Flying Standby on UA

Jul 26th, 2011, 10:59 AM
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Posts: 10,124
Flying Standby on UA

What's the best way to go about flying standby on UA? I have an evening flight and want to try and get on a flight that leaves at 8:00 am the same day. UA told me to call them 3 hours b4 the flight or to show up at the airport which would mean showing up at 5am. Can u put your name on the list via the phone or do u need to be at the airport to get on the list? This is a domestic flight.
thanks for your help.
yestravel is offline  
Jul 26th, 2011, 01:36 PM
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 12,269
You have to BE at the airport

Everyone will get priority over you

Standby fares if you manage to get boarded are guite high

these days unlike they used to be...

For me standby has gone the way of the DoDo except for

a few sites like

Stick with your current flight rather than hang at AP all day

Best for me...
qwovadis is offline  
Jul 26th, 2011, 01:54 PM
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 10,258
If you get cleared for standby it'll cost you $75 - no freebie standbys on UA like on some other airlines.
J62 is offline  
Jul 26th, 2011, 03:18 PM
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I guess u call UA 3 hours in advance to ascertain if there are seats available? Then hop it out to the airport to get on the standby wait list? Pay $75 if u get on the flight.

No hanging out at the airport--i would return home if not getting on the flight.
yestravel is offline  
Jul 26th, 2011, 04:53 PM
Join Date: Oct 2004
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to make it clear

if you want an 8 AM flight, start the checkin process online for your EVENING flight at 5 AM and go to the STANDBY link.

if there is room on the 8 AM flight they will confirm you for $75 and you just go to the airport and board.

iF there is NOT confirm-able space you can get on a standby list for that flight and go to the airport and take your chances. If you make the flight it still costs $75 unless you have status with united.
mztery is offline  
Jul 26th, 2011, 06:01 PM
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mztery -- now I'm confused. My flight is for 9 pm. I want to get on the 8 am flight.

I should check in for the 9 pm flt online at 5AM. it will allow me to indicate that i want to go standby on the 8 am flight.
IF there is room on the 8 am flight I will be charged $75 and will definitely get on the flight, but
if there are no seats available I can get on a list online and then go to the airport and take my chances (still having to pay $75 if I get on the flight).
Is this correct? thank you
yestravel is offline  
Jul 26th, 2011, 10:17 PM
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My understanding was that you can check in for your 9 MP flight 24 hours in advance, and you indicate your desire to take the earlier standby at that time. They will either confirm it 3 hours before the other flight or indicate you are wait-listed on it. Is that wrong?

If they couldn't confirm the seats by 5 am, I would have to be really desperate to chance a 5 am trip to the airport!

No matter what (unless you have elite status), you will pay $75 for the seat.
lcuy is offline  
Jul 27th, 2011, 05:46 AM
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The one consistent bit of information is the 3 hour window (and the $75 fee). It sounds like u can find out if u are on a confirmed standby seat within 3 hours of the standby flight. Whether u can request a standby flt 24 hours from your original flight time or at the 3 hour window is not clear. Anyone have experience with this?

I do know that one time I checked in for my flight and then decided to try for an upgrade so called UA. An upgrade was available but they couldn't check me in for it because I was already checked in with my original coach seat. I think they put me on the upgrade list but I had to go to the airport to see if I got upgraded (i did). That makes me think checking in online for a later flight and then trying to get checked in for an earlier standby flight may not work, but who knows?

And yes, the 5 am deal is a killer, but the person really wants to leave earlier.
yestravel is offline  
Jul 27th, 2011, 06:14 AM
Join Date: Oct 2004
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I thought i was being clear but.....

If you try to check in at the 24 hour mark to your flight, you can't confirm a standby seat as it's more than 3 hours before the 8 AM flight AND it's the day BEFORE the flight you want to take;. SO you won't see standby choices then.

If you get up at 5 AM and then try to check in for the evening flight, you will see what standby choices are available if any. If nothing is listed then they will not offer you the confirmed seat for $75 and you will have to go to the airport and wait it out. You can try calling at that point to see how it looks. But you may as well check in for the evening flight as that will get you to security and to the gate the 8 AM flight is leaving on.

Checking in for a flight and then taking an earlier one is much easier than the upgrade situation another poster mentioned so don't let that worry you.
mztery is offline  
Jul 27th, 2011, 08:55 AM
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Thank you! I'm not sure that u weren't clear, mztery, as I keep getting conflicting info. that was confusing me. But now I think I finally got it. i'll report back on Friday on the outcome.
yestravel is offline  
Jul 29th, 2011, 07:29 AM
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Thanks for all the advice.
Here's what we did. Called UA late last night to confirm the number of seats open on the standby flt @ 8am. UA said to call at 5 am (for the 8 am standby flt) and if there was a seat they would charge $75 and the seat could be confirmed then. If he wanted to take a chance and go to the airport and get on the standby list he would be charged $50 @ the airport if he got on the standby flt. UA also said NOT to check in for the 9:50 pm flight if he wanted to go standby earlier in the day.

So once again with conflicting info figured calling UA @ 5am might be the best option. At 5 am, called UA, was told there was a seat open, & gave cr card info for $75 charge. Could not check in online for the new standby flight. Went to airport, went thru the check in line and got confirmed boarding pass for 8 am flight.
yestravel is offline  
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