricky to tell. I think the priority list also takes into account things like whether you're standing by for a connecting or originating flight.
     
  11. Bernie2

    Bernie2 High-Roller

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    You mention that airlines overbook. At one time Jet Blue never overbooked, so I'm guessing that the policy of Jet Blue has changed.
     
  12. 44inarow

    44inarow VIP Whale

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    Huh? Nobody mentioned Jetblue, but as far as I know, their policy is to still to not intentionally overbook.
     
  13. matguy

    matguy High-Roller

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    That's how Alaska worked when we were doing it, and exactly that happened a number of times. There was a lady whom was far the senior of my buddy that walked up to the gate about 15 minutes before the flight with a group of teenaged girls (I think they were Granddaughter and GD's friends) that bumped a few employees off on Monday evening after we had been there 24 hours already (our original flights were booked 2 or 3 weeks prior.) Not that we were likely to get on that particular flight, but it bumped the people that were bumping us, and put us that much further back.

    Buddy was cleared for cabin jump seat, even, but we weren't having luck getting my seat. I remember him getting on terminals to try to find a route through other cities, but those were all full too.

    I have slept in that airport way too many times to want to try that again.
     
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