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Guest Pass prices


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#1
Black Magic

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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.
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#2
UPNAWAY

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:( I agree guest pass prices are out of whack when one factors in the current fares and load factors. I donít 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.
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#3
strangiatotheme

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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.


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.
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#4
Black Magic

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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.
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Mr. Obama, when exactly is the re-distribution of wealth going to take place??


#5
BoeingBoy

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


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

Jim
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#6
Black Magic

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

Jim


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.
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Mr. Obama, when exactly is the re-distribution of wealth going to take place??


#7
BoeingBoy

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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.


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
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#8
redheadtempe33

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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.


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).
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#9
UPNAWAY

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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




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.
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#10
BoeingBoy

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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
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#11
UPNAWAY

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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?
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#12
BoeingBoy

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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.


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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