Dstc47 From Ireland, joined Sep 1999, 1409 posts, RR: 3 Reply 3, posted (11 years 10 months 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 3200 times:
Up until the early 1980's, several US airlines used to sell, in advance for a fixed sum, an entitlement to unlimited travel stand by to non US residents. Usually they quoted a somewhat lower price if you crossed the Atlantic with them.
You then stood by at the airport , until Mr Whoosit failed to show up, and then on you got. On my last run of this type with Delta I only failed to get on the flight once.
Continental even allowed you to call up for reservations in advance a day or so before on their Airpass, so you had a seat. That died when Frank Lorenzo took over. A student friend of mine, running short of money at the end of a holiday, told me he flew just for the free inflight food.
A golden age of air travel, at least for the passenger
Silverfox From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2001, 1058 posts, RR: 0 Reply 4, posted (11 years 10 months 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 3187 times:
In 1974 i used a vist usa pass, that was allowed on many regional companies
went acroos and up and down the states on Allegheny, Frontier, Mohawk, Southern,Piedmont,North Central,only regret was i didnt make it to Alaska!!
BNE From Australia, joined Mar 2000, 3164 posts, RR: 12 Reply 6, posted (11 years 10 months 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 3179 times:
Well times have changed, now airlines have sophisticated technology being able to predict passengers buying patterns in the processed call yield management. The idea is that they are trying to sell every seat at the highest possible price.
In the 1970s American Airilnes were trying to work out a way to eliminate charter airlines, who were selling fares at dirt cheap prices why American had half of there plane going empty.
Traditionally vacationers plan their holidays weeks or months in advance and are usually were travelling for more than a week in contrast to business people who usually had to fly last minute and were generally shorter trips.
So while a vacationer fare will have more conditions Saturday night stay, advance purchase etc, the business traveller will pay a higher price with less conditions.
So this is why there are so few stand by fares now available, as airlines are trying to every seat on the plane for the highest possible price.
With yield management an airline can determine how many of each fare is selling based on past history, if a fare class is slow at selling they may release a few cheaper seats to fill up the plane but just leaving enough seats available for those last minute travellers.
Don't despair this is where the internet comes in handy, carefully watch each of the airlines web sites and they will usually advertise fares for places that are not selling so fast. The internet distribution costs are low so you are not having to pay a third party commision.
Another option is to try http://www.priceline.com where you bid the price you want to pay and hope you get an offer.