Most companies don't sell standby tickets anymore. The usual way to get them is to either be a dependent or employee of an airline, have a buddy pass, or to already have bought a full priced ticket and just wanting to change the day you fly. Standby tickets are not a cheaper fare anymore. The only time you get a bargain is if you volunteered to give up your seat on an overcrowded flight and they upgraded you.
But here is how stand-by works. You have to get to the airport at least an hour earlier than normal because they put your name down on a stand-by list which is first come first serve, per say. There IS an order of priority, such as crew members on a schedule first, bumped passengers or passengers who gave up their seats from a different flight next, crew members and dependents not on business next, those with their airline sky mile accounts, people with buddy passes, etc.
While you wait, I suggest you go look around or bring a book to read or something to do. After they do all their upgrades, seat change requests, and board all the passengers with normal fare tickets for that day, they will start to call out the names of stand-by passengers.
Here's the thing to be wary of: if the flight is full, you don't get a seat, so it's always best to call a day ahead and find out how full they expect the flight to be and to give them advance notice that you DO expect to go on the flight for that day.
Here are some tips to help you get
a low cost airline ticket:
-- Sometimes the internet is cheaper, sometimes the phone operators are cheaper, and sometimes travel agents are cheaper. Check out all three to make sure you get the best deal.
-- Choose the same airline for all legs of your itinerary whenever possible so you can take advantage of all connecting and round-trip airfares.
-- Try to fly on the least popular days: Tuesday, Wednesday or Saturday.
-- Remember that Saturday night stays are usually required for most bargain airfares.
-- Try to select the least popular flight times: mid-morning or late evening.
-- Check with discount airlines for cheaper fares.
-- Try to book as far in advance as possible. Generally try to purchase your tickets at least 21 days in advance of departure. Many airlines also have specials requiring three-, seven- or 14-day advance purchase.
-- In general, the cheapest airfares are available in the spring and summer.
-- If you travel around the holidays, book your departure and return flights a day or more before and after peak travel dates. If you're flexible, you might benefit by waiting until the last minute to book your flight because major carriers often run special sales. These sales, however, often have a long list of rules, restrictions and blackout dates.
--Consider booking tickets that come with restrictions because they also come with a cheaper price tag.
-- Consider using alternate airports near your desired airport. The extra drive can save you hundreds of dollars.
--Be as flexible as possible with your dates.
If I can be of more assistance, feel free to contact me