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Same Day Changes (SDC) and Standby on Air Canada (2019 onwards)

Old May 17, 2022, 12:28 pm
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Last edit by: Adam Smith

Same Day Changes & Standby

Note: This is a long wiki, with over 40 Q&As. If you only see a bit, then find and click on the "Show more" link which can be found at the very end of the last text you see in this wiki window.

Please read the wiki before asking a question, as most common questions are answered here



Table of Contents (note the links below only work on desktop if you have expanded the wiki as described above)


What Are Same Day Change and Standby? Back to top

Q: What are Same Day Change and Standby?
A:
Same Day Changes (often called SDC) and Standby (sometimes referred to as SBY) involve taking a different flight from the one you were originally booked on without re-booking your itinerary, with no fare difference, and without the change fees normally applicable to your fare (specific SDC/standby fees are charged, as detailed below)
  • Same Day Change is where you immediately confirm a seat on a new flight or flights. As soon as you execute an SDC, your seat on your original flight is gone. You can change to either an earlier or later flight on the same day (see below for details)
  • Standby is when you put yourself on a waitlist for an earlier flight. The standby list is processed after check-in for that flight closes. Until you clear standby on a new flight, you continue to hold a seat on your original flight

Q: So can I use SDC or standby to fly to a different destination? Or fly from a different origin?
A:
No, this just allows you to change flights between the same origin and destination, with limited exceptions for co-terminals (e.g. YYZ/YTZ or LGA/JFK/EWR; see the applicable Routing section)

Q: Are all flights eligible for SDC and standby?
A: It depends on fare and market
. Markets are defined immediately below. For additional information, see the applicable Eligibility & Cost section

Q: What are the markets?
A:
  • Domestic (flights within Canada)
  • Transborder (flights between Canada and the US)
  • Sun (flights between Canada and everywhere else in North America)
  • International (everything else)

Q: Does it matter how I booked my ticket?
A:
  • It matters which airline sold your ticket (details in the applicable section)
  • It doesnt matter how you paid for your ticket (cash vs points vs flight pass credit), although it may impact the cost

Q: Can I do this myself, or do I need an agent at the airport?
A:
In most cases, as long as youre eligible, you should be able to request standby or SDC via the AC app or website, including paying any required fees


Same Day Changes Back to top

Basics Back to top

Q: When can I make the change? Does it have to be on the day of my flight?
A:
SDC should be available online when check-in opens for the flight youre currently booked on (24 hours in advance of your first flight). You should be able to request an SDC up until check-in for your original flight closes

Q: What flights are available for me to change to?
A:
You can change to any flight on the same operational (roughly 0500-0200) date (subject to available space, which is described below); that includes flights departing more than 24 hours from the one youre currently booked on. You cant SDC to a flight for which check-in has closed

Q: Can you give me some examples?
A:
Sure. Click on the spoiler below to expand a few examples
Spoiler
 








Q: What space is needed on the flight I want to change to?
A:
You need positive space in your cabin, and on the flight as a whole. Your fare class is irrelevant. If you are booked in Y, and the flight you want is full in Y but empty in J, you cannot change. If you're booked in J, and the flight you want is J5 but Y-10, you can't change. If you're booked in J, and the flight is J5 Y-4, you can change, even though Y is overbooked, because the flight is not

Q: How do I make this change?
A:
SDC is available through the online check-in function on the AC app or website (as long as its working properly). You can request SDC before you start check-in or after youve completed it. You should be offered any available itineraries. If a flight isnt showing up as an option, its probably due to lack of available space as described above, or in the case of connecting itineraries, it may not be a legal connection. An agent at the airport can also handle this; this includes Concierges (and, for SEs only, the central Concierge office)

Q: Ive read through the FAQ and am curious about the technical details
A:
See this excellent post by D582



