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How To Fly Standby like a Pro – Top Tips & Tricks!

How To Fly Standby like a Pro – Top Tips & Tricks!

There are numerous circumstances when you may decide or be subjected to flying standby. An instance is when you miss your flight and you just have to be on the next flight because there is an emergency waiting for you on the other side. So you will have no other decision than to board a standby flight.

You might not even be certain that you will be on the flight you are hanging around for but honestly, your waiting may be rewarded in the end. The era when you just arrive at the airport and procure an inexpensive “standby” ticket to compensate for the time you spent hanging around patiently is far gone!

Nowadays, being able to get a standby flight is a game of luck. If you are lucky, then you will find an empty seat on your desired flight.

The modern-day booking system ensures the passengers must have made a reservation online if they wish to board a flight and everyone is also aiming at flying almost at the same time. Therefore, the booking is usually done in advance thereby making some flights already fully booked a week before the date of departure.

How To Fly Standby like a Pro

Flying standby means that you are not fully assured that you will procure a seat on the desired flight but allows you the chance to catch an earlier flight that might not be the one you booked originally but at least it still takes you to the same destination.

Flying standby is still trendy, although it is no more the budget escapade it was a long time ago. The issue with standby is that  a lot of people are scared of attempting it. Standby is set aside for individuals who are bumped against their will from taking their planned flights, travelers who, for a cause or two, want to fly with a different flight.

Passengers may be searching for flights leaving on the same day either earlier of later than the  flight they had originally booked. Also, relations and buddies of airline staff who are entitled to fly on standby could want to try this escapade.

Several airline retirees and staff enjoy flying standby, although they have to pass through a different entry and boarding process and some fees are charged to standby passengers in some cases.

Flying standby could be a grand means for you to acquire a superior flight for your agenda, and it could be straightforward than you may imagine. This article will help you to understand what is referred to when you say you want to fly on standby, the airlines which give out standby flight tickets to passengers and how you can make certain that you grab the subsequent standby flight.

What It Implies To Fly Standby

“Flying standby” used to be an unplanned method of traveling in a situation you just get to the airport with no ticket and purchase one on the dash (witticism intended). However, in our modernized world, it is now impossible to take a flight while lacking a pre-procured ticket. You can’t even get past security having no flight ticket in your possession.

standby american airlines

Goodbye, impulsiveness. Purchasing a ticket at the eleventh-hour can be very costly! Nevertheless “standby” is not completely ruled out. It has transformed into a very precise travel circumstance concerning same day flight modifications. An instance is when a traveler purchases a ticket in advance but chooses to travel earlier or later than his original flight. And certainly, standby travel, also, is there to back you up in the condition of you missing your flight.

Read further down the guide to find out more details on flying standby in the present time and find out if it is ideal for you.

Overview of Essentials on Flying Standby:

  • Flying a standby flight can acquire you a flight for a special time different from your original flight.
  • Every standby passenger is required to possess a confirmed ticket, by either paying directly for one or acquiring one from an airline staff as regards the “buddy pass”.
  • Numerous airlines’ mobile apps and website platforms can aid you with issues relating to flying standby.
  • In other cases, ticketing personnel can aid you in getting your name on a standby catalog.
  • If you are also a regular elite member of an airline’s flyer package, then your odds of boarding a standby flight can be significantly enhanced.
  • Different airlines have different fees for passengers who wish to fly on standby.

Tips for flying standby


(Image: Robert Couse-Baker, Terminal 4 via Flickr CC BY 2.0)

Travel with carry-on baggage.

 Several airlines won’t permit you to fly standby if you have baggage that needs to be checked. So you should fly a standby with a carry-on luggage. Besides increasing your chance of securing a flight, it equally signifies that you will not be bothered of misplacing your baggage or receiving it later.

Apply for standby before time.

 Applications for standby are usually handled in a first-come, first-serve manner. You will easily get a standby flight if you are the first person on the waiting list to fly standby.

Another thing you could do to get preferential treatments with the airline is to register with the airline loyalty reward packages and stack up your status. As one having a high status in an airline, you will be able to increase your odds of getting into standby flights. Besides, it could also earn you a chance to have a nice lounge to relax in while waiting for your standby flight.

Stay away from extremely restraining tickets.

Such tickets might not permit you to fly on standby. Therefore, ensure you constantly examine the fine print.

Head to the departure gate for your chosen standby flight as early as possible.

Similarly, be ready to respond when the gate agent calls your name. Failure to respond quickly may result in the next person on the standby list getting your seat.

Be flexible and persevering.

Finally, you’re the person who is wishing to make modifications to your flight.  Therefore, you should be prepared to hang around for some moments which may be shorter if luck is on your side.

Who Is allowed to Fly Standby?

Fly Standby

In past years, the idea of flying standby depicted that you could just storm in directly to a seat at the extreme of the plane after you have purchased your ticket at the stand. At present, conversely, the issue of flying standby is far more shaded.

Being able to procure a standby flight nowadays functions majorly in two ways. These are:

1. “The Buddy Pass”

If you are a staff of an airline company or you have a friend who is an employee and has given you a complimentary ticket which is usually referred to as a “buddy pass.”

This “buddy pass” system functions in a way that every year, various uncharged passes are distributed to the employees and staff of airline firms which in turn they share with their relations and friends. This pass will allow them to fly with that airline at a minimized fee or in some cases, free of charge.

However, various airlines possess varying procedures although the functionality is dependent on if there is a vacant seat on that flight after all the originally ticketed passengers had boarded the flight.

The procedure concerning the method of making a flight reservation by the use of a buddy pass differs. Generally, a buddy pass originates with a verification code, and you can include yourself into the list of standby passengers by just contacting the booking representative.

By examining the luggage cabin to know if the passengers are fully loaded, the booking representative can give you a hint of your probability of acquiring the standby on that particular flight.

You should understand that there are no assurances when using a buddy pass, therefore, you should endeavor to be flexible in your waiting at the airport. Days on which people frequently travel always have their flights fully-booked. Therefore, you should not go for weekends, holiday periods or special days like public holidays and Christmas season.

Also, the time of the day matters a lot when aiming to fly standby as the early and late hours of the day normally have flights that are not so full. Therefore, if you book a flight for such time, you have a high probability of finding vacant seats on your desired flight.

2. Involuntarily Bumped

Another reason why you can acquire a standby flight is when you have been involuntarily bumped from your booked flight as a result of the delay of arrival, weather disturbance and the likes. Sometimes, you could have a meeting scheduled for a time and then it has been adjourned to a later time of the day or date. Therefore, you would be subjected to flying later than earlier planned.

Is My Ticket Eligible for Flying Standby?

Fly Standby6

Aside from you being a staff in a major airline company or you have a friend or relation who is, then the only way you can be on the next standby flight is by paying for a flight. A lot of people will catch the most inexpensive flight available or acquire eleventh-hour flight deals. Nevertheless, it is highly essential to go through the T&Cs of your ticket, as it might be one that wouldn’t allow you to board standby flights.

Precisely, the latest plain “Basic Economy” tickets of numerous airlines put forward substantial constraints on flying standby willingly through the imposition of high charges. Delta, for instance, has abolished same-day flight modifications for Basic Economy passengers completely, whether you are interested in paying for a confirmed seat or have no problem standing by.

In a case where your flight has been canceled against your will, you’ll remain entitled to standby flights, but then you may wish to stay away from flying with Basic Economy if your preference is to fly standby.

How Do I Standby for a Different Flight?

On the United mobile application, for instance, you can demand a same-day flight modification, which might include your name in the list of standby passengers (if there are no vacant seats) or offers you a seat on another flight if the luggage is few.

Additionally, the procedure for a passenger to modify his reservation in the event of involuntary flight modification is generally computerized at the present; still, you should interact with an airline agent if you can’t find your name in the list of standby passengers on the mobile app or the airline’s web platform.

How Can I Improve My Probabilities of Making Flying Standby a reality?

Fly Standby

At present, instructions and principles for standby flights are a lot more secure than they had been in the earlier times, with the airline staff having little or no control over who boards a standby flight and who does not.

In general, your standby precedence improves if you possess elite standing with the airline and have acquired a more luxurious ticket; you’ll be less significant if you aren’t a regular flyer and reserved the most inexpensive economy flight.

Another additional substantial factor to bear in mind when you are looking forward to flying standby is that you aren’t confirmed until the plane departs from the airport. If a passenger who possesses a greater status shows up at the gate and desires to fly on standby, albeit you have previously acquired a boarding pass, the airline official has the authority to bump you to a different flight probably the next.

But in recent times, the debates which have arisen with such a situation make that to be somewhat less possible.

Advice to improve your chance to fly on standby

Choosing to be on a standby flight could be as a result of an issue which was not caused by you. For instance, a meeting could have been moved and you are informed after you have already made your flight reservations. So, you will be left with no option than to go for standby.

Some persons might intentionally want to go on standby as they are aimed at saving a little cash or getting to their destination earlier than planned. Hanging around to fly standby could result in you having a nicer flight than the one you had reserved originally and help you spare a nice amount of cash.

But regrettably, the idea doesn’t on all occasions play out nicely.

If you try out the experience, then you should know the methods on how to go about it. Here in this article, we have provided some steps that would assist you to be on the next standby flight of your choice.  These are:

Be familiar with the Instructions

Ensure you get acquainted with the standby rules of the airline of your selection, as they differ extensively.

Travel Light

Travel Light

Ensure you do not check your bag in through baggage inspection before you have confirmed your seat because if your bag ends up boarding the plane without you, you will have to find it on another flight or even lose it. However, ensure your bag is a light one that you can easily moved around with all your personal items packed inside.

Avoid Traveling during Rush Hours or Peak Periods

Be mindful of holiday periods, celebrations and weekends as there are increased traffic at the airports, thereby giving you no chance to hang on a standby flight.

Dressing is relevant

Certainly, you should ensure you are comfortably dressed to board your flight but ensure that you are not poorly dressed because dressing speaks a lot about someone. When wishing to fly standby, you should ensure you are dressed probably on a business or business casual outfit. Do not walk over to the airport as though you just got out of bed.

Sometimes you should try to be nice and gracious to the flight crew as little actions can grant you a standby flight the next time. You could appreciate them with little tokens or gifts and complement their dressing or looks. All this could get registered in their head and they could give you an upgrade or reserved seats on the flight.

Be Punctual For Your Flight

Being punctual is one of the keys to getting on a standby flight as you have to catch early flights and be among the first passengers to be on the standby list. If you are going somewhere in the local terrain, then you should at least map out a full day for your trip and if it is international, then max out two days for you to catch a standby flight.

Be Courteous

Don’t get dismayed with the gate personnel if you can’t procure a flight or in a situation, you have been bumped by a passenger who has been ticketed. Still, maintain politeness as much as possible; as they are the key to your getting on a standby flight or not.

Search for Flights Heading to Close Airports

Expanding your destination to include areas closest to your dream destination as long as it is still in the same vicinity might be the way to your success on a standby flight. You could find a flight going to the same state but not the same city than waiting till you get that exact flight heading to your exact destination.

An instance is “If I can’t fly standby to Oakland, from time to time I’ll search for flights heading to San Jose or San Francisco. On an international scale, if I’m not able to find a flight heading to London, then I will look for Gatwick destined flights or its surroundings”.

Leverage Technology

Enjoy the benefits of TripIt Pro’s functionalities when you wish to fly standby. For instance, you can employ the interactive maps in airports when you need a decent glass of coffee or the closest convenience. Also, the mobile application gives you access to several airport lounges and other locations at the airport.

Do Your Research on the Finest Periods to Fly

How to fly standby

Before making a reservation for a flight, ensure you have searched for the best times and periods you can travel and successfully get a standby flight. For this, there must be lesser traffic at the airport and also the timing should be early hours of the day or late periods of the night. A lot of people do not travel at night for several reasons, so this could be the best time for you to travel standby.

The destination for traveling is also important to note as to when there is much traffic to a particular city or state, then there will be probably no vacant seats on the flights. Therefore, you could try going to a nearby city or state with less traffic than your planned destination to catch a standby flight.

Possess a Standing with the Airline

At times your greatest gamble at catching a seat depends on what you do before getting to the airport on that particular day. Several airlines grade their standby lists using the customer’s loyalty to the airline. Passengers who constantly pay complete fares alongside the elite rank travelers are usually given the first vacant seats.

Before you make your decision, it makes a good sense to get registered with the airline’s benefits package so that you’ll be considered to be a reward member and not just a normal traveler. If you already possess an elite status with an airline, then ensure  you inform the gate personnel before you enquire for vacant seats on the flight for standby.

Be Acquainted With Your Airline’s Standby Procedures

Flying standby can differ between airlines. If you have not been able to go through your airline procedures for standby and gotten acquainted with them, then you might end up not boarding that flight. Several airlines limit passengers of particular ticket categories while some end up charging a fee to the passenger.

Some might not even offer you an option to travel standby due to the airline procedures based on the location you are traveling to. Some airlines might entertain just a flight per day, therefore, they might not accept extra passengers. Being an elite member might also give you an advantage as you might be welcomed but another person might be bumped or you could be asked to pay the fee of $75 when requesting for your standby flight.

Get to the Airport Before Time

how to fly standby

To improve the chances of you being on a standby flight, you should ensure you are at the airport before time. Before you decide to check through baggage security, ensure you have first spoken with the ticket agent so that you can get sufficient information regarding getting a seat on the flight at that moment.

Also, you would be of advantage to arrive at the airport early as the early flights are most likely to have not so many original ticketed passengers.

Don’t Roam Farther from the Gate

How to fly standby

It might seem like a piece of simple advice that can be easily adhered to but when you are in the situation, distractions might pull you away from the gate. Therefore, you should always be in the environment of the gate if you are interested in flying standby.

In some cases, standby passengers usually get furious when they find out their places have been given to someone else below them in the standby list just because they went to purchase something or for a little stroll. The standby tickets are normally given out just moments before the flight takes off as they have settled other passengers in.

Do not be like passengers who lose hope at atimes, get bored of waiting or just decide to go for a “little leg stretching”. All these excuses could make you miss out on a standby flight you have been waiting for the past 12 hours, therefore, you should be prepared.

Before going to wait for standby, ensure you have settled almost all you need to settle then take your position just around the gate so that when other higher placed passengers have left, then you could easily take up their space.

Pack Light and only have a carry-on

How to fly standby

If you get to the airport and have more than a few portions of checked baggage, you can be likely ready to wave your flight goodbye as you might probably not get on the flight. Having a bag to check when you don’t have a ticket might hinder you from getting on the flight.

Therefore, being lightly packed could keep you flexible to navigate easily around the airport premises and be able to board a different flight if the current one is already filled. If your luggage is much, it might be loaded on the plane while you are waiting and if you end up not being able to standby on that plane, then your luggage could be lost or misplaced.

Get there on time and consult the airline agent

The typical arrival time of two hours before a domestic flight takes off, and three hours before an international flight takes off is still applied in this scenario. At present, it is generally supportive as you can consult the flight agent immediately you get to the airport before deciding to head to security for clearance.

Though you ought to simply have a carry on (as explained above), speaking to them as you are acquiring your boarding clearance can aid estimate how decent the flight appears, and the probabilities (in their judgment) of the way the luggage and flights might appear.

I was once involved in a similar situation when a nice flight attendant revealed to me about a flight stuck in a different city. This explained that the passengers and all waiting to board that flight will end up going later than planned. It also meant that some might not even board the flight again and I would be able to acquire two or three standby spaces.

Purchase a direct flight you can terminate

This has been a truly convenient hoax for me. Several Airlines like the Southwest airline allows you to be able to terminate your flight just 10 minutes to departure time. In some instances, I would make a reservation for a flight that would be leaving very late and hang around looking for earlier standbys. Once I get one, then I could cancel the previously booked one while enroute to my destination.

How Much Does it Cost to Fly Standby?

Fly Standby

A lot of individuals imagine if flying standby, it comes without a charge. Passengers frequently consider you save cash flying standby. However, this is not an inexpensive eleventh-hour tactic.

The charge attached to flying standby is determined by two things: the first is the status of the flight itself and the other is how well you have connected with the airline and its staff. In some cases, you might be subjected to paying a fee which ranges from about $25 to $100 to board a standby flight.

The actual meaning of standby is that there are vacant seats on the flight which can be filled by someone else not originally scheduled to fly on that flight. Therefore, when you have decided to fly on standby, also ensure you can reach the agents to know if there are specific charges and you won’t receive any surprise charge.

Airline Prices for Standby Flights

Various airlines always have varying policies and rules relating to flying standby. You will find in this guide some relevant information which would help you to know them. However, you should note that they often make changes to these policies, therefore, you should still in some cases get in touch with them to know if there has been a change.

Alaska Airlines:

Their standby seats are normally off charge and are obtained on the day of flight especially passengers living in a particular city. You should also ensure to be at the gate half an hour earlier before the flight departs.

American Airlines:

Their standby tickets are charged at $75 for flights on the same day. However, Elite members of their airline, business class passengers and all military personnel are exempted from this fee.

Delta Airlines:

Their standby fees are charged at $75 for a good number of their passengers. Those under the Basic Economy category are not entitled to getting a standby ticket or making flight adjustments on the same day.

Frontier Airlines:

The only passengers entitled to benefit from their standby flights are the elite members. Aside from those, every other traveler is required to make payments if they wish to make flight modifications and it will be on a later date.



Their policy at JetBlue is in order of arrival where you will be charged a fee of $75. You should also bear in mind that cities that have just a flight in a day are without standby flights and do not allow the passengers to make modifications to their flights.

Southwest Airlines:

The issuing out of standby flights at this airline is dependent on the category of fare a passenger has paid. For those who paid for the Business Select’ and ‘Anytime’ category, they will be allowed to fly on standby.

But for passengers who had booked the ‘Senior’ and ‘Wanna Get Away’ flights, then they will be subjected to paying slightly higher to be on a standby flight.

United  airline:

The majority of their passengers will be required to pay the $75 fee to be on a standby flight.

Standby guidelines by airline

Air Canada

Air Canada’s same-day airport standby alternative permits customers to fly on particular fees as a standby passenger. However, the flight they often get would be one an earlier than their origin al flight on the same day. This alternative is dependent on your availability at the moment and if you have already checked in your bags, then it won’t be available to you.

Domestic flights

There is no fee charged to passengers who wish to fly standby, those who are in the Premium Economy, Business Class, and Latitude category and are flying within Canada. Likewise, the passengers who are in the Business Class (lowest), Economy Flex, and Economy Tango also fly standby free of charge but on Rapidair routes (which are hourly flights between Toronto and Montreal or Ottawa area) and on flights amid Vancouver, Edmonton, and Calgary. Also, the passengers of the Economy Latitude class of Air Canada Rouge are permitted to fly standby at no charge.

International flights to the USA

The Economy Latitude and Business Class (flexible) passengers flying from Canada to the United States of America can fly on standby at no cost. Likewise, the Business Class (lowest), Economy Tango and the Economy Flex Class passengers can fly from the Toronto Pearson International Airport to the Newark Liberty International Airport, LaGuardia International Airport or John F. Kennedy International Airport on standby at no cost.

International flights to “Sun Destinations”:


Air Canada’s “Sun Destinations” are normally flights from Canada to specific “sunny” locations in Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean. There is also the availability of the passengers in the Economy Latitude, Business Class (lowest) or the Business Class (flexible) to standby at no cost.

International – all other destinations

The Passengers of Air Canada who are traveling on an international basis can fly on standby at no charge once they are in the Economy Latitude, Premium Economy (flexible), Business Class (flexible) and the Business Class (lowest).

Requests made for a wait-list upgrade might be arranged in order of superiority. You can find this list under the “Flight Status” section in the Air Canada App; every passenger’s name is displayed utilizing the first three letters of the family name followed by the first name’s initial.

Alaska Airlines

For passengers to be permitted to fly standby on Alaska Airlines, they must have purchased a certain ticket class and be going to a particular destination.

Entitled travelers must: be on a continuous flight between Alaska Airlines’ transports markets (between Orange County, Calif. and San Diego, Calif. or San Jose, Calif. between Seattle and Spokane, Wash. or Portland, Ore. And between Anchorage and Fairbanks), possess a reimbursable First Class ticket in A, D, or F classes of service, Main Cabin ticket in Y or Z classes of service or be an MVP Gold Mileage Plan member.

