A Quick Jog to Los Angeles

Otherwise expensive summer airfares ended up being on sale for the Fourth of July weekend.  Yesterday, I took another American Airlines flight from JFK to LAX.

I was originally booked on AA33, the 7:45AM departure to LAX, but I managed to get to the airport early enough to see that there were open seats for AA201, the 6:30AM departure.  I handed the gate agent my original boarding pass and she added me to the standby list, where, due to a combination of status and my original check-in time for my actual flight, I bubbled up in front of 17 other standby passengers.  While milling about the gate area, I snapped off a few photos of Terminal 8.

I milled around the gate area and cleared at the start of Group 3’s boarding into the exit row.

Standby policies have always intrigued me.  When I was in college, I routinely flew between MDW and LAX on Southwest.  Same-day standby with Southwest requires buying up to an Anytime fare.   Since standing around a crowded gate area for an hour was generally better than paying $100-200 to leave earlier, I never took Southwest up on a standby offer.  For non-elites, American charges $50 and United $75 for unconfirmed standby.  When I was flying in college, my view was that I was a liability to the airline until they got me to my destination.  If they could get me out of the airport sooner, I would be one fewer passenger to rebook if a flight got canceled.


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