I will never forget my first “buddy pass” flight. I was sixteen years old trying to surprise my best friend in Texas for her sixteenth birthday. My mom’s friend was gracious enough to let a sophomore in high school fly alone on her pass. I showed up that morning dressed for success… No really, I had a black pencil skirt and vest on, a white tee and black pumps, with goodies in hand for the crew. I was well prepared and definitely on my way to becoming a non-revving queen.

Since then I have bounced around living all over the country. I’ve been a commuting flight attendant for five years now. My commute has ranged as small as an hour flight to as long as a transatlantic 10-hour flight which is where my commute currently lies.

I have a unique perspective of non-revving on friends’ passes, my pass, and the perspective of the crew working as well.

Maybe you’re a seasoned non-rev traveler or maybe this is your first time playing open seat roulette. Either way, you need to know non-rev etiquette.

Eleven years and countless non-revved flights later I feel my advice is pretty solid… So solid you’ll have no problem non-revving on that open flight you just found on your StaffTraveler app!

Drum roll, please…

May I present my list of non-rev Dos and Dont’s:

DO Be nice. Like over the top Santa Claus nice. You know, fake but nice.

DONT Be rude, or put the crew or another passenger in an uncomfortable situation.

There is nothing worse than drama being added to a flight than drama coming from a non-rev passenger! “I’m sorry you got a middle seat between two smelly people, would you like to take the next open flight?” 💁🏻

DO Bring treats!

DONT Expect to be upgraded, or treated any differently.

Sometimes if you’re commuting or traveling domestically it can be a short full flight. As much as flight attendants would love to go above and beyond for you, sometimes it just doesn’t work out. But don’t ever stop bringing us treats. I promise we will do everything we can to make it a great flight for you, time permitting.

DO  Dress nicely.

DONT Cause a scene if a customer service agent asks you to change clothes.

Every airline and airport is different. I’ve non-revved in the same outfit on one airline one week and a different airline the next and the customer service agent asked me to change. Rules change and sometimes workers inconsistently interpret them their way. Just smile and do as they say, and remember, you can change your clothes, you’re flying for free (or at a massively discounted price).

DO Introduce yourself!
DONT Flash your badge or name drop when ordering something that costs money off the menu.

First of all, at my airline, you can get fired for flashing your badge while ordering alcohol. But this is my friends and my biggest pet peeve; a passenger comes on to the aircraft and doesn’t say a single word to you, not even say hello when we say hi, but then expects something free by flashing their airline badge or name dropping at us when we come through the cabin. It’s tacky, please don’t do it.

DO Bring a carry-on.

DONT Get upset if they make you check it.

I have had my bag lost, destroyed, and delayed for weeks when checking it, and typically the damaged is not covered as a nonrev. I always try to carry on as much as I can, but I understand if its a full flight and I’m the last to get cleared that they might not have enough room. It’s always a bummer to leave it in the jet bridge but after kindly confirming with the crew that there is no space I always comply. But there is no harm in asking, who knows, maybe the flight attendant has a secret spot saved just for you. 😉

DO Say “thank you” when you’re cleared for a flight.

DONT Freak out if you don’t make the flight.

It’s called non-rev space available (NRSA) for a reason. Cancelations happen, delays happen, even as a paid passenger. It’s a gamble when you nonrev, so make sure to have a back-up plan, and always, always, always show kindness regardless of the outcome. I would hate for you or whoever’s pass you’re flying on to lose their benefits over a flight that would have cost $300. It’s not worth it.

And one final DONT…

DONT Ever ask your airline friend for a buddy pass unless they offer.

I will never forget my first “buddy pass” flight. I was sixteen years old trying to surprise my best friend in Texas for her sixteenth birthday. My mom’s friend was gracious enough to let a sophomore in high school fly alone on her pass. I showed up that morning dressed for success… No really, I had a black pencil skirt and vest on, a white tee and black pumps, with goodies in hand for the crew. I was well prepared and definitely on my way to becoming a non-revving queen.

Since then I have bounced around living all over the country. I’ve been a commuting flight attendant for five years now. My commute has ranged as small as an hour flight to as long as a transatlantic 10-hour flight which is where my commute currently lies.

Knowledge is power and with these Dos and Dont’s you’re beyond ready for your next journey! Request your loads on StaffTraveler today!


retro
Kaylie Rodrigues

Kaylie takes her love for travel on and off the clock as a part-time flight attendant part-time world nomad. Currently residing in both England and the US, you’ll never know where to find her next.

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