One of the major benefits to working for an airline is the travel benefits. You typically get free travel on your own airline, parent airline, and any others you have a close relationship with. In our own case, employees get free travel on our airline, our sister airline, and Frontier. Besides this, you get reduced rate tickets on dozens of other airlines around the world. As an example, I can go anywhere in the lower 48 states on Northwest for $24 roundtrip, or anywhere in the world for $100 r/t. The only downside to all this is that you must travel standby, so you need to plan carefully to avoid flights that may be full.
Since coming to Horizon, I haven't non-reved nearly as much as I'd like to. This is mainly because Dawn's work schedule never lines up with mine, and it wouldn't be very nice to take a jaunt to Europe without my wife, would it!? Still, we've managed to do a few short trips. I surprised Dawn with a trip to Cabo San Lucas for our one-year anniversary (I highly recommend Casa Natalia if you wish to stay in San Jose del Cabo). Over Thanksgiving, we visited Vancouver and Victoria, BC. Dawn's also used her travel bennies quite often while accompanying me on overnights.
When I was an intern for TWA in Spring 2001, I travelled pretty much every weekend (not much to do in STL!). Some of the experiences were pretty memorable. My friend Kim and I hopped a flight to Chicago to see the feild museum and grab some pizza for dinner. I flew to Miami one Saturday just to lay on the beach for the day, returning that evening. I flew to Cancun during spring break, and ended up sharing a hammock on the roof of a hostel with some Australian chick. The next week I was in Hawaii for the entire week, my boss having all but forced me to take a spring break. I camped on the beach on Oahu's north shore. That was the second time I visited Hawaii during the internship.
My most insane nonrev adventure, though, was probably the trip to Cairo. I was originally planning to hit Paris with some other interns that weekend, but those plans fell through. I decided to go as far around the world as I could go and still get back before work on Monday, and Cairo was it. Mind you, I was only able to spend 9 hours there! The captain I flew there with invited me to stay with the crew on their 72 hour layover, but I declined so I could make it back for work on Monday. When my boss found that out, he said I should've stayed and he would've been fine with it! Oh, well. All the flights were full, so in total I spent 28 hours on the jumpseats of 757's and 767's that weekend.
My biggest regret about the internship was that I didn't do more international travel. At various times I was planning to visit London, Paris, and Tel Aviv, but each time the plans fell through. I would like to do some traveling in Europe and Asia in future, but with getting a house this summer, it probably won't be anytime soon.
Airline readers: What was your most memorable non-rev adventure? Open thread in the comments section.
Update: Readers? What readers? Who do I think I am, Tom Clancy!?