SWA TPA
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So...Why Can't I Just Go Standby? WN's Answer...

Fri Jul 22, 2005 7:56 am

I have been following the WN standby thread but didn't want to post until I found the article I wanted. This came directly out of our Spirit magazine from years ago. Enjoy!  Smile

So...why can't I just go standby?

Many customers would like for us to waive the "standby upgrade," the difference in fare we collect when a customer holding a discounted ticket wants to take an earlier flight. Because Southwest employees are known for "bending" the rules in customers favor, our adherence to this one is often perceived as an "exception the exception."
To illustrate why our customers flexibility exempts this policy, I'd like to share with you some inside history of the business. Long ago, there was only one ticket, called full (or walk-up) fare. However, there weren't always enough full fare customers to fill up the frequent flights they wanted to choose from.Yet, to lower the fare enough to sell all those seats would mean losing money on nearly every trip!
So restricted fares were born, making air travel affordable to more people than ever. However, Southwest did not raise full fares to make this discounting possible. We simply lowered prices on a limited number of seats per plane, adding restrictions acceptable to customers who could plan their travel well in advance.
Presently, under this arrangement, everyone benefits. The full-fare customer can stand by or change reservations among a wider selection of flights, with transaction costs already built into the fare. The bargain traveler is able to fly (rather than drive), and can still change plans by adapting to new restrictions, or by becoming a full-fare customer - typically paying less than our competitors walk-up fares.
Full-fare privileges at full-fare prices. Restrictions at discounted prices. It is really nothing new: Movie theaters have has matinee specials for decades. However, they don't accept matinee tickets at Saturday-night shows. Neither do we allow discounted, restricted tickets to be used like full-fare tickets.
But what about Southwest vaunted flexibility toward our customers? Unfortunately, exceptions to this particular rule would have a way of becoming habit, habit of becoming norm, and in short order, no one would see any reason to buy a full-fare ticket. We would then have to raise discounted fares to make up for lost revenue, pricing the budget traveler out of the airplane and scrapping the mutually beneficial relationship between the bargain and business traveler. Without sky-high first class and walk-up fares (like our rivals!) to compensate, Southwest Airlines would no longer mean lower fares for everyone.
Of course, our employees still have the flexibility to help customers in verifiable dire circumstances. Normally, however, the agreement we make with customers at the time of ticket purchase should be kept - on both ends. It is the only way to be fair to the full-fare customer and still offer the low fares and high flight frequency people enjoy when Southwest serves their hometown.

-Herb Kelleher


There you have it folks!!!!! That's the official reason and answer for your questions!  Wink

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RE: So...Why Can't I Just Go Standby? WN's Answer...

Fri Jul 22, 2005 8:08 am

Unfortunately, exceptions to this particular rule would have a way of becoming habit, habit of becoming norm, and in short order, no one would see any reason to buy a full-fare ticket.

Very well written - and 100% true! I've actually made a similar point to customers when they'd argue that they need an exception to avoid paying a change fee - Unfortunately, exceptions have a way of becoming EXPECTATIONS, and I'd hate to set us both up for failure by putting you in a position where we say 'yes' today but have to let you down in the future by saying 'no'.
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saxman66
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RE: So...Why Can't I Just Go Standby? WN's Answer...

Fri Jul 22, 2005 8:17 am

This policy differs from other airlines. For example, I know for American, you can by their discounted tickets for a particular flight. If you want to fly standby, you may without any penalty, as long as you fly to the same city were ticketed to, AND you must go on the same day. I've done this a few times now; I'll buy the cheaper fare on AA, say only offered on an afternoon flight, and fly standby out that morning. You can also do this for non-stop vs. connecting. I bought a much cheaper fare from DFW to BWI connecting in ORD. I did not want to connect so I just asked if I could fly non-stop, and they let me on without penalty.

Of course, there need to be seat available, so be careful. Also, although the fares I've found all say you can do this, but be careful to read the small print when purchasing your ticket.
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RE: So...Why Can't I Just Go Standby? WN's Answer...

Fri Jul 22, 2005 8:26 am

Quoting Saxman66 (Reply 2):
I've done this a few times now; I'll buy the cheaper fare on AA, say only offered on an afternoon flight, and fly standby out that morning.

