You’ve seen a jump seat I’m sure, those folding seats by the door where the crew sit during take-off and landing. These are usually only occupied by the flight attendants operating the flight, but sometimes other people sit there.
You might wonder, why would anyone want to sit there? The seats are usually located in a busy galley, are not designed for comfort and are often facing other passengers. Sometimes people would do anything to get a seat there, and here’s why.
The Jump Seat and Staff Travel
One of the perks of working for an airline is staff travel. For a greatly discounted price, employees can fly anywhere they like, providing there is space available. That last bit is the most important one to take note of.
Imagine, if you will, you are working for an airline and you head off for a weekend away somewhere. You have to be back at work on a certain day, as you generally get dismissed from service if you’re away on staff travel and don’t turn up for your shift.
Since you’re flying standby, you are only allowed on the flight if there are spare seats available. Even worse, some people have a higher standby priority than others, so some might get on and some might get left behind. This is where the jump seat comes into play.
At the discretion of the operating crew, people on staff travel might be allowed to take one of these seats for the flight to get them home. It’s not particularly common but it does happen and given the option of being stranded or getting home, most would happily take this option.
I’ve heard of people being on the jump seat for long 12 hour flights and more. It’s certainly not the most fun way to fly and that’s before you have to move. As these are near or in the galley, often people will need to move out of the way to let the cabin crew do the meal services.
Still, I would probably be happy to take one just to get home. I used to date someone who worked at a major airline and I’ve flown on staff standby tickets. The whole thing is a little too stressful for me. I like to have a bit more certainty when travelling!
What do you think of staff travel benefits for airline employees? Have you flown on the jump seat before? What was it like? Thank you for reading and if you have any comments or questions, please leave them below.
Featured image by Lynn Hall on Flickr.