I always tell my guests to be patient, they'll eventually get there. If you're adventurous and can be flexible it is a great way to travel.
your place on the standby list is determined by 2 things; your priority classification and the time you checked in. If you are a through passenger (connecting from an incoming flight) that will give you a higher place on the list. Employees and retirees have higher priority than guests.
Case example...in 1997 I was trying to non rev DFW
. I checked in for my flight, around 1PM and was told it was full or oversold. There had been some cancellations or weather. Just so you know, TUL
is a VERY DIFFICULT place to non rev because of the number of flights and AA
has it's accounting offices, SABRE, and a large maintanance base at TUL
If you are not accomodated on a flight, you will be "rolled over" to the next one, that is your name will automatically be placed on the standby list for the next flight and you will go before passegers just checking in for the flight. I found out that I was #120 on the standby list. So I continued to wait, and keep getting rolled over to the next flight. After the next to last flight departed, the agent said she would call out the names of passengers on the standby list and ask if we wanted to be rolled over to the last flight. A lot of passengers had given up and quit trying to get on a flight, so this shrunk the list by over 80 passengers.
At the gate for the last flight, the agent said he will print out and post the list. When it was time to call standbys, he said he will call each name only twice. If we don't answer, he will go to the next one on the list. I got on that flight.
In 2004, I was flying DFW
. I was 35 on the list. My friend was working that flight and asked me why did I want to go to DEN
(I normally fly internationally on the 777). I told her it was for a reunion. I also told her I'm not going to get on this flight, am I, to which she agreed. Once again, when it came time to call standby passengers, a number of them didn't answer. I got on and made it to the reunion.
Bottom line, if you can be patient and flexible, non revving is a great way to travel. I've flown over 750,000 miles as a non rev.