That's exactly why we dont let you do that! Now you just took a seat that could have potentially been sold last minute at a full fare. At the same time you blocked someone else from getting a cheaper seat on the flight they might have wanted on that day. Did that just make any sense? It sounds right in my mind but sounds mighty odd in print!


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727EMflyer
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RE: So...Why Can't I Just Go Standby? WN's Answer...

Fri Jul 22, 2005 8:27 am

Alright, I can see the point making sense up to the day before travel to keep folks from taking unfair advantage of a discount, but what difference would it make if I am able to arrive at the airport ahead of schedule and ask to take (a serendipitous) advantage of the earlier flight? I'm going to be on a plane either way, at that point what does it matter whether it is now or an hour from now?
 
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RE: So...Why Can't I Just Go Standby? WN's Answer...

Fri Jul 22, 2005 8:43 am

Quoting SWA TPA (Reply 3):
Now you just took a seat that could have potentially been sold last minute at a full fare.

...And freed up a seat that would still be sold at full fare on the later flight! Almost sounds like a catch 22, but say flight B, the last flight of the day, is sold out. I am ticketed on B, but want to fly stand by on flight A. "No, sorry, but you can cough up the cash and go!" says SWA. I opt to keep my cash, flight A departs, then someone rushes up to the counter saying "I have to get there ASAP!" Oh, sorry, SWA, I didn't cough and you choked! You could have had a full fare right there, but that person will probably go hit every other ticket counter looking for a seat. But if I was allowed to board when the flight closed to additional sales all three parties would get what they want!

Airline pricing seems backwards to me! Seems if you buy a ticket in a "prime" window, say 2-5 weeks before the flight you should pay a higher fare to guarantee a seat, Book out longer than that and pay lower as a reward for advance purchase, book closer to the flight you should pay lower to get the seats filled that otherwise might go empty. Supply and demand would balance out the profits, since if everyone waited for the last minute discount they would likely not get their desired flight!
 
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RE: So...Why Can't I Just Go Standby? WN's Answer...

Fri Jul 22, 2005 8:44 am

Quoting Saxman66 (Reply 2):
I've done this a few times now; I'll buy the cheaper fare on AA, say only offered on an afternoon flight, and fly standby out that morning. You can also do this for non-stop vs. connecting. I bought a much cheaper fare from DFW to BWI connecting in ORD. I did not want to connect so I just asked if I could fly non-stop, and they let me on without penalty.

See, this is why I am glad that airlines are getting rid of flying standby for free. Its become "the norm" for passengers to circumvent the rules to save themselves a buck.

The reason airlines ever offered same day standby for free was because passengers "sometimes" had their plans change and wanted to fly out earlier. The airlines, instead of charging the customer, decided to give the customer the benefit of the doubt and let them change. If the passenger got the earlier flight, so be it. If not, they were still on the later flight.

It has now come to this; customers will now find the cheapest fare for a day and buy that ticket(say 7:00pm), then come to the airport as soon as possible on that day and standby, knowing there is a fair chance they will make the flights. It is cheaper for them, but restricts the airline from making the money on those walkup fares that the airlines love to have. The "favor" that the airlines once did for the passenger has now been turned against the airline and the airlines will no longer allow themselves to be taken advantage of.

Thats why I am glad Delta has gone to the Same Day Confirmed policy. If you are on a later flight and want to leave earlier, as long as seats are available through to your final destination on earlier flights, you can be confirmed on those flights for a mere $25. No waiting at the gate to see if you will be cleared, etc. Most passengers have embraced the concept happily, but there are those cheapasses out there who still can't believe they cannot fly standby and make the airline lose money.


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nonrevman
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RE: So...Why Can't I Just Go Standby? WN's Answer...

Fri Jul 22, 2005 12:02 pm

I do think there should be one exception to the standby rule. It has to do with irregular operations. Let's say you have a bad storm over your city or something like that which is going to cause a lot of misconnects. Suppose for a moment you have two flights out of your airport to a certain city. The misconnects are all going to miss that first connecting flight because they cannot get there in time due to weather holds or whatever. Now, you have some people checking in early who are ticketed on the second flight out. They ask if they can go on the first flight because they are early and have noticed there is an earlier flight to get on. I would think that it would make good business sense to get them on that flight. Why? Because there is a good chance that the total number of passengers already booked on the second flight plus those who are misconnecting will likely exceed the number of seats available on the second flight, especially if this is a busy time. If that happens, someone will be stranded. Just because several inbound flights are late does not mean that many of the outbound flights will not get out on time--or reasonably close to it. Putting as many people on the earlier flight as you can will free up more room on the last flight and decrease the chance that someone will be left behind in the airport that evening. It seems like a win-win situation to me. More passengers get out that day, simple as that.
 
