Standby for Direct rather than Connect?

 
Old May 12, 11, 8:59 am
  #1  
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Standby for Direct rather than Connect?

Hello My Friends,

I am looking to book a ticket from DTW-NYC. However, the direct flight is approximately $500 while a connection is $200. Is it allowable to book the connection and standby for the direct? Many thanks

Rupesh
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Old May 12, 11, 9:10 am
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It's free to standby if you have status--no guarantees you'll get a seat of course. If you don't have status, or if you want to guarantee a seat 12 hours before departure, you can do so for a $50 fee.

http://www.aa.com/i18n/utility/sameDayTravel.jsp
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Old May 12, 11, 10:30 am
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Originally Posted by lobo411 View Post
It's free to standby if you have status--no guarantees you'll get a seat of course. If you don't have status, or if you want to guarantee a seat 12 hours before departure, you can do so for a $50 fee.

http://www.aa.com/i18n/utility/sameDayTravel.jsp
No, to go to from a connection to a direct flight has nothing to do with standby per se. The OP might get a sympathetic GA to allow him to standby on the direct flight. Also, at times AA will proactively call and ask if the flyer is willing to take the direct flight for a fee of $49. The OP could call the EXP desk and hope that a TA might be willing to do it for him, probably required to pay the $49 fee.
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Old May 12, 11, 12:49 pm
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FWIW a colleague of mine (PLT) was travelling to MIA from DFW via ATL. I had a direct flight to MIA and we were both able to fly standby on an earlier flight directly to MIA. The upgrades cleared for both of us on that 763 too.

FYI you won't get ORC for the connecting flights either.
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Old May 12, 11, 1:17 pm
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Originally Posted by newyorkgeorge View Post
No, to go to from a connection to a direct flight has nothing to do with standby per se.
Actually, it does. You can SDS or CFC for any valid routing, connection or not... IF you have GLD or higher status.
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Old May 12, 11, 2:44 pm
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Originally Posted by mreed911 View Post
Actually, it does. You can SDS or CFC for any valid routing, connection or not... IF you have GLD or higher status.
Yup, my SO (Gold) and I do this all the time. Switching from a connection to a direct or even vice versa (!) hasn't ever been an issue (assuming there are seats). I've even been able to switch final destination to an airport within 150 miles of my original destination (elite status may have had a hand in that one though).

I imagine if you try switching to an indirect path which is not on the normal routing path you will get denied. No cheap MRs switching your DCA-ORD flight to connect via LAX.
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Old May 12, 11, 4:37 pm
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For the sake of posterity, let's keep our terminology clear. "Direct" is not the same thing as "Nonstop" in airline lingo. "Nonstop" is the word we should be using in the context of this thread.


To clarify:

"Connection" = change of flight number, multiple segments (what normally happens when you make a stop at a hub, for example)

"Direct" = no change of flight number, but could be multiple segments, such as A -> B -> C with change of aircraft and/or crew at B

"Nonstop" = one flight number and one segment (one takeoff and one landing).



("Direct" flights are less common nowadays than they used to be. Originally I think they were fuel/pax stops, but nowadays they are mostly for marketing purposes, I think. For example, AA could advertise a flight "from DCA to BOG" and it shows up that way on the airport boards and the timetables, but in reality it is two segments, DCA-MIA and MIA-BOG. Honestly, most pax are flying either DCA-MIA or MIA-BOG, but only very few are flying the whole thing. It's sort of a trick to make it look like the airline flies to more places than it actually does. The new trend is to have different flight numbers for each segment.)

There was another weird one that existed for a while, something like STL-RDU-LGA on an S80, just before mainline pulled out of the Northeast corridor. It was clearly designed to pick up more pax at RDU on the way up to LGA. When I was in grad school I often hopped on the RDU-LGA leg (it was a 5pm departure, IIRC) in order to sit in F and get a real glass for my drink for the 45-minute flight, instead of being crammed into a tiny RJ seat. Alas, no more mainline in the Northeast corridor!

Last edited by ESpen36; May 12, 11 at 4:42 pm
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Old May 12, 11, 5:26 pm
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Originally Posted by Azulcactus View Post
Yup, my SO (Gold) and I do this all the time. Switching from a connection to a direct or even vice versa (!) hasn't ever been an issue (assuming there are seats).
This is SOP.

Originally Posted by Azulcactus
I've even been able to switch final destination to an airport within 150 miles of my original destination (elite status may have had a hand in that one though).
This is definitely not SOP. I have a feeling you were in an IRROPS situation and agreed to transport yourself from the new destination. This would generally not be permitted for anyone (regardless of status) without paying a change fee plus add collect.

