Anyone ever heard of these (I know Russ DlGrl have)? What are they? How do you get them? Do they work? etc.? Delta employees are invited to respond privately by email, but I have a specific reason for wanting to know.
I'm not a Delta employee, but I just flew on a Buddy Pass, courtesy of my friend the Delta employee. Buddy Passes are an employment benefit for company employees, and the number an employee receives annually is based on his/her seniority. You fly "space available," which as you know means sometimes you sit and wait. They aren't exactly free, but you pay only the taxes on the trip. The funny part is the rather lengthy list of regulations you are expected to abide by, the funniest (to me) of which is the NO DENIM rule. I don't usually dress up to fly, but I do when it's on a Buddy Pass. I'm sure DL employees have more info on it, but these are
some of the highlights.
I have a friend who recently told me he had received 8 buddy passes on his anniversary date. Believe he has been with Delta 20 plus years.
As I understand, the passes carry an S4 boarding priority, meaning you would be one of the last to clear the stand-by list.
I was on a late flight from ATL-DFW in February, overheard the gate agent say that First Class was filled with "buddy passers". As a PM flying on an L fare that night, I did'nt have the luxury of standing-by for First Class. Of course on the other hand, there has been many times I have seen stand-bys left behind because space was not available.
Well.......as of 15JAN2000 DL employees who non-rev and paxs on Buddy passes are allowed to wear "jeans in good condition" and sneakers but only in coach, if you stdby for F-Cls trvl, you must wear business casual attire. We normally get 4 Buddy passes a year, if you have 1 yr w/ DL or 50 yrs, we all get the same number. This yr we got 8 for some reason. Hope this helps educate everyone.
Reason I asked this was the couple whose wedding I attended Saturday (see the trip report) were going to honeymoon in the Caymans, both flying on buddy passes, and I'd never heard of them. Hers was from a senior Captain. His was from someone else. I just learned that they both made their flight (which was leaving from ATL about the same time as ours), and they put them in F. Maybe some of my luck rubbed off?
I was the lucky recipent of a pair of buddy passes last fall. As reported above, if you wanrt to stand by for First class there are myriad dress code restrictions, including skirt length, no T shirts no athletic shoes and many more. The most incomfortably dressed people in Dllta's top cabin are probably travelling on buddy passes. The wait list for use places buddy passs holders after any revenue pax, but the seniority of the buddy pass donor determines the prority of the pass holder. Also- they do not promise a meal- On my flight there was no first class meal available and they wouldnt serve a coach meal, but the FA's were nice and kept offerring drinks and nuts and cookies. Good thing we werent travelling trans pacific. There is a special phone line to call so you can check the availablity of the flights you are interested in including the avaiablity of first class down to the number of available seats. we had fun picking a destination for a spur of the moment vacation.
I've got a pair of buddy passes from, uh, a buddy that I would like to use for a trip from ATL to NRT (Tokyo) over Christmas. Is it possible for me to determine if there are enough seats on the airplane before I go hang out at the airport and hope to get to Japan (or back to work at the other end of the trip)?
Any advice is appreciated!
Try looking up the flights on http://www.delta.com by pretending to make a reservation. As it gives you the flight choices for each leg, you will see all the way at the right edge of the chart is a button you can push for each of teh flights to pick seats. It will let you know how many seats are open on the flight. This should give you some indication at least, of whether there is any chance of getting on. Also you can use http://www.trip.com and pretend to book, as their engine gives you a number of how many seats are open ion each fare class.
Since you are in Atlanta, try 404-715-4989. You will then need your buddy's Delta employee number and anniversary date. Once you have this information, you can access availability for the dates and flights you need. Good Luck!
I have used buddy passes. You may find it difficult at Christmas, though. But you need to use the Delta phone system as the above poster stated and you will access current fllight and seat availability information.
I have used buddy passes on two occasions. My feeling is that they are not for the faint of heart nor for travelers not well versed in the ways of the airlines. Their priority is LOWEST on the list, only higher than dirt and dogs (and I am not sure about the dogs). They incur a fee for the airline, do not earn segments or miles, and should only be used by persons who do not have to be somewhere at a particular time.
If there is a good fare sale, it often pays to pay for the ticket, get the segments/miles, and get a CONFIRMED seat.
Buddy passes have their place, I suppose. But, again, if you have to be somewhere at a particular time, do not try to use them.
True that you need to be very flexible to use the buddy passes, but there is a sense of adventure when one arrives at the airport with 2 potential itineraries and the anticipation of 2 holidays depending on the availability of the moment. If you research carefully, you can increase your probability of getting on a flight. The fees to some European destinations are not that much less than an off season fare, especially when you factor in the risk of not getting on a flight. But if you choose a destination where there are several flights a day from your embarcation point, you are much more certain to get on. Fares to Mexico, Nassau and San Juan and Cayman Islands are pretty low- but holiday travel is risky. Anyone with spare buddy passes is welcome to become my buddy- I love to use them.
DL buddy passes are good for first class if space is available and users of such passes will be placed there pretty automatically. This does, however, require that the user adhere to the DL dress code. No jeans, shorts, T-shirts etc. The DL employee providing the buddy passes can obtaina copy of the dress code.
Thanks for the many excellent and useful suggestions. The winning answer is to call the Friends & Family hotline in Atlanta, enter the Delta employee information, and enter desired travel dates and flight numbers. As it turns out, my desired itinerary has 40 (of 50) business elite seats open and 120(of 218) coach seats open to and from Tokyo.