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RE: So...Why Can't I Just Go Standby? WN's Answer...

Fri Jul 22, 2005 3:46 pm

Quoting Nonrevman (Reply 7):
I do think there should be one exception to the standby rule. It has to do with irregular operations

Southwest does have an exception to the upgrade policy. It's called a "Rule 85." It happens all the time and it allows the CSA at the gate to waive the upgrade fee and get the passenger on their way if there is any type of irregular operation/WX.
 
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RE: So...Why Can't I Just Go Standby? WN's Answer...

Fri Jul 22, 2005 4:27 pm

Quoting OttoPylit (Reply 6):
It has now come to this; customers will now find the cheapest fare for a day and buy that ticket(say 7:00pm), then come to the airport as soon as possible on that day and standby, knowing there is a fair chance they will make the flights. It is cheaper for them, but restricts the airline from making the money on those walkup fares that the airlines love to have.

I'm unclear about it, though. If they are flying "Standby", doesn't that mean that a full fare passenger could show up and buy a ticket before the plane leaves, and the standby passenger get's bumped? I haven't really done much "Standby" (other than non-rev stuff) so I don't know how it works.

-Dave
-Dave
 
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RE: So...Why Can't I Just Go Standby? WN's Answer.

Fri Jul 22, 2005 4:56 pm

Quoting 727EMflyer (Reply 5):
Airline pricing seems backwards to me! Seems if you buy a ticket in a "prime" window, say 2-5 weeks before the flight you should pay a higher fare to guarantee a seat, Book out longer than that and pay lower as a reward for advance purchase, book closer to the flight you should pay lower to get the seats filled that otherwise might go empty. Supply and demand would balance out the profits, since if everyone waited for the last minute discount they would likely not get their desired flight!

You need to brush up on your economics I think. The reason airline tickets are priced as they are is to target inelastic and elastic demand. Low fares are for leisure travelers or the elastic demand. These are the folks that can alter their schedules (or destinations) to find a lower fare. In some cases leisure travelers just wont even go if the fares are too high. Leisure travelers book in advance which is why airline fares are discounted if bought in advance.

Business travelers are the inelastic demand. They need to go and they need to go at a certain date/time. The airlines can charge high airfares because they have to pay. Because business travelers tend to book last minute, airfares offered last minute are high.

In your scenario you wouldnt have many leisure travelers traveling at all because it'd be too expensive for them. To make things worse, you'd have roughly the same amount of business travelers paying less.

Quoting OttoPylit (Reply 6):

It has now come to this; customers will now find the cheapest fare for a day and buy that ticket(say 7:00pm), then come to the airport as soon as possible on that day and standby, knowing there is a fair chance they will make the flights. It is cheaper for them, but restricts the airline from making the money on those walkup fares that the airlines love to have. The "favor" that the airlines once did for the passenger has now been turned against the airline and the airlines will no longer allow themselves to be taken advantage of.

Having a passenger fly standby on an earlier flight doesnt stop the airline from selling a full-fare walkup. Hence why its called standby. If there is only one seat left and 30 minutes prior to departure a business guy pays for it then you the standby pax dont get on.

I do agree, however, that some travelers are taking advantage of the airlines and buying tickets for flights that they dont want to be on and then flying standby. The airline looses out because that passenger should be paying for the earlier flight.

However, I think most passengers are honest and had honestly wanted their original flights. It's no fun to wait around trying to fly standby. Even if its to save money, there's no guarantee that you'd get on an earlier flight (especially with record load factors). I think most passengers that want to fly standby on an earlier flight just had their plans change and want to get home early. In a lot of cases its also trying fly out before weather delays you. In May, flying standby on AA saved me from a night in ORD flying back from LGA because my original flight was delayed due to weather.

