Don’t Rely on a Buddy Pass
Last week, the BBC published a story about “nearly 200 Mexicans stuck at Madrid airport for days.” It turns out the travelers were using Aeromexico buddy passes. Those are tickets that are issued to airline staff and their relatives.
I’m very familiar with buddy passes because my old girlfriend, “Amber Airplane,” was a flight attendant and made me her domestic partner. This enabled me to use her buddy passes so I could fly pretty much anywhere on United Airlines as long as there was a seat available and she paid the taxes. It was super fun to go to Hawaii for dinner or fly first class to Australia but we were usually smart about it. We would fly off-peak and when the flight loads were low.
Back then (over a dozen years ago) it was much easier to fly on buddy passes because planes weren’t as full. A couple of times I learned the hard way that buddy passes aren’t to be used when you really need to get from point A to point B. For example, we once missed a wedding in Hawaii because we couldn’t get an empty seat. Another time in Washington, DC, we were asked to get off the plane to Cleveland just before they closed the aircraft door because a frequent flyer showed up. It was not only embarrassing but also ended up costing us more money since last-minute plane tickets aren’t cheap.
Just like Aeromexico “advised ticket-holders not to fly during the peak holiday season,” I advise thinking twice before using a buddy pass. If you really need to get somewhere don’t rely on a buddy pass. It may end up costing you more in the long run.
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