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Tricks, Tips, Cheats and Scams To Help You Get Insanly Cheap Flights

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My name is Neville Pettersson and I’m passionate about traveling. I’ve created this site to help people find good info.

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Fly Standby

When you fly without a reservation for a specific flight, it is called flying standby. Standby flights are not as common as they once were, but if you have the time, flexibility, and patience, and you know some ways to increase your chances, waiting for an open spot may be worth it. The most common way to fly standby is if you have already purchased a ticket for a different flight. You have the option to take an earlier flight than you were originally scheduled for, if you arrive early at the airport. Check the flight schedule, and arrive when you know a flight to your departure will be leaving in about 30 minutes. When you arrive at the airport, check in and ask to be put on standby.

This method does not guarantee you a seat on the plane, but if one is available it will be yours. If none are open at that time, you will have to wait for the next flight, and if throughout the course of the day there are no available seats, simply travel on the flight you were initially scheduled for. This can take up a large portion of your day, but you also may arrive early at your destination and have that extra time.

Without A Ticket

Some airlines allow passengers who have no reservation or ticket to purchase a standby ticket--a spot on a list that includes other standby passengers. This way of traveling is risky, since you may spend both the time and the money to travel and end up with nothing in return.

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To avoid this outcome, call various airlines on the day you want to fly standby, and ask if their flights to your destination are overbooked or underbooked, when they are scheduled, and what their policies are on flying standby without a ticket.

If some flights are underbooked, arrive at the airport in plenty of time and check in at the counter, pay the fee, and hope for flight cancellations as you prepare to wait several hours for your name to reach the top of the list.

Since those without a reservation are not allowed to check their luggage, you will need to pack lightly, and follow the airline's carry-on guidelines. This method works best when you travel alone, since a single open seat is much easier to find.


Delta Airlines has its own rules for those wishing to fly standby. You are only eligible for this service if you are a Diamond, Platinum, or Gold Medallion member, and even if you are, your travel companions may not join you. Under their guidelines, you may only standby for seats within the class you originally paid for. Additionally, the standby option is limited to flights within the United States, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, and Canada.


The guidelines for standby flights on Southwest Airlines depend upon the type of ticket you have purchased. Business Select and Anytime allow the greatest flexibility for those who choose to fly standby. With either of these options, you can travel at no additional cost at any other time of the original day you had been scheduled for, to your original destination. Wanna Get Away and Senior Fares require upgrades to Anytime in order to have the standby option. Their final option, DING! Fares, allow standby, but you will have to pay the difference.


The third major airline, United, offers a same-day flight change option for an additional $75 fee to their MileagePlus, Silver, and Premier members. You will only be charged if a seat is available. Gold, Platinum, and Premier 1K members may utilize this service at no additional cost. Regardless which member group you fall under, you will be subject to their restrictions. The flight can be any flight within 24 hours of your original ticket. The available seat may be in any class, however you will have to pay for any upgrades. If you are moved to a cheaper class you will be issued a refund of the difference. When you request to fly standby, your name is put on a list. This list is continuously updated and available to view on United's website, so you have the ability to see how close your name is to an opening.