That was me this morning, after being told by an American Airlines gate/desk representative at La Guardia yesterday afternoon, that stand by doesn't exist anymore and I would have to pay $50 to get a seat on an hour's earlier flight returning to RDU/home.
I trudged off and bought a cup of tea, and went back again to double check that I heard correctly. And I had. My response was that I'm already a customer, and there are spare seats, so why can't you just put me on an earlier flight? No go.
So I wrote to AA this morning with my complaint. I have to admit, they served me well in response. I can't be the only person today complaining about AA (surely?), but a personal e-mail was only an hour or so in return.
I believe their answer sucks, as below (this was an Eagle Airways flight with only about 30 or so passengers, so everyone was being served who went up to the desk), but doesn't one feel somewhat placated that someone heard one's complaint?
...we've made some changes to our standby policy for tickets purchased on or after February 22, 2010. These changes were made in an effort to streamline the boarding process at the gate and to give our airport agents more opportunity to provide assistance to those customers that are confirmed on a particular flight.
Still, unlike some of our competitors, we are by no means eliminating a customer’s ability to take an earlier flight. For a $50 charge, if space is available on the day of departure, we will confirm you on an earlier flight. This option not only gives you the opportunity to get to your destination sooner, it also eliminates the uncertainty of standby travel.Being on a roll, I also wrote to the NY Port Authority, which manages La Guardia, to mention that I'd seen an airport cleaning employee emptying the recycling into the general rubbish bin and then disposing of them together.
Just imagine what I'm going to be like when I'm nearing 70!