Standby American Airlines (Meaning, What Is It, How It Works + More)

Are you and your family trying to get away this summer? Maybe you’ve got your eye on a nice vacation but don’t want to pay loads for a ticket.

Flying as a standby passenger might just be the solution you’ve been looking for! Keep reading to learn more about flying standby with American Airlines!

Standby American Airlines In [currentyear]

Flying standby on American Airlines is reserved for employees, the family member of an employee, or an AAdvantage elite member in [currentyear]. After these members have been seated, the standby list allows passengers traveling with an award ticket or a full-fare economy ticket to be seated. Certain passengers need to pay $75 based on their fare.

A vacation can be costly, but flying doesn’t have to be. Find out more on how you can save money by flying on standby with American Airlines!

What Does Standby Mean On American Airlines?

Flying standby means arriving at the airport without a ticket and purchasing a discounted unsold ticket.

In recent times, however, passengers need a ticket to fly on standby with American Airlines.

Still, passengers can swap their flight for an earlier one, upgrade their seats, or fly to a different airport.

Also, flying standby is useful for passengers who have missed a flight or those who wish to save some money by flying at the last minute.

Moreover, passengers wishing to fly standby should note that this status is reserved for employees and their families.

After this, AAdvantage Elite members and premium-fare passengers are given priority.

Last but not least, passengers who have purchased a full-fare economy ticket can be given a seat on standby if the flight is not full.

How Does The Standby List Work At American Airlines?

American Airlines’ standby list prioritizes employees, the family of employees, and AAdvantage elite members, meaning they will board first.

However, some flights will not offer standby service. Additionally, passengers need to pay a fee of $75-$150 to switch flights.

How Do I Know If I’m On Standby American Airlines?

American Airlines allows passengers to check if they are on the standby list by using the American Airlines app.

Additionally, passengers must already have requested to be on the list. However, passengers will need to go to an airport agent to request to be on the list.

Further, passengers can view the standby list by tapping the green bar displayed near the flight information.

What Are The Best Days To Fly Standby?

What Are The Best Days To Fly Standby? American Airlines

According to online reports, the best days to fly standby are Tuesday and Wednesday, as these are the least busy days for the airport.

Additionally, holidays like Christmas Day and Thanksgiving make for very inexpensive standby flights.

Also, it is recommended for passengers to leave for the airport early in the morning, as this allows them to take advantage of more no-shows.

Can You Fly Standby On Basic Economy?

Passengers can standby for a flight on Basic Economy for free. However, they may need to pay a fee depending on the market (domestic, international, etc.)

As usual, employees, the family of employees, and elite members will be prioritized on the list.

How Can I Get A Cheap Last Minute Standby Flight?

Passengers flying with American Airlines can stand by for a flight for free if the following conditions are met:

  • The flight must depart on the same day and to/from the same airports.
  • The flight must have the same number of stops.
  • The flight must be operated under American Airlines or the American Eagle umbrella.
  • Any passenger can standby for an earlier flight, but only AAdvantage members can standby for a later flight.
  • Flights are subject to availability.

What Does Seats Remaining On Standby List Mean?

Seats remaining refers to the number of seats left on a flight. Further, passengers on the standby list do not have a confirmed seat yet.

Moreover, these passengers are not guaranteed a seat.

Instead, passengers need to wait until all priority members, such as employees, the family of employees, and elite AAdvantage members, board.

American Airlines Standby List App

Passengers can download the AAdvantage app to check their standby status. But, passengers will first need to sign in. Also, this standby list will only be visible if passengers are on standby.

Moreover, the upgrade list is another handy page that passengers can view on the app, which is a convenient way for passengers to check their position on the standby list.

American Airlines Standby Priority

American Airlines can place passengers on a standby list if their flight of choice is fully booked.

Employees, families of employees, AAdvantage members who have an Elite status (Gold or above), and passengers who have paid a full fare have priority over discount fare passengers.

American Airlines Standby Priority Codes

American Airlines’ standby priority codes arrange passengers into an ordered list.

That said, this list is ordered based on many factors, including the passengers’ fare type and elite status.

Fortunately, you can see all the codes by clicking here.

American Airlines Standby Checked Baggage

Passengers should not check their bags when trying to stand by for a flight because their luggage will be routed through their original flight and won’t arrive until later.

Instead, passengers are advised to use a carry-on if possible.

American Airlines Standby Basic Economy

Passengers can change their flight on the same day for a $75 fee. Then, passengers can standby for a seat to become available if a seat is unavailable.

If no seat is found, passengers are refunded the $75 fee.

Also, passengers with an unrestricted Economy Class fare (class Y) do not have to pay the $75 fee. Additionally, this fee is waived for many other types of passengers.

Standby American Airlines Miles

Passengers will still be able to earn AAdvantage miles when flying on a standby flight, and miles will be awarded as per the usual rates.

Cancel Standby American Airlines

Passengers can cancel their standby flight on, at the ticket counter, or by calling reservations.

Missed Flight Standby American Airlines

If a passenger has missed a flight and arrives at the airport within two hours of departure, they can be rebooked as a standby traveler.

In this case, the passenger will not need to pay any fees or differences in the fare.

To find out more, you can also read our posts on whether or not American Airlines serves food, does American Airlines have first-class, and American Airlines refund policy.


American Airlines allows passengers to standby in a virtual queue on the American Airlines app. Doing so can net passengers an earlier/later flight at a reduced price.

Also, passengers with Elite status with the AAdvantage program will be prioritized when standing by for a flight.

Further, it is worth noting that passengers wishing to maximize availability and savings should standby during the middle of the week (Tuesday/Wednesday).

Additionally, passengers are advised to fly on holidays such as Christmas Day and Thanksgiving and depart as early as possible.

Photo of author

Mackenzie Jerks

Mackenzie is a freelance writer and editor, published author, and music enthusiast who holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. When she’s not writing, Mackenzie is either wrapped up in a book, discovering new music, or introducing herself to a new fitness regimen.

Leave a Comment