Standby Procedure Question


Level 2 Member

I'm just curious about something that happened during a day of travel last week. I had an award reservation in first class (ROA > CLT, CLT > DFW, DFW > LAX). ROA is a tiny airport that only uses puddle jumpers, so that segment was in economy. The second two were in first.

A number of unexpected things occurred the morning of travel and, for the first time ever, my wife and I missed our first segment. The AA gate agent rebooked us standby on the next flights (same segments, just later flights for each), but told us she could only book economy out of ROA. Once we reached CLT, we should talk to the gate agent about being moved to standby for first class (and again in DFW).

That worked fine in CLT, but it went screwy in DFW. We were informed by the gate agent that there were two open seats in first class, but that flight was oversold in economy. She assured us we were on standby for first class, but they would have to upgrade ticketed passengers from economy unless enough people from economy missed the flight and all ticketed passengers had seats. That makes sense, and in my mind, that meant we'd be in first class or not on the flight at all. However, once boarding began, the gate agents upgraded two economy passengers to first class and booked my wife and I into economy. If there was room for my wife and I on the flight, then, given that we were on standby for first class, we should have been in first class. I didn't argue the point, as the upgraded couple had already boarded and we were grateful to get home, but it felt like a mismanaged situation.

Bottom line is that the whole situation arose because of my error, but it did seem like we should have gotten those seats over economy pax being upgraded. Am I understanding that correctly?


Level 2 Member
If the comments in a different discussion are accurate, then your status on standby for 1st was miscoded. Because you had "paid" for a first class seat, you should have been above even the highest elite. Apparently, one can make sure that the coding is accurate by simply asking.

That would have been good to know a few years ago, when I was sitting in a cramped seat next to a 6'6" kid, flying from JFK to DFW. I'd been in J from MXP to JFK, and would be in F from DTW to MSP. It wasn't the worst seat I'd ever had. But, perhaps, had I been up front, he would have had somewhere to put his legs, too.