There was a time when you could walk up to the airline ticket counter and purchase a standby ticket for when a seat became available and at a discount of as much as 30% to 60% on the original cost. Flying to India from abroad could be an expensive affair, and a standby flight ticket to India would mean big benefits. However, it demands a lot of patience and a flexible schedule. Also, there has been a sea of change in the rules and regulations governing standby tickets.
Top Essential factors for Getting Standby Flight Tickets to India:
Yet, it is worthwhile to weigh the pros and cons and follow the essential factors for getting standby flight tickets to India to avail its benefits.
Analyze Standby Flight Ticket policies of Airlines:
It helps to be updated with the standby policies of airlines and identify the important factors for getting standby flights to India from USA. If your starting point is the USA, different airlines like Delta, United and American have different policies regarding standby seats. You need to study their fees, checked baggage and luggage rules before you go for it.
Purchase a low priced flight ticket:
The first cardinal principle is to buy an inexpensive flight ticket to your destination in India. Being an early bird lets you purchase the cheapest flight ticket to India from an airline or travel website, thus ensuring that you get to grab the advantage of the last minute standby opportunity. So, get in touch with the airline and enhance your chances of getting standby flight tickets to India by traveling ahead of time.
Some airlines provide their employees with some buddy passes every year. If you can procure one from someone known to you, you end up with multiple benefits that may lead you to a standby flight ticket to India. It allows you access to the gate through the security even without a ticket. With a buddy pass, you can even avoid buying a ticket. It gives you a head start in your endeavour to land a standby seat to your destination ahead of others.
Early arrival at the airport:
An early bird catches the worm dictum will work for you in the airport. For example: if you are booking a flight ticket to Trivandrum from Dallas, you need to arrive at the airport at least two hours before the scheduled flight time to fly standby. This way, you are more likely to get into the standby list should a cancellation occur. You can always approach the airline representative after the security check and inform him/her of your intention to fly standby, and if you are already on their list, your chances are that much brighter.
Only hand baggage is a big advantage in a situation when you are aiming for a standby seat. As the standby seats are filled only at the last minute, you stand to be ushered in, because you do not have luggage to be checked in.
Choose off-peak times:
You must try to fly only at off-peak times when there are fewer passengers if you plan to travel standby. Lesser the regular flyers, more are the number of seats on offer as standby. In any case, it is always advised not to travel on weekends, major holidays and gala events.
Be a member of airline rewards program:
You will be given preferential treatment by many airlines if you are a member of their rewards program. You may be offered a standby seat ahead of others, additionally with a smaller fee and even a free upgrade.
If you intend to fly standby, be mindful of your behavior. Be honest about your need to fly home early and avoid pestering the airline representative now and then. It is important to be respectful and patient to brighten your chances to fly standby. It is also important to remember that, as a standby flyer, your reservation is not confirmed until your plane leaves the gate.
In the past, flying standby would mean landing cheap, last-minute flight tickets. The present scenario does not allow such a luxury easily as the rules for standby tickets are far more stringent with little left to the discretion of the airline employee.