What is Flying Standby?
Flying standby is a term used for people who wish to travel by plane but do not have a ticket or confirmed reservation. The airline industry also refers to this way of flying as “go-show”. Basically what happens is that the passenger who has no ticket will proceed to the airline counter and have him/herself listed on the standby list. This means that he/she intends to purchase a ticket whenever there’s an available seat on the plane. But this particular passenger will have to wait for an empty or available seat before he/she is allowed to purchase a ticket. Sometimes passengers even have to wait several hours just to get a seat on the next available flight. Passengers on a standby list will also be the last people to be given seats on a particular flight. Only when all the booked passengers are accommodated that the remaining seats are given to people who are “flying standby”.
In the past, flying standby is a means for getting a cheap airline ticket. Before, many airline companies offered low rates and discounts for those who are flying standby. The main reason for this was that the airline companies cannot really gain some profit from unoccupied seats in a given flight. And so to entice people from traveling and fill the remaining seats, “fly-standby” tickets are sold at lower prices. But today, airline companies now charge those who are flying standby with regular airfare rates. Gone are the days that people can avail of discounts on these “chance” flights. Because of skyrocketing operations and fuel costs, airline companies have limited discounts given to passengers. Standby fares are considered as regular fares and no more discounts or special rates are offered. In fact, many standby tickets today even cost more than the regular fare for the simple reason that these tickets are booked late and on the same day of travel. Hence, premium fees are added making standby seats as “in-demand” seats.