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ikramerica
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RE: So...Why Can't I Just Go Standby? WN's Answer...

Fri Jul 22, 2005 5:28 pm

Quoting SWA TPA (Reply 3):
That's exactly why we dont let you do that! Now you just took a seat that could have potentially been sold last minute at a full fare.

Absolutely wrong assessment. You did the exact opposite. If a paying customer had showed up to take that seat, the standby pax would not have gotten the seat!

What you did was give an otherwise empty seat to a pax who was to fly later, thus freeing up THAT LATER SEAT for someone who might pay the full fare. You potentially increased your revenue, but it NO WAY decreased it.

Why are some airlines getting rid of standby? Because it become difficult to match bags and pax, not because they are losing any money otherwise. The last minute rushing of the standby bag to the plane can cost time and money.
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RE: So...Why Can't I Just Go Standby? WN's Answer...

Fri Jul 22, 2005 5:53 pm

I stated in a similar post - it is the airports that do not allow WN to offer standby. They don't want all of their customers standing around barefoot for hours on end drinking Busch beer and getting in the way of all of the civilized passengers on other airliners.
 
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RE: So...Why Can't I Just Go Standby? WN's Answer...

Fri Jul 22, 2005 10:26 pm

Quoting Jetpixx (Reply 12):
stated in a similar post - it is the airports that do not allow WN to offer standby. They don't want all of their customers standing around barefoot for hours on end drinking Busch beer and getting in the way of all of the civilized passengers on other airliners.

Iv'e non-reved on United and seen some of those listed above!

Check out our 7am BDL-BWI, I seriously doubt you will see any of these!
 
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RE: So...Why Can't I Just Go Standby? WN's Answer...

Fri Jul 22, 2005 10:49 pm

Quoting PlanesNTrains (Reply 9):
I'm unclear about it, though. If they are flying "Standby", doesn't that mean that a full fare passenger could show up and buy a ticket before the plane leaves, and the standby passenger get's bumped? I haven't really done much "Standby" (other than non-rev stuff) so I don't know how it works.

-Dave

Dave,

Technically yes, but to make it work you'd have to call reservations and get a confirmed seat on the plane, then check in. This also works if you just call res and ask them to change your reservation to the earlier flight (paying the difference if its a discount fare).

The CSA's at the airport probably wouldn't let you do it because they know all you are doing is trying to get around the standby list, but res doesn't have access to that info, for all they know you are at home.

This would only work if the flight is not completely full and showing as being oversold at the time of purchase. This is not something you should bet on because if the flight is oversold or the oversell limit is low, you will be on standby and/or not be able to get a ticket.

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RE: So...Why Can't I Just Go Standby? WN's Answer...

Fri Jul 22, 2005 11:35 pm

With all do respect to Herb, I disagree with him.

I've gottem out of work early and arrived at the airport early in hopes of catching an earlier flight. I've never had problems doing it on AA, NW, or CO. I had to pay $25.00 to do it once on DL. That bugged me a bit, but it was worth it to get on my way sooner. However, I'm not going to pay the difference in fare of a walk up ticket. That could be $175. My company is not going to like paying that to get me home 2 hours sooner.

So it's this lack of flexibility that has me avoid WN on business trips. Is that what you want Herb?

I do agree the person who intentionally books a flight at a different time to save money and plans in advance to standby for a different flight is wrong. However, I think there are more people out there like me. I wonder if the reservation system could be used to help out. If a pax makes a reservation for flight A and other flights B and C are offered at the same price at the time of booking, the ticket could be tagged as "stand by" eligible for flights B and C.
 
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RE: So...Why Can't I Just Go Standby? WN's Answer...

Fri Jul 22, 2005 11:41 pm

Quoting PlanesNTrains (Reply 9):
I'm unclear about it, though. If they are flying "Standby", doesn't that mean that a full fare passenger could show up and buy a ticket before the plane leaves, and the standby passenger get's bumped? I haven't really done much "Standby" (other than non-rev stuff) so I don't know how it works.



Quoting Pilottim747 (Reply 10):
Having a passenger fly standby on an earlier flight doesnt stop the airline from selling a full-fare walkup. Hence why its called standby. If there is only one seat left and 30 minutes prior to departure a business guy pays for it then you the standby pax dont get on.

