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.