American Will Charge $50 for Standby

On top of its recent $8 blanket charge, as well as its baggage fee increase, American Airlines said  it will modify its standby procedures for customers traveling within and between the United States, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Canada, charging non-premium customers $50. The change is effective February 22.  AA said the move will  streamline the departure process at the gate.

Only American's premium customers will continue to be eligible to standby at no charge on the day of travel for a flight on which they are not confirmed. All other customers wishing to change to another flight on their day of travel may purchase American's Confirmed Flight Change  (CFC) for $50, if inventory is available on the requested flights. The CFC service has been in place since 2005, AA notes.

Premium categories include elite status AAdvantage members – AAdvantage Executive Platinum, AAdvantage Platinum and AAdvantage Gold, those customers who are confirmed in the First or Business Class cabin, customers on certain types of Coach cabin fares, other travelers booked in the same reservation as the eligible customer, and customers traveling on military fares.

Customers who desire CFC may call American's Reservations offices, handle the transaction at an airport Self Service machine, or purchase at the airport ticket counter. Subject to availability, day-of-travel changes may be confirmed within 12 hours of the new desired flight departure.

AA said the changes go into effect for tickets purchased on or after February 22. American noted that the changes announced today are similar to the policies of several other airlines and also apply to American Eagle and AmericanConnection flights.