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How Do You Get Standby Flights? Your Guide to Understanding How Standby Flights Work on International Routes

how do you get standby flights
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Do you ever wish you could take a prior flight on the day of your scheduled travel? Well, maybe. Many airlines, especially in the US offer passengers a chance to reserve a standby flight. While some airlines in the USA offer it only on domestic flights, there are some who offer it on international flights as well. But before knowing how do you get standby flights, it’s important to know what are standby flights and how do standby flights work. 

What are Standby Flights?

In layman terms, standby flights are unconfirmed tickets that passengers can use to board a flight if there are any empty seats available. These tickets are at times cheaper, making them an attractive option for flexible travelers. Notably, standby passengers are typically placed on a waiting list. This means they are allowed to board only if there are available seats after all confirmed passengers have checked in.

How Do Standby Flights Work? 

Standby flights work by letting passengers wait for an available seat on a fully booked flight. Like mentioned above, you may arrive at the airport early, check in, and then get added to a standby list. If a seat becomes available, either due to no-shows or cancellations, you are allowed to board the flight. So, flexibility is key.

Availability of Standby Flights on International Routes

Generally, standby flights are more common on domestic routes but some carriers offer it for international routes as well. The availability of these flights depends on numerous factors, including the particular airline’s policies, the time of year, and the route’s popularity. Many airlines often offer standby flight options to their frequent flyers, at times even employees, and passengers who have missed their flights due to any unforeseen circumstances.

How Do You Get Standby Flights on International Routes?

No matter which airline in the USA you choose to fly with, it’s essential that you inquire about the availability of standby flights. These tips to get standby flights can come handy if you choose to opt for these during your trip. 

Check Airline Policies

As mentioned above, not all airlines offer standby options for international flight tickets. It’s important to check with the airline beforehand to better understand their policies. Furthermore, some carriers may also have specific requirements, such as membership in their frequent flyer program.

Purchase a Flexible Ticket

Some airlines offer tickets with flexible terms that allow passengers to stand by for an earlier flight on the same day. These tickets are often more expensive than standard economy tickets but can be worth it for the flexibility they offer.

Arrive Early at the Airport

Standby passengers are usually accommodated on a first-come, first-served basis. Arriving early at the airport increases the possibility of securing a standby seat. Be prepared to wait, as you may be required to check in multiple times.

Be Flexible and Persistent

Flexibility is key when you choose to fly standby. Be open to traveling at different times, dates or even to alternative nearby airports. Persistence may pay off, so keep checking with the concerned airline counter for available seats.

Utilize Frequent Flyer Status

One of the best tips to get standby flights is to enroll in the best frequent flyer programs. This is because frequent flyer members often have a higher priority for standby seats. In case you’re a member of an airline’s frequent flyer program, ensure to use this advantage. Elite status members typically receive the highest priority.

Standby for Different Classes

At times, there might be availability in business or first class even if the economy is fully booked. If you’re willing to pay extra for an upgrade or use frequent flyer points, you might have a better chance of securing a standby seat.

Standby Due to Missed Flights

In case you miss your flight, you might be placed on standby for the next available flight. One of the top tips to get standby flights is to inform the airline as soon as possible and get on the standby list.

Standby flights on international routes such as the USA to India can be an exciting and cost-effective way to travel. However, they require flexibility, preparation, and patience. Understanding airline policies can help maximize your chances of securing a standby seat. 

If you are traveling on the USA-India route, booking an Indian Eagle itinerary is an alternative and smart way of securing the best airfare. You will not only get discounts and 24/7 customer support but if you can enroll in My Eagle to enjoy its benefits. One such advantage is that you can Block an Itinerary. This will let you book a flight even if your travel date is not confirmed. 

So now that you know how do you get standby flights, will you be interested in booking one? Comment below and let us know about your opinion on standby flights.

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