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Passengers forced to change clothes on Denver flight file lawsuit

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Rob_C

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As someone who has flown first class to London on an employee pass, I can attest the suit and tie stayed on the whole flight. But knowing our legal system, these bozos will probably get a big settlement. *sigh*
 

SarahZ

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The article says they were wearing jeans and hoodies, and they were flying First Class on a buddy pass. The passengers near them were also wearing jeans and hoodies, hence their confusion/lawsuit. I, myself, have worn a hoodie with jeans on the majority of my flights. It's the next-closest thing to pajamas in terms of comfort.

Unless their clothes had offensive slogans and/or their jeans were pulled down past their underwear, I see no reason to ask them to change. It's too bad the article doesn't have a picture of their outfits. It's hard to armchair quarterback when we don't have all the details. ;)
 

Aaron

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Unless their clothes had offensive slogans and/or their jeans were pulled down past their underwear, I see no reason to ask them to change.
There's always the reason that the rules of the pass they used requires it. When you're flying using an employee benefit, the airline wants to make sure you're representing the company well and that you're helping them in their goal to make all of their passengers have an enjoyable experience. They state a minimum dress code as well as some basic rules of behavior to make sure that happens. I figure it's their airline, their rules, and they're providing free travel in exchange for adherence to those rules. Absolutely reasonable in my opinion.

I've flown on employee non-rev travel a ton of times. I don't know how US Air handles it, but at least with the airline I fly, flying first class isn't necessarily a requirement. You can list for first class (with a dress code) or coach (without a dress code beyond the requirements to dress non-offensively). If you don't want first and its rules, you just take one of the seats in coach.

Without knowing anything about US Air's rules, I suspect that the only way the passengers were "forced" to change would be if there were no seats in coach, and the only way they could get on that flight is by taking the first class openings (with the associated rules). That's a very unlikely scenario, but possible. Still, even then, the airline could quickly upgrade a couple of other passengers to first and accommodate the plaintiffs in coach if necessary. I suspect it's more along the lines of "we have room for you in first, but you'll have to change, otherwise you'll ride in coach", they wisely chose to change to avail themselves of that benefit, but then got butthurt when they saw paying folks dressed however they liked. Then, with seeming disregard for how it will reflect on the friend/family member employee who gave them the passes (who has responsibility for whether the rules are followed on pass travel) found a lawyer with apparent disregard for rules and common sense.
 

SarahZ

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I found a clarification on an airline forum. These are U.S. Air's dress code rules for employee travel, including buddy passes, in First Class.

"First or Envoy Class: Pass travelers may wear casual attire, including blue or black denim attire, skirts, capri-style pants, and sandals, provided it is well groomed, neat, clean, and conservative. Unacceptable attire in First Class/Envoy includes tee shirts, shorts, jogging suits, athletic gear, baseball caps, athletic shoes, beach footwear, flip flops including Croc style footwear."

I imagine they probably considered the hoodies as "athletic gear", since it doesn't say anything about sweatshirts, just t-shirts.

Their friend should have let them know about the regulations when giving them the buddy pass. This also explains why it was okay for the other passengers to wear hoodies and jeans.

Interesting. :)
 

railiner

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Their friend should have let them know about the regulations when giving them the buddy pass. This also explains why it was okay for the other passengers to wear hoodies and jeans.
Interesting. :)
I don't know exactly how US Air issues their 'buddy passes', but the airline I am familiar with clearly states all those rules and regulations on the boarding documents given or emailed to the recipient.

Furthermore, the employee's are cautioned to explain these rules to those they give them to, as the employee is ultimately held responsible for their guest's behavior.

In this case, I am afraid that the employee may lose his or her pass privileges, as a result of the trouble this created for the airline....
 

jis

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Many years ago I had interviewed for a well known airline for a position in their IT department. They gave me a non-rev pass in First Class to fly to the location of the interview and back. The instructions were quite clear..... jacket and tie on the flight please, otherwise don't bother showing up for the interview. I already had a passable jacket, but I did have to go out and acquire a tie. These were student days afterall, and that too in CS :)
 
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SarahZ

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Well, I learned something new today. :)

I would be toooootally okay with wearing, basically, what I wear to work every day if I got to sit in First Class. Our dress code is similar.
 

