Hmmmm... From Canada, joined May 1999, 2088 posts, RR: 5 Posted (12 years 10 months 4 weeks 7 hours ago) and read 1509 times:
Hypothetically, if I go to the ticket counter at the airport and say I want an economy stand-by ticket, how does that work? Is it any cheaper than booking an economy ticket in advance? And I've read, in passing, about Business stand-by. Same conditions? What pricing structure? And, say, if there is a seat, and I don't take it, for whatever reason, do I lose my money or can I opt to try again on another flight on another day?
An optimist robs himself of the joy of being pleasantly surprised
Samurai 777 From Canada, joined Jan 2000, 2451 posts, RR: 5 Reply 1, posted (12 years 10 months 4 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 1329 times:
Last I heard, you'd have to be 24 or under to get a true standby ticket in Canada. Standby tickets are applicable on domestic flights only. International flights, I'm not so sure. They are generally cheaper for sure, as I've used them when I was younger. But by how much, I honestly can't remember. I've never heard of true stanby tickets for business class, but it probably exists, yet the same age restrictions may apply.
But if you have upgrade coupons or stickers (both Air Canada and Canadian have them, I believe), you can even upgrade on a discount fare - that's where a standby applies, as you can't reserve an upgrade on a seat sale fare, but you can still upgrade on a standby basis. There are certainly no age restrictions in this case. I know this is possible, as I've done it a couple of times on CP aircraft.
Frankly, I think if you didn't show up for the flight, you'd lose the money, unless you had travel insurance (Travel agents hawk these all the time).
Allee From Canada, joined Jun 1999, 474 posts, RR: 0 Reply 2, posted (12 years 10 months 4 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 1309 times:
You have to be 25 and under to be eligible for standby. I'm lucky to still be able to fly standby. I'm pretty sure that you can fly standby internationally. My relatives flew YVR-HKG standby.
The good thing about standby is that the ticket is open-ended. You can fly whenever you want as long as space is available.
There are differences in the way standby is processed at different airports. For example, when I checkin at Prince George, they assign me my confirmed seat at the time of ticket purchase. However at Vancouver, they check your luggage in at the check-in counter and give you your ticket (if you don't already have one), but you have to go to the gate to get your confirmed seat. You get the seat on a first-come, first-serve basis at the time they start boarding.
I find that with the merger, standby is harder and harder. The flights are book full, so in order to guarantee a seat, you have to book a regular ticket. As for pricing, standby is definitely cheaper. A return standby ticket, YVR-YXS, is about $206, much cheaper than the ~$400-500 normal fare.