"Take any open seat": get a boarding pass!

 
Old May 28, 09, 4:01 pm
  #1  
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"Take any open seat": get a boarding pass!

I got on an earlier flight to ORD last week after seats opened up at the last minute, and the GA told me to take any open seat. I found out later he didn't check me into that flight. As a result, when I tried to check-in online for the return trip, my reservation had been cancelled. I called reservations who promptly re-activated it. However, I had to write to Mileage Plus to request credit for taking the standby flight.

This is the second time I've experienced this. Not only is it inconvenient, I see this as a safety issue. You're on the flight but not on the manifest. Heaven forbid, in an emergency the airline would have no record of you on board.

Moral of they story: if you get on standby, make sure the GA gives you a boarding pass or some documentation that you're on that flight.
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Old May 28, 09, 4:05 pm
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Awful!

I'm amazed to read this. I didn't think it was possible. Talk about a gross dereliction of duty!
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Old May 28, 09, 4:06 pm
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Originally Posted by zigzagg900 View Post
I got on an earlier flight to ORD last week after seats opened up at the last minute, and the GA told me to take any open seat.
If you booked in E, did you take a seat in F?
I remember a thread about a teenager who did that, but couldn't find it on search.
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Old May 28, 09, 4:10 pm
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This has happened to me a few times actually.
It's understandable given how much pressure the GAs are under to get the flight out on time. When you have last minute standbys to process, mistakes happen.
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Old May 28, 09, 4:15 pm
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Originally Posted by g_leyser View Post
It's understandable given how much pressure the GAs are under to get the flight out on time. When you have last minute standbys to process, mistakes happen.
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Old May 28, 09, 5:59 pm
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Originally Posted by thebat View Post
I'm amazed to read this. I didn't think it was possible. Talk about a gross dereliction of duty!
Oh, please. What are the consequences of this? (Hint: < 0)
Given a choice between I won't get on, because it will delay the plane an unacceptable fraction of a minute while the GA cuts me a BP, and I'll get on but might have to badger someone afterwards for credit, I'll take the latter. And the choice really is just that binary.

I've done this and there was no error or mistake, it was done deliberately by the GA as an absolute last minute standby, and was done with my full knowledge and acceptance. Also, I've never had a problem getting the BP cut at the destination gate. Mileage credit then rolls in automatically.
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Old May 28, 09, 9:49 pm
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Originally Posted by thebat View Post
I'm amazed to read this. I didn't think it was possible. Talk about a gross dereliction of duty!
================================================
I agree, it's very sloppy work on the part of the GA......this scenario happens because......(no fault of the passenger)............
Psgr Smith checks in on-line at home (i.e., seat 12A) but doesn't show up to board....the empty seat is given to someone else standing by (psgr Jones) at the gate. Mr. Smith now arrives at the airport late and is standing in front of me for check-in or standby to a later flight but the computer shows him on the flight and airborne sitting in 12A !!! Infuriates me. I've been known to call the gate and ask them who is in seat 12A on the airplane that lifted off (I usually get silence)......Me: "because Mr. Smith who had 12A missed the flight and is now standing in front of me" !!
God forbid something happens to that airplane, who was in that seat ?? No amount of rushing should excuse this data from being entered. However, I am not a GA agent (I work strictly at the ticket counter) so I'm not sure if there is a way it is reconciled (but I want to believe there is a way).

Last edited by FlyingNone; May 28, 09 at 9:58 pm
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Old May 28, 09, 11:21 pm
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Originally Posted by zigzagg900 View Post

This is the second time I've experienced this. Not only is it inconvenient, I see this as a safety issue. You're on the flight but not on the manifest. Heaven forbid, in an emergency the airline would have no record of you on board.

Moral of they story: if you get on standby, make sure the GA gives you a boarding pass or some documentation that you're on that flight.
While notification in the event something happens would be terribly bad, I don't see it as a safety issue. If the TSA has let you thru security, then as far as safety goes, you are as safe as any other passenger. As far as true safety goes, how can the wrong name have an impact on the safety of the aircraft?

On a similar note, those that bring lap-children on and don't have an infant boarding pass issued (because they don't tell reservations or the online agency that they will bring an infant with them) disturbs me. I always issue an infant boarding pass for infants (even if I don't know prior to boarding, I will stop and issue one,) even if they do fly on the lap as free, as I want the system to know how many souls are on board in a worst case scenario, and who they are. But I still don't see it as a risk to safety, except on the regional jets where for weight purposes, an infant is factored.
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Old May 28, 09, 11:25 pm
  #9  
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good tip about getting the boarding pass at the destination. i wasn't aware you could do that. i had 2 situations last week where i was told to get on and take any seat cuz it was a very last minute standby. i was concerned about mileage credit, but i wanted to get home and no time to argue. both flights posted fine, so there was no problem. i think as i was getting on, the GA assigned me a seat and checked me in. but now i know next time to ask for a bp at my destination.
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Old May 28, 09, 11:35 pm
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NY-
There is no way to issue a boarding pass for a flight once the flight has been put in "post departed" status in the computer (usually after push back or just after take off.)

To be able to issue one at the destination means that the upline station never "closed out the flight" properly or sending the appropriate passenger data to HQ. This is rare, I would say a few percent of flights at most. Your ability to do this with 100% success on numerous occasions has staggering probabilities against you, but still within the realm of possibilities.
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Old May 29, 09, 12:03 am
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Never happened to me on UA but twice on BD.

Given that I flew BD on 5 returns total and UA >100 times more often that is quite a feat, I must say.
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Old May 29, 09, 8:55 am
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Originally Posted by fastair View Post
NY-
There is no way to issue a boarding pass for a flight once the flight has been put in "post departed" status in the computer (usually after push back or just after take off.)

To be able to issue one at the destination means that the upline station never "closed out the flight" properly or sending the appropriate passenger data to HQ. This is rare, I would say a few percent of flights at most. Your ability to do this with 100% success on numerous occasions has staggering probabilities against you, but still within the realm of possibilities.
I got on an earlier flight once at DEN during a computer meltdown on a similar basis: Just get on and take a seat. But I wasn't surprised when they would not give me mileage, I had no evidence I was aboard, and neither did UA.
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Old May 29, 09, 9:39 am
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Hmm... so does that mean that you could fly the segment again? If you were a weekly traveller and this happenned to you, could you buy a one way for the next week and use the previous ticket (while still paying the "change" fee) to fly back? On low fare flights this would be a wash but on some TransCon flights this could save you a bunch of $$.

Interesting possibilities.
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Old May 29, 09, 9:53 am
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Similar situation has happened to me at ORD for a ORD-SEA flight.

I get up to the podium, and my BP won't scan. GA doesn't type in the computer or anything. Just hands the BP back to me and semi-screams "GO!"

I land at SEA and decide it'd be wise to check with the RCC to ensure that my return doesn't get canceled.

Sure enough, no record of me on that flight.

The RCC Angel then did some magic and I was able to check in for my return flight online the next day no problem.

And, I got the mileage credit no problem either.
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Old May 29, 09, 10:53 am
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I was flying SFO-LAX and was standing by for a very full flight. After they had finished boarding they did a head count and determined there were two open seats. They walked me and another passenger down the jetway to the door, the gate agent handed us boarding passes; I was given the BP of another 1K who had obviously not made the flight and was given his seat in F. I was a little worried about not having a flight coupon to prove I had flown the segment and asked the LAX gate agent if he could re-print the coupon after the segment had been flown (which he could not). Luckily, my mileage did post, so I can only assume the gate agents in SFO took the time after we had departed to clean up my record.
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