My mother in law is in town this week. She is going home tomorrow and my wife and I planned on going on the same flight to spend Memorial Day weekend with her family. We have been watching the flight for the past month. Four weeks ago the flight had 30 open seats. Two weeks ago there were just 15 open seats. Last week coach was oversold and there were just 9 open seats in First class. This morning there were just 4 open seats in First Class. Right now there are 5 employee standby passengers. One too many...kinda.
I can ride the jump seat. I would rather not as it's a four hour flight! With such a lack of open seats we need a backup plan.
My wife is very well versed in planning trips via non-rev travel. Last year she used Southwest to connect to my mainline partner to get home. A few months ago we both needed the help of Southwest airlines to get out of Las Vegas to connect to my mainline partner to get home. Everything went smoothly.
Tomorrow we are again putting Southwest airlines into our backup plan.
Since I am a pilot I can ride Southwest for free. My wife needs a ZED pass. I explained ZED here. The only problem is the original flight with my mother in law leaves at 9:30AM. The flight we need to fly to connect to Southwest leaves at 7:30AM. We will have to make a judgement call by 7AM to either head to connect to Southwest or use my mainline partner to fly direct.
I don't mind flying out to connect to Southwest. They are the easiest airline to list on as the system is totally automated and will give me a "good" or "bad" status as to if we will get on or not.
My mother in law thinks we are crazy. We spent the better part of an hour working various websites checking connect times, loads and more. We are quite the team. True we could buy *real* tickets on my mainline partner using my employee discount....but what fun is that?