Posted by: Josey | July 27, 2008

Standby Fees: Things That Make Me Go Hmmm

Would someone please explain the rationale behind the standby fee to me?

It’s nothing new. Several airlines implemented this policy as far back as 2002, in fact. But it baffles me.

Not familiar? It’s a charge airline passengers incur for trying to standby on an earlier (or later) flight, hence the name—generally between $25 and $100.

But here’s why I’m confused: Doesn’t it help airlines for passengers to fly earlier, if they have those available seats? If I fly an earlier flight with an empty seat, aren’t I freeing up a seat on my original later flight which they can then sell to another passenger (probably for an exorbitant amount of money, given the last-minute timing)?

The way I see it, they should pay me to fly standby! I’m doing them a favor.

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