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Do You Fly Standby?

If you're staying near the airport or don't mind getting there a bit early, it can pay to play this waiting game.

Or make that . . . could? Last week American Airlines announced it would start charging $50 to fly standby within 12 hours of an originally booked flight. While it's just one airline for now, that's how the checked baggage fees and blanket/pillow costs began as well.

I've got a good friend who stands by to fly all the time, and her tactic comes when her preferred departure is more expensive than another flight that day. She'll check availability for the one she ideally wants and bank on there still being space come takeoff time. While the free option still appeals, the fee does have one advantage that I see — it can be paid and confirmed before you even get to the airport, making there less wait and less cost than a standard change charge instead.

Have you ever flown standby? Let me know if you'd now be willing to pay in the comments below.

Join The Conversation
a1stbornunicorn a1stbornunicorn 7 years
I have when flying on business and arriving at the airport early, it's nice to hop on an earlier flight when there's room. I'd rather wait an extra hr or 2 than pay $50 though, that's for sure. I kinda like some airports anyway :).
skigurl skigurl 7 years
no!! i can't handle that sort of stress. i need to know where and when. i hate waiting.
socalbeachgal socalbeachgal 7 years
In the past, I would fly stand-by, don't know if I would do it now with all the new fees and hassles of getting to the airport.
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