Giving an Int'l D1 seat to spouse?

Old Sep 6, 16, 6:28 am
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: NYC
Posts: 937
Giving an Int'l D1 seat to spouse?

Good morning.

Flying to LHR for work next month and would like to bring my wife with me. Her travel is on our own dime and we can't really justify the $4k for Delta One when Economy is $800.

I'm more than happy to give her my seat in J and ride in the back (dont tell my boss). I've done this many times before on domestic flights when I've gotten the GM upgrade and the FA's really don't seem to mind.

Would this be an issue on a long haul flight? Or an international flight? I could imagine the rules being a little different when flying overseas or that the FA's may take it a little more seriously in a true premium cabin vs domestic F.

Thoughts?
injera is offline  
Old Sep 6, 16, 6:47 am
  #2  
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: MCO
Programs: Delta - PM, HH - Gold, SPG - Gold, Marriott - Plat
Posts: 1,060
Originally Posted by injera View Post
Good morning.

Flying to LHR for work next month and would like to bring my wife with me. Her travel is on our own dime and we can't really justify the $4k for Delta One when Economy is $800.

I'm more than happy to give her my seat in J and ride in the back (dont tell my boss). I've done this many times before on domestic flights when I've gotten the GM upgrade and the FA's really don't seem to mind.

Would this be an issue on a long haul flight? Or an international flight? I could imagine the rules being a little different when flying overseas or that the FA's may take it a little more seriously in a true premium cabin vs domestic F.

Thoughts?
We flew JFK-ATH on DL back in May and met this couple in the Skyclub. Like you his ticket was up front (company paid) and his wife was in coach. They switched during the flight (forget at what point) and didn't seem to have any problem (we saw them come and go). It would seem that having your wife take your seat for the entire flight certainly wouldn't be a problem.
miraclebear2003 is offline  
Old Sep 6, 16, 6:48 am
  #3  
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Minneapolis: DL DM charter 2.3MM
Programs: A3*Gold, SPG Plat, HyattDiamond, MarriottPP, LHW exAccess, ICI, Raffles Amb, NW PE MM, TWA Gold MM
Posts: 91,862
The issue is that your employer bought YOU a D1 ticket for business purposes. It's fraud to give it to a spouse and technically doing so creates a tax liability for you and a reporting requirement for your company. In some organizations this could be grounds for termination.
MSPeconomist is offline  
Old Sep 6, 16, 7:08 am
  #4  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: NYC
Posts: 937
Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
The issue is that your employer bought YOU a D1 ticket for business purposes. It's fraud to give it to a spouse and technically doing so creates a tax liability for you and a reporting requirement for your company. In some organizations this could be grounds for termination.
Completely understood.

If it helps, can we change the situation to....

I'm flying with my sister to Barcelona next month. She wants to fly in J, i want to fly in Y. I'm trying to qualify for PM status so would love to put the ticket under my name, get the 50% MQM bonus but sit in coach while enjoys the Delta One service she paid for.

While I'm sure Delta doesn't love the idea of my manipulating their system to improve my medallion status, would an FA/GA really have an issue if upon boarding i told them 'i'd like to give my sister my seat in J is it okay if she sits up here and i sit in 41B'

(not trying to be snarky, MSPeconomist, you've posted some very useful info over the years and i appreciate your help)
injera is offline  
Old Sep 6, 16, 7:16 am
  #5  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
Hilton Contributor Badge
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: San Antonio
Programs: DL DM, Former AA EXP now AY Plat, NW Plat, Former CO Gold, Hilton Diamond
Posts: 19,010
Originally Posted by injera View Post
Completely understood.

If it helps, can we change the situation to....

I'm flying with my sister to Barcelona next month. She wants to fly in J, i want to fly in Y. I'm trying to qualify for PM status so would love to put the ticket under my name, get the 50% MQM bonus but sit in coach while enjoys the Delta One service she paid for.

While I'm sure Delta doesn't love the idea of my manipulating their system to improve my medallion status, would an FA/GA really have an issue if upon boarding i told them 'i'd like to give my sister my seat in J is it okay if she sits up here and i sit in 41B'

(not trying to be snarky, MSPeconomist, you've posted some very useful info over the years and i appreciate your help)
Technically no they shouldn't allow it. In practice, I've never seen a FA deny a D1 passenger the option of switching with their spouse or family member. They don't like you switching during flight though. Do it before take off and you'll be fine.
flyerCO is online now  
Old Sep 6, 16, 7:22 am
  #6  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Brighton. UK
Programs: BA Silver / VS /IHG Spire & Ambassador
Posts: 12,237
Your employer paid for your seat with certain expectations - that you would be able to have proper rest and / or get some work done and on that bases be able to hit the ground running when you arrive - attend meetings / do presentations etc

Sitting in Y means you can't generally meet those expectations.


