Flying Standby is the most wonderful way to plan but not totally commit, leave an element of suspense and surprise, take a gamble even and stay open and spontaneous. I flew standby from Seattle to SFO to Sydney recently. Being the non planner that I am, it was a fun experience. I ended up staying in SFO for three days, connected with an old high school friend living in Pacifica, formed a camaraderie with the rest of the standby passengers on my flight, and learned so much about rules, regulations, and restrictions! I was denied a flight that took 21 of 31 standbys who had been bumped from another weight restricted flight and previously rescheduled from a flight with mechanical problems. Two more people were squeezed onto this flight last minute when a couple was asked to leave the plane for being a bit too intoxicated. Quite a bit of drama, surprise, and disappointment ensued in the waiting lobby. This explained the recommendation to hang around until the flight not only boarded but had left the gate. Anything could happen. Passengers from connecting flights sometimes never made it. The next night, the plane waited for connections for over an hour, then only took one standby passenger with a lot of seniority, the pilot’s daughter. Third time was lucky and after a three hour delay due to mechanical problems, and much suspense over whether or not this flight would also be weight restricted, I was on my way!
A few photographs from my unanticipated and unexpected visited to the beautiful Mori Point National Park: