A buddy pass is like a golden ticket some airlines offer their employees. It lets the airline employee hook up their friends and family with discounted standby travel tickets. It allows you to fly for way less or sometimes even free, depending on how generous the airline is. It’s a sweet deal that offers flexibility and saves serious cash for those who have friends at airlines.

How Does a Buddy Pass Work?


Some Airline employees get buddy passes as part of their job perks. They can use these passes to hook up friends and family for cheaper flights. But please, don’t hit up every flight attendant you barely know for one—that’s not cool.

Standby Travel

The cool thing about a buddy pass is it lets you fly standby. That means you’re flying without a confirmed seat reservation, crossing your fingers for any empty seats left after everyone with a ticket gets on board. We’ll break down the rules for non-rev travel in this blog.

Discounted Fare

With a buddy pass, you can snag flights way cheaper than regular ticket prices. But how much you pay can vary big time, depending on the airline and where you’re going. Some airlines charge a flat fee per trip or a percentage of the normal ticket cost.


Using a buddy pass is all about whether there’s room on the flight you want. Standby passengers like you get to hop on after all the ticketed folks are settled. So, it helps to be flexible with your travel plans. Check out this blog for insider tips.


Buddy passes come with some strings attached. Think blackout dates during busy travel times and lower priority compared to airline employees and their families.

Tips for Using a Buddy Pass 

Plan Ahead

Be ready for anything by keeping your travel dates flexible and having backup plans in case your first-choice flight is full.

Understand Policies

Get to know all the ins and outs of the buddy pass from the airline you’re flying with. Learn about fees, how to book, and any extra charges you might face.

Use StaffTraveler

StaffTraveler is an app designed to assist airline employees and eligible travelers (such as friends and family using buddy passes) in checking the availability of seats on flights. It allows users to see how full a flight is in advance, which helps them make informed decisions about when to fly standby or non-revenue (non-rev) travel. Download the app here.

Be Patient

Standby travel takes some serious patience. Whether you get a seat depends on a bunch of stuff, like how busy the flight is and when you’re flying.

Travel Light

If seats are tight, you might not get to check your bags. Pack light and be ready to travel with just a carry-on.

Can a Buddy use StaffTraveler?

Absolutely! Buddies can use StaffTraveler to check flight loads and plan their non-rev trips. Here’s how it works:

How Buddies Can Use StaffTraveler:

  1. Sign Up: Buddies can sign up for a StaffTraveler account just like airline employees. They need to provide proof of their buddy pass eligibility, which is usually done by verifying their association with an airline employee or a screenshot of their access to the company’s non-rev system.
  2. Check Flight Loads: Once their account is activated, they can use the app to request flight loads for their intended travel routes. This helps them see the availability of seats and plan their trips accordingly.
  3. Invite Friends: Buddies can also invite their friends to join StaffTraveler. By inviting friends, they can earn extra credits, which can be used to request more flight loads. You can find more details on how to invite friends here.

You got it: A buddy pass is such a cool perk that lets friends and family of airline employees travel on the cheap and super conveniently. It saves you a bundle, but remember to be flexible and know the airline rules when you’re flying standby. That way, you can make the most of this awesome travel perk and hop on exciting adventures hassle-free!

Join StaffTraveler

Download the app and get started for free

StaffTraveler for web