First of all, free or reduced rate travel is always based on space available. Whether you are the crew or employee’s family traveling at a discount, you will only be issued a seat after all of the revenue passengers, including standby paying passengers. They are always the priority so if there’s no seat available they will ask you to just try your luck on the next flight which has always been a problem for me because all Qatar Airways employee must be back in Doha 10 hours before the next duty time but still I usually try my luck to go to Manila on my 3-4 days off. (What to do in Doha on 4days off!?! I’ll be crazy!)
What this means is that you must be very aware of the available seats on any given flight. This requires some legwork by using the company computerized reservation system to determine which flights are best for you. In my case, it’s always hard to get a seat because Manila Flight is always full or overbooked! Even if it’s not vacation period or holiday! There’s no off peak seasons in Manila flight because there are lots of Filipinos all over the world! And even if there’s a vacant seat, those seats are for senior ones! It’s better to have a full fare ticket as a back up, or else you’ll end up buying a business class full fare ticket!
* The Picture shows there’s no more passenger on cue but me, sitting near the subload check in counter, the other picture is while waiting for the delayed aircraft. There’s no more seat available on the waiting area so the rest are just standing. I’m sitting on my trolley! This inconvenience were just making me decide to resign sooner!
Last April, I flew to manila on my 4days off, August 17-19, I went to MNL again on my 3 days off and same dilemma happens! Fully booked! There’s one jump seat available but there’s one crew who’s more senior than me got the seat.
What makes it worst is that the departure should be 17:30 but the aircraft arrived at 19:40 from Doha! Super delayed! I waited in the check in counter for more than 2 hours sitting there like a beggar and 2 hours again in gate 10. I finished eating 4 BreadTalk’s Cheese Floss and Chef Tony’s popcorn because of boredom! There’s no sign of chance whatsoever but still I stayed there. Just a minute before I call someone to pick me up at the airport, I heard 3 people arguing, they sounded dismay about something. I never knew what is it all about until the ground staff told me that they have been offloaded from MNL Flight! Because they have visa problem. I feel sorry for them but at the same time thankful because their situation gives me a vacant seat! Yehey! Then I arrived in Doha around 12:40 am of August 20 – Just in time for my next duty at 10:50 am (Pick up time).
* After all the inconvenience, this view from the aircraft window simply draw a smile in my face for a minute! I’m glad to see my condo unit nonstop construction and The Venetian Mall as my View from the Top!