AirTran Boeing 737-700 at Seattle when I flew them last
I have mentioned a few times in my blog that for my “real” job I work at a local university. Right now the students are about ready to have finals. You can always tell since the library gets full and students start to have stressed looks on their faces (how I do not miss those days). But with finals, soon comes a well deserved spring break.
Enter AirTran’s U program, which allows college students to purchase cheap standby tickets — arriving just in time for those spring breaks. There are two things most college students like: FaceBook and saving money and AirTran is happy to meet those needs.
AirTran is also launching the Creeper Sweepstakes (people surfing FaceBook are called “creepers”) via the AirTran U FaceBook page where college students can win a free round-trip ticket on AirTran.
My mother still tells me stories when she was in college she would always fly standby on the cheap. At a time when we hear more and more about airlines charging to fly standby, it is refreshing to see an airline to help college students have an awesome spring break.
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Tail of an American Airlines Boeing 777
With so many fees coming from airlines, it is difficult for one to catch my eye anymore. I have come acustomed to them and realize they won’t be going anywhere anytime soon.
Now, American Airlines will start charging passengers to fly stand-by. Previously if a passenger got to the airport early and there was another flight leaving, they could catch the earlier flight for no additional charge.
That model makes sense. You already paid to fly on the exact route, there is an empty seat on the flight before yours, why shouldn’t you be able to cut down on your travel time a little bit?
Any ticket bought after February 21st, passengers will have to pay an additional $50 to fly stand-by. However, American Airlines states this is more than just making some extra money.
“You get one of those Friday afternoon scenarios when you have more than 100 people standing by for a flight out of a business market.It really does become chaotic getting everyone processed. You have to process each and every one of these people individually. Those who don’t make it, then you have to roll them over onto the next flight and start it all over again,” Tim Smith, American Spokesperson said.
Smith states that getting a lot of people on an earlier flight, can delay flights. He stated that “Premium” (Executive Platinum, Platinum and Gold members of the AAdvantage frequent-flier program and passengers flying business or first class) passengers and their guests won’t have to pay anything additional. He also admits this is not just to cut down on rare stand-by related delays, but to make additional revenue for the airlines.
The additional $50 ticket-change charge has been around American since 2005 and flying stand-by has always sort of circumvented the fee. Are passengers going to pay this new fee? If history shows us anything, yes they will. Will it be worth $50 to get home a few hours earlier? Probably depends on the situation and if the airport has a good bar.
connect | web | twitter | facebook | Source: The Gazette Image: little j photography