Eligibility & Costs Back to top

Q: What do same day changes cost, and whats eligible?
A:
Both answers depend on the market and fare type:
  • Basic: not eligible
  • Standard
    • $150 domestic/transborder; or $100 for a few selected city pairs:
      • Flights between (a) Toronto (YYZ or YTZ) and (b)(i) Montreal or (ii) Ottawa
      • Flights between (a) Toronto Pearson (YYZ) and (b)(i) JFK or (ii) LGA or (iii) Newark airports
      • Flights between any of Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver
    • $50 Sun
    • $100 international
  • Flex
    • $75 domestic/transborder
    • $50 Sun
    • $100 international
  • Comfort: $0
  • Latitude: $0
  • Premium Economy Lowest
    • $75 for domestic/transborder
    • $100 international
    • ??? Sun (not listed)
  • Premium Economy Flexible: $0
  • Business Class Lowest:
    • $0 for domestic/transborder
      • Note: the app/website want to charge $100 on Aeroplan Business Lowest bookings. The AC website does not make any distinction for Aeroplan tickets, and the fare rules should say SDC is free. You may or may not be able to get an agent to waive the fee, but should be able to get a refund after the fact
    • Sun/international: a fee may apply, but is variable depending on route/fare
  • Business Class Flexible: $0

Some fare rules also waive SDC fees. There are a lot of international Premium Economy Lowest fares that explicitly state SDC is free

Q: Do I have to pay the fee for each segment I change?
A:
No, you pay the fee each time you make a change. You could change all 3 flights on a 2-stop itinerary and pay the fee only once. However, if you make a change, then later decide youd like to change flights again, you would have to pay another fee, regardless of how many segments youve changed each time



Routing Back to top

Q: What am I allowed to change?
A:
You may change the routing, but not the number of connections

Q: Can you give me some examples?
A:
Sure. Click on the spoiler below to expand a few examples
Spoiler
 







Q: The agent I'm dealing with says I cant change connecting points
A:
Tell them to look at "the ACpedia page for Same-Day Change, under the header of FLAT Same Day Change Fee for Multiple Segments". The policy very explicitly states that you must have same day of departure, same origin, and same final destination

Q: I booked a flight from YYZ to EWR but I want to go to LGA instead, can I do that?
A:
Yes, you can change between co-terminals at your destination

Q: What if I booked a flight EWR to YYZ, can I leave from LGA instead?
A:
No, you cant change co-terminals at your origin

Q: Can I SDC after Ive already taken one or more flights, e.g. if Im flying FCO-YYZ-YYC, can I SDC the YYZ-YYC flight after arriving at YYZ?
A:
Yes, you should be able to do it yourself online, or an agent can do it


SDC & eUpgrades Back to top

Q: I have a confirmed eUpgrade on my original flight. Can I SDC straight in to J on the new flight?
A:
No, you need space in Y to SDC into. When you SDC, you will be back in Y

Q: Will my eUp request carry over to the new flight?
A:
No, once you SDC, you will need to request the eUp again. You should be able to do this online, or an agent can do it

Bookings Involving Partners Back to top

Q: I booked my flight through United, can I do SDC?
A
No, it must be ticketed by Air Canada, meaning the ticket number must start with 014

Q: I booked YYZ-FRA-LHR, with one segment on another airline. Can I change it to YYZ-YUL-LHR?
A:
No you may only change segments operated by AC



Standby Back to top

Basics Back to top

Q: What flights are eligible for standby?
A:
Essentially, Comfort, Latitude, PY Flexible, and Business Flexible always get free standby. Basic is never eligible. Standard, Flex, PY Lowest and Business Lowest are only eligible on certain routes or markets. See the Eligibility & Costs section below

Q: When can I make the change? Does it have to be on the day of my flight?
A:
You should be able to request standby online when check-in opens for the flight youre currently booked on (24 hours in advance of your first flight). But the standby list is only processed a short time before the flight

Q: So when does the standby list get processed?
A:
The standby list is generally run 5 minutes after check-in closes (i.e. 40 minutes for domestic flights or 55 minutes for international flights)

Q: If I dont get a seat at T-40/T-55, does that mean Im out of luck?
A:
No. If there are people who dont show up for the flight (e.g. misconnections), they will clear more people off the standby list (the plane usually shouldnt leave with empty seats if there are still people on standby)

Q: I dont like the idea of waiting that late. Can I get confirmed earlier than that?
A:
Thats what SDC is for. On rare occasions, AC may clear people off the standby list earlier than the times above, but youre usually not going to get confirmed until after check-in has closed

