Hey. Hello! Hi there. Welcome to Interliner, the airline employee’s guide to all things travel. We’re so happy you stopped by! Why? Because you’ve only stumbled upon one of our favorite kinds of blogs. That’s right, we’re about to talk about another one of our absolutely fabulous Brand Ambassadors!
Except this time, it’s not one Brand Ambassador we’re talking about… it’s five! Meet the Buono family (or @b5ohana as you might know them from Instagram). They’re the most fun, non-revving family you’ll ever meet (well, at least today!).
We were very fortunate to sit down with them recently to pick their brain on all things travel-related, and man did we have a good time! They’re such a hoot, and we just know you’ll love their take on the non-rev adventure. Read on to discover what this adorable family had to say about new experiences, buddy passes, and non-revving with the best of them.
Who are the Buonos?
Say hello to Paul and Tina, Kayla, Kirsten, and Kara. They’re the sweet individuals that make up the Buono family! Not non-revvers by birth, they came upon the airline employee lifestyle thanks to their daughter (and sister) Kayla. Hired by Delta around three years ago, Kayla’s been living that #FALyfe ever since.
Kayla the Flight Attendant
A graduate of California State University – Long Beach, Kayla majored in sociology. Although it had always been on her bucket list to apply to become an airline employee, it didn’t occur for her to do so until post-grad. “I didn’t want to become one of those statistics – you know, the graduate with a degree but no job!”
Applying to Delta on a whim, Kayla never knew the adventure she’d have ahead. Originally based in Boston for two years, she’s now back in Los Angeles close to home and enjoying the phenomenal weather. “You don’t really realize how much you miss it until it’s gone.”
When asked if the job was everything she hoped it would be, Kayla responded with a confident “Yes!” According to her, “You can’t always listen to those senior mama horror stories. Sure they’ve got some truth, but the good far outweighs the bad!”
Sparking a bit of a travel bug in the family, Kayla spent her first Thanksgiving in Wichita. “It’s not somewhere I probably would have thought to go, but that’s the charm of the airline employee life! You get sent places you’d have never planned to, and it ends up being the best adventure.”
Paul and Tina, Kirsten & Kara – the Family
Sure, there’s Kayla. But how’d they become a non-revving family? “My parent’s, of course, are on my passes and my sisters use buddy passes,” said Kayla. The trick, they find, is to watch the loads like a hawk – that, and being flexible with travel dates and destinations. Just having returned from Amsterdam recently, they did exactly that, and Kirsten and Kara were even able to sit in business class!
At home, Tina works at wrangling her crew and Paul can be found near the waterfront. Kirsten is busy beautifying the world through hairstyles, and Kara is close to finishing school. Not even knowing that parents could be put on the benefits, Paul and Tina encouraged Kayla to pursue this childhood passion.
“She’s always had that travel bug, especially since she traveled through Europe at 21! Me on the other hand…” Tina didn’t start her love affair with travel until Kayla was hired (her family never traveled, and her mom was not a fan of flying). Heck, she didn’t even get her passport until 2013 – #LateBloomer! After her first solo non-rev adventure to meet Kayla in Minnesota she was hooked.
Paul, on the other hand, is not as much of a novice. Besides being an international traveler at a young age (he explored Europe with his mother in high school) Paul’s had friends who were part of the industry, and that’s where he first got his non-revving feet wet.
Traveling with the Airlines
Since Kayla was hired on the family’s been traveling ever since. In fact, Paul and Tina flew to San Francisco the day after Kayla paid their activation fee in training. That’s right. She was sitting at training in Atlanta and Paul and Tina flew to San Francisco just for a lunch of clam chowder and were back in time for Paul to go to work.
“My parents must be well-loved by the non-rev gods,” said Kayla. “Just last year they made it to St. Maarten in the middle of the summer on oversold flights both ways!” But, as we all well know, you’ll never make the flight you don’t try for.
“That’s my favorite kind of thing to hear,” joked Paul, “when other flight attendants say that their parents don’t use their non-revving benefits like they should. No problem here, that’s just more room for us!”
After a well-loved family trip to Tahiti (that wasn’t non-rev, and incredibly unfortunately priced) the family’s focused on their travel benefits to get them where they want ever since. Even bookending that trip with an ID90 Travel Princess Cruise!
