- Flying standby used to imply displaying up on the airport and not using a ticket and attempting to land a reduced seat on an undersold flight.
- Now, you typically want a ticket to be eligible to fly standby, however you could possibly catch an earlier flight, get an upgraded seat, or fly to a special airport in your vacation spot metropolis.
- The principles and charges for doing so differ primarily based on quite a few elements.
Flying standby used to imply touchdown low cost, last-minute tickets.
In some circumstances, you might present up on the airport and not using a ticket and wait on the reservations desk and hope that an undersold flight got here alongside. Now, as a result of heightened airport safety and airways’ growing means to fill flights, that is practically not possible except you’re employed at an airline or know somebody who does.
But when you have already got a ticket and wish to try to catch an earlier flight, get an upgraded seat, or fly to a special airport in your vacation spot metropolis, standby might be the best way to go. It isn’t all the time a straightforward course of, but when it really works, you could possibly spend much less time on the airport and extra time at house.
Get to the airport early
Earlier than you get to the airport, there are some things you are able to do to get a way of what your choices is likely to be. For some airways, you should utilize their web site or app to see which seats can be found on flights apart from yours. However the info you see on-line will not all the time be utterly correct, so you may also name the airline’s reservations line to see if they’ll test for you. And in some circumstances, for those who’ve purchased a reasonable ticket, you is probably not eligible to fly standby on a special flight in any respect.
In case your ticket does mean you can change flights the identical day, it is a good suggestion to point out up on the airport early and discuss to a ticketing agent for the airline you are utilizing. The agent will clarify your choices and both get you a confirmed ticket for one more flight to your vacation spot or put you on a listing to doubtlessly get a last-minute seat on a special flight.
Typically, passengers will obtain standby seats on a first-come, first-served foundation. Typically, passengers who’re a part of the airline’s loyalty program, have plenty of frequent flyer miles, or use the airline’s bank card will get preferential remedy.
Completely different airways have totally different insurance policies
The factors that decide who will get to fly standby might be unclear, and it varies from airline to airline. That is intentional, in keeping with aviation analyst Henry Harteveldt.
“There may be plenty of thriller that goes on behind the scenes,” he advised Enterprise Insider. “It isn’t a very clear course of, and that’s by design.”
If there’s uncertainty about an airline’s methodology for selecting who will get to fly standby, it is simpler for it to make or change guidelines.
If you’ll be able to get a standby seat, you will be charged a charge or the distinction between your authentic ticket and the value of the brand new seat you are taking in some circumstances. For some airways, having a sure standing of their loyalty program or an costly ticket can waive these charges.
But when you do not get a standby seat, there’s nonetheless hope. If there are any extra flights to your vacation spot earlier than the one you are ticketed for, you will typically be put in line for these flights. No matter occurs, it is essential to be aware of your habits.
Be affected person and respectful of gate brokers
“Be very, very affected person,” Harteveldt stated. “Do not forget that if you find yourself standing by, you aren’t confirmed on a flight. Do not problem the agent. Do not stroll up each 5 minutes to ask the place issues stand.”
And do not lie about having an pressing matter, like a dying within the household, within the hopes of getting preferential remedy. Along with being misleading, your tall tales could also be logged by the airline for future reference.
“In the event that they see that you’ve requested to face by for a useless grandmother earlier than and also you’re asking to face by for that very same useless grandmother, they could catch you within the act,” Harteveledt stated. “So do not attempt to pull one over on an airline. Simply be trustworthy about why you wish to go house or depart early or no matter it might be.”
Under are hyperlinks to the standby insurance policies for the most important US airways: