Galley Gossip: 10 Signs You’re Commuting, Non-Reving, Or Traveling Standby

You know you’re a commuter when you pack 20 pairs of pantyhose inside your crew bag. This is what I was thinking as I packed my suitcase to go back to work last week. Of course two seconds later I had to stop what I was doing so I could update my Facebook page with that very thought. Priorities, people! It didn’t take long for the hilarious comments to come rolling in. That’s when I knew I had to create the list: 10 signs you’re commuting, non-reving, or traveling standby.

But first a little airline 101:

NON-REV, NON-REVING, NON-REVENUE PASSENGER: Airline employees and/or eligible family members and friends who are traveling on an employee pass. Travel passes are also known as buddy passes. Non-revs will standby for open seats.

COMMUTER, COMMUTING: is the process of getting to work, in other words, flying to one’s base city. Commuters are Non-Revs, but non-revs are not always commuters.

STANDBY PASSENGER– A passenger or airline employee who is waiting for an open or available seat on a flight they are not ticketed on. Full-fare passengers will often “standby” for earlier flights, while non-revs and commuters standby for every flight.


10 signs you’re commuting, non-reving, or traveling standby

1. You know 10 different ways to make your uniform look like you’re NOT in uniform – so you can have a cocktail. – Kelley Fulmer

2. Your workday starts 15 hours before you sign in or get paid. – Beth Henry

3. A three-hour delay doesn’t even faze you as long as you have boarding pass in hand! Or for that matter an hour sit on the taxiway doesn’t bother you simply because you’re on the aircraft – Sonja Hollen4. You have actually sat in the middle of a crowded gate area and sobbed after an agent just informed you (on your tenth attempt) the flight is full. – Cindy Lunsford

5. You’ve flown five segments all over the country through multiple hubs to get home and still end up 60 miles from home. – Brian Hewitt

6. You’ve pretty much memorized the entire flight schedule of every airline in the US. – Bob Nadelberg

7. You’re happy in a middle seat. – Jim McDonough

8. You have no idea what the flight number is or what time you’ll land. You just know you’re going in the right direction. – Heather Poole

9. The working crew makes smart comments about how many bags and/or their size. – Karol Harris

10. You’ve driven half way across the country because it’s faster than rolling your bags from flight to flight for multiple days. – Brian Hewitt

[Photo courtesy of Akbar Sim]

Galley Gossip: Flight attendant training – from graduation to the first flight

flight attendant training graduation first flightAfter graduating from flight attendant training, how much time will I get to go back home and take care of things before moving to my crew base? – Lorelei

Two hours after my silver wings were pinned to my blue lapel on stage in front of classmates, family and friends, I hugged and kissed my loved ones goodbye, stepped onto a bus, and headed to the airport with thirty of my classmates. Most of us boarded a flight departing to New York’s LaGuardia Airport, my new crew base. It was late at night when we landed and I only had three days to find a place to live before reporting to work for the first time.

Flight attendants hired by major carriers usually have three to four days off before their first trip, but one of those days is spent touring the airport. Therefore it’s very important to get all your business taken care of before you go into training because once it begins things will move swiftly.

When I started flying in the mid-nineties, flight attendants at my airline had to serve six months probation before obtaining flight privileges. In other words, our travel passes. This meant that unless I purchased a ticket like a regular person, or another flight attendant was kind enough to donate one their buddy passes, the only time I spent on an airplane was when I walked on board to work a flight. I won’t lie. It wasn’t easy being far away from home and working a job that’s unlike any other, but I struggled through the difficult time and six months later, armed with my passes, life changed for the better.

Before flight attendant training starts, the airline will send you a packet containing information regarding everything you’ll need to know from what to pack for training to how much money you’ll need to bring with you to your new base. It seems like just yesterday I was sitting on the closet floor looking up at my clothes trying to figure out how I could get everything I needed for seven and a half weeks of training inside two suitcases that could not weigh more eighty pounds, two suitcases that would then go directly to my new crew base. Good luck!

Photo courtesy of JFithian

american delta flight attendant

Galley Gossip: Flight attendant revokes travel privileges from husband

Dear Heather,

Someone I know was requested by his wife to meet him in another state due to a medical emergency on her part. She had been working out of the country. As a retired airline employee, she had flight benefits, which she used to book her husband a flight. As soon as he landed, instead of finding his ailing wife, he was served with notice she was filing for divorce. Once he flew back home, she yanked the flight benefit, leaving him unable to afford to fly back to the far away state to defend his property rights in the divorce. Just wondered if you thought the airlines would frown upon using flight benefits to lure someone into a state under false pretense.

K

Dear K,

Now that is some evil shhh….you-know-what! Wow. Just when you think you’ve heard it all, something like this happens. I feel for your friend, I really do. I can’t believe his soon to be ex lied about being sick in order to get him where she wanted him. Unfortunately for your friend, the retired flight attendant had every right to revoke his travel benefits. I know I would! I’ll get to that in a moment.
While the airline, I’m sure, would frown upon an ex employee using their travel privileges to do such a thing, it’s highly doubtful the airline will take action right away – if even at all. Only because there are two sides to every story and this is a marriage dispute, not a work related issue, involving an EX employee who can’t be reprimanded or fired. Anyway, it’s all he said-she said at this point. What right does the airline have getting involved? What right do we even have judging? (Yet judge we will!) Remember there’s a reason they’re getting a divorce in the first place. Not that it’s any of our business, but it probably has something to do with the fact they weren’t even living together in the same country when the papers were served, which explains why this question about her traveling benefits came to be.

The flight attendant lied. That wasn’t nice. In fact, it was pretty evil. But people do lie, especially those involved in nasty divorce battles. It sounds to me like your friend isn’t angry that his wife lied, but that he lost his right to travel. I’ll be honest with you, I don’t understand how divorces work so I can’t comment on his right to defend himself in another country. What I can tell you is flight attendants are responsible for the behavior of those traveling on their buddy passes. This is why flight attendants don’t just hand them over to anyone! If her soon to be ex husband were to misbehave on a flight and get written up by another airline employee, the retired flight attendant could very well lose her travel benefits forever! I wouldn’t chance it. Those are her passes. She earned them. She has every right to decide who gets to use them regardless of what’s going on in the marriage.

Do you believe in karma? I do. So if this retired flight attendant is as bad as you believe her to be, I’m sure she’ll get hers in the end. Until then, let the divorce judge decide. Just my two cents…

Thanks for writing

Heather

Photo courtesy of DCMaster