“Mom and dad now go wherever they want, whenever they want! And mom’s all about those passport stamps (even though she sadly didn’t get one in Aruba). They just went to Iceland for their anniversary! Now to celebrate their marriage they travel somewhere for a week and have been to England and Paris as well.”
The Buono Family Tells All – Rapid Fire Questions
Such cuties. With bated breath, we moved into the rapid-fire section so we could get to all the incredible details of this lovely families adventures.
Y’all have so much fun non-revving! Is there anything you specifically look for when you travel?
Tina: “I look for restaurants with a history behind them! In Iceland, we found an inn that’s the oldest restaurant in Iceland, and in Boston, we found an oyster house!”
Paul: “I just look for everyone to have a good time. We have such a fun family, and anything we can do together and enjoy is good enough for me.”
Kayla: “I keep an eye out for little off the beaten path niches in the cities where I travel. For example, in Paris, there was this really cool flea market district with all these amazing shops!”
Kara: “I love the food! In Amsterdam, they had these delicious fluffy little sand dollar-sized pancakes that came with a variety of toppings and YUM. You know, America is so young. There’s not as much historical culture whereas everywhere else that isn’t the case, and that makes the food so good!”
Those are good things! So what’s next on the list for y’all?
Paul: “I want to take everyone to Greece! And Fiji… (get’s a dirty look from everyone else after he said he’d only tell just one more story)… Fine, I’ll stop. Somebody else’s turn…” (All the giggles ensue.)
Kara: “I’ve always wanted to go to Belize!”
Kayla: “Scotland for me! I’m a huge Harry Potter fan, so it feels right down my alley.”
Kirsten: “Turks and Caicos!”
That’s such a good list, and so diverse! Ok, so now we know what you hope to experience, but why don’t you tell us a little bit of what you have experienced? You know, travel-wise. Any good stories?
Paul: “The time we went to St. Maarten we were actually packed and ready to go somewhere else, but weather and circumstances weren’t permitting. So instead we kind of looked at each other and wondered where we’d go instead. We decided we wanted to be on the beach where the planes landed right over you, and that’s exactly where we ended up!”
Tina: “I enjoyed seeing the Moulin Rouge! And actually, my favorite experience is bringing our travels home with me. I have a cousin that makes these cool 3D frames for our adventures, and they line our travel wall at home.”
Kayla: “My experiences are a little different since I work on the plane! And of course, they’re both good and bad. One time I had this sweet older couple flying with me in first class. It was their first time flying, and they were on their way to see their grandkids.
They were so blown away by the stuff on the plane, the service, and what they could order. They gave me their whole life story. It was so cool. You know I think people can sometimes take flying for granted now, with it being mass transit, so the fact that they were still excited about it was so refreshing!
Another cool thing that happened to me is that I met Tone Loc, he couldn’t believe I knew who he was, let alone knew his music! He gave me his autograph for my mom and dad. So fun. Then you, of course, have some strange things that go on in the airplane… like people going to the LAV in their socks. I’ve also seen an emotional support turkey, monkey, and miniature horse. So that’s interesting!”
Kara: “Speaking of interesting, do you remember the nude beach in Tahiti? Yeah, that and the Red District in Amsterdam?” (The giggles return.)
Kirsten: “Gosh, the Red Light District was something else, but visiting Keukenhof was a once in a lifetime experience… also drinking some beer at The Heineken Experience was cool. I love my Dutch heritage, PROOST!”
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Thank you to the Buono family for allowing us to pick your brains and for being more than incredibly entertaining afternoon call! If you want to learn more about the @b5ohana fam, check them and their adventures out on Instagram, or feel free to leave questions for them in the comments below! Until next time Interliners, have safe travels and keep your eyes on the skies!
Author: Emily (@ID90 Travel)
Emily is the Content Marketing Manager here at ID90 Travel. An avid non-rev flyer (she grew up in the industry), and passionate private pilot, Emily can’t get enough of all things aviation. When not writing awesome ID90 Travel content she can be found on a Texas patio, being one with nature, or annoying her ID90T co-workers with her many, many, crowdsourcing questions.