Starting Feb. 22, American will no longer offer the free standby option for its non-elite passengers. That means if you want to change to another American Airlines flight on the same-day of travel, you’ll pay $50, or you’ll be on your scheduled flight.
American has had a $50 “confirmed flight change” fee since 2005, but many people take fate in their hands and rely on the standby option to avoid paying more.
According to the Dallas Morning News, American Airlines is implementing these fees “to improve its operations.”
“It’s not the average standby list, but you get one of those Friday afternoon scenarios when you have more than 100 people standing by for a flight out of a business market,” American spokesman Tim Smith said. “It really does become chaotic getting everyone processed. You have to process each and every one of these people individually. Those who don’t make it, then you have to roll them over onto the next flight and start it all over again.”
The new standby charges will not apply to Executive Platinum, Platinum and Gold members of the AAdvantage frequent-flier program; people in first class or business class; higher-priced coach tickets; and people traveling on military fares.