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Airline Staff Getting Fist Class Seats
I travel weekly, but flights are so short, I can barely get to American Advantage Platinum. While I know that doesn’t qualify me for a free upgrade to first class, I have note several instances where pilots and crew, even from other airlines, get an open first class seat. I happen to find this insulting to my loyalty to one airline and was curious if this is a commin practice with other airlines?
These are the practices of Non-Revenue travel and ZED fares.
Copied from: [URL]http://www.lifeonstandby.com/how-to-fly-standby-as-a-non-rev[/URL]
[B]What is Non Rev?[/B]
Non-Revenue Space Available (NRSA)
Personal travel by an employee or other pass-holder that is on a standby / space available basis without a reserved seat that can be bumped by revenue passengers and many not displace a revenue passenger. These seats are assigned only [I]after[/I] all revenue passengers are accommodated (unless the flight load is light). This type of travel may be used for commuting crew who live in a city other than their company base and may not be used by any pass-holder for the purpose of business travel. These passes are subject to taxes and processing fees and the cabin of service depends on availability in the cabins for which the pass-holder chooses to list, with extra fees associated with travel in premium cabins. NRSA travel does not earn any flight miles but if we could I would have be a platinum elite member.
NRSA travelers may board when they receive a boarding pass if they’ve been called. Boarding passes may be issued at a kiosk, by the Gate Agent before boarding begins, or by the Gate Agent during or near the end of boarding, depending on the flight load.
[*]NRSA passengers are eligible to list (standby) for premium cabins, but will only be accommodated after all revenue passenger requests have been accommodated. Travel in premium cabins is subject to additional taxes and fees.
[*]Those traveling on NRSA passes are entitled to one carry-on bag, one personal item, and two free checked bags, but are still subject to excess, overweight, and oversize baggage fees.
What is a ZED?[/B]
ZED was formed in 1994 to simplify leisure travel arrangements for airline employees and families travelling on another carrier. The system of ID fares (ID90, ID50, etc.) was based on a percentage discount off the published full fare price for a route given a specific origin and destination for each ticket. To allow for more predictable fares, easier interline trip planning and ticketing, ZED created travel zones with specific pricing.
[*]ID90 – Industry / Interline Discount – bilateral interline ticket specifically negotiated between AA and another airline at a 90% discount off the full fare price, plus tax and service charges. Available, generally in limited quantities each year, to AA employees, their spouses, and their dependent children for personal travel on other airlines
[*]ZED – Zonal Employee Discount – ticket available to AA employees, spouses, and dependent children for personal travel on other airlines (or employees of other airlines for travel on AA), subject to mileage-based service fees
[*][B]The Basics of a ZED Fare[/B]
[*]3 fare levels (high, medium, low)
[*]9 mileage bands (1 -9)
[*]2 reservation statuses (space available, confirmed space)
Generally these agreements offer flat rate service charges based on the nonstop mileage of each ticketed segment. These are referred to as Zonal Employee Discount (ZED) fares and are available for unlimited travel by the employee/retiree, spouse/Company-recognized Domestic Partner(DP), and dependent children under 23. In some cases, travel is also extended to the employee’s or retiree’s parents, Registered Companion(RC), but on a limited basis.
[QUOTE=”JMF974, post: 29063″]I travel weekly, but flights are so short, I can barely get to American Advantage Platinum. While I know that doesn’t qualify me for a free upgrade to first class, I have note several instances where pilots and crew, even from other airlines, get an open first class seat. I happen to find this insulting to my loyalty to one airline and was curious if this is a commin practice with other airlines?[/QUOTE]
What I notice most is when there is crew in the cabin, they’ll automatically get one of the huge bottles of water for their seat (when I can sometimes barely get a refill on my Coke).
While it’s frustrating, I look at it like any other industry where people take care of their own. In a restaurant, we’d often comp a fellow service industry member’s first round of drinks, bump them up to the top of the waiting list, etc.
Also note that these privileges can differ between airlines. Heather Poole, an AA flight attendant I follow on Twitter, has mentioned several times that many non-US carriers never allow employees to travel in premium cabins when non-revving. Not sure if that holds true for pilots but I have no trouble believing it for flight attendants.
Years ago (and I mean decades!), I routinely saw pilots (in uniform) in First Class on US Airlines. These days, virtually never. I have sat next to crew many times in Economy on Transcons and TransAtlantic flights in the past ten years. I’ve been told by AA pilots that 85 percent of their PHL based crews do not live in Philadelphia – so many are flying to and from their job site. I’m surprised that you’re routinely seeing crew in F on your flights – hard to understand.