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Flight delayed; standby for flight with later scheduled dept but leaving earlier?

Flight delayed; standby for flight with later scheduled dept but leaving earlier?

 
Old Jan 14, 08, 3:14 pm
  #1  
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Flight delayed; standby for flight with later scheduled dept but leaving earlier?

Let's say your flight is delayed several hours. Does UA have rules in place or system limitations that prevent a passenger from standing by on a flight with a later scheduled departure time than their original, but will in fact leave sooner? Here's the situation I was in:

Last night I was on UA947 IAD-LAX (had metal cutlery in C!!!! Didn't know they were doing that again). I had successfully stood by for an earlier flight in PHL (10:00am instead of 3:00pm) and arrived around 11:30am. I wasn't able to clear standby for the 12:30pm, 2:30pm and 4:40pm flights. As it turns out, all were oversold and took VDBs, so no luck. Sometime around 4:00pm, I noticed the monitor now showed a delay on UA947 from 5:50pm to 7:30pm. Not wanting to stay at IAD any longer, and fearing a mechanical delay or an overnight, I sought to protect myself on UA639, which is the 7:00pm departure.

The C17 RCC was the closest to me at the time and I jumped in. I explained my situation and what I wanted, and handed the agent my BP. He took a quick look and told me that it wasn't possible. I asked again, and he told me that it wasn't possible. Didn't say if it was a system limitation, UA policy, or his own rules that were preventing me from getting on that list. Maybe they won't add people to the standby list if the flight is oversold? I then ran down to the RCC at the end of C and got the same response. Due to massive congestion and delays last night, finding a CS or GA to help me was out of the question, and the 1K line told me that things were under airport control and they couldn't help me.

In the end, they started boarding 947 at the same time they would have boarded 639, around 6:30pm or so, so it wasn't really easy to stick around for standby on that one, then sprint the length of D and C to get back to C2 for 947 if I didn't clear.

Having had a lot of poor CS from UA in the last year or so, my initial feeling was this was just another grumpy employee. The thing is, I've run into a lot of grumps before and they usually are very easy to identify right away from their demeanor and tone. He was not; he simply didn't help me out at all. The same goes for the other RCC agent.

In similar situations before, agents have always grabbed me a seat on the other flight, and I hold 2 BPs as a hedge. Again, I don't know if THAT is against policy or system limits, or maybe a benefit extended to 1Ks but not other tiers or *Gs?

I ask this not to bash, but to understand. Knowing what can and can't be done during delays helps out a lot for asking the right questions and knowing how hard one can push.
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Old Jan 14, 08, 3:19 pm
  #2  
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Originally Posted by cstead View Post
Does UA have rules in place or system limitations that prevent a passenger from standing by on a flight with a later scheduled departure time than their original, but will in fact leave sooner?
Not that I've heard. It is quite possible that they closed the standby list because of overbooking, but I know of no inherent limitation that would prevent the standby you're describing.
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Old Jan 14, 08, 3:35 pm
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I can't think of a 'system' reason they the couldn't do what you asked. I've done it in the past many times. I imagine that it probably was just them making a call that they didn't want to do it, either because they thought you wouldn't make it, or more likely they decided that shaving a little time of your travel day wasn't worth the added effort it would have required.
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Old Jan 14, 08, 4:57 pm
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You can always stand by for an earlier or later flight on the same day, so the relative delays shouldn't enter into it. The only times I've had a GA decline to put me on the standby list is when the list is already closed or it's otherwise obvious that I would have zero chance of clearing.

I routinely do this when another flight leaves on time before or even shortly after the estimated departure time of a delayed flight, when the cause for the delay of my own flight doesn't apply to the on-time flight (for example, late-arriving aircraft or mechanical problems). I do this even if the on-time flight is slightly after the ETD of the delayed flight because there's a much great errisk of much further delay of the already-delayed flight than of delay of the currently on-time flight.
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Old Jan 14, 08, 5:58 pm
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Hey cstead, i was in the same situation last night on 947.

I tried but was told the 7pm departure was not going to take any stand-bys - this was after watching the 2:30 and 4:40 fill up as well. :-(

However, as other posters have pointed out, it does work. I've had other situations where agents have willingly changed my flights because the originally scheduled flight was delayed beyond later flights. IMHO, it's a good idea as I've infrequently seen delays reverse themselves...only get extended as was the case last night when we went from 5:50p to 7:00p to 7:25p. Therefore, I usually jump ship sooner than later.

BTW - was the entertainment system in C just as bad as it was in Y? Couldn't get a movie to play through...
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Old Jan 14, 08, 6:01 pm
  #6  
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Only possible limitation that I know of is if you checked baggage. They don't like seperating you from your baggage if they can at all help it. Have seen people been denied being placed on the DM list because they were already checked in and had checked bags. I think agents can still put you on standby in this case, but many won't.
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Old Jan 14, 08, 6:11 pm
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I posted about this same situation in PHX a month or so ago. The agent is just lazy
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Old Jan 14, 08, 6:35 pm
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I've definitely been switched, but I imagine it varies greatly depending upon the gate agent, so YMMV.
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Old Jan 14, 08, 8:25 pm
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If the GA won't put you on the standby list, you can always try calling UA reservations and try getting the CSR to put you on standby.

Just tell the CSR the line is too long.
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Old Jan 14, 08, 10:54 pm
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Originally Posted by OskiBear View Post
BTW - was the entertainment system in C just as bad as it was in Y? Couldn't get a movie to play through...
Y'all must have had the same plane that I did last Thurs doing the LAX-MHT MR. I got fed up with the IFE and ended up watching Beerfest on my laptop. Of course, that made me depressed that I was in Y and would have had to pay for booze, lol.
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Old Jan 14, 08, 11:38 pm
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Originally Posted by N515CR View Post
Y'all must have had the same plane that I did last Thurs doing the LAX-MHT MR. I got fed up with the IFE and ended up watching Beerfest on my laptop. Of course, that made me depressed that I was in Y and would have had to pay for booze, lol.
I was watching movies on my ipod and would occasionally take a look at the monitor - not using the audio. We heard a few announcements...first, Channel 2 wasn't working so they shifted movies from one channel to the other and then 1-2 times they had to "restart" the system. I think this meant the movie restarted...thank goodness i've already seen "ratatouille" multiple times.

Out of irony, i decided to start watching "airport" on the ipod
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