Devil's Advocate

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In other words, yet another non news. But it is a good one to tar and feather one of those henous airlines one more time :p
&

Many years ago I had interviewed for a well known airline for a position in their IT department. They gave me a non-rev pass in First Class to fly to the location of the interview and back. The instructions were quite clear..... jacket and tie on the flight please, otherwise don't bother showing up for the interview. I already had a passable jacket, but I did have to go out and acquire a tie. These were student days afterall, and that too in CS :)
You didn't dress in jeans and a sweatshirt on your way to a job interview? Shocking. You really showed that silly journalist what real news looks like.
 
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jis

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In other words, yet another non news. But it is a good one to tar and feather one of those henous airlines one more time :p
&
Many years ago I had interviewed for a well known airline for a position in their IT department. They gave me a non-rev pass in First Class to fly to the location of the interview and back. The instructions were quite clear..... jacket and tie on the flight please, otherwise don't bother showing up for the interview. I already had a passable jacket, but I did have to go out and acquire a tie. These were student days afterall, and that too in CS :)
You didn't dress in jeans and a sweatshirt on your way to a job interview? Shocking. You really showed that silly journalist what real news looks like.
There was an intervening night between the flight and the interview, and no I did not sleep in the jacket and tie in the hotel :p Actually I was expecting someone to jump on that and my expectations were met :) I elided the bit about the overnight between the flight and the job interview to see what happens. Just an experiment in good spirit mind you.
 
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J

jimhudson

Guest
Several Years Ago I saw a Couple of Young Guys in the Admirals Club @ SFO that were told by Airline Personnel that they had to Change their Clothing if they expected to Board in First Class on our Flight to New York! They had on Nike Basketball Shorts and Long T-Shirts and Air Jordan Shoes! Of course they Complained, but went ahead and changed into Jeans and Sports Shirts and they were allowed to make the Flight!

On the Sunset Ltd. from SAS-LAX the LSA in the Diner told a Woman that showed up for Breakfast in her Robe and Slippers (from the Sleepers) that she needed to put on Acceptable Clothing to Eat in the Diner! She Refused Loudly and Profanely and the Conductor had to be Called, when she was Informed she Would Be Put Off @ the Next Stop if she Didn't Calm Down and Comply with OBS Directions and Safety Rules! She then left the Diner muttering under her Breath and I didn't see her again anywhere on the Train during the Trip!
 

Devil's Advocate

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In other words, yet another non news. But it is a good one to tar and feather one of those henous airlines one more time :p
&
Many years ago I had interviewed for a well known airline for a position in their IT department. They gave me a non-rev pass in First Class to fly to the location of the interview and back. The instructions were quite clear..... jacket and tie on the flight please, otherwise don't bother showing up for the interview. I already had a passable jacket, but I did have to go out and acquire a tie.These were student days afterall, and that too in CS :)
You didn't dress in jeans and a sweatshirt on your way to a job interview? Shocking. You really showed that silly journalist what real news looks like.
There was an intervening night between the flight and the interview, and no I did not sleep in the jacket and tie in the hotel :p Actually I was expecting someone to jump on that and my expectations were met :) I elided the bit about the overnight between the flight and the job interview to see what happens. Just an experiment in good spirit mind you.
There's nothing particularly wrong with either of your posts. Until you realize they're from the same person. -_-
 

railiner

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The airline that I am familiar with, long ago liberalized it's non-rev dress code. Due to changing times, most first class traveler's no longer wore suits and ties, except perhaps in some heavily business travel segments. Indeed, anyone that did wear them was easily 'recognized' as a non-rev passenger, say on an ORD-HNL flight.

Since the airlines do not wish to call attention to 'non-rev' passengers, they relaxed the rules to what some would call 'business casual' attire...nice slacks, collared shirt, no sneakers....
 

cirdan

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What's the whole thing with non rev passengers anyway?

It seems somewhat absurd to me to give employees passes for free or cut price flights that they can then give or sell on to friends.

At the same time you hear of airlines facing bankrupcy.

It would seem to me to be the logical thing is to max up revenue by not having freebies, or if you're going to do this for employees, make sure its only for them and immediate family and not something they're going to pass or sell on.
 

Aaron

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What's the whole thing with non rev passengers anyway?
It seems somewhat absurd to me to give employees passes for free or cut price flights that they can then give or sell on to friends.

At the same time you hear of airlines facing bankrupcy.

