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I booked a flight LAX to VIE on Austrian Airlines and somehow booked the return August 30 instead of July 30! Tickets have ballooned in price to astronomical rates :(. How likely is it that I get on as a standby passenger on July 30? The airline told me they put high-status members of their frequent traveler program on the waiting list, but since I'm not, I have to go to the airport and put my name down. I'm willing to go super early for my return, but I can't be stuck in Vienna for a week.

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    How full was your flight to Europe? flights mid-summer typically have the same occupancy in both directions. Also, did Austrian confirm they'd allow to be on standby for a flight on a different day? normally they only do it for flights on the same day so if you show up early you can pick up an earlier flight.
    – meego
    Jul 25, 2022 at 9:17
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    I’m not quite sure I understand the situation. Can you book a seat on that flight, even at astronomical prices? If so, that means there is availability (unless they’re overbooking of course). Standby is for flights which are full, hoping that some people will not show up, but you usually can’t just ask to be put on the waiting list with a ticket on a completely different date. Unless the airline agreed to that for some reason, it’s likely the only way for you to fly on that date is to pay a lot more.
    – jcaron
    Jul 25, 2022 at 9:48
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    July 30 only has business class availability on the direct flight. But in the 29th there’s availability in coach. Quite expensive, but a lot less than business class. Try to rebook your return to that date instead. Otherwise try to rebook with a stop somewhere.
    – jcaron
    Jul 25, 2022 at 9:55

1 Answer 1

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How likely is it that I get on as a standby passenger on July 30?

Not very likely, but that depends on the details.

  • Just going to the airport and asking them to let you on a flight is extremely unlikely to work. That's exactly the scenario that airlines love: they will try to squeeze every penny out of you. In this case you would have to change the ticket which will incur a change fee (if applicable) AND the fare difference which will be very high for a same day ticket.
  • Economy is sold out for a few days around 7/30. There are 4 seats on business left, but they are indeed VERY expensive. That means the planes around this time frame are really full.
  • If a seat opens up, it's typically given out in terms of priority. This is a function of original fare class and status.

This being said, there is no harm in trying. There are still a few open seats in business and if a passenger gets upgraded, an economy seat will open up. If there is no one else on the list and you find a very kind hearted agent, you may get on.

There is also no harm in calling Austrian and asking them for advice or options.

Your best bet may be book a new one way: Currently the cheapest on 7/30 is Turkish Airline through IST for about 1000 Euro.

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  • Thank you for the detailed answer. I had called Austrian Airlines, but they couldn’t give me any hint to the likelihood of getting on the flight through standby. I ended up purchasing an additional return ticket. That was the cheapest option.
    – at.
    Jul 27, 2022 at 11:02

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