I can't speak for other carriers but on Southwest you CANNOT confirm and flight less than 1 hour before departure. So the guy who shows up at the last minute wanting to buy a ticket will be standby. Hence, those who have bought a standby ticket.


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brons2
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RE: So...Why Can't I Just Go Standby? WN's Answer...

Fri Jul 22, 2005 11:50 pm

Quoting OttoPylit (Reply 6):
Thats why I am glad Delta has gone to the Same Day Confirmed policy. If you are on a later flight and want to leave earlier, as long as seats are available through to your final destination on earlier flights, you can be confirmed on those flights for a mere $25. No waiting at the gate to see if you will be cleared, etc. Most passengers have embraced the concept happily, but there are those cheapasses out there who still can't believe they cannot fly standby and make the airline lose money.

$25 is reasonable.

$100, or an upgrade to full fare, is not reasonable.

Never thought I'd be calling WN unreasonable and DL reasonable. But, there you go.

Quoting Ikramerica (Reply 11):
Absolutely wrong assessment. You did the exact opposite. If a paying customer had showed up to take that seat, the standby pax would not have gotten the seat!

What you did was give an otherwise empty seat to a pax who was to fly later, thus freeing up THAT LATER SEAT for someone who might pay the full fare. You potentially increased your revenue, but it NO WAY decreased it.

Thank you for saving me the effort to explain this concept to the WN employees.

However, all this being said, WN is the leader in flights at my airport (AUS) and has the most convenient schedules for the places I need to go for the most part. Furthermore, there is little to no disparity in prices for different flights leaving on the same day to the same place, so there is no need to game the system on WN like on other airlines. At least for me.
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RE: So...Why Can't I Just Go Standby? WN's Answer...

Sat Jul 23, 2005 12:02 am

Quoting Ikramerica (Reply 11):
What you did was give an otherwise empty seat to a pax who was to fly later, thus freeing up THAT LATER SEAT for someone who might pay the full fare. You potentially increased your revenue, but it NO WAY decreased it.

Let's use the "some revenue is better than no revenue" argument. The later flight usually sees less demand, but the plane still most likely needs to be in another city the next morning. So...some revenue on that flight is better than no revenue on that flight - that's why the ticket was so cheap. But the earlier flight has higher demand - it's got more people on it and most likely all the costs are covered, with a small profit. Filling an empty seat on that flight reduces the profit for that flight, and if the later flight goes out with an empty seat, then there was no revenue for it....And if "some revenue is better than no revenue", then you really DID cost the airline money.
 
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RE: So...Why Can't I Just Go Standby? WN's Answer...

Sat Jul 23, 2005 12:28 am

Some of you seem to have forgotten that the problem really doesn't occur at the moment when you let a stand-by on a flight other than their ticketed flight, or even when their original flight departs without that extra marginal customer, rather the problem is in how doing that shapes the customer's future behavior and expectations. The cost of voluntarily bumping a customer off of a flight pales next to the cost of teaching a customer that it is okay to book on a flight other than that on which they intend to travel.

Yes, flexibility is nice from the customer's perspective, but in the world of airline pricing the customer needs to be prepared to pay for such convenience. I think a fair (no pun intended) compromise would be to back date the customer's new fare to the date on which they purchased their original ticket. In that way customer are still paying to upgrade to the new flight, but they are not faced with the possibility of having to upgrade from the least expensive to the most expensive fare. Of course, airline pricing isn't much a game of compromise and I can understand why WN does as it does; their policy (if counterintuitive) is designed for the long-term whereas many legacy and other low-cost carriers are focusing to realizing incremental revenue at the margins without considering the long-term cost of that revenue (certainly more than $25!)

joe
 
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RE: So...Why Can't I Just Go Standby? WN's Answer...

Sat Jul 23, 2005 1:30 am

Quoting BUFjets (Reply 15):
With all do respect to Herb, I disagree with him.

I've gottem out of work early and arrived at the airport early in hopes of catching an earlier flight. I've never had problems doing it on AA, NW, or CO. I had to pay $25.00 to do it once on DL. That bugged me a bit, but it was worth it to get on my way sooner. However, I'm not going to pay the difference in fare of a walk up ticket. That could be $175. My company is not going to like paying that to get me home 2 hours sooner.

