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$50 to go on standby? Booo Continental!

Atlanta
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$50 to go on standby? Booo Continental!

It seems that the days are gone when if you happened to be at the airport early, you could go to an earlier flight's gate and get on standby. I've done this more times than I can count, but it seems it is no more. This weekend, Continental wanted to charge me $50 to get on a standby list for a flight that was leaving just one hour earlier.

Anyone have any insight into this?

Cherry Hill, NJ
Destination Expert
for Philadelphia
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1. Re: $50 to go on standby? Booo Continental!

Most of the airlines have added this fee now for non-elite flyers.

I understand the reasoning behind it, but I do find $50 to be a tad excessive.. $20-$25 is more what I would be comfortable with. The logic behind that is that luggage may have to be moved (if you checked it), manifests possibly re-run and even fuel recalculated if its more than a few people.

Atlanta
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2. Re: $50 to go on standby? Booo Continental!

Actually, I am elite! They tried to charge me anyway!

New York City, New...
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for Air Travel
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3. Re: $50 to go on standby? Booo Continental!

The logic? You want it so you pay for it.

Birmingham, Alabama
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4. Re: $50 to go on standby? Booo Continental!

Delta doesn't charge gold/platinum for standby.

But the standby fees have been in place for a few years now on Delta, Continental and most of the other US carriers.

Dumb -- what does it matter to them if there are available seats?

The worst for me is when I was charged $25 to change my ticket to a later flight b/c I was late to the airport. Got to the gate and found my original flight still hadn't left. There was an equipment change, to a smaller plane, and they were PAYING people to get off. Hmm...

Sunnyvale...
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for San Jose
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5. Re: $50 to go on standby? Booo Continental!

I got nailed $25 with Northwest for standby November 2008 for going on an earlier flight.

However, when I read the fine print, it says standby is actually still no fee. It's the "fly now & confirmed" option that charges $25. Is this the same with other airlines? Has anybody looked at the fine print lately?

Detroit, MI
Destination Expert
for Detroit, Travel Gadgets and Gear
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6. Re: $50 to go on standby? Booo Continental!

Fly-now confirmed is unique to NW. Basically it lets you change your flight on the day of departure for only $25 instead of the usual $100 built into the ticket. Not sure of the status of the program now that NW is Delta. I've even seen the $25 fee waived online if the flight you are changing from is overbooked.

It is just another revenue stream for the airlines - no more reason needed other than trying to make a few more bucks.

Birmingham, Alabama
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7. Re: $50 to go on standby? Booo Continental!

Delta has had the "confirm for $25 day of travel" thing for a long time -- you call within 3 hours of the flight you want (on the same day as your original flight) and for $25 you can get a confirmed seat.

Not sure about standby and the fine print but think that everyone is charging these days.

Lewisville, Texas
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8. Re: $50 to go on standby? Booo Continental!

American also does a confirmed standby - they charge $50 for it though and they do it up to 12 hours before the flight you are switching to.

I kind of like it since it allows me to grab an exit row instead of middle seat in the back of the plane.

Billings, Montana
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37 posts
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9. Re: $50 to go on standby? Booo Continental!

United tried to apply a standby fee a couple of years ago. What they found is that nobody would pay it, and then all of a sudden they had a bad operation day and lots of misconnects but no seats on later flights because nobody was moving up to earlier flights. Needless to say it didnt last long. You can standby for earlier flights same day for no fee. Wonder how long Continental will try this? United tried it only because Delta started it, don't know if Delta still charges for standby.

Seattle, Washington
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10. Re: $50 to go on standby? Booo Continental!

UA will let you check in and standby for an earlier flight the same day, without paying a fee if one is available.

Or you can confirm a seat on an alternate flight on the same day of travel within 3 hours of the time of your request, for a $75 fee.

So you can try to do it for free, or pay $75 to confirm.