However, if you are traveling on the same reservation as one of these categories, you are also entitled to getting a standby. In the event of no availability of a standby seat on the same day, then these ticket holders can apply for a free standby flight. Apart from these, all other passengers who wish to modify their flights on the same day are required to pay a fee of 25 only if the seats are available.

When making a reservation online, the passengers can apply for a standby either before they get to the airport or at the airport. Immediately such a request is made, the gate coordinator would announce for the passengers to arrive early at the departure gate and in half an hour before departure, all standby passengers who have seats confirmed will be allowed to join the flight.

Allegiant Air

Allegiant Air

Allegiant airline provides its customers with only nonstop flights to locations around the United States of America and their flights which are not daily are done in particular seasons through specific routes. For that reason, the alternative to flying on standby isn’t quite traditional.

Nevertheless, passengers have the opportunity to procure Trip Flex at the same moment when making their reservations to have the ability to modify their schedule one time with no $75 fee charged to them twice.

Through Trip Flex, the travelers of allegiant air are allowed to modify their destination, flight and reservation date with no extra fees. However, it must be done within one hour before the flight departs and the travelers are liable to any alteration in airfare fees.

American Airlines

American Airlines makes gracious same-day standbys accessible to customers possessing the First Class, Business, or Unrestricted Economy Class (Y fare) tickets. It’s also obtainable for passengers who have American Airlines AAdvantage Platinum, Platinum Pro, Executive Platinum or Ruby status or oneworld Emerald, Sapphire, or Gold status and up to eight buddies in the same category.

Also, passengers who possess AAnytime, Business and First Class MileSAAver award tickets and AirPass membership can fly standby. Active U.S. military dependents traveling on instructions or private trips can also obtain a complimentary space on a standby flight.

Any other passenger would be allowed to fly standby if it has an early flight (AAdvantage elite members can be allowed to fly standby on earlier or later flights) but at a fee of $75 fee. The flight must be one traveling to and fro any US location, U.S. Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico.

However, the original flight must have the same departure and arrival locations, must be on the same day but not time and is a property of either American Eagle or American Airlines. Passengers are not allowed to modify their journey to a city with several airports or another city in the same state.

Delta Air Lines

Complimentary (and voluntary) standby is offered to members of the Gold, Platinum, and Diamond Medallion categories (travel companions and relations are not entitled) once there are available seats after the original ticketed paid seats have been confirmed.

Such availability is subject to the same-day confirmed flight alteration on Delta Airlines and other flights connected to Delta flights traveling from the U.S.A to the U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico and Canada. The opportunity doesn’t assure one that there would be an available seat.

Passengers who have no provision for somewhere to stay on their standby flights are allowed to make a seat confirmation on the next vacant flight. Members of Elite Plus and SkyTeam Elite are not entitled to fly standby. Modifications for a same-day flight should be applied within 24 hours before their original flight departs.



Frontier Airlines allows every Elite member of their regular flyer itinerary EarlyReturns to fly on standby and at no further cost. They can fly earlier or later than their originally booked flight. There is also the opportunity for a passenger to appeal for a standby flight at the airport gate or the ticket counter.

Before passengers choose to fly on standby, they must have understood that if they miss their original flight and eventually don’t get on the standby flight, then the airline will not provide them with any further transport. Apart from these, every other passenger who wishes to fly standby will be obliged to pay a fee of $99 for a flight on the same day earlier or later than their original flight.

They have the opportunity to make this reservation either by reaching the Frontier booking agents or at the airport counter. All standby passengers flying on the same day and have modified and confirmed their flights are obliged to go through the original ticketed schedule.

The airline has some grouped locations, which allows reserved passengers to fly to/from an airport in a grouped destination to apply for a same-day confirmed standby travel or substitute flight alteration to/from another airport in the group.

The following “groups” are regarded as matching cities for standby and same-day confirmed flight modifications: Orlando International Airport and Tampa International Airport and Orlando International Airport and St. Augustine Airport, LaGuardia Airport, Trenton Airport, and Philadelphia International Airport, Fort Lauderdale International Airport and;

West Palm Beach International Airport, Chicago-O’Hare International Airport and Milwaukee International Airport, Los Angeles International Airport and Orange County/Santa Ana Airport, Orange County/Santa Ana Airport and San Diego Airport, Madison International Airport and Milwaukee International Airport, Washington Dulles Airport and Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport.

Hawaiian Airlines

Travelers who are Pualani Gold or Platinum members or who have reserved a flight by utilizing the Hawaiian Airlines’ Business Web Portal will be able to fly standby for an earlier Neighbor Island Flight at no cost. It is also required that these passengers must not have checked in their luggage and be recommended to wait more than 30 minutes as the next available flight won’t be ready till then.

Nevertheless, if a passenger has no luggage to check-in, then he/she can make use of the web check-in to get checked-in for their flights. There is also the availability for check-ins at the customer service center and the self-service kiosks at the airport.

Also, a passenger who wishes to standby for a flight earlier than his/her original one is required to discuss with an associate of the customer service body of the airline before attempting to go past security. Passengers in possession of luggage to be checked in are obliged to check-in with a customer service agent at the airport and apply for a standby flight.

Immediately the application to fly standby has been confirmed, the airline will retain the confirmed reservation for the passenger’s original flight lest there are no more vacant seats on the standby flights.



Jetblue airlines offer available standby to passengers for flights scheduled to depart before their original flights once they have applied. The passengers are not required to pay any fees as the flights are not assured to have vacant seats. The passengers must come down to the airport to make their reservations as they cannot be done on the phone.

In a situation where a passenger wishes to travel to another city, then, he/she would be allowed to get a standby flight just before the day of the originally scheduled flight. Passengers would be allowed to travel on a standby flight if it has the same destination and origin as the originally booked flight or if it is a nonstop or connecting flight.

If a passenger has earlier chosen to travel on an Even More Space  seat hold and decides to fly on standby, then the seat will be forfeited and he would not receive any refund of the seat fee which he has paid. For a Mint customer who decides to fly on standby, he/ she would be allowed to travel on an earlier scheduled flight with no assurance of the  Mint experience and if it is not available on the standby flight, then it will have to be forfeited.

If a passenger has missed his/her flight, then they can be allowed to travel on standby but depending on if there are available seats on the flight. The fare which the customer has paid will also be considered as there can be further fees request the airline.

For a passenger to make a standby reservation, he must come down to the airport as it is impossible to make one over the phone and only same day flights. When the airline only offers a flight for departures to other cities, then the passenger would be entitled to the subsequent day’s flight as long as the original flight and the standby flight has corresponding destinations and origin and it is either a nonstop or connecting flight.

JetBlue also proposes a same-day alteration alternative; nevertheless, charges might be relevant (there is no addition in ticket costs). This alternative authenticates travelers on the flight of their preference and can be applied for at the airport or by phoning 1-800-JETBLUE (538-2583).

Porter Airlines

Porter Airlines does not tender standby flying; nevertheless, depending on the kind of ticket procured, travelers might be capable of modifying flights for a cost or without charge. Travelers flying on Freedom tickets can demand ticket recompense up to 60 minutes before the flight takes off.

Passengers flying on Freedom and Flexible tickets will be capable of making same-day modifications up to 60 minutes before departure at no charge. Passengers flying on Firm tickets can make same-day modifications that vary from $150 to $172.50 for each ticket. Same-day modifications and postponement can be completed at the airport, on the internet, and by contacting the Porter Call Centre on 1-888-619-8622.

Southwest Airlines

Southwest Airlines

Passengers flying on any time and Business Select tickets can fly standby at the same cost as long as the destination and origin are on similar city matches and the day of travel is the same as the original flight. Passengers will be charged with appropriate fees and taxes for flying stand-by. Business Select travelers on standby flights will give up the benefit of getting on the first part of the “A” group.

Passengers flying on Senior and Wanna Get Away tickets must advance to an Anytime fare to fly standby. A passenger who has missed his flight would be required to withdraw his first reservation no less than 10 minutes before the planned exit of his flight.

Anytime and Business Select passengers who do not withdraw their first reservations will have any vacant payment transformed into reusable travel payment for the initially ticketed traveler only. Unused Wanna Get Away passengers’ vacant payments are given up.

Spirit Airlines

Spirit Airlines permits its passengers to fly on a standby flight once it is a prior flight and scheduled to leave on an unchanged day as the planned flight. However, there is a fee of $99 charged for each person. A standby passenger is required to make this reservation only at the airport.

United Airlines

Passengers of United Airlines can fly on standby at no charge when the ticket cost has no consequence for making modifications or when having to fly on standby in an involuntary situation like when a flight experiences some abnormality or by the fault of weather issues. However, they are not allowed to modify their route choices when they decide to standby.

A passenger can obtain a standby flight on the same departure day and with a representative of the United Airlines or at the airport kiosk. Premier 1K, Premier Platinum and MileagePlus Premier Gold, are also allowed to apply for a complementary modification of their flights for the same day as they will be undercharged.

On the other hand, the MileagePlus non–Premier and MileagePlus Premier Silver members are charged at a fee of $75 for any modification of their tickets. Basic Economy (N) tickets are not entitled to modifications in their flights.

Virgin America

Virgin America

Virgin America passengers have various standby alternatives. Passengers can purchase a Plans Change Pass for $25 when making ticket reservations. It allows the passengers to make modifications as many times as possible though they will be required to pay any difference in the ticket prices.

Such modifications can be made by calling the Contact Center at 1.877.FLY.VIRGIN (1.877.359.8474) or accessing their online platform.

Passengers in possession of a confirmed ticket and have not purchased a Plans Change Pass, might be allowed to make modifications for a same-day flight. However, the flight must have left from the same origin and is heading to the same destination as the original flight the passengers have booked.

Such modifications come with fees ranging from $25 to $50 or each ticket. These payments and modifications are all carried out by reaching out to the Contact Center on phone or by meeting them at the airport.

If there are vacant seats on the flight directly before the initially planned flight, passengers may be allowed to fly standby at no cost, but this is not an established change and there is no assurance there will be a seat available.

Passengers who miss their planned flight and arrive at the airport two hours before the next flight take off, then they will be permitted to fly standby with no further charge but if the next flight is full, then they will put on a rollover status for all succeeding flights for that day.

