Interline travel is a term used for employees of an airline when booking plane tickets on airlines other than their own. Depending on the employing air carrier and the rules of participating companies, discounts for travel on other airlines can be substantial, as much as 80 to 90 percent off rack retail rates. Interline travel is available for airlines employees, their spouses and dependents. Travel benefits typically extend to parents and retired former airline employees as well.
Perks and Precautions
A qualifying airline employee is one who is actively employed by an International Air Transport Association (IATA)/Airlines Reporting Corporation (ARC) appointed airline. Interline tickets are typically unlimited, require little advance notice, are refundable and include perks such as free baggage check. The downside is that all interline travel is on a standby basis, meaning that seats are not guaranteed. If the flight fills up with paying passengers, the employee must wait for the next flight with available seats.
Most interline travel is booked through specific websites that oversee booking and payment for airlines that have interline travel pass agreements with one another. Discounts often cover hotels, cruises and rental cars as well, though the rates are not as heavily discounted. Access is allowed only by special permission and passwords from the employing airline. The industry-insider term for an interline and employee traveler is "non-rev passenger," which refers to the designation of a flyer who does not generate revenue for the airlines.