I wouldn't go as far as say it was fraud but it's not something I would do.
UKtravelbear is offline  
Old Sep 6, 16, 7:29 am
  #7  
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: MA
Programs: DL DM/2MM Marriott Platinum, HH Diamond,
Posts: 8,523
Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
The issue is that your employer bought YOU a D1 ticket for business purposes. It's fraud to give it to a spouse and technically doing so creates a tax liability for you and a reporting requirement for your company. In some organizations this could be grounds for termination.
I am sure that you didn't become a FlyerTalk Posting Legend by bringing up far-out hypotheticals like this! There will be no actual record anywhere that the switch was made.
RobertS975 is offline  
Old Sep 6, 16, 7:30 am
  #8  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
Hilton Contributor Badge
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: San Antonio
Programs: DL DM, Former AA EXP now AY Plat, NW Plat, Former CO Gold, Hilton Diamond
Posts: 19,010
Originally Posted by UKtravelbear View Post
Your employer paid for your seat with certain expectations - that you would be able to have proper rest and / or get some work done and on that bases be able to hit the ground running when you arrive - attend meetings / do presentations etc

Sitting in Y means you can't generally meet those expectations.


I wouldn't go as far as say it was fraud but it's not something I would do.
It can be fraud since the cost of the D1 ticket is a tax deductible business expense when paid for the employee to travel. If the wife instead flies in D1 then only the coach fare is a tax deductible business expense. The D1 fare then becomes for the employee taxable benefit from the company. It would need to be reported out on their W2 as earnings and taxes withheld. Failing to report this thus does become fraud not only against the company, but against the IRS.
flyerCO is online now  
Old Sep 6, 16, 7:36 am
  #9  
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: SE US
Posts: 93
How on in the world would the employer or IRS ever find out if you switch seats mid flight? Tell your wife to enjoy the ride up front and worry about more important things!

Fraud?
SEUS777 is offline  
Old Sep 6, 16, 7:38 am
  #10  
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: AUS
Programs: Delta - Silver
Posts: 326
Originally Posted by SEUS777 View Post
How on in the world would the employer or IRS ever find out if you switch seats mid flight? Tell your wife to enjoy the ride up front and worry about more important things!

Fraud?
Or tell your wife it's fraud, let her enjoy Y, while you sleep restfully in J. After returning home, enjoy being able to sleep all by yourself on the couch for a month!
publicmsu is offline  
Old Sep 6, 16, 7:43 am
  #11  
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Programs: DL PM, Hyatt Plat, SPG Gold
Posts: 1,082
"Happy Wife.....Happy Life"
cottonpatch is offline  
Old Sep 6, 16, 7:47 am
  #12  
formerly ThePinkUnicornShirtGuy
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Franklin, TN
Programs: Delta Diamond
Posts: 414
Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
The issue is that your employer bought YOU a D1 ticket for business purposes. It's fraud to give it to a spouse and technically doing so creates a tax liability for you and a reporting requirement for your company. In some organizations this could be grounds for termination.
Not sure if trolling or not...

The IRS has undercover agents that check seating assignments, beware!
The BNA Gentleman is offline  
Old Sep 6, 16, 7:49 am
  #13  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
Hilton Contributor Badge
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: San Antonio
Programs: DL DM, Former AA EXP now AY Plat, NW Plat, Former CO Gold, Hilton Diamond
Posts: 19,010
Originally Posted by SEUS777 View Post
How on in the world would the employer or IRS ever find out if you switch seats mid flight? Tell your wife to enjoy the ride up front and worry about more important things!

Fraud?
Come in tired and they ask why you're not refreshed. Not thinking you say it was a bad flight and accidentally inform them you were in coach when they know you were paid to fly D1. Talking with HR or AP for reimbursement of expenses and accidentally mention it. Someone from work also on the flight sees what happens, etc

The risk is low. However its still a risk, and is still a fraud upon the company and the IRS by not reporting it. The risk/benefit ratio may mean it's worth it. However even 99% odds of nothing happening mean that 1% something does.
flyerCO is online now  
Old Sep 6, 16, 7:50 am
  #14  
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: DTW
Programs: DL PM, Natl-Exec Elite, Hertz-President Circle, Marriot/Starwood-Gold, HHonors-Gold
Posts: 678
Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
The issue is that your employer bought YOU a D1 ticket for business purposes. It's fraud to give it to a spouse and technically doing so creates a tax liability for you and a reporting requirement for your company. In some organizations this could be grounds for termination.
Originally Posted by flyerCO View Post
It can be fraud since the cost of the D1 ticket is a tax deductible business expense when paid for the employee to travel. If the wife instead flies in D1 then only the coach fare is a tax deductible business expense. The D1 fare then becomes for the employee taxable benefit from the company. It would need to be reported out on their W2 as earnings and taxes withheld. Failing to report this thus does become fraud not only against the company, but against the IRS.
Is this what you tell your spouse so that you can enjoy your D1 or domestic F seat while they sit in back ?
Ledfish is offline  
Old Sep 6, 16, 7:51 am
  #15  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
Hilton Contributor Badge
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: San Antonio
Programs: DL DM, Former AA EXP now AY Plat, NW Plat, Former CO Gold, Hilton Diamond
Posts: 19,010
Originally Posted by Ledfish View Post
Is this what you tell your spouse so that you can enjoy your D1 or domestic F seat while they sit in back ?
Nope. I take the risk, as it's not likely anyone will find out. However that doesn't mean there isn't a risk and real consequences.
flyerCO is online now  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search Engine: