Flying on a Buddy Pass – All You Need to Know, Pros and Cons

A buddy pass is a form of standby ticket by using your family’s or friend’s ticket benefits. It is not a confirmed ticket and means a person with buddy pass gets on a flight if there are empty or available seats. With this kind of arrangement, a buddy pass is typically much cheaper and flexible than confirmed tickets.

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Have you ever wondered what it’s like to fly on a buddy pass? Whether you’re considering flying on a buddy pass or you’re just curious about the process, this blog post is for you. In this post, we’ll give you an idea of how does a buddy pass work, including the pros and cons. We’ll also share some insider tips and advice to make your experience as smooth as possible.

What is a Buddy Pass and How Does it Work?

A buddy pass allows a passenger with a confirmed ticket to bring along a companion on the same flight for a reduced cost or for free. The process for using a buddy pass varies from airline to airline.

Generally, the confirmed ticket holder must request and pay for the buddy pass at the time of booking or before reaching the airport. Some airlines restrict who is eligible for a buddy pass, such as only allowing immediate family members or restricting them to certain routes.

It’s important to note that buddy passes do not guarantee to seat – both passengers may be required to fly on standby and could potentially not be able to board the same flight. However, when successful, buddy passes can be an affordable way for travelers to bring a companion on their trip.

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Pros of Flying on a Buddy Pass

There are some definite advantages to flying on a buddy pass:

  1. It has more options. They often provide access to flights that may not be available through regular booking channels. 
  2. It will save you money. Buddy passes often come at a discounted rate, allowing you to save on the cost of regular tickets. 
  3. It has Flexibility. Using a buddy pass can provide more flexibility in terms of travel dates and booking last-minute flights. 
  4. Some airlines offer additional benefits, such as upgraded seating and lounge access, for those using buddy passes. 
  5. Flying with a buddy pass can provide an exciting, unique experience compared to traditional flight booking methods. 
  6. Having access to buddy passes can make it easier for individuals who may not otherwise have the means or opportunity to travel by airplane. 
  7. It will allow you to share the experience with a friend or family member who may not have had the chance to fly otherwise.
  8. In some cases, utilizing a buddy pass may even lead to getting your flight for free if any changes arise and your companion is unable to take the trip with you. 
  9. When traveling with someone you know on a buddy pass, can provide an opportunity for deeper connections and bonding experiences during the journey together.  
  10. Using a buddy pass can show support for friends or family members who work for the airline as well as provide them with extra perks in return for their pass offering.

Cons of Flying on a Buddy Pass

While a buddy pass may save money in the short term, there are significant drawbacks to be aware of before using one. 

  1. You can face restrictions on destinations and dates. Your buddy may only have the ability to book flights within a certain region or during certain times of the year. 
  2. When using a buddy pass, it can be difficult or costly to make changes or cancel your flight plans. 
  3. Your buddy may not have enough passes to share with you, or they may only be able to secure a pass during non-peak times. 
  4. A buddy pass does not guarantee you a seat on the flight, and there may not be enough available seats for both you and your buddy at the time of check-in. 
  5. Using a buddy pass means that you will not earn any points or miles toward future flights on that airline. You may have to pay extra fees for checked baggage or in-flight services such as meals and entertainment if you use a buddy pass.
  6. When you use a buddy pass, you won’t accrue points towards the airline’s loyalty program, so you won’t receive elite status perks like priority boarding or upgrades.
  7. Potential impact on your relationship with your buddy. Using a buddy pass can lead to strain on your relationship if there are complications with your flight plans, or if they feel like they are always obligated to provide passes for you to fly cheaply. 
  8. Costly mistake fares may still apply. Even with a buddy pass, mistake fares can still apply for both yourself and your buddy, leading to unexpected expenses for both parties. 
  9. Lack of customer support from the airline. As a non-ticketed passenger utilizing a buddy pass, the airline may not provide support in case of delays or emergencies during the flight.

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Tips for Flying on a Buddy Pass

  • First and foremost, it is crucial to confirm your buddy pass flight as early as possible. These flights are often overbooked and you could potentially be bumped. 
  • Make sure to understand the restrictions associated with flying on a buddy pass, including luggage allowance and seat assignment policies. 
  • Be prepared for potential delays or cancellations, as these can happen more frequently on buddy pass flights. 
  • When traveling with a buddy pass, dress appropriately and be considerate of the airline staff and other passengers. This will give you a better chance of receiving upgrades or special treatment.
  • Plan ahead and be flexible in your travel plans. Buddy pass flights may not always go to your desired destination or take off at your preferred time.
  • Bring all necessary documents, including ID and the buddy pass itself, to avoid any problems at the airport. 

Remember that flying on a buddy pass is a privilege, not a right. Show gratitude to those who have allowed you to join them on their flight. Respect the rules and regulations set by the airline in order to continue receiving this perk in the future.

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So there you have it – everything you need to know about flying on a buddy pass. It can be a great way to travel for cheap or even free, but it also has its fair share of downsides. Weigh the pros and cons carefully before making your decision – and remember, always err on the side of caution when it comes to safety!