Curtis Saxton, his wife Sue, 13-year-old daughter and 4-year-old son had been at the airport since Wednesday when they attempted to fly home on standby status using JetBlue's buddy passes, KTAX-TV, Salt Lake City, reported Friday, an option offering discount tickets but offering no guarantee of an available seat.
The airline said buddy pass seats are available only after all customers, crew members and those flying on company business have been seated.
Salt Lake City is home to several thousand JetBlue employees, the television station noted, and JetBlue spokesman Morgan Johnston said it's "important for our crew members and for those who are traveling on buddy passes to understand the risks inherent in standby travel."
The Saxtons said they spent four days sleeping on airport chairs and eating vending machine food, and after shopping around by telephone, purchased tickets from United Airlines, for $2,400, to return home.
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