All my life I’ve been surrounded by airports. Three-letter city codes, traveling standby, getting bumped from one flight to the other and going to random destinations just to get to one final city. Some people don’t understand the benefits and the consequences of traveling under my mom’s pass, but it’s the type of lifestyle that only I’ll ever know. The pros outweigh the cons, and I feel very fortunate that I’ve been able to grow up with parents in the airline industry. I mean the benefits are great! Here’s some of them to give you a better explanation.
1. You know the drill
Chances are you can recite the safety presentation word for word. Bonus points if you can mimic the hand gestures too. The TSA speech is also one you know by heart and it ain’t your first rodeo when the drink cart comes your way. You know what you want before they can even ask. So, in other words, you don’t have the nervous flying jitters that some people have. You know that turbulence is normal and it’s absolutely nothing to be worried about. You don’t get the excitement anymore of take-off and landing because you’re probably asleep when both happen. Nothing is new to you so everything is like a routine.
2. New surroundings aren’t too scary
You can navigate around any airport including ones you’ve never been to. You probably know the shortcuts and can predict where baggage claim and your connecting gate will be. New airports aren’t scary and big, they’re just like any other one.
3. You can speak a different lingo
When you vacation with friends and you talk about the flight you probably refer to the airplane as a triple 7, Super 80, rather than “one of those single row airplanes.” You refer to destinations by their three letter code rather than the city itself. “I’m flying into OGG tomorrow. Oh, whoops, I mean Maui.”
4. You get to fly for practically free
Sure you have to pay the taxes but it’s barely anything. People probably think you’re spoiled because you get to go just about anywhere in the world for all your vacations. But the reason why is because it costs practically nothing. The best part is that you can schedule a flight at the last minute or spontaneously whenever you want to. The crappy part, though, is your friends can’t do that. So when you have a three-day weekend and you suggest going to Vegas, your friends are upset that they didn’t get the six months notice to save up for the airfare.
5. You also get to fly first class majority of the time
Since you take whatever seat you can get, a lot of times it can be first class. No complaints here when you’re handed a glass of champagne or have warm snacks waiting at your seat for you.
6. Rules don’t apply to you
You don’t have to pay to check in your luggage, if your family member is in uniform they can sneak in your liquids for you, you don’t have to pay for snacks or headphones on the airplane, and did I mention your flight is discounted?!
7. You’ve learned a lot about flexibility and patience
Since you fly standby (for free may I add) you know the struggle of not making flights. So it’s not weird to you when you have three or more connecting flights just to make it to your one destination. You’ve learned to take deep breaths, wait for the no-shows, and hope for the best. And if you have a good attitude about it, the majority of the time it’ll work out for you.
Being an airline kid can lead to one of the greatest things out there—the gift of traveling. So the next time you’re in a packed airport, remember that your airline parent works hard to give you these benefits. It’s a great lifestyle that can give you the creation of lots of memories for years to come.