Standby on Continental

Old Aug 30th, 2007, 05:15 PM
  #1  
P_M
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Join Date: Feb 2004
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Standby on Continental

rkkwan and other CO experts, I need your help.

I recently booked my first ff award ticket w/CO. On the return I will be flying AMM/CDG/IAH/AUS. After I booked this a schedule change came up and I will be coming home a day earlier. My biggest concern was not getting award availablity on the AMM/CDG segment because there is only one flight per day.

The frequent flyer gods were with me and I did get the AMM/CDG flight, as well as the same CDG/IAH flight, arriving IAH at 2:15pm. Now here's the snafu: There is no AWARD availablility from IAH to AUS until 9:10pm!! I still accepted these terms for fear that if I wait, I will lose the AMM/CDG flight. But obviously I don't want to spend 7 hours at IAH.

As member of AAdvantage I was always able to go standby and catch an earlier flight without an extra charge. But what is CO's policy? Will it matter than I'm using an award ticket? I'm thinking if space is available on an earlier flight they will just let me on the next plane, but is that a safe assumption? If they refuse, what can I do? Cry? Scream? > Sleep with a gate agent?

I appreciate any help.
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Old Aug 30th, 2007, 05:41 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
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CO allows both free same-day standby and $25 same-day confirmed change for award tickets.

IAH-AUS is fairly frequent - about every 2 hours. Not as good as WN, but okay. Chances are they're space for one of those earlier flights

One issue is checked baggage. When you have checked bags and want to waitlist, the agents immediately shook their heads and rolled their eyes. It can be done, but they hate doing it.

If you have checked bags and don't mind paying the $25, I'll suggest doing that option. After you get out of customs at IAH Terminal E, instead of just dropping the bags back to CO, go to the manned counters right there by the customs exit and tell them you want to do the $25 same-day confirmed change. They can do that for flight leaving within 3 hours.

But if you have no checked bags, then maybe you want to just take chance and go to the gate of the next flight for AUS and just have them put you on a waitlist right there.
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Old Aug 30th, 2007, 05:53 PM
  #3  
P_M
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Hi rkkwan, I knew I could count on you for a complete answer. I looked at CO's web page and as of today they have quite a few seats left on the 3:30pm flight and also the 6pm flight, but of course that could change between now and then. I will have checked bags so before dropping them off I will ask for a change at the counter. If they give it to me without question--great. If they want to charge me $25 that's OK, it will be money well spent.

Thanks!!
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Old Aug 31st, 2007, 05:51 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: May 2006
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Hi P_M. As usual rkkwan lays it out. I just thought I'd mention we ran into somewhat the same problem last month when our teenager flew from IAH-EWR-ARN by herself. [Despite the fact we fly CO all the time, I was unaware of the same-day $25 change rule until rkkwan pointed it out]. We very much considered standby (and looked like it should work), but we were concerned about the baggage issue (especially with a teenager!!) - and the gate agents do roll their eyes when you mention baggage. We ended up doing the $25 change and it worked out just fine. [The return trip was a nightmare, but didn't have anything to do with this issue].

Good luck.
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Old Sep 3rd, 2007, 06:20 PM
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Hola P_M -
Absolutely agree with snagging the award seats for the international portions of the itinerary. The other thing you can do is ask the OnePass agent to waitlist you for the earlier IAH-AUS flight. Very often if there are several vacant seats as the flight date approaches they will open up additional award seats. You can even check online when you are traveling to get an idea of seat availability.
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Old Sep 3rd, 2007, 06:24 PM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
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Good point by seamus. Yes, you can waitlist on one of the earlier flights when on reward travel. They won't clear early, but maybe a few days before flight or on the day of travel.
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Old Sep 4th, 2007, 10:01 AM
  #7  
P_M
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If I clear the waitlist, will they hit me with another $50 fee to make the change? If so, I would be better off to do the $25 standby--right?
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Old Sep 4th, 2007, 10:44 AM
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There is no fee involved if you clear the waitlist to get on another flight, when using reward travel.
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Old Sep 4th, 2007, 10:54 AM
  #9  
P_M
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YAY, I'll give them a call.
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