So it's this lack of flexibility that has me avoid WN on business trips. Is that what you want Herb?

I do agree the person who intentionally books a flight at a different time to save money and plans in advance to standby for a different flight is wrong. However, I think there are more people out there like me. I wonder if the reservation system could be used to help out. If a pax makes a reservation for flight A and other flights B and C are offered at the same price at the time of booking, the ticket could be tagged as "stand by" eligible for flights B and C.

Couldn't have said it any better myself. If the meeting gets out early, or even late, you may get to the airport early or late...I say if you show up for the 7am booked on the 7pm, thats wrong...but if you have a 6pm flight, show up at 4pm and there is a 5pm, you should be allowed to get it. Schedule changes happen, and, espically in the case of businessmen, companies may book you in the cheapest seat without you knowing it. Is it really fair to fork up $100 for your bosses mistake? 2 hours should be no big deal as most people check in 2 hours early...but 12 hours is a problem, hands down.
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citationjet
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RE: So...Why Can't I Just Go Standby? WN's Answer...

Sat Jul 23, 2005 2:05 am

If paint was sold like airline tickets....

http://www.baetzler.de/humor/airline_paint.html


.
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RE: So...Why Can't I Just Go Standby? WN's Answer...

Sat Jul 23, 2005 2:40 am

CitationJet,

Love your post!     

SWA TPA,

I've never flown Stand-by before w/any carrier so I may not know too many of the ins & outs of it. However, let me ask you a couple of questions regarding 2 almost-stand-by scenarios in my WN PHL/RDU/BNA & BNA/MDW/PHL flights I took nearly a month ago. Due to the timing of my booking, I was only able to book my PHL/RDU/BNA on the Unrestricted rate but my BNA/MDW/PHL flight (which was a day later) on the Fun Fare rate. No biggie, since WN still had the only PHL-BNA r/t itinerary fare that was below $300 at the time.

Scenario One: That early Sunday afternoon (Father's Day), I fly the first leg from PHL to RDU. Upon arriving at RDU (somewhat late due to weather), I noticed that there was an earlier flight to BNA that started to board. I went to the counter and asked if I could board the earlier flight (to avoid the layover). I was told that the flight was full and, hence, I just waited for my regularly-booked flight to BNA; which BTW was also full.

Had the earlier flight to BNA had an open seat (for me to go stand-by) and my reservation for PHL/RDU/BNA was sold for the Unrestricted Fare; would there be an extra charge?

Second scenario (similar to the first but it was booked at the Fun Fare Rate): That Monday afternoon, I fly the first leg from BNA to MDW. We had a slightly late departure but still arrived at MDW as scheduled. While walking through the MDW terminal, I noticed an earlier flight to PHL that was starting to board. I didn't do an actual head-count but since I noticed some 'C' boarders (implying that the flight might be sold out); I decided against even asking the agent if I could board the earlier flight. As w/my RDU-BNA flight; I just waited for my MDW-PHL flight and went on my way.

My next question is similar to the first but slightly different. Had the earlier flight to PHL had an open seat (for me to go stand-by) and my reservation for BNA/MDW/PHL was sold for the Fun Fare rate; would there be an extra charge... even though I had already flown part of the originally-booked leg?

[Edited 2005-07-22 19:41:47]
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DrDeke
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RE: So...Why Can't I Just Go Standby? WN's Answer...

Sat Jul 23, 2005 2:45 am

Quote:
If paint was sold like airline tickets....

All too true...
If you don't want it known, don't say it on a phone.
 
texan
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RE: So...Why Can't I Just Go Standby? WN's Answer...

Sat Jul 23, 2005 2:50 am

Quoting Saxman66 (Reply 2):
I know for American, you can by their discounted tickets for a particular flight. If you want to fly standby, you may without any penalty, as long as you fly to the same city were ticketed to, AND you must go on the same day. I've done this a few times now; I'll buy the cheaper fare on AA, say only offered on an afternoon flight, and fly standby out that morning.

Officially, AA states they will charge the passenger for flying standby on a different flight. However, I have flown many times from STL to DFW on AA, purchasing the ticket for the 9 pm flight out while showing up to the airport at 11 am and flying stand by on the more expensive noon flight. Been a couple years since I have done this, but the gate agents had no problem with it, even though a counter agent had told me differently. Never done it before on WN, so cannot comment on that.