Q: Theres more than one earlier flight that would work for me. Can I standby for multiple flights?
A:
You can only SBY for one flight at a time, but if you fail to clear on that one, you can request it on a subsequent flight

Q: Do I keep my seat on my original flight?
A:
As soon as you clear standby for a new flight, you lose the space on your original flight. If you dont clear standby, your original booking remains intact

Q: What if I clear standby but dont board the earlier flight?
A:
You need to see an agent to try to get re-booked on another flight. Youve in a difficult position because youve given up your original seat then no-showed the new one, so you have no confirmed space on any flight

Q: Can I cancel a standby request?
A:
As long as it hasnt cleared. Once it clears, as noted above, youve lost your original flight, and youll need an agent to re-book you on something else. Note that once check-in closes, you will likely need an agent to remove you from the list

Q: Im booked in a higher cabin than economy (whether originally ticketed or on some kind of upgrade). Can I standby only for a flight in my original cabin?
A:
Nope. If you have a ticket for a higher cabin, youll be on standby for space in that cabin and anything lower. That means if your original flight is in J, you could end up in PY or Y

Q: Would I get any compensation for the downgrade?
A:
No, because you chose to take an earlier flight

Q: This sounds kind of different from how I remember it
A:
AC switched to a new reservation system in late 2019, which brought numerous changes. Most were negative previously you could standby only for the cabin you were booked in, and you didnt lose your seat on your original flight unless and until you boarded the new flight but some were positive, e.g. online self-service options

Q: Overall, this sounds kind of crappy. Why would I want to do it?
A:
If getting to your next airport early is important, and especially if youre already booked in Y, SBY can be worthwhile. If youre confirmed in a higher cabin, theres a considerable chance of being downgraded, so it may be less appealing

Q: How do I request standby?
A:
Standby is available through the online check-in function on the AC app or website (as long as its working properly). You can only request SBY after youve checked in. An agent at the airport can also handle this; this includes Concierges (and, for SEs only, the central Concierge office)


Priority Back to top

Q: What is the priority for standby?
A:
As follows (this is very similar to the priority for eUpgrades):
  1. Cabin: Based on your ticketed cabin (i.e. upgrades dont count)
    • Note: Paid J will rank ahead of any eUp requests in the J cabin (subject to space available on the flight if the flight is full overall but oversold in Y/PY, your standby cant clear, so eUps will clear even though your standby doesnt). If you have a confirmed upgrade to J, youll be on standby for J, but with lower priority than everyone whos already confirmed on the flight. The same principle should apply to PY
    • For seats in Y, J and PY will rank ahead of those ticketed in Y
  2. Status: VIP > SE 2MM+ with credit card > SE 2MM+ > SE MM with credit card > SE MM > SE with credit card > SE > 75K 2MM+ with credit card, etc. If two passengers are on the PNR, the priority might be based on the highest status, per this post
  3. "Fare": Brand comes first (PF > PL; LT > CO > FL > ST), so a low Comfort fare is higher priority than Flex M. Within a brand, fare class matters. If you bought your ticket through another airline, and you don't have a brand, they infer a brand based on the fare class.
    Fare class hierarchy:
    • PY fares: O > E > A > N
    • Y fares: Y > B > M > U > H > Q > V > W > S > T > L > K > G
  4. Check-in time: As indicated by your sequence number


Eligibility & Costs Back to top

Q: Whats eligible for standby, and how much does it cost?
A:
Eligibility depends on market and route; when eligible, standby is always free
  • Basic: not eligible
  • Standard & Flex
    • Domestic/transborder, only eligible for:
      • Flights between (a) Toronto (YYZ or YTZ) and (b)(i) Montreal or (ii) Ottawa
      • Flights between (a) Toronto Pearson (YYZ) and (b)(i) JFK or (ii) LGA or (iii) Newark airports
      • Flights between any of Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver
    • Sun & International: not eligible
  • Comfort: always eligible
  • Latitude: always eligible
  • Premium Economy Lowest
    • Domestic/transborder, only eligible for:
      • Flights between (a) Toronto (YYZ or YTZ) and (b)(i) Montreal or (ii) Ottawa
      • Flights between (a) Toronto Pearson (YYZ) and (b)(i) JFK or (ii) LGA or (iii) Newark airports
      • Flights between any of Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver
    • Sun: eligible
    • International: not eligible
  • Premium Economy Flexible: always eligible
  • Business Class Lowest
    • Domestic/transborder, only eligible for:
      • Flights between (a) Toronto (YYZ or YTZ) and (b)(i) Montreal or (ii) Ottawa
      • Flights between (a) Toronto Pearson (YYZ) and (b)(i) JFK or (ii) LGA or (iii) Newark airports
      • Flights between any of Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver
    • Sun & International: eligible
  • Business Class Flexible: always eligible


