How Many Buddy Passes Do Delta Employees Get?

If you have a friend or family member who works for Delta Airlines, you may be wondering if they get free flights or buddy passes that they can give out. With most airlines cutting back on employee perks, do Delta workers still get free standby travel and if so, how many passes do they get per year?

The quick answer is that active Delta employees get 6 one-way standby passes per year to use on Delta operated flights. These are called Expanded Travel Privileges or ‘Buddies’ and allow non-revenue standby travel for friends, family members or vacation companions.

Details on Delta Airline Employee Buddy Passes

Delta Airline employees are fortunate to have access to buddy passes, which allow them to extend travel privileges to friends and family. These passes are a great benefit, as they provide an opportunity for loved ones to experience the joy of travel at a significantly reduced cost.

Who Gets Buddy Passes at Delta

Delta extends buddy passes to all of its employees, including both full-time and part-time staff. This means that not only pilots and flight attendants have access to these passes, but also employees in various other departments such as customer service, maintenance, and administration.

It’s a fantastic perk that Delta offers to show appreciation for their hardworking employees.

How Many Passes Per Year

The number of buddy passes an employee receives at Delta depends on their length of service. Typically, employees receive a set number of passes per year, ranging from a few to several. However, it’s important to note that these passes are not unlimited and are subject to availability.

Therefore, it’s advisable for employees to plan their travels well in advance and check for seat availability before making any arrangements.

Companion Certificates vs Standby Travel

There are two types of buddy passes that Delta employees can utilize: companion certificates and standby travel. Companion certificates allow the designated companion to travel at a discounted rate, usually around 90% off the regular fare.

Standby travel, on the other hand, allows the buddy to fly for free but is subject to seat availability. It’s important to understand the terms and conditions associated with each type of pass to make the most of this benefit.

Tips for Using Delta Buddy Passes Successfully

Using buddy passes effectively requires some planning and flexibility. Here are a few tips to make the most of this perk:

  • Plan ahead: Buddy passes are subject to availability, so it’s best to plan your trips well in advance to secure seats.
  • Travel during off-peak times: Choosing to travel during less busy times can increase the chances of finding available seats.
  • Be flexible with dates and destinations: Having flexibility in your travel plans can greatly enhance your chances of securing a seat.
  • Understand the rules: Make sure to familiarize yourself with the rules and restrictions associated with buddy passes to avoid any surprises.
  • Communicate with the employee: Coordinate with the Delta employee who provided you with the buddy pass to ensure a smooth travel experience.

By following these tips, you can make the most of your Delta Airline buddy passes and enjoy memorable travel experiences with your loved ones.

Policies and Restrictions

Delta Airlines offers its employees a generous benefit known as “buddy passes,” which allow their friends and family members to travel at a significantly reduced cost. However, there are certain policies and restrictions associated with these passes that employees and their guests must adhere to.

Blackout Dates

One important aspect of Delta’s buddy pass policy is the presence of blackout dates. These are specific dates throughout the year when the passes cannot be used due to high travel demand or other operational reasons.

It’s essential for employees and their guests to check the blackout dates in advance to avoid any disappointment or inconvenience. Delta provides a comprehensive list of blackout dates on their employee portal, ensuring that employees have easy access to this information.

Regional Jet Policy

Another important policy to consider is the regional jet policy. Delta employees and their guests can use buddy passes on regional jet flights, but there may be certain restrictions. For example, some regional jets have limited seating capacity, and buddy passes may only be available on a standby basis.

It’s important to understand these restrictions and plan accordingly to ensure a smooth and hassle-free travel experience.

International Travel Rules

When it comes to international travel, Delta has specific rules and regulations in place for buddy pass usage. These rules may vary depending on the destination and other factors. Employees and their guests are advised to familiarize themselves with the international travel policies and restrictions before planning their trips.

Delta’s employee portal provides detailed information regarding international travel rules, ensuring that employees have access to the most up-to-date guidelines.

Unaccompanied Minor Restrictions

Delta also has restrictions regarding the use of buddy passes for unaccompanied minors. Generally, buddy passes cannot be used for unaccompanied minors, as Delta prioritizes the safety and well-being of young travelers.

However, there may be certain exceptions or alternative options available, depending on the circumstances. Employees can contact Delta’s employee support services for more information on unaccompanied minor travel using buddy passes.

It’s worth noting that the policies and restrictions mentioned here are subject to change, and employees should always refer to Delta’s official resources for the most accurate and up-to-date information.

Delta’s employee portal,, is an excellent resource for employees to access the latest policies and guidelines related to buddy passes.

Benefits and Drawbacks of Delta Buddy Passes

Pros of Using a Buddy Pass

Delta buddy passes are one of the many perks that Delta employees enjoy. These passes allow family members and friends to travel on standby at a significantly reduced rate. One of the biggest advantages of using a buddy pass is the cost savings.

It’s a great way to travel for those who have a flexible schedule and don’t mind the uncertainty of standby travel. Additionally, buddy passes can be a fantastic opportunity to explore new destinations and create lasting memories with loved ones.

Another benefit of buddy passes is the ability to experience the perks of flying with Delta. Passengers using buddy passes can enjoy the same amenities as regular passengers, such as in-flight entertainment, complimentary snacks, and access to Delta lounges.

This can make the travel experience even more enjoyable for those lucky enough to use a buddy pass.

Cons and Challenges

While buddy passes can be a great perk, there are some drawbacks and challenges to consider. One of the main challenges is the uncertainty of standby travel. Passengers using buddy passes are not guaranteed a seat on the flight and must wait until all paying passengers have boarded.

This can be stressful, especially during busy travel periods or popular destinations.

Another challenge is the limited availability of buddy passes. Delta employees receive a limited number of buddy passes each year, and they may have restrictions on who they can give them to. This means that not everyone may have access to these passes, even if they have a friend or family member who works for Delta.

It’s also important to note that buddy passes come with certain restrictions and blackout dates. Passengers using buddy passes may have limited options when it comes to choosing their travel dates and destinations.

They may also have to be flexible with their plans in case they are unable to secure a seat on their desired flight.

Do They Make Good Gifts?

Buddy passes can be a thoughtful and exciting gift for friends and family members who love to travel. It’s a unique opportunity to explore new destinations at a reduced cost. However, it’s important to consider the potential challenges and limitations mentioned earlier.

Before giving a buddy pass as a gift, it’s essential to discuss the restrictions and potential uncertainties with the recipient to ensure they understand and are comfortable with the conditions.


In summary, active Delta employees get 6 one-way buddy passes per year with some strings attached. While standby travel has risks of getting bumped and you need to be flexible, for the right travel companion, Delta buddy passes can make free or very cheap vacations possible.

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