Setting Expectations for Non-Reving

Flight benefits are touted as one of the biggest benefits to airline jobs. Being able to fly your family, friends, and significant others around the world for little to no cost? Like most things, if it sounds too good to be true, parts of it probably are. Between crowded and cancelled flights, high season traffic, and unpredictable weather, a lot can derail well-intentioned travel plans.

Making A Plan To Non-Rev With Guests

The most important thing is setting expectations for your friends and family before you even depart. You’ve picked your flights [and backups and backup-backups], but now what? Especially for first-time non-revs, it’s important to note the process for them. Spell it out. What’s the check-in process like? Who do they talk to and when? What does the order on the screen mean? What will happen if they do not get on the flight? How do they dress to comply with company policy for guest travel? Reiterate [over and over if needed] the important of their time of check-in. Things you take for granted as crew could be totally foreign to a new non-revver.

Also important to note is the reality that they might not get on a flight at all, which is likely a new concept. A cancelled flight before theirs could set a domino effect into action [that once bumped us off a flight with 60+ open seats and 0 non-revs to being overbooked, overnight]. Make a plan in advance for how to handle this. Do they fly to a different hub? Can they delay a day to get better chances? You’ll keep their stress down [and yours since you’re coordinating and booking this all] by making a plan for failure. Non-rev flights can be a wonderful bonus and open affordable options for traveling the world [it did take us to Hawaii, after all], but to be successful, requires patience, flexibility, and patience. Did I say patience?

Consider Avoiding For New Non-Revs:

  • Major commuter lines. This is both for commercial passengers between major metros and hub-to-hub, or outlying domicile-to-hub connections for pilots and other crew.

  • Saturday travel. It’s a popular day and flights are full.

  • High season. This means Europe in the summer and Central America/Caribbean in the winter. Everyone, paying passengers included, are trying to get where you want to go.

  • Holidays. You think this one would be self-evident, but after a failed trip to Madrid over Christmas, it’s worth putting into print for others.

Have your own non-rev tips? We want to hear them in the comments!

-R and CP