Routing Back to top

Q: I booked a connecting itinerary. Can I standby for a non-stop flight?
A:
No, you can only standby for an earlier flight on the same route

Q: What if I want to standby from a non-stop to a connecting itinerary?
A:
No, same as above

Q: If Im flying YYC-YYZ-YDF, can I standby for both an earlier YYC-YYZ and an earlier YYZ-YDF?
A:
Yes, but you can only request SBY for your next segment at any one time you can only request for the YYZ-YDF leg once youve flown the YYC-YYZ leg

Q: I booked a flight from YYZ to EWR but I want to go to LGA instead, can I do that?
A:
Yes, you can change between co-terminals at your destination

Q: What if I booked a flight EWR to YYZ, can I leave from LGA instead?
A:
No, you cant change co-terminals at your origin


Bookings Involving Partners Back to top

Q: I booked my flight through United, can I do SBY?
A:
Not through self-serve tools. It must be ticketed by Air Canada, meaning the ticket number must start with 014. There is a chance an agent can make this happen

Q: I booked YYZ-ORD, operated by United, can I stand by for an Air Canada flight?
A:
No, you can only stand by from segments operated by AC

Q: I booked YYZ-ORD, operated by Air Canada, can I stand by for a United flight?
A:
No you can only stand by to segments operated by AC

Q: What if the flight is a codeshare, does that change either of the previous two answers?
A:
No, codeshares are irrelevant
Print Wikipost

Same Day Changes (SDC) and Standby on Air Canada (2019 onwards)

Old Sep 28, 2019, 6:09 pm
  #1  
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Same Day Changes (SDC) and Standby on Air Canada (2019 onwards)

This thread contains useful information on same day changes and standby on Air Canada flights. There is a very detailed wiki at the top of the thread that provides a good explanation of how SDC and standby work, both broadly and with many details. Please read the wiki before posting a question.

Note that this thread is an amalgamation of several previous threads, and that some posts were carved away from older threads. To the extent the thread is slightly disjointed in certain places before this post (which explains which threads were combined and what was left out), it may be a result of these threads being merged together at a later date. Please forgive any untidiness in these older posts. However, given the comprehensive nature of the wiki, it shouldn't be necessary to read many of these older posts to get a very good understanding of how standby/SDC work.

Last edited by Adam Smith; Oct 17, 2023 at 12:42 am
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Old Nov 23, 2019, 1:45 pm
  #2  
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I dont mind paying a fee to do the change, but when doing OLCI, if youre looking for the next/later flight on the same day, does the system require space in your original fare class or will it book you into any open (ticketed or higher) class in the same cabin?

For example Im flying YYZ LAX at 630p and I want to switch to 845p, do I wait for after midnight on the day of departure and just do OLCI and find the option to switch flights, and if space is open, Ill see the later flight along with the fee?
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Old Nov 23, 2019, 2:46 pm
  #3  
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You only need positive space, but you're not going to get rebooked in a higher xlass.

AFAIK, self serve SDC is broken right now.
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Old Feb 1, 2020, 1:08 am
  #4  
 
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Is a SDC to another city (within reason) completely out of the question?

I was thinking something like LHR-YYZ-YYT SDC'ed to LHR-YYZ-YHZ ??
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Old Feb 1, 2020, 1:15 am
  #5  
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Originally Posted by marke190
Is a SDC to another city (within reason) completely out of the question?