 If there are free seats on the next flight, then the passengers might decide to fly as confirmed passengers and pay equal fees for the flight modifications. When that is the last flight of the day and there are no more payments accepted at the ticket counter due to closure, then the passengers ought to get in contact with the Contact Center and make new modifications so that the next day, they would join the first flight as either standby passengers or as confirmed passengers.


WestJet airlines permit members of WestJet Rewards Gold and Plus classes to make modifications to their flight especially if you have missed your flight or wish to book an earlier flight than the original flight you booked. However, the flight must have been booked at least two hours after the flight was missed.

You can be able to make these modifications on their online platform, at their self-service kiosks at least five hours before the next flight departs and at the comfort of your mobile app. However, the modifications will be honored if there are available seats on the flight.

The passengers must have not checked their luggage in and the flight must have the same origin and destination as the original flight they had booked. If the passengers are not able to standby on a flight leaving that same day, then they will be subjected to leaving with the first flight of the next day as long as their destinations are the same.

Passengers traveling with Flex and Economy tickets booked before Jan. 17, 2017 have the decision to modify their flights on the same day at fees ranging from $75 to $88.50 for the Economy tickets and $50 to $59 for the Flex tickets.

For passengers traveling with Member Exclusive, Flex and Economy (travel to or from all locations in Central America, the Caribbean and North America, including Mexico) and Member Exclusive, Flex and Economy (travel to or from locations outside North America) tickets booked from around Jan. 17 – May 10, 2017 have the choice to modify their flights on the same day at fees ranging from $100 to $118.

This applies to  Members who have Exclusive, Flex and Economy travel package  when they want to (travel to or from all locations in Central America, the Caribbean and North America, including Mexico) and $150 to $177 for Members with Exclusive, Flex and Economy package (travelling to or from locations outside North America).

For passengers traveling with Member Exclusive, Economy, Plus Lowest and Flex tickets (travel to or from all locations within Central America, the Caribbean and North America, as well as Mexico) and Member Exclusive, Economy, Plus Lowest and Flex tickets (travel to or from locations not inside North America) tickets reserved on the 11th of May, 2017

They further have the choice to modify their flights at fees ranging from $100 to $118 for Member Exclusive, Economy, Plus Lowest and Flex tickets (travel to or from all locations within Central America, the Caribbean and North America, as well as Mexico) and $150 to $177 for Flex, Economy, Plus Lowest and Member Exclusive tickets (travel to or from locations not within North America).


flying standby

2. Are there more charges to flying standby?

The fees attached to flying standby are dependent on two things: first is the kind of flight and secondly is your relationship with the airline. In all likelihood, yet, there will be an insignificant charge of about $25 to $100 to fly standby.

3. Can you fly standby with no tickets?

Can you just arrive at the airport with no tickets and be expecting to fly to your destination for an inexpensive price? The short response is no. Airlines no longer permit you to hang around at the counter in anticipation of hitching a “standby flight” and occupying the last seat of a departing flight.  For a standby that is not confirmed, there may also be a payment.

4. Can you fly standby on a prior United flight?

United Airlines takes a fee of $75 whether you apply for the same day confirmed modification or standby on a prior flight. Nevertheless, the payment will only be made if your standby goes through. Members with Platinum, Premier Gold, or 1K status will not be charged with such payment.

5. How do I access the standby list?

Select the yellow band to view your place on the Upgrade List. If you’ve acquired a seat, then a mark will be checked just beside your name. The standby list will also be visible at the airport just on top of the gates.

6. Will Southwest let you fly standby?

Procure a Southwest Airlines ticket. The Anytime and Business Select tickets permit travelers to modify the time of their flights with a standby ticket fat no extra charge. Ding, Wanna Get Away and Senior tickets oblige travelers to advance to an Anytime ticket package before acquiring a standby ticket.

7. What is the difference between anytime and wanna getaway?

They are just three public-facing returns ticket categories. These are the Wanna Get Away, Anytime, and Business Select. The last two are repayable and permit one to have a standby on the same day,  while the first is non-repayable but can be modified or terminated for up to a year from procurement.

8. What is the take with Wanna get away?

If you revoke your Wanna Get Away ticket, then you won’t be refunded although you can get credit (travel finances) useful to potential travel on Southwest Airlines but only for the passenger who was scheduled to fly.

This is explained as you won’t be able to make termination and then put a different name on the next flight and look forward to utilizing those travel finances for the new passenger.

9. Is it free to fly standby?

Alaska Airlines: Offers standby at no charge as long as the flights are on the same day and the passengers have already been ticketed in particular cities. Also, the passengers must arrive at the gate at least half an hour before the flight departs. Aside from Alaska, there might be no other airline offering the same opportunity.

10. Is wanna get away a standby ticket?

Wanna Get Away – These are non-repayable tickets and include all of the ticket buckets that aren’t full-fare “Y”, or business select refundable tickets. This ticket comes with less Rapid Rewards points and you might incur additional costs if you wish to fly standby on another flight on the same day.

11. Can you buy standby tickets?

flying standby

As soon as a passenger contacts the airline to modify their travel plans or seat position, their tickets successfully turn into standby tickets. For the eleventh-hour transactions on flights, check travel and airline websites; nevertheless take into consideration that no modifications may be permissible on these tickets.

