How to Fly Standby – What Flying Standby Means in 2024

“Flying standby” used to entail arriving at the airport without a ticket and buying one on the spot. Traveling without a ticket is no longer possible post-9/11.

No more spontaneity. Last-minute tickets are costly! However, “standby” has become a specific travel circumstance for same-day flight adjustments.

Many times, you can fly standby. Flights can be pre-purchased as unconfirmed or confirmed. Flying standby with an unconfirmed ticket works if you have patience

If you confirm your seat, you can fly standby with your pre-purchased ticket. This is more reliable because the airline guarantees a later-day flight.

The second option to fly standby is with a "buddy pass" from a friend or relative who works for an airline. Airlines provide employees numerous free passes

How to book a buddy pass flight varies. Buddy passes usually have confirmation codes, and you can book a flight by calling a reservation agent.

Using a buddy pass requires flexibility at the airport because there are no assurances. Avoid weekends and holidays and choose early or late flights like 6am

Standby travel costs depend on the flight and your airline relationship. Flying standby usually costs $25–100.

Flying standby apps are available from some airlines. You can schedule a same-day flight change and receive updates with these applications.

3. Earn or join airline elite status: Do you have elite status? This improves your chances of landing a last-minute seat on your flight.

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