This week, travel guy Christopher Elliott talks about the growing worthlessness of buddy passes—the travel vouchers airline employees get for family members, or unhappy customers sometimes get as a peace offering. For examples, “on American Airlines, it’s often less expensive to buy an advance-purchase ticket than to use a buddy pass, once you factor in all taxes and fees.” And Continental will add a $100 to $400 surcharge per buddy pass starting this Monday, rendering the “perk” of a buddy pass entirely moot.
But wait. It gets better.
As a result of current market conditions, CO is no longer in a position to absorb additional fuel costs for the weight of a Buddy Pass rider’s second checked bag. Like non-elite revenue passengers, Buddy Pass riders will be assessed a $25 service charge for their second checked bag. When applicable, excess, overweight, and oversized baggage charges will still apply.
This is sending a clear message to Continental’s employees: Our elite frequent fliers are more important than your friends and family. What a shame.
So the next time some airline apologist points out that Gokhan Mutlu, the JetBlue toilet passenger, was flying on a buddy pass, it’s worth noting that these passes hardly pass for a perk anymore.
“JetBlue Forces Passenger To Sit On Toilet For Flight”
(Photo: Getty Images)