15 Responses

  1. John Butler
    John Butler at |

    solid analysis

  2. Oliver Trojak
    Oliver Trojak at |

    Good story, had to look up vv though. Maybe some periods to follow the v?

  3. henry LAX
    henry LAX at |

    the 2-hour window simply makes it far too restrictive. UA’s SDC is far more useful, to a point that one can :

    1. fly out the night before
    2. change to a later departure time to stay at your destination a bit longer
    3. switch connection routing if one believes it may increase their chance of upgrade, or avoid inclement weather (some delays but not bad enough that UA has issued a waiver) that is affecting one hub.
    4. to it right from the smartphone app
    5. available for pretty much any route that is entirely on UA+UAX metal instead of the tiny list of airport pairs above.
    6. actually a free confirmed seat for mid tier elites or higher, instead of being just “standby” and getting the left-over non-reclinable middle seats after all the regular pax have boarded.

    1. Dave
      Dave at |

      I thought you only got a confirmed seat (regardless of elite status) if the same fare class you booked was available on the new flight; otherwise, you had to go standby regardless?

  4. Brian
    Brian at |

    Great analysis! I wonder what it would look like at 3 hours instead of 2.

    Where did you get your schedule dataset from?

  5. Sears Shutdown, RadPad Issues, and Southwest Standby - The Frequent Miler

    […] top of all that, the Wandering Aramean has done some deep digging and found that only 18% of all Southwest routes even have multiple flights within two hours of each other for which this standby feature would be usable. If you want to know which specific routes have the […]

  6. Ken
    Ken at |

    Great Post and analysis – One question. It might be a little better than the analysis predicts. I thought southwest allowed stand-by changes for the equivalent city destinations. Like LAX and LGB or OAK and SFO?

    It would be it would be interesting to know if you can fly standby on a SAN-SFO flight that leaves within 2 hrs of an original SAN-OAK flight?

  7. Nick
    Nick at |

    I think they think they can move more passengers this way, so will be able to sell more seats, and just frame this as a benefit…

    If your flight becomes delayed by more than 15 min they allow free standby or even free change to an earlier flight anyway. I’ve also had really good luck just asking to get on an earlier flight, load permitting etc, but also always just within 2 hours or so.

  8. Jim M
    Jim M at |

    I (used to) travel often between Dallas and Houston on business. If my meeting ended earlier than planned, I would go to the airport and ask to get on an earlier flight, which always happened. You’re there, empty seat, go.

    I have not done this lately. Has Southwest stopped allowing this type of activity? Is it now limited to A listers? This new benefit sounds like what used to be business as usual.

  9. nsx at FlyerTalk
    nsx at FlyerTalk at |

    Being up go 2 hours late everyone gets free standby. It’s the flat tire rule.

    The new part is being up to 2 hours early. Flight schedules these days are bunched near peak travel hours to the extent feasible. That means more chance of free standby at peak hours, but also more chance that the only alternate flight will be less than an hour earlier.