Originally Posted by Azulcactus
I imagine if you try switching to an indirect path which is not on the normal routing path you will get denied. No cheap MRs switching your DCA-ORD flight to connect via LAX.
Correct. You 95% of the time have to follow the original routing rules as specified in the fare rules/tariff. However, you do have flexibility/latitude if it is not part of the original routing rules but a reasonably direct path. e.g. I have had success in routing via DCA/RDU/BNA in cases where the original fare rules restricted connections via ORD/DFW/STL only. Again, IRROPS situations dramatically increase the latitude given.
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Old May 12, 11, 6:22 pm
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Originally Posted by RChavez View Post
This is definitely not SOP. I have a feeling you were in an IRROPS situation and agreed to transport yourself from the new destination. This would generally not be permitted for anyone (regardless of status) without paying a change fee plus add collect.
My inbound flight was delayed 45 minutes, but I could still easily make my ticketed connection. I told the agent due to the delay my ride in my original destination was gone (AUS) and I needed to go to the other airport which is closer to my house (CLL). The first point was stretching the truth (although after the switch I did tell my SO to not make the drive to pick me up at my original destination), second part is complete truth.

I had another situation where my SO and I were flying through DFW within about an hour of each other, although me connecting to AUS and her to CLL. Due to IRROPS I missed the last DFW-AUS of the day and had to overnight and catch the first out. Since I had been gone 2 weeks she asked the DFW agent if she could switch her DFW-CLL ticket to DFW-AUS on the first flight out the next day. That way we could see each other overnight at DFW. She said no questions asked from the agent (even though she had no IRROPS and didn't mention my missed connection).

Maybe we're just very lucky.
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Old May 12, 11, 6:44 pm
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There is another instance where connection -> non-stop will not be allowed: split-fare basis. I've hit it a number of times ORD-HNL. Ticketed ORD-LAX-HNL. Wanted ORD-HNL but could not (except in IRROPS) because the tkt was actaully based on two fare basis codes - and the LAX-HNL was an el-cheapo!
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Old May 13, 11, 9:27 pm
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Originally Posted by Azulcactus View Post
My inbound flight was delayed 45 minutes, but I could still easily make my ticketed connection. I told the agent due to the delay my ride in my original destination was gone (AUS) and I needed to go to the other airport which is closer to my house (CLL). The first point was stretching the truth (although after the switch I did tell my SO to not make the drive to pick me up at my original destination), second part is complete truth.

I had another situation where my SO and I were flying through DFW within about an hour of each other, although me connecting to AUS and her to CLL. Due to IRROPS I missed the last DFW-AUS of the day and had to overnight and catch the first out. Since I had been gone 2 weeks she asked the DFW agent if she could switch her DFW-CLL ticket to DFW-AUS on the first flight out the next day. That way we could see each other overnight at DFW. She said no questions asked from the agent (even though she had no IRROPS and didn't mention my missed connection).

Maybe we're just very lucky.
I'm just impressed you're EXP with being close to CLL instead of a major airport. This coming from an aggie
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Old May 14, 11, 8:18 am
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Originally Posted by mikelat View Post
I'm just impressed you're EXP with being close to CLL instead of a major airport. This coming from an aggie
What can I say, I just love the ATRs! And the cows.
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Old May 15, 11, 9:42 am
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Many thanks for the information and advice my friends. On a somewhat unrelated note, does anyone know why all the DTW-LGA flights have no Economy Super Saver or Economy Saver availability in the beginning of June? The flights are quite open but still the cheapest fare are the Full Economy.
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Old May 15, 11, 11:00 am
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Originally Posted by mreed911 View Post
Actually, it does. You can SDS or CFC for any valid routing, connection or not... IF you have GLD or higher status.
Originally Posted by RChavez View Post
You 95% of the time have to follow the original routing rules as specified in the fare rules/tariff. However, you do have flexibility/latitude if it is not part of the original routing rules but a reasonably direct path. e.g. I have had success in routing via DCA/RDU/BNA in cases where the original fare rules restricted connections via ORD/DFW/STL only.
Originally Posted by Madison Guy View Post
There is another instance where connection -> non-stop will not be allowed: split-fare basis. I've hit it a number of times ORD-HNL. Ticketed ORD-LAX-HNL. Wanted ORD-HNL but could not (except in IRROPS) because the tkt was actaully based on two fare basis codes - and the LAX-HNL was an el-cheapo!
This is helping to explain a long-standing state of confusion for me. Many times, I have flown BOS-ORD-LAX-HNL because it was cheaper than BOS-ORD-HNL. When I arrive in ORD, I always try to get on the nonstop to HNL. Sometimes, the GA says no problem and puts me right on. Other times, they say it's not allowed. Since I've been EXP the whole time, it must have to do with the issues mentioned above.

When booking on aa.com, how do I ensure that I choose a connecting fare which permits standby on a nonstop? Just read the fare rules thoroughly?
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