Texan
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Midway2AirTran
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RE: So...Why Can't I Just Go Standby? WN's Answer...

Sat Jul 23, 2005 4:16 am

Quoting Brons2 (Reply 17):
$25 is reasonable.

$100, or an upgrade to full fare, is not reasonable.

Keep in mind that new fare on WN is unrestricted and lower compared to the typical fare that is unrestricted. WN doesn't charge change fees either so you have all the flexibility to change days before instead of at the gate. WN is doing the right thing for their revenue production; no exceptions for the most part and probably another contributing factor to their consistant success. It's simplistic and avoids confusion.

As for DL's $25 change, its a great deal to the passenger, what are the rules and timing allowed on it as I've heard of it, but never used it before? Could it potentially block full-fare paying passengers at the last min?
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used2beAA
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RE: So...Why Can't I Just Go Standby? WN's Answer...

Sat Jul 23, 2005 4:27 am

Quoting Saxman66 (Reply 2):
You can also do this for non-stop vs. connecting. I bought a much cheaper fare from DFW to BWI connecting in ORD. I did not want to connect so I just asked if I could fly non-stop, and they let me on without penalty.

Of course, there need to be seat available, so be careful. Also, although the fares I've found all say you can do this, but be careful to read the small print when purchasing your ticket.

True, so true....but the non-stop hop is at the discretion of the airline AT THE DEPARTURE AIRPORT....there are some airports (hubs/large cities versus smaller cities/outstations) where that is TABOO. When in doubt, ask but don't expect!
 
SWA TPA
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RE: So...Why Can't I Just Go Standby? WN's Answer...

Sat Jul 23, 2005 5:11 am

PHLBOS-
On the first scenario, there would have been no charge. You simply would have been directed to the gate and told to check with gate agent to get your name on the standby list. At 10 minutes prior to departure time if there is an open seat you would be called up and cleared to board.

Scenario two is a bit tricky. When you are changing planes and are on your lay over already most of the money has already been used out of your account. All you have left is the airport taxes at this point. I usually will let you go so long as you have not checked luggage. It's one of those gray areas really. Some agents will let you do it and some wont. That turns into one of those inconsistent things for the pax. Then the pax tells us "But they let me do it in Chicago!"

Basically if you are full fare you can do whatever you please as far as changing your flight. If a seats available you got it!
If you checked bags though I will notify you they will not go on this flight only the one you checked them on. You will be responsible for going back to the airport and picking them up as we will not deliver what is called a "voluntary separated or V/S bag". I will also document your record that I told you this so you cant walk in and demand we deliver your bag since it didn't arrive early with you.

Feel free to ask any other questions and I will try to answer them for you!

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goingboeing
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RE: So...Why Can't I Just Go Standby? WN's Answer...

Sat Jul 23, 2005 5:27 am

Quoting SWA TPA (Reply 27):
On the first scenario, there would have been no charge. You simply would have been directed to the gate and told to check with gate agent to get your name on the standby list. At 10 minutes prior to departure time if there is an open seat you would be called up and cleared to board.

SWATPA...if I paid full fare, why would I even have to stand by for a flight - couldn't I just "proactively" change my ticket?
 
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RE: So...Why Can't I Just Go Standby? WN's Answer...

Sat Jul 23, 2005 7:14 am

Not if it's an hour or less before departure time. You can only go stand-by at that point.
Or if the flight is sold out already. Stand-by only.

Quoting Goingboeing (Reply 28):
SWATPA...if I paid full fare, why would I even have to stand by for a flight - couldn't I just "proactively" change my ticket?

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OttoPylit
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RE: So...Why Can't I Just Go Standby? WN's Answer...

Sat Jul 23, 2005 8:26 am

Quoting Pilottim747 (Reply 10):
Having a passenger fly standby on an earlier flight doesnt stop the airline from selling a full-fare walkup. Hence why its called standby. If there is only one seat left and 30 minutes prior to departure a business guy pays for it then you the standby pax dont get on.

Sometimes a flight can be so busy for an agent that the agent may have to start clearing standby's well in advance. If you have 30 standby's on your list, you can't clear and board all of them in the last 15 minutes for the flight. So the agent may start clearing in advance, therefore trimming up the seats needed to sell to that possible walkup passenger, who will go to the ticket counter to buy the ticket and not the gate.

