About Us

Who We Are

The purpose of this Association is to provide an open forum for the membership to discuss and resolve mutual problems related to practices and procedures of each individual carrier and between carriers.

You will also find that the Pass Bureau Association is a great networking tool and resource for interacting with your counterpart at other airlines who have Pass Bureau's or Interline Sales offices located in North and Central America.

By joining PBA, you will have access to our resource website, and be invited to participate in and receive industry survey's as well as attend the annual Pass Bureau Association Conference.

Our History

Back in the mid 1960’s, most Pass Bureau offices consisted of only one, sometimes two, employees. Every year, it seemed as though the workload in most of the Pass Bureaus doubled. Staff members were on the phone daily to one another requesting company business passes. The telephone voices soon became familiar.

Mrs. Laura Williams, now retired, was in charge of Braniff’s Pass Bureau and had the idea that these tasks could be somewhat easier and certainly more pleasant, if all the voices could get together and talk over mutual problems.

Thus, in 1967 a small group of 17 Pass Bureau staff members representing Alaska Airlines, Allegheny, Braniff, Delta, Frontier, Hawaiian, Hughes Airwest, New York Helicopter, Northwest, Ozark, Piedmont, Reeve Aleutian, Republic, Texas International, Trans World Airlines, Western and Wien Air Alaska gathered in Dallas for lunch one Saturday, the sole purpose being that of putting faces with the voices they spoke to on a regular basis.

Even though there were no formal business discussions, the 17 participants not only enjoyed the friendship but also realized much could be gained from such meetings. They voted unanimously to make their get-together an annual affair. The following year the number of attendees swelled to 27.

Following the 1969 luncheon gathering, one of the participants called an informal business meeting and stressed the fact that the group should formulate guidelines to enable the continuation of these annual gatherings. In addition, it was decided that the gathering would be “hosted” each year by a different carrier, which would be referred to as the Host Carrier. Finally, it was voted to name the group the “Pass Bureau Seminar”.

At the 1970 gathering, a most informative and interesting business session was planned for the annual seminar. In addition, a proposal was made to introduce formal rules and procedures by which all future annual seminars would be governed. Of specific importance, was the proposal to have a General Chairperson, who would be the representative of the host carrier, and a Board of Directors, which would consist of the Host Carrier representatives from the previous three seminars. The function of the Board would be to assist and advise the General Chairperson on all matters pertaining to the seminar. Also, it was proposed that the office of the General Chairperson be rotated between representatives of trunk airlines, local service carriers and international airlines. The classification of each carrier would be determined by the kind of operation from which it earned the largest portion of its gross revenue.

The first business meeting of the 1970 seminar was conducted by utilizing the panel discussions, and covered five basic subjects relating to the following Pass Bureau activities:

  • Day to day problems incurred in the Pass Bureau operations.
  • Selection of a nominating committee for the next year’s seminar.
  • Interline/Marketing techniques through the Pass Bureau.
  • Inter-departmental relations involving each Pass Bureau.
  • Formal organization of future Pass Bureau Seminars.
  • The five subjects listed gave the group the basis on which to build future business meetings. As the group continued to move forward, in 1971, a very important milestone in the history of the Pass Bureau Seminar took place - the announcement of an official sponsor for the following year’s seminar. Over the years, having this information in advance has proven to be very advantageous for the transition of the current year’s General Chairperson to the next year’s Conference Chairperson.

    Over the years, the participants increased and the organization grew into what is now the “Pass Bureau Association”. Several members realized that if the group was to continue meeting as an association, it must become more business-like to justify attendance at the gatherings. With the collective experience, expertise and knowledge of this group, a lot was gained by each carrier with the reciprocal dialogue, which always took place.

    Hence, in 1972, the Pass Bureau Seminar was officially named the Pass Bureau Association and the first Constitution and By-laws were accepted by the membership. At the time, the Chairperson was the official representative of the carrier hosting that year’s conference and the Board members which served were representatives from the past five host carriers.

    In an effort to achieve more for the Association, the 1982-83 Board felt the Association should progress to an elected Board of Directors. Accordingly, the Constitution and By-laws were re-written by CP Air’s Marilyn Munro and the first Board, consisting of a Chairperson, Vice-Chairperson, Secretary and Board Member was elected in 1983. The Board had two additional members - the annual Conference Chairperson, who was the attending delegate of the current Host Carrier, and the following year’s Conference Chairperson, who was the attending delegate of the future Host Carrier. The Association is currently comprised of major U.S. national and regional scheduled carriers, major and regional Canadian carriers and foreign flag carriers. All operate under the same regulations and share common problems. The present membership represents well over 1,000,000 airline employees. Today’s annual Conference format calls for a one and a half days of business meetings, where such matters as Pass Bureau operational problems, free and reduced rate travel policies, applicable government legislation and abuse of free and reduced rate travel policies are discussed. There is an exchange of knowledge and ideas between the carriers and valuable networking which assists in performing job functions throughout the year.

    The member carriers continue the attempt to standardize the basic fares which are acceptable for interline reduced rate ticketing. One of the major goals is to inspire an on-going communication between airlines in order to foster a feeling of cooperation and achieve more the respective companies by working together. Over the last 30 plus years, the Association has worked hard at making each conference interesting and beneficial for all member carriers and has been successful. The success of the Association is demonstrated by the now 121 member carriers. A large part of this success can be attributed to not only strong membership interest, but to beneficial or successful conferences which have included outstanding guest speakers and excellent seminars such as “The Systematic Approach to Problem Solving”,“Managing Change”, and “Time Management”, to mention a few.

    The establishment of common objectives for the Pass Bureau Association and Interline Managers will continue. The goal is to achieve constant increased efficiency through the elimination of duplicated effort. Every year, the Association and its elected Board of Directors strive for continued success and cohesiveness amongst the members.

    So, from an informal gathering of 17 Pass Bureau Managers in Dallas, an international group has evolved, whose members have assembled in venues ranging from Anaheim to Paris and Key Biscayne, Anchorage, Kona, Boston, Vancouver, Papeete, Istanbul and New Orleans. The Association has grown into an important and mature industry-recognized organization.

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