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Here's Why You Don't Fly Cross-Country on Standby Tickets With Kids During the Summer When You're Broke

The Saxton family was stranded at Salt Lake City International Airport for six days, but it wasn't anyone's fault but their own. ( More...

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dax9876 9
Guarantee the Jet Blue employee whose passes these were won't have to worry about this problem again. That is if he even has a job.
sparkie624 4
Agreed.... When you give somebody a Buddy Pass, you take responsibility for them, and should give them the rules.
John Giambone 7
I feel no sympathy for the parents, they just made themselves look stupid. I do feel sorry for the kids having such stupid parents. There is a reason stupid people have no money, or resources for a back up. I quite giving buddy passes to friends years ago because no matter how you tried explaining things to them, they usually are the first to complain and put your job in jepordy if they get bumped. I bet these guys showed up at 8-10 in the morning, expecting to get out on a day time flight. These types of folks also wait until Sunday night to try and get home, where they have to be at work the next day. Congress did us industry folks a good thing when they made buddy passes taxable income when used. Gave me a good excuse to quite giving these out. I usually just said, hand over several hundred bucks to me to pay income taxes on the value of those tickets, which usually solicited a response like "well, if I give you a few hundred bucks, I'd be better off purchasing my own ticket" you get it!
sparkie624 7
These people are IDIOTS. I Fly Standby all the time and have been doing this for over 28 years and have never gotten stuck over night. The key is doing planing in advance... DOH... Something these people did not think about... These people flying standby... that is exactly what you get. Whey you are on a Buddy Pass, you are just about to the Bottom Of The List.
jkarides96 2
You can never be too prepared. I personally wouldn't have gone if the loads were booked through the roof...
kevin swiss 4
As it says on an KDFW Employee Store tee shirt for sale, "Marry me and fly (free) standby"
where free is crossed off and standby is written in.
Jeremy Kudlick 4
I've never flown non-rev (except KADW-KNPA for training when I was at USNA), but I worked at KIAD plenty long enough to know not to use buddy passes June-August and November-December. Apparently, this guy's "buddy" didn't think to tell him about the rules.
darius webb 4
I wander if they thought about two of them going and the other waiting to find a later flight. My wife and I use these and we have had to go on separate flights coming home and it has worked fine.
sparkie624 0
That is always an option!
Tony Hernandez 2
non-reving the hard way...
Rob Harrison 2
I am surprised that the good folks of Salt Lake, who really are most hospitable, didn't offer them a place to stay and a temporary job on the work farm, so that they could at least stay healthy. Maybe the Mormons don't have work farms any more, or maybe the story was revealed only after the fact. I well remember picking beans in Oregon when I was down on my luck, 50 or so years ago. I gained a profound respect for the Mormon attitude that one should work for what one gets, one should plan ahead, and that YOU and you alone are responsible for yourself and your family. Clearly attributes missing from this guy's lifestyle.
ken young 1
I have flown on buddy passes before. I am well aware of the restrictions. It is what it is.
If Mr Saxon was under the impression that whining ot the media was going ot work, he was mistaken.
What does this guy think is going to happen, PAX paying their money to fly were going to get bumped by non revenue PAX? Forget it.
The funny( not humorous) part is, these people "had no money for meals or lodging"...Umm, if you are too broke to eat, you are too broke to travel...Dummies.
Here's my little story. The year was around 2007; My partner was a FA for, then Continental Express (ExpressJet); and I was going to fly from CLT to TYS via IAH. The reason being I was going to fly to IAH to be on the flight he was working from IAH to TYS and then we were going to stay a couple days with my parents in Knoxville. Anyway; I was, of course SA level 4 at that time and it was summer and they were only using the LRJ from CLT to IAH, not even the XRJ; therefore, it was weight restricted to 42 pax. Anyway, so they routed me through EWR to IAH and I still would have had enough time to get on the flight from IAH to TYS.

Ok, so now I'm in EWR and flight after flight to IAH is near full (I think it was all 737's that day) and just as I think I'm going to get on, a dozen or so revenue SB walk up and get on and then the plane is full. Well that went on the rest of the day so I gave up trying to get to IAH and asked to be routed direct to TYS and the agents were more than willing to try to help me and and very friendly. The flights to TYS continued to be full the rest of the day and finally the last one of the day for TYS left at like 8:30pm or so and it was full; so I was stuck-like-chuck at EWR.

I slept at the gate of the first departing flight for TYS for the next day and as of about 6:40am the next morning; I was finally getting on a plane and did make it to Knoxville by about 8:45am or around that time. I met my partner at his hotel he had to stay in at the airport because I was unable to get to TYS the night before.

I told him, I was never going to try that ever again and as upset and tired as I was, I still couldn't help but to laugh about the whole situation because it was my first experience flying that way :-) We went on to my parents house and had a great short vacation.

I knew that being an SA04 was giving me a slim chance of getting on a plane but I thought it would be kinda fun and it was quite the experience.

In conclusion; I now purchase all our airline tickets online and have a confirmed seat and never had a problem since; even when the planes are over-sold and they ask for volunteers (knock on wood).

Ok, sorry for the long story but that was actually the short version ;-)

Happy Flying!
darius webb 2
We did get 'stuck' in LV earlier this year. This was because we were at a convention and there was also the CES, I think, going on at the same time. We tried leaving on Sunday and should have waited until Monday. I was there from 6a Sunday until 1a Monday, when I was able to get a seat. My wife left 10a Monday on a 1/2 full plane. Bad planning on our part!
Kenneth O'Neil 1
I rember way back when all the airlines went on strike as my wife and I were on vacation in FLL with our FIVE young children and we had to back go to JFK where I worked. We figured out which of us would take which kids depending on how many seats were available. WE all made it on the DC6 DC6 to ATL (before Delta flew nonstop) and sweated it out on the Convair880 out of ATL again planning who would fly and who would take the train. Luckily we all made it (first class at that). Just plan ahead.
ive been stuck a few times the worst is trying to get back from Hawaii to the mainland.
Andy Tyler 1
Why didn't the gate agents simply bump these standby passengers to the top of the list after seeing they were at the airport for idk...longer than one day?
jkarides96 1
I fly NRSA on United all the time. You have to make sure the loads are good and that you stand a chance of boarding with your seniority. You DO NOT fly during peak seasons, simply because you won't get on. You cannot blame the employee or the family, per say, simply because it takes flying SA a couple of times before you really get into the swing of things. You have to be proactive in checking loads and being flexible. I would never antagonize someone for being too poor to afford flights home, that was out of their control and let's face it...not all of us our made of money, especially in this economy. Even with that said, if you have a minimal income, it's quite risky to make a trip like that should you become "stranded." Everyone will learn something from this, but let's not forget to differentiate what the media says and what actually happened. The way you word something can say a lot more than intended. Just my .02
jhakunti 1
that is why when i nonrev'ed when directs flights weren't available, i chose to connect through cities with many options, or at least had enough money in my account to buy my ticket back home. grown folks who wanted to fly for free no matter what. way to teach those kids personal responsibility.
Would really be a bitch to be at SLC airport and not have the money to buy the the bottle of "great salt lake salt"! LOL
United airlines is the best! Always holds customers first. Friendly skies


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