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Last Sunday I flew from Birmingham to Toronto via Dallas. I was on an evening flight and trying to go standby on a flight 7 hours earlier. I called American Airlines multiple times prior to the flight to see if I could get my flight changed through their $50 Confirmed Same-Day Standby policy. This policy gives passenger the ability to confirm a seat for $50 within 12 hours of the new desired flight departure. Every time I called American, they informed me that no seats were available for the confirmation and I’d have to try my luck going standby (even though they were still selling seats and seats were open). At the gate I put myself on the standby list and luckily enough I was able to get on (there were plenty of seats available on both legs of my flight!). Since I have status, going standby is free, so essentially, American lost $50 that I was very willing to pay for the confirmed seat. I find this such a backwards business model, but I guess it is $50 I did not have to spend!
Since the standby policies differ for every airline, I thought I’d share them with you. Knowing these rules can come in very handy while traveling. The details below are at a high level. The links provided will give you greater details, if needed. Let me know if you have any specific questions!
- Same-day confirmation: Passengers can call American Airlines within 12 hours of their desired flight (not the original flight). There needs to be enough seats available for them to confirm a passenger for this type of change. This change can also be done at the airport kiosk or with an agent at the airport. All passengers, regardless of fare class or status, will be charged $75.
- Same-day standby: Passengers can standby for an earlier flight at the airport for a cost of $75. The following passengers are able to standby for no fee: customers who purchase unrestricted Economy Class fares (Y, B, H class of service); customers who purchase Business or First Class tickets; active U.S. Military personnel traveling on orders or personal travel; active U.S. Military dependents traveling on orders; American Airlines AAdvantage Executive Platinum®, AAdvantage Platinum® or AAdvantage Gold® members; oneworld® Alliance Emerald, Sapphire or Ruby members; customers flying on the same reservation as an American Airlines AAdvantage Executive Platinum, AAdvantage Platinum or AAdvantage Gold member or oneworld Alliance Emerald, Sapphire or Ruby member regardless of frequent flier status or fare type; AAirpass® members; First and Business Class MileSAAver® Awards; First, Business and Economy Class AAnytime® Awards
- Same-day confirmation: Customers can change their flight time on the same day of travel within 3 hours of the scheduled desired flight for a fee of $50. If you have a flexible fare (usually a refundable ticket), you may be able to change your itinerary without a fee. You can use the same-day confirmed option for travel within the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands on Delta and Delta Connection® flights.
- Same-day standby: The Same-day Standby Option is available to Diamond, Platinum and Gold Medallion® members only for no fee. Travel companions, family members, etc. are not eligible. All other customers must follow the same-day confirmation policy.
- Same-day confirmation: Passengers can confirm an earlier flight on the same day of their originally scheduled departure time at the airport (with the exception of flights to Hawaii, Europe, Israel, and South America). These day-of-departure changes can only be done at the airport (and not by calling Reservations). As long as there is an open seat available, the passenger can change to that flight and will be automatically confirmed for $50 for flights within the 48 contiguous United States and $50 for flights to Latin America, the Caribbean, Canada and Alaska.
- Same-day standby: If there is not an open seat on an earlier flight that departs on the same day as the originally scheduled departure, you may standby for that flight at no charge. This can only be done for flights that are completely booked and space becomes available due to passengers not showing up for the flight.
- Same-day confirmation: 24-hours before your originally scheduled flight, you are able to request a change to your flight in any fare class departing within the next 24 hours from when you are making the request. Same day confirmation cost $75. However, this is one caveat to that: If your original ticketed fare class is not available, you will need to pay the same-day change fee (of $75) plus and additional costs due to the fare class difference – this can end up costing a huge amount. The $75 fee is waived for MileagePlus Premier Gold, Platinum, and 1K members. To request this change call 1-800-UNITED-1 (1-800-864-8331).
- Same-day standby: Passengers can choose to standby for a seat on an alternate United flight on the same day of travel as the scheduled itinerary. The same-day change fee of $75 will apply but will not be charged unless you are assigned a seat on your alternate flight. Changes in routing are now allowed when standing by. Standby may be requested on the day of departure at the airport kiosk or with a United airport representative. This fee is waived for the following travelers: MileagePlus Premier Gold, Platinum, and 1K member.
- Same-day confirmation: Passengers can confirm a seat on an earlier or later flight on the same day of original travel as long as seats are available. Passengers may confirm a seat on another flight at the Airport Ticket Counter or by calling Frontier Reservations at 1-800-432-1FLY (1359). The fee for same day confirmed alternate flight changes varies based on the type of ticket purchased as follows: Economy: $50; Classic: $25; Classic Plus: Free; EarlyReturns Summit level members: Free
- Same-day standby: Only passengers traveling on a Classic or Classic Plus ticket, as well as to Ascent and Summit level members of EarlyReturns are able to standby for a flight. Economy tickets are not eligible for standby travel. If you are eligible for standby travel, you may request to fly standby on another flight on your day of travel at the airport ticket counter or gate. There is no charge for this option. All other passengers will have to follow the same-day confirmation option.
- Same-day confirmation:
- Cities with Multiple Flights a Day: Passengers can make confirmed same day changes via 1-800-JETBLUE (538-2583) or at the airport beginning at midnight (in the time zone of the departing flight) of the same calendar day as the original scheduled flight. Desired travel must be for an earlier or later flight on the same day as the original itinerary and must be between the same city pairs. The fee for this option is $50.
- Cities with One Flight a Day: The same-day change program is not available for cities with one flight a day.
- Same-day standby:
- Cities with Multiple Flights a Day: Passengers may request to be put on the standby list at the airport within 24 hours of the original flight. Standby travel MUST be handled at the Airport and cannot be done over the phone. Passengers are only allowed to travel on the flight prior to their original flight, regardless of whether it is a non-stop or connecting flight. If the passenger is booked on the first flight of the day, they cannot fly standby on the last flight the day before. However, the passenger may fly standby one flight after their scheduled flight. This option is free of charge.
- Cities with One Flight a Day: Passengers may request to fly standby at the Airport as early as the day prior to the original flight. Standby travel MUST be handled at the Airport and cannot be done over the phone. Passengers are only allowed to travel one day prior to their original flight. This option is free of charge.
- Same-day confirmation: Passengers can reserve a confirmed seat on an earlier flight to the same destination for $25 per segment. This option is only available at the airport on the day of travel.
- Same-day standby: Passengers can standby for another flight to the same destination at no charge. This will not guarantee them a seat if there is availability. This option is free for all passengers and is only available at the airport on the day of travel.
- Same-day confirmation: Southwest does not have any policy in place directly for same-day confirmation like the other airlines have. Since Southwest does not have change fees in general, to change your flight, passengers will pay the difference in fare.
- Same-day standby: No fee standby is only available for the following passengers: Business Select and Anytime tickets. All other passengers will need to change their ticket and pay the difference to the current fare price.