What is Staff Travel?

Jul 7, 2018 | Cabin Crew

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(Last updated on: 12/10/2020)

Every airline employee will tell you that staff travel can be one of the big selling points to commencing a career in this industry. Each airline will differ slightly, but there tends to be two main forms of staff travel: standby tickets and confirmed tickets. 

Standby tickets so what they say on the box- allow you to ‘standby’. If there are seats you will get on the flight, if they aren’t you could end up on a jump seat or be denied boarding all together. This can be difficult during peak seasons and on busy routes. If you purchase a confirmed ticket, on the other hand, you will be guaranteed a seat on your chosen flight (unless it is overbooked, but that’s a separate issue). The price, however, does tend to be significantly more than a standby ticket. 

What Is Staff Travel?

Staff Travel with Virgin Atlantic

Virgin Atlantic are known for their generous staff travel and a university friend of mine Nicole Mongy has repeatedly made me jealous over the past 6 years with all of her travel adventures!

Ever wondered exactly how you can benefit from airline staff travel? Nicole reveals all here-

‘Virgin staff travel entitles the staff member 7 tax only standby flights per year. Standby means that after all revenue passengers, if there are any spare seats you will be given them, in the order of staff priority (seniority and length of service). You can use staff travel 6 months after you start working and pass your probation. After that you can use your tickets every day of the year (if there is space!).

So far in my 6 years I’ve been to all of the Virgin USA destinations except Boston (on my to do list!), Cape Town, Dubai, Thailand, Hong Kong, shanghai and Tokyo, Toronto, Vancouver and Mexico! My highlights have been Chicago (my fav city in the USA), Mexico, Hong Kong and Cape Town.
n beach
n buildings
n chitza

If there is space available staff can be upgraded to upper class if you’ve worked at Virgin long enough or are senior enough. Upgrades are the same as standby-once regular pax are accounted for if there are any seats left these are given to the staff.

Standby however is stressful, especially if you try to fly to Orlando I’m August or NYC at Xmas! I make it work by flying out if season, trying not to fly at the weekends and having a back up routing if we don’t get on the right flight. You have to get used to planning holidays last minute!

Staff travel is a fantastic perk to working for an airline. If you can be flexible, it can be easy and not stressful. When planning a holiday I always have 3 options I’m looking into, and choose which of the three looks the least busy. If you are determined to go to a specific destination at a specific time you’re likely to be disappointed. Use your flights to get to other destinations. Flexibility is the key! And sit back and enjoy your perk once you take off-it is worth the effort!’ 

Upper class Virgin

Many thanks to Nicole from the Cargo department at Virgin Atlantic for her inside knowledge on staff travel travel and happy travels!!!

Are you looking for a job as Cabin Crew? Don’t let the chance slip through your fingers… make sure you have the right resources to maximise your chances of getting the job- check out my resources for Prospective Cabin Crew now! 



  1. Virgin Atlantic Staff Travel: Perks of the Job! | Lifeasabutterfly - […] Due to the large demand for information on becoming Cabin Crew I have created a new website for this…

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Hi, am Dr Hayley Stainton

I’ve been travelling, studying and teaching travel and tourism since I was 16. Through Tourism Teacher I share my knowledge on the principles and practice of travel and tourism management from both an academic and practical perspective.

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