It would seem to me to be the logical thing is to max up revenue by not having freebies, or if you're going to do this for employees, make sure its only for them and immediate family and not something they're going to pass or sell on.
Huh? In most cases, employee travel is on a space available basis, i.e. the plane was going to take off with that seat empty anyway. Not allowing an employee to use it gains $0 in additional revenue (although it may gain $.15 in fuel savings). On the other hand, it's a highly valued employee benefit that keeps the airlines from having to pay a lot more in wages in order to attract and retain qualified employees, yet is provided at a very small marginal cost to the company. That's what's referred to in business schools everywhere as a no-brainer.

Every airline has very strict rules as to how employee travel benefits are administered, like who's eligible. It's usually just designated family, although there are opportunities to get passes to give to non-family. I can't speak with authority about all airlines, but all the ones I'm familiar with have strict rules against selling those passes, which would basically mean instant termination of employment if caught.
 

SarahZ

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In my experience, buddy passes work similarly to "stand-by". It's not always a guaranteed seat. Buddy passes don't trump paying passengers.

Additionally, many companies offer perks to their employees as a "thank you" for working there. This isn't a new thing and is built into the business model. It may cost a bit more, but it can ensure employee retention, which means they don't have to train a new person (which costs money too). I'd rather use that money to keep my employees happy and, in turn, ensure good customer service from knowledgeable people than constantly train new employees who may not provide the same experience. Happy employees = happy customers. Experienced employees = happy customers. Happy customers = $$$$.

Allowing others to use the buddy passes makes good business sense. If someone flies on my airline and enjoys their experience, they may continue to use my airline in the future. I figure it like this:

The seat can remain empty, I make $0 in revenue, and I don't get to "advertise".

OR, someone can sit in that seat, and there's a 50/50 chance they'll decide to use my airline for an upcoming trip. Since I'm making $0 anyway, I'd rather go with the 50/50 odds.
 

white rabbitt

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sorcha i had a friend who worked at a american west airlines as a sales agent at the airport,

he got me a buddy pass so i could go from austin to san francisco, i had to dress up,

i went stand by austin to las vegas then hung out at the airpost till they had a flight

i could get on,i was representing my friend so i dressed up
 
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Devil's Advocate

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What's the whole thing with non rev passengers anyway? It seems somewhat absurd to me to give employees passes for free or cut price flights that they can then give or sell on to friends. At the same time you hear of airlines facing bankrupcy. It would seem to me to be the logical thing is to max up revenue by not having freebies, or if you're going to do this for employees, make sure its only for them and immediate family and not something they're going to pass or sell on.
It's intended as both a reward and a hedge against fraud. Non-revs are not generally competing with paid fares under normal circumstances. They're competing with op-ups and other non-revs. When the planes run full non-revs risk being left at the airport for hours or even days at a time. Airline bankruptcy can be caused by many contributing factors, but buddy passes probably aren't one of them.
 

railiner

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What's the whole thing with non rev passengers anyway?
It seems somewhat absurd to me to give employees passes for free or cut price flights that they can then give or sell on to friends.

At the same time you hear of airlines facing bankrupcy.

It would seem to me to be the logical thing is to max up revenue by not having freebies, or if you're going to do this for employees, make sure its only for them and immediate family and not something they're going to pass or sell on.
Huh? In most cases, employee travel is on a space available basis, i.e. the plane was going to take off with that seat empty anyway. Not allowing an employee to use it gains $0 in additional revenue (although it may gain $.15 in fuel savings). On the other hand, it's a highly valued employee benefit that keeps the airlines from having to pay a lot more in wages in order to attract and retain qualified employees, yet is provided at a very small marginal cost to the company. That's what's referred to in business schools everywhere as a no-brainer.

Every airline has very strict rules as to how employee travel benefits are administered, like who's eligible. It's usually just designated family, although there are opportunities to get passes to give to non-family. I can't speak with authority about all airlines, but all the ones I'm familiar with have strict rules against selling those passes, which would basically mean instant termination of employment if caught.
Non-rev travel, as mentioned, is always standby--never guaranteed. And also, as mentioned, standby's risk being stranded sometimes for days, at their own expense.

As for 'free' travel....on the airline I am familiar with, only employees and their immediate families may qualify for free travel. 'Guest passes' are at a greatly reduced rate, but not free. So the airline actually makes money on these traveler's who fill seats that might have gone unsold.
 

fairviewroad

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OR, someone can sit in that seat, and there's a 50/50 chance they'll decide to use my airline for an upcoming trip. Since I'm making $0 anyway, I'd rather go with the 50/50 odds.
And a non-rev (especially someone on a buddy pass) could actually mean additional revenue if they order a meal, alcohol, wi-fi, etc.
 
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