American Airlines is stopping offering most passengers the ability to standby for same-day flights for no charge on domestic, transborder Canada and some Caribbean...

American Airlines is stopping offering most passengers the ability to standby for same-day flights for no charge on domestic, transborder Canada and some Caribbean flights.

Its new no-standby policy will also apply to American Eagle and AmericanConnection flights, says American.


The only exceptions to the new rule will be premium-class and full-fare economy customers and passengers traveling on military fares. In order to change a flight booking to another flight on the same day of travel, all other passengers will have to buy American’s Confirmed Flight Change for $50, if seats are available on the requested flights. The CFC service has been in place since 2005, says American.

In the future, says American, “as part of its efforts to streamline processes and the customer experience during flight departure, it is placing greater focus on its existing Confirmed Flight Change service (CFC), while modifying its standby procedures for customers traveling within and between the United States, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Canada.”

An American Airlines Boeing 737-800 takes off at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, the biggest hub for American and its sister regional airline American Eagle

The only customers who will still be eligible to standby at no charge on the day of travel for a flight on which they are not confirmed are American’s AAdvantage Executive Platinum, AAdvantage Platinum and AAdvantage Gold members; those customers who are confirmed in the First or Business Class cabin; customers on certain (high-fare) types of Coach cabin fares; other travelers booked in the same reservation as the eligible customer; and customers traveling on military fares (including spouse and immediate family).

Full details of American’s new policy can be found at www.aa.com/viewPromotionDetails.do?fN=standby-Policy.xml.

“Customers who desire CFC may call American’s reservations offices, handle the transaction at an airport self-service machine, or purchase at the airport ticket counter. Subject to availability, day-of-travel changes may be confirmed within 12 hours of the new desired flight departure,” says American.

The changes go into effect for tickets purchased on or after February 22. American says the changes in its standby policy are similar to the policies adopted by several other airlines.