Flying standby on a buddy pass is not always as easy as it looks! There are many obstacles that can arise whether you’re traveling domestic or international, and I have created a list of possible scenarios that CAN go wrong. I can guarantee that everyone you know who “flies for free” has experienced at least one of these scenarios and you had no idea. So think twice before you harass someone for not giving you a buddy pass they are saving you. As a first time user, be aware that something is bound to go wrong—-and here’s a list:
Typical reason: the flight is full!
Inclement weather causes a flight delay or flight cancellation.
You’re next on the standby list & they close the doors.
The gate agent won’t allow you to board due to improper clothing that you forgot you couldn’t even wear (shorts, ripped jeans, sneakers, flip-flops etc.).
The flight has an open seat but the weight occupancy is at capacity.
You DID NOT make the flight and now:
You realize you have to stay an extra day or two (because some countries only leave once/twice a day or every other day). –Yeah your boss isn’t going to like that very much.
You have to waste money on a ride to go back to your hotel/Airbnb (Plus even more money for the ride back to the airport).
You have to call your ride to come all the way back to pick you up. (Not to mention they may have to go through this again during your next drop off).
You’re stuck in the airport with no Wi-Fi to stalk the standby list on the next few flights.
You’re bags are on the way to the destination without you!
You’re freezing in the airport because you thought “who needs a jacket when they are going to the Caribbean”.
You have to pay for Wi-Fi just to call an Uber (unless you want to overpay for a taxi).
You refuse to pay for the expensive airport Wi-Fi so now you’ll be bored people watching for hours.
You DID make the flight and now:
You know that last seat by the toilet that doesn’t recline? It probably has your name on it.
You get stuck in a middle seat in coach instead of first class like all your friends.
A paying passenger shows up to claim their seat. And trust me, they will stare you down with a smirk on their face as you slowly get your belongings, completely embarrassed.
You have no clue if your friends/partner made their flight from a different destination until you arrive. (Even then, you have to now pay for Wi-Fi to contact them)
All of your friends got cleared for the flight but there aren’t any more seats for you. And before you even question it, YES they will leave you!
You have to wake up earlier to fly to a different city just to meet your friends on their next connecting flight.
You have to split up from your partner and now you question their character for getting on without you (even though you clearly understand they have to go in order for you to make the next flight) lol.
You spontaneously hop on a plane not knowing you need a visa (or any other travel documents) when you arrive to your destination. Why do I know this? *lowers head in shame* lol
You pack a carry on just to find out there is no overhead space, so you have to check it anyway.
You make one flight, but the connecting flight is sold out.
You will hate the gate agents for being so nonchalant about whether or not you ‘might’ make the flight or if you should save time and just go back home.
The flight you scheduled can be wide open the night before you depart, but somehow you wake up to an oversold flight.
You got a buddy pass from someone you don’t really know and you don’t have access to their login so if you need to change plans, you feel like you’re bothering them. –You are!
Buddy passes aren’t free and sometimes they aren’t always cheaper than a good flight deal!
You pissed the gate agent off and somehow they find a way to shut the door in your face.
Okay so maybe this is 28 reasons, but who’s counting—you get the point. Drop a comment below and let me know your reasons why buddy passes suck.
Disclaimer: Don’t get me wrong; I will still use a buddy pass if someone gives me one lol. I just want you to be aware of the potential issues that may occur.
An earlier version of this article originally appeared on Stamped Diary.