You Can Use This Helpful Travel Hack to Get on an Earlier Flight

Delta joins United and American in letting all passengers fly standby for free

Delta A350 in flight

Courtesy of Delta Air Lines

Delta might be leading the pack regarding 2022 status extensions, but it's a little late to the game regarding standby eligibility. The airline just announced that it's waiving fees for all passengers to join the same-day standby list—something United and American already do.

For those who aren't in the know, flying standby means putting your name on a waiting list of sorts to snag an empty seat on an earlier flight. This comes in handy if earlier flights are pricier than later ones when you buy your ticket, as you aren't charged the price difference if you fly standby.

The catch, however, is that space isn't always guaranteed, so you could end up waiting in the airport until your scheduled flight. Other caveats: standby service is limited to same-day flights to and from the same airports as your original itinerary. On all three major airlines, you can request to be added to the standby list starting 24 hours before your original flight's departure.

As for the change in fees, Delta previously charged passengers $75 to put their name on the standby list (except for those with Gold, Platinum, and Diamond Medallion status, who had the fee waived). Now, it's allowing everyone—except passengers on Basic Economy tickets—to join standby lists free of charge.

Both United and American already offer this service to passengers, including those flying in Basic Economy, so Delta is playing a little catch-up here.

Now, to make things a little more complicated, there is also a same-day confirmed service for all airlines that guarantees you a spot on an earlier flight, pending availability. On all three major airlines, this service still costs $75, though certain elite status holders have this fee waived.

While it's great to see airlines continuing to waive fees, it's possible that some of the changes won't be permanent, but here's to hoping that same-day standby remains free indefinitely.

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