12. How does a buddy pass work?

Buddy passes are non-income standby tickets offered as a benefit to every airline employee. The employees then distribute those passes with relations and friends. Although there is no cost to fly (non-income), the passenger who utilizes the buddy pass is obliged to pay any charges, fees, and taxes for every leg of the flight.

13. How do you get on a standby flight list?

  • You can fly “standby” at a nominal fee or in some cases, no further cost.
  • Evaluate your ticket voucher or your online ticket employing the airline’s web portal.
  • Go through the preferred flights for accessibility.
  • Evaluate your plan in opposition to the availability of the flight.
  • Arrive at the airport before time, if possible no less than 90 minutes before the departure of the flight.

14. How do you fly standby on Delta?

You may apply for a same-day standby a day before the time of departure of your newly demanded flight. General SkyMiles, Silver Medallion members, and non-members might just fly standby on the same day for a flight that is earlier than their original flight.

15. Is it cheaper to buy an airline ticket at the airport?

On the other hand, these ticket costs are roughly higher at all times than anticipated. … If an individual goes to the airport to buy an eleventh-hour plane ticket, he may discover that the price of the ticket would be massively higher than if he had booked online. In the end, there are no rewards for purchasing tickets at the airport.

16. What is a standby list?

A standby list is a list you’re on till the moment you receive a seat. Everybody on a BE ticket is on the standby list till the moment they are assigned to a seat. It does not signify you’re would end up bumped in the long run but instead, it signifies you will be in waiting for a seat to be granted you.

17. What is the upgrade standby list?

A standby upgrade implemented on the same day is an upgrade that is obtainable on the departure day. Every passenger can be allowed to make an upgrade of their flights to another if there is available space and at a charge. The alternative may be available to you when checking in or if not then, you could inquire about it when at the departure gate.

18. How does AA standby work?

American Airlines permits same day flight modifications on every domestic flight. If no seat has been given to you on a standby flight, then you will be refunded with a fee of about $75. You can be capable of applying for standby or modification of confirmed flight at an airport check-in kiosk, over the phone, on their online platform, or at the ticket counter and it must be done a day before departure.

19. How do I fly standby on Air Canada?

If you’ve already purchased tickets on Air Canada, you may be entitled to same-day standby standing. This can be rephrased as you showing up at the airport before time on the flight, you can be allowed to fly standby if there are available seats on prior flights heading to the same location, or fly standby on your previously planned flight but in an upgraded seat.

20. How Do I Fly Standby?

If you find difficulty in flying standby, then go through these processes to advance the probability of you flying on a standby flight.

  1. Carry out your research: every airline possesses dissimilar fees and policies.
  2. Obtain the mobile application: Several airlines offer a flying standby mobile application. These applications permit you to carry out a same-day flight modification and get periodic feedback on the procedure.
  3. Register for or receive elite standing: Do you possess an elite standing with an airline? This boosts your odds of catching an eleventh-hour chair on the flight of your pick. You may bump a passenger who possesses a lower standing (and that is just the same way by a passenger with a status if you don’t possess one).
  4. Select off-peak periods: Whilst choosing your preferred flight, pick the ones going during off-peak periods and stay away from special events, weekends, and holiday periods. Travel in periods when people are not willing to travel and there are lesser traffics. Even before stepping out of your home, ensure your phone before time to confirm your preferred flight if there are possibilities for you to obtain a seat.
  5. Pack frivolously: Apparently, you could do with being agile and lightly packed while planning to fly standby. If you would be required to check your luggage in, there may not be ample time for that or in another case, there might not be space in the hold for your luggage which may cause you to find it on another flight.
  6. Travel unaccompanied: It is not easy to a great extent for airlines to have room for several travelers in an equal group.
  7. Arrive at the airport before time: Ensure you get to the airport no less than 2 hours before the departure of your standby flight (odds are greater on earlier flights, hence the earlier you arrive, the better for you). Immediately you get to the boarding gate, present the airline agent with a pack of cookies.  Just playing around. Nevertheless, do make an encouraging, courteous notion as you introduce yourself and give an explanation that you possess a ticket on a different (later or earlier) flight. If you’re on a standby list by now, then you will be in the report of the gate agents and if not, they may be capable of including you.
  8. Look good: It is anticipated that standby passengers, the buddy pass passengers, in particular, are on their finest conduct. Particularly for buddy pass passengers, you stand for an airline and are anticipated to put on a business or business casual outfit and to be principally polite and courteous to the airline employees and gate agents especially.
  9. Be susceptible to change: The game is called a game of flexibility. Keep away from travel that involves linking flights.
  10. Be tolerant: You are still waiting in the gate vicinity when your preferred flight is boarding. The names of the last passengers are being mentioned. Be tolerant ill the moment the plane takes off. The flight crew from time to time makes eleventh-hour conclusions as regards the availability of a seat.


Have you ever been involved in flying standby? Let us hear your experience in the comment section below. Feel free to share with us the tricks and tips you used. One of the key requirements to flying on standby is patience because if you can’t patiently wait for a few hours, then your chances of flying standby is very minimal.

Although flying standby isn’t always an alternative, it still pays in the end. It is mostly employed in situations you are not really in a hurry to arrive at your destination and you wish to save some cost. So, get out there, find a flight and fly standby.

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