I agree that most folks are honesty not trying to screw over the airline and literally are just wanting to get home earlier if possible on standby, but too many people know the system and how to play it. Especially Medallion level customers. They know they get higher priorities before anyone else and can buy that cheaper fare. Some of them screw the airline out of money and then wonder why service gets crappy. But most usually buy the higher fares, and those are the guys you know want the airline to succeed, since they most likely get the money back on their company expense reports.

Quoting Midway2AirTran (Reply 25):
As for DL's $25 change, its a great deal to the passenger, what are the rules and timing allowed on it as I've heard of it, but never used it before? Could it potentially block full-fare paying passengers at the last min?

In reference to the Same Day Confirmed policy, if there is a flight within 3 hours of the originally scheduled flight, a passenger can be confirmed on an earlier flight, provided there are seats on the earlier flight and through to the final destination for $25. There must be available seating on both connecting flights or on the non-stop flight. This can be done either at the checkin counter or is also offered via the kiosk. As soon as the customer picks the option of moving to an earlier flight, the computer confirms the flights for them and the $25 is paid. This must also be done before any baggage is checked, of course. Once the aircraft is sold out of seats, then the same day confirmed policy cannot be offered, even if the flight has no shows and those seats go out empty, as that reinforces the policy of no standby. It could block the full fare paying passengers, but isn't so bad, as the airline still made a few bucks off of it. But the rules only apply to a flight within 3 hours of scheduled departure time, so you can't confirm a seat on a 12p flight if you are on a 5p departure.

So if I have a ticket on a 7pm flight and have a flight ORD-ATL-TPA, I can show up at the airport for a 4:30pm flight and upon checking in request an earlier flight. Whether I do it at the counter or the kiosk, the computer will search for the earlier flights.(we will say you check in at the kiosk) There must be a flight that I am in time for(say 4:30p) as well as a connecting earlier flight with seats still available through to TPA. Any non-stop or different connecting cities does not matter. Once those flights are found, the kiosk will provide all options, with departure times, arrival times, and layover lengths. You select the choice and swipe your credit card for payment. The computer rebooks, provides a receipt for the $25, and then redisplays the new reservation and you can then go to choosing seats or checking baggage. It will provide this option from 3 hrs before departure to 30 minutes before departure. Most passengers prefer it as the $25 is reasonable, and they are now confirmed on the earlier flights, therefore they know when they are getting home and can make the proper arrangements, rather than waiting at a gate hoping their name gets called.

Quoting Nonrevman (Reply 7):
Let's say you have a bad storm over your city or something like that which is going to cause a lot of misconnects.

In regards to irregular operations, this it the one thing that is allowed for the rules to be bent for the passengers. It kind of allows the rules to be thrown out the window, so to speak. If there are irregular operations and its apparent there may be misconnections, you will be allowed to standby or confirm on earlier flights with no $25 fee or any penalties, just whatever will get you home earlier.


Otto
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ikramerica
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RE: So...Why Can't I Just Go Standby? WN's Answer...

Sat Jul 23, 2005 10:44 am

Quoting OttoPylit (Reply 30):
I agree that most folks are honesty not trying to screw over the airline and literally are just wanting to get home earlier if possible on standby, but too many people know the system and how to play it.

Let's not look at it like all pax are "criminals" or anything for trying to get on their flight of choice.

There are other valid reasons to fly standby despite cheating an airline out of a fare.

Let's say you need to get somewhere, but your choice of 8x daily flights is limited to exactly 1 seat on one flight that day, as the others are full. Or that you can get to the hub fine, but the connecting flight to the final destinations are full for hours, so you are given a 6 hour layover.

So you go early to your flight (be it your origin, or your hub stop), hoping that you can standby and catch the earlier flight. Despite the full flights, there are no-shows (origin), misconnects (hub), etc. and you might get on. Then, the airline can use the seat you gave up on the later flight to reassign the no-show/misconnect!

Seems like a win-win in that case, and nobody was trying to cheat anyone. It's just with the nearly full flights we are seeing this summer, and always see around holidays, it's just something you sometimes have to do.
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