I didn’t know what a buddy pass was until I tried to book a last minute flight to Ireland. NOT SMART AT ALL. The price of the ticket was completely out of my little travel budget and I wasn’t sure if I would be able to go. I had been searching online for a mistake fare but couldn’t find a thing. I’d missed my opportunity to book the flight earlier in the summer when Scott’s Cheap Flights posted some deals to Dublin. Why? I wasn’t thinking about Ireland. I hadn’t really thought about celebrating my Cancerversory until I met Bisa Miles at TBEXHuntsville. She has been my champion in this and you’ll read my love letter to her later.
But back to this buddy pass. I mentioned my dilemma and my last minute plans to my best friend and she reminded me that her brother worked for Delta and could probably get me a ticket.
How could I have forgotten Mr. Brother worked for Delta? So I sent Mr. Brother a beseeching email explaining what I was trying to do and he was kind enough to help me out. He actually said “no problem.” I gave him my travel dates, and times and he replied with a suggested schedule. A buddy pass means you are “wait listed” which means you get to fly IF there is an empty seat on the plane. The way to try to ensure a seat is to arrive early and take the first flight out. I believe in flying early so this was perfect for me.
Mr. Brother watched the flights and gave me an update on seat possibilities. The plan was to fly from BHM to ATL and then ATL to DUB. But if you’ve ever connected in ATL you know it can be hit or miss even on a revenue flight. So he suggested I take a mid-day flight to give me plenty of time to catch my evening flight to DUB. A few days before my departure while I was enjoying an early celebration on the beach (more on that in another post) he called and suggested I leave a bit earlier in the day and that there were plenty of seats available. I paid for my ticket over the phone (YES!!) and arrived early to catch my flight.
There are rules of decorum when using a buddy pass and they are as follows:
- ALWAYS act kindly and respectfully to the airline staff because YOU are on this flight as a favor to another employee. Document any problems you have with an employee and let your buddy handle it.
- You cannot check in online so don’t try to. Arrive early enough to your departure gate and let the staff know you are there on a buddy pass. They’ll assign your seat AFTER the revenue flyers have been accommodated.
- Bring your patient attitude on board with you and DO NOT pack it in your checked bag. Things go wrong, people get sick, flights are delayed and sometimes cancelled. The staff are there to help you get to your destination so treat them as you would the “buddy” in your buddy pass. If you don’t get a seat on the present flight they will try to get you on the next one.
- Be flexible. Your seat is ASSIGNED to you, you don’t get to choose it. You may end of in a coveted window seat with extra leg room or you may be in the middle of a row sitting next to Irish honeymooners like me. They were so much fun and so in love.
- ENJOY every moment. Hey, you’re traveling somewhere and it was cheaper than it could have been so relax and chill out. And someone likes you enough to agree to be your buddy! Even the turbulence didn’t disturb me because I was on my way to Ireland!
- Finally, be GRATEFUL. You are doing something many people are unable to do.
The buddy pass allowed me to experience another “new” thing and I was altogether pleased. Would I do it again? Probably but I prefer to choose my window seat and book my flights in advance. But now I know the buddy pass is an option. THANK YOU P. Dixon Jr. for helping me celebrate my 20th Cancerversory! You are STILL my hero!
Have you used a buddy pass before? Did you make your initial flight or did you get bumped? Tell me about it!