United Airlines Fires 35 Employees for Selling ‘Buddy Pass’ Perks

More than 35 United Airlines employees were fired after the company discovered they were abusing their employee travel perks by selling travel passes. These “Bussy Pass” perks are intended for employees and their friends and family, but they were instead sold to strangers through brokers.

United Airlines buddy pass

“United employees at the gate noticed something fishy about a particular group of nine non-revenue pass riders,” the company said in an article published on United’s internal site and obtained by USA TODAY. “The three families, who were traveling internationally, stated that they had ‘paid for’ first class tickets – but they were on non-revenue reservations and were unable to provide the names of the employees who had provided the tickets.”

United discovered some employees gave fake documentation to in order to name travelers as their stepparents or domestic partners.

“Some of the employees who gave up their passes received payment, while others were deceived into giving away their pass travel privileges based on the pretext that the passes were for a good friend or a relative (although even that would be against the rules),” the airline stated in the article.

The article also warned other employees.

“Don’t let something like this happen to you. Your pass travel privileges are intended for use only by you and your friends and family members. While you can be reimbursed by your pass riders for any taxes, fees and imputed income for their travel, charging above that amount is not allowed – and selling pass travel or trading for goods or services isn’t either.”

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