The one thing to keep in mind when flying standby, above all else, flexibility! You need NOT to have a set schedule. Things can delay you and by days.
Here’s how normal people travel:
1/ book/pay for ticket.
2/ fly and arrive at destination.
Here’s how a standby flight could possibly go, and did in my situation so far:
1/ find a friend who works for an airline company.
2/ arrange for date to fly out
3/ meet, and register for flight
4/ go to boarding area and wait to see if no one shows
5/ fly out to Vancouver and do the same for the connecting flight to Seoul.
6/ get ‘dumped’ because everyone showed up
7/ scramble to find another potential route to Seoul
8/ realize that your best route is back out of Toronto the next day
9/ fly BACK to Toronto and stay at friend’s place over night
10/ get back to Pearson and get on flight direct to Narita(Tokyo)
11/ Miss connecting flight to Seoul because 3hrs between flights and severe mis-communications from the baggage agents concerning employee standby flights…..literally missed by 5 mins.
12/ arrange for hotel stay in Tokyo
13/ pay outrageous prices for dinner/breakfast
14/ head back to Narita airport and try to get on flight to Seoul
So, that’s where I’m at now. In our room typing this up before heading out to the airport. The plan gets further delayed even after we do get to leave. The flight out of Tokyo isn’t till 6pm. We get into