Guest Pass prices

Discussion in 'American Airlines' started by Black Magic, Sep 15, 2010.


  1. Black Magic

    Black Magic Veteran

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    Ok can anyone tell me why it is cheaper to purchase a confirmed ticket to phx-hnl roundtrip, instead of using a guest pass?! For date Oct 14 and returning Oct 18.

    USAirways.com price $430 including tax/fees

    On the ETC for guest pass $432.45 including tax/fees

    What kind of benefit is this?! How is a confirmed seat cost less than a bottom of the barrel SA7P boarding priority?!!The excuses of oil prices, competitve nonrev travle, ect are a joke and just don't jive.
     
  2. UPNAWAY

    UPNAWAY Veteran

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    :( I agree guest pass prices are out of whack when one factors in the current fares and load factors. I don’t even know what they are based on anymore. The used to have zones but that seems to have changed. It seems to be a combo of zones in some markets and a % off Y fare in others. Hawaii is useless and Europe is not that great either. They should be based on the lowest fare in a market, say 60% off lowest published fare (not available fare). The company line is we are comparable with other airlines. That is meaninglessness since in the airline biz you really cannot change jobs between carriers. Also it should be more about are they a useful benefit, and they answer is increasingly no! This is something that definitely needs looking into. I would also love to see the old companion option be available again too.
     
  3. strangiatotheme

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    The ticket price is variable while the guest pass remains constant (considering they don't change the fare structure again). Look at some of the fares for December. Those are near $800 r/t and are non-refundable and subject to change fees. You can cancel or change a pass without penalty; that will cost you about $2700 r/t if you go positive space on those same dates. Guest passes work out great in certain situations, and while it's not a 100% guarantee that they'll be cheaper than buying a ticket, they are still a great benefit to have.
     
  4. Black Magic

    Black Magic Veteran

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    I don't care what the difference in price is monthly on a positive space ticket. A guest pass should ALWAYS be cheaper than a confirmed seat no matter what the date! I'm embarrassed to even offer these to friends.

    And I agree they should bring back the companion pass that we had with AWA for travelers accompanying the employee when flying.
     
  5. BoeingBoy

    BoeingBoy Veteran

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    Did HP provide any benefit in that case other than boarding with the employee's priority?

    Jim
     
  6. Black Magic

    Black Magic Veteran

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    Yes, when you used 2 flexi passes (thats what AWA called them not guest passes) it then turned into a companion pass. When the employee flew with guest/friend they only had to pay for the taxes for the trip. It was a nice deal. I remember taking friends with me to Hawaii and it was only like $35-40 for the trip for them.
     
  7. BoeingBoy

    BoeingBoy Veteran

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    Interesting. I'm surprised that the IRS let HP get away with that unless there was also imputed income to the employee. The IRS requires one or the other for non-immediate family members. US has had the charge for guest passes (IIRC, they were called campanion passes but what they're called doesn't matter). Before my brother retired from AA, they used the imputed income method - he could get me a pass on AA but the imputed income showed up in his W-2.

    Jim
     
  8. redheadtempe33

    redheadtempe33 Advanced

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    Sadly, you can actually get it cheaper through UA ($413.00). :(
    The guest pass prices are fairly reasonable for last minute travel and aren't bad for international travel, but for run of the mill domestic travel ... you can usually find a positive space ticket for about the same (or less).
     
  9. UPNAWAY

    UPNAWAY Veteran

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    Jim the employee was taxed on that but in the end it was still much cheaper than guest passes and very useful for things like adutl children needing to travel not able to afford the Guest Pass price that many times is only about 10-20% off a fare for stndby! A good examople was my son wnated to go to Vancouver last year, a ticket bought in advacne was only about $40 more than positive space. It makes no sense to but a standby ticket if it is nott susbtantiably cheaper. But at least with the old companion option I could have flow with him to make it much cheaper.
     
  10. BoeingBoy

    BoeingBoy Veteran

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    Yeah, my mistake for not going into more detail. The IRS doesn't say that the imputed income has to be the full cost of a ticket but they have some restrictions on the of type of ticket fare that's used. Because the companion/guest/buddy/whatever passes are refundable and changable 90% off the lowest unrestricted fare is the norm for establishing the fare - no matter whether it's charged as imputed income or paid up front - plus various govt/airport fees. When the IRS put these rules in place the difference between unrestricted and lowest fares wasn't generally as great and the various mandatory fees weren't in existence or as much as today.

    With fares as warped as they are - dirt cheap at the low end because of lcc competition to shy high at the top end - a heavily discounted non-refundable fare is often not that much less than 10% of the unrestricted fare because many of the mandatory fees (pfc/security/etc) are the same regardless of the fare and can be a high percentage of the price of the lowest cost tickets.

    So the end result is that the guest/buddy/companion/whatever passes aren't that good a deal these days. It may save a few bucks but the cheap regular fare carries enough benefits to offset that - confirmed seat, protections for misconnects/cancellations, etc.

    Jim
     
  11. UPNAWAY

    UPNAWAY Veteran

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    Good points, I have long thought the ATA should lobby the IRS to re-value fligth benefits as they are not as good as they where twenty-five years ago. But I guess it is not a high priority.

    Maybe employyees need to take the lead and contact Washington?
     
  12. BoeingBoy

    BoeingBoy Veteran

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    Remember back around when US was deciding what the combined non-rev system would look like and Parker (I think, maybe Kirby) said something to the effect that guest passes diluted revenue? I can only assume the thinking was that the guest pass traveler would have bought a revenue ticket if they couldn't get a guest pass. That kink of thinking also explains why ATA nor the carriers are in no hurry to see guest passes become a better deal.

    Some carriers still give good deals to non-revs (don't know about anything like guest passes). AS charges $30 each way no matter how far you go - Florida to Barrow Alaska (4000+ miles great circle) = about $45 total each way. FL-HNL (~5000 miles great circle) = about $45 total each way.

    Jim
     
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  13. Kittyhawk

    Kittyhawk Member

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    My biggest gripe is the bags. We charge our guest pass travelers the same price that we charge our passengers. $25 for the 1st, $35 for the 2nd and $100 for each additional. However, if there bags fail to arrive at the final destination, then they are on there own. None of the courtesies that we give our passengers for mishandled bags apply to guest pass riders who pay the same fee. We also charge OA employees the same fees, with none of the benefits, and the kicker is that they don't charge us when we travel on there airline. Long story short, I will not give out guest passes unless they are traveiling with me (I can absorb the bag fees in my allotment).
     
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  14. redheadtempe33

    redheadtempe33 Advanced

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    We actually don't (or shouldn't be) charging *A OAL employees for bags (and hopefully they don't charge us).
     

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