Tips for flying standby
The tricks to getting on a standby flight.
By Tom Tessin
Whether or not you are a frequent traveller, you may still be familiar with the term "flying standby." It's is a term the airline industry uses when a traveler wants to fly on a flight with an open seat. Travelers who purchase a ticket the day of will usually have to fly standby if there are only a limit number of tickets available. Or, some people want to get on an earlier flight, and can be added to the "standby list".
If you find yourself flying standby in the future, there are a few tips you can follow in order to make the trip easier.
Don't check your luggage
If you're flying standby, don't check in your luggage. A lot of the times an airline will look for people that have carry on only. If you have checked in luggage, it's just going to be a bigger hassle for the airliner to find your luggage and throw it on the plane. If you just bring carry on luggage, you're going to increase your chances of getting on the flight.
Early flights work
If you can get to the airport early, you'll find that earlier flights are usually easier to get on since many people don't travel early in the morning. If you find yourself traveling in the afternoon, you may find the flights busier.
Try calling the airline's customer service department
Before you make the trip to the airport, check with the airline before hand and see if there are flights available that you can possibly fly standby for. Most of the time, the airline will be friendly and give you a list of flights. If you find that the airline you call doesn't have a standby flight available, try calling other airlines to see if they have solutions.
Stay at the gate
It's important that you stay near the gate when you're on the standby list. If you walk away while the flight is about to board, you may miss your name being called by the gate employee. Sometimes, you're not the only one on the standby list and your seat will be given to the next in line.
Hopefully you find these tips helpful for standby success. If you find the situation stressful, always remember that it's best to be patient. When flights board, you will find that employees are pretty stressful during this time. Always remember to treat others as you want to be treated. The employees will keep note of this and treat you a little nicer than the customer who is furious with the staff. If you keep your head on your shoulders and have a lot of patience, flying standby should be a piece of pie.