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Old Aug 13, 02, 4:00 pm   #1
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
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Changing a Flight Time Without Penalty

I'm scheduled to take a 6:30 am flight from LAX to SFO on 8/15. I would rather take the next flight at 8:55 am, but I have a cheap, non-refundable ticket. If I "miss" my 6:30 flight, can I stand by for the later flight without penalty? There are currently 26 open seats on the later flight, so I think my chances are pretty good of getting one. Any thoughts?
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Old Aug 13, 02, 4:06 pm   #2
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You can stand-by for any flight during the day without penalty as long as the original flight was not flight specific. You will taking a risk of not getting on the flight.
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Old Aug 13, 02, 4:07 pm   #3
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If you miss your flight, you can stand-by for the next available flight at no charge. However, there is the possibility that you will also have to standby for the flight after that and the flight after that, etc...

Just becuase the seat maps show 28 available seats does not mean that the plane may not be capacity. Depending on your status, you may not be the first person who clears the standby list.

Good luck!
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Old Aug 13, 02, 4:28 pm   #4
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You could be sorry giving up your confirmed seat that day.

Please understand that the seat map on aa.com only shows assigned seats, not purchased seats, many times there is a significant gap between the two numbers. There is a good chance the later flight will be overbooked (it may be already and you have no way of knowing that). If that flightt is overbooked, standby is very iffy.

Or, what if another flight, on another airline, cancels and they book seats from AA? (This has happened to me more than once, even had a boarding pass taken away after it was issued for standby.)

AA will have no responsibility to get you to you final destination if voluntarily give up your confirmed seat.
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Old Aug 13, 02, 4:49 pm   #5
 
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You can stand-by for any flight the same day without penalty. I've done it several times both on purpose and by accident

Give a call to reservations and ask how full the flight is. If you hear the words "wide open," then you shouldn't have a problem getting a seat.

Of course, even if it's wide open, you are taking a risk as you don't know what can happen that day (for example, the 6:30am flight is cancelled, making the 8:55 oversold).
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Old Aug 13, 02, 8:49 pm   #6
 
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It may be "wide open" right now, but things can change at the last minute.

I was set to non-rev this week on a "wide open" early Monday morning flight (not AA) out of SFO. Called in upon waking up and learned that the palne was full because the their second outbound was cancelled, plus they accomodated a whole bunch of Vanguard ticketed pax.

Switched to another airline and barely got on because they were accomodating pax from a cancelled America West flight.

Stand-by trumps non-rev, but it's risky if you need to arrive by a certain time.

With this weeks announced wave of airline expense cutting, my guess is that there will be more selectively cancelled flights between now and Oct 1, when many of the airlines issue new schedules and officialy drop flights.

Good luck.
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Old Aug 13, 02, 9:38 pm   #7
 
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What I would do is call AA the day before, and say you are thinking of standing by for the next flight. Ask them how full the next flight is, and if they think the odds of getting on via standby are good.

If you are sure you aren't going to be on your confirmed flight, it is nice to let them know that in advance.
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Old Aug 13, 02, 11:28 pm   #8
 
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Last week I took my return flight on Tuesday and not Sunday. I did abide by all the fare rules (Saturday stayover etc.).
When I checked in on Tuesday and the gate agent told me that there would be a $100 fee, I could tell by her tone that nothing (in capital letters) that I might have said would have got the $100 waived.
Mark, Dallas
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Old Aug 13, 02, 11:47 pm   #9
 
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You're talking about flying on a different day than ticketed, which is beyond the scope of discussion so far. But no reason we can't expand it.

You can standby for a different flight on the same day you are ticketed for, without a change fee.
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Old Aug 14, 02, 7:05 am   #10
 
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Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by benoit:
You're talking about flying on a different day than ticketed, which is beyond the scope of discussion so far. But no reason we can't expand it.

You can standby for a different flight on the same day you are ticketed for, without a change fee.
</font>
Just a note -- I have managed on more than one occasion to change flight dates without a fee or an increase in fare. But these were usually weather related. Anyone recall "the storm of the century" back in December 2000? I had a flight out of Boston to Chicago planned that day, and I called to push it ahead one day so I wouldn't risk being stuck in Boston. The airline happily obliged and fulfilled my request without charging anything extra. I also sounded friendly on the phone, if that helped too.
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Old Aug 14, 02, 5:49 pm   #11
 
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Just a note -- I have managed on more than one occasion to change flight dates without a fee or an increase in fare. But these were usually weather related. Anyone recall "the storm of the century" back in December 2000? I had a flight out of Boston to Chicago planned that day, and I called to push it ahead one day so I wouldn't risk being stuck in Boston. The airline happily obliged and fulfilled my request without charging anything extra. I also sounded friendly on the phone, if that helped too.[/quote]
I'm only trying to change the time, not date. I'm trying to determine if I could get in trouble by standing by for a later flight that at this time doesn't appear full.
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Old Aug 15, 02, 12:49 am   #12
 
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I used to fly on the west coast corridor more than 3 RTs a week. I used to do a lot of standbys and as an EXP never had problems except on Fri afternoons (they were OK after 7 PM on Fri).

You cannot check availability by looking at seatmaps but can guess it by using itn.net (not too useful these days) or similar sites:
http://www.etour.co.jp/Solar/index.html - Japanese site discussed in FT

http://www.aeroplan.de/ap_rb_galileo.htm
Galileo site discussed again in FT

If you see a lot of availability in cheap fare codes (L, M, N, V, etc.) you can reasonably expect your standy to clear.
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Old Aug 15, 02, 1:34 pm   #13
 
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One exception on the same day stand-by for AA. Priceline customers are not allowed stand-by on AA unlike HP, UA or DL. I know, I've tried.
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Old Aug 15, 02, 10:12 pm   #14
 
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CalItalian: Good point. I was thinking about visiting a friend last weekend. Fly there on Saturday and fly home on Monday.
I was busy with the Priceline bid when I saw that you can only nominate the dates and not the times. I then saw the possibility that I could get the last flight there on Saturday and the first one out on Monday (before sunrise) which could take much of the fun out of a two-day trip.
Mark, Dallas
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