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Jul 20th 2009 3:03PM I've been married to a flight attendant for 6 years and the novelty of non-rev has well worn off. I've stood at gates both domestic and international sweating those last minutes and hoping the agent calls your name. I would rather pay for a ticket these days and know I have a seat when I go to the airport.
As far as the buddy passes, I don't think you mention that those charges usually come right out of the flight attendants paycheck, so they are not only giving you a pass, but fronting the cost...which can be more than buying a ticket in some cases.