I was thinking something like LHR-YYZ-YYT SDC'ed to LHR-YYZ-YHZ ??
Yes, completely. Unless there are massive IRROPS or something.
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Old Feb 5, 2020, 12:46 am
  #6  
 
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Will arrive YYZ at 5am fom DEL and onwards to YOW. Wife is in the 7am flight and I am on the 9am flight to YOW. What the process of me standing by for the 7am flight?

Thanks
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Old Feb 5, 2020, 2:24 am
  #7  
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Originally Posted by khkchan
Will arrive YYZ at 5am fom DEL and onwards to YOW. Wife is in the 7am flight and I am on the 9am flight to YOW. What the process of me standing by for the 7am flight?
Ask an Air Canada agent, whether at the transfer desk after you come through customs, in the check-in hall, at the airside customer service desk, at the lounge (if you have access), or at the gate.

If you have any checked baggage, it will be best to check it under your wife's name so that your baggage doesn't become an issue.

Note that this thread is about same-day changes, which is different from standby.
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Old Feb 5, 2020, 7:03 am
  #8  
 
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I'm flying paid J (Z, not full fare) transatlantic on AC metal and AC ticket stock, but LH codeshare. Is it possible to SDC to another AC metal flight when my flight is booked as an LH codeshare?
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Old Feb 5, 2020, 12:25 pm
  #9  
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Ask an agent at the customer service desk, or in the MLL if you have access.
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Old Feb 9, 2020, 3:14 pm
  #10  
 
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I don't see this one so if I missed it please excuse me. Does AC allow SDC or standby for an earlier flight if ticket booked via UA mileageplus (award) on AC metal (earlier flight would be AC metal also). TIA
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Old Feb 22, 2020, 2:45 pm
  #11  
 
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Does the itinerary need to be identical like AA or can it be different as long as O/D are the same?

Want to try to change YUL-YYZ-FLL to YUL-FLL nonstop.

Thanks!
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Old Feb 28, 2020, 3:46 am
  #12  
 
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I'll soon be flying DME-MUC-YYZ-YYC on a P fare.

Would a SDC be possible on the domestic section to YYZ-YVR-YYC or YYZ-YUL-YYC?
If possible, what would be the best way to request this? I assume at the MLL when I get to YYZ, is that right?

Thanks
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Old Feb 28, 2020, 10:34 am
  #13  
 
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Originally Posted by leoo
I'll soon be flying DME-MUC-YYZ-YYC on a P fare.

Would a SDC be possible on the domestic section to YYZ-YVR-YYC or YYZ-YUL-YYC?
If possible, what would be the best way to request this? I assume at the MLL when I get to YYZ, is that right?

Thanks
It might be possible, but you'll likely have a tough time.
  • If you have bags checked through, that'll cause an issue unless you short check to YYZ (which causes additional risks in the case of a delayed flight on your arrival into YYZ) as your bags will likely not need to be claimed in YYZ.
  • You're trying to add an extra segment to your itinerary. I've had a Concierge be able to do this once, but it took forever. When I've tried to do this in the past with a regular agent they had no clue how to. I'm sure the fact that people still don't seem to know how to use Amadeus doesn't help...
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Old Feb 28, 2020, 10:46 am
  #14  
 
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Originally Posted by YEG USER
It might be possible, but you'll likely have a tough time.
  • If you have bags checked through, that'll cause an issue unless you short check to YYZ (which causes additional risks in the case of a delayed flight on your arrival into YYZ) as your bags will likely not need to be claimed in YYZ.
  • You're trying to add an extra segment to your itinerary. I've had a Concierge be able to do this once, but it took forever. When I've tried to do this in the past with a regular agent they had no clue how to. I'm sure the fact that people still don't seem to know how to use Amadeus doesn't help...
I won't have checked bags but good info about the difficulties of adding an extra segment, thanks!
I guess I can try the Concierge office in YYZ but will keep my hopes low.
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Old Feb 28, 2020, 1:24 pm
  #15  
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Edit: Ignore this, I misread

There's no extra segment here, so it should be easy.

If you don't need to go through YUL, have you considered just taking a YYZ-YYC?

Also, you're only entitled to concierge access in YYZ if your YYZ-YVR is on a wide-body.

Last edited by canadiancow; Feb 28, 2020 at 1:41 pm
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