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American Ends Standby for Coach Passengers

American announced today that it is ending traditional standby travel for most passengers. For tickets purchased February 22 or later, only elite frequent flyers, first- or business-class travelers, military personnel, and a handful of other customers will be able to fly standby for earlier or later same-day flights.

For the rest of us, get out the wallet. Coach passengers will have to pay $50 for American’s Confirmed Flight Change (CFC), which guarantees travelers a seat on an earlier or later flight. Customers can call the airline to make a change or purchase a CFC at airport ticket kiosks.

American is by no means the first airline to eliminate no-charge standby for most of its passengers. But some think American’s move is a sign of more to come.

Readers, will this new fee affect the way you travel? My sense is that the growing number of standby fees is driving the practice to extinction, except, perhaps, among frequent flyers and business travelers. Do you still use standby? 

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