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-   -   Giving an Int'l D1 seat to spouse? (https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/delta-air-lines-skymiles/1789197-giving-intl-d1-seat-spouse.html)

injera Sep 6, 16 6:28 am

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?

miraclebear2003 Sep 6, 16 6:47 am


Originally Posted by injera (Post 27172061)
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.

MSPeconomist Sep 6, 16 6:48 am

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.

injera Sep 6, 16 7:08 am


Originally Posted by MSPeconomist (Post 27172129)
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)

flyerCO Sep 6, 16 7:16 am


Originally Posted by injera (Post 27172202)
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.

UKtravelbear Sep 6, 16 7:22 am

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.

RobertS975 Sep 6, 16 7:29 am


Originally Posted by MSPeconomist (Post 27172129)
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.

flyerCO Sep 6, 16 7:30 am


Originally Posted by UKtravelbear (Post 27172263)
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.

SEUS777 Sep 6, 16 7:36 am

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? :rolleyes:

publicmsu Sep 6, 16 7:38 am


Originally Posted by SEUS777 (Post 27172318)
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? :rolleyes:

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!

cottonpatch Sep 6, 16 7:43 am

"Happy Wife.....Happy Life"

The BNA Gentleman Sep 6, 16 7:47 am


Originally Posted by MSPeconomist (Post 27172129)
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!

flyerCO Sep 6, 16 7:49 am


Originally Posted by SEUS777 (Post 27172318)
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? :rolleyes:

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.

Ledfish Sep 6, 16 7:50 am


Originally Posted by MSPeconomist (Post 27172129)
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 (Post 27172298)
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 ?

flyerCO Sep 6, 16 7:51 am


Originally Posted by Ledfish (Post 27172387)
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.


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