DEAR ABBY: I am an airline employee and have the privilege of giving my children (over age 25) discount airline passes. I am divorced, and their dad lives in Oregon. He is very wealthy.
My children have asked for passes to visit him this summer. Abby, the cost will come out of my paycheck, amounting to $300. Also, these passes are standby, which means they may or may not get on the airplane. It seems to me that if he wants to see his children and grandchildren, he should pay for the airline tickets so that they will have assured seats on whatever flight they take.
How can I communicate this to my children without any hurt feelings or animosities? I have a good relationship with them, and I'd like to keep it that way. -- IN A BIND IN TEXAS
DEAR IN A BIND: Explain your position to your children as you explained it to me. Tell them of the very real possibility that some of their party will be "bumped" if they try to fly using your passes, and that the cost of them will put you in a financial bind. Therefore, their father should be a good grandpa and spring for the tickets, since he can well afford to.