I've seen a few questions about 'staff standby' tickets - where you get a cheap ticket with 'low priority' - eg, if there's an empty seat, you can fly. I call it "staff standby" because the questions I've seen so far seem to suggest that this is becoming less available to the public, but is still sometimes available to select groups (airline staff, etc). It also seems like the answer might vary dependent on region.

So, currently (mid-2013) in the SEA region, can one still buy low price 'standby-priority'/'space-available' tickets?

(If it doesn't broaden the scope unacceptably, then as a follow-up: What similar possibilities exist, currently in this region? (Last-minute non-stanby bookings, dramatically cheaper off-peak/red-eye rates, etc.))

Edit: some related recent questions (which got me thinking about this):
Are there any secrets or tricks to flying for free (or almost free)?
Is it possible to travel on cargo airplanes?
Flying stand by from US to Europe -- is it still worth it, and if so, how to do it?

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    @Mark-Mayo The title edit is fine, but strictly speaking, I didn't put a question mark because the title itself isn't a question. (Still a SE-valid Question, because there is an answerable question in the post.) Pedantic nitpick, I know - spent too much time on ELU. // Ankur and Halabi, thanks for the good (and quick!) answers, and especially the links. (I'm going to give it some more time, of course - although I suspect there's not much else to add.)
    – hunter2
    Commented Jul 29, 2013 at 7:15
  • I undid your last edit. Please read Things that don't belong in posts
    – Dirty-flow
    Commented Aug 5, 2013 at 9:55
  • @Dirty-flow OK. I don't think that what I had actually fits any of the things listed there, but OK - I get that the link may not be exhaustive, and that what I said didn't need to be in the Q. // As for the substance of the edit, future reader ... (next comment)
    – hunter2
    Commented Aug 6, 2013 at 4:27
  • I would call this 'conditionally accepted'. The matter may not be conclusively settled/closed, but both of the answers posted at this point are informative & useful - and might be as good as it will get. If you can do better, please add your thoughts.
    – hunter2
    Commented Aug 6, 2013 at 4:30

2 Answers 2


Airliners or staff tickets are not available to regular passengers, they are strictly available to employees of different airlines. Each airlines provides each employee with certain or unlimited number of free/discounted tickets each year/contract depending on the contract or level of the employee.

In addition to that each airline may have a bilateral agreement with other airlines so employees of these airlines can get discounted space available tickets on the other airline, this is called ZED tickets. The process of getting such a ticket is not as easy as dropping by an airline's ticketing office and get one! it has to be issued from the employee's airline according to the agreement and it may have a special application to be filled and the person has to show proper airlines ID prior to boarding. These tickets usually are extremely cheap (around 90% discount or more) but it is seat available, I have saved a lot of money because of the ZED agreements, I also have faced a lot of delays when the planes are full and I couldn't get a seat.

Anyway, staff tickets are only available to airlines staff. For regular passengers I am not aware of any disounted "Space Available" tickets, the only way to go is the different offers and discounts from different airlines/websites.

  • I did this once. Unfortunately, the employee isn't an employee anymore, so nothin' doin', and my next flight is going to cost me several months' pay. Dang. Thanks for the info, though.
    – hunter2
    Commented Aug 5, 2013 at 9:29

I'm not sure whether buying such tickets would be possible, but chances are that only 'full-cost' airlines will have such an option. For cheap flights, the best option by far within the South-East Asia region would be to fly with a budget airline. Wikivoyage has a list of discount airlines that operate in Asia.

If you have even a slight amount of planning though, and can book tickets online, you will find much better deals booking with low-cost airlines online as opposed to buying them at the airport, based on my personal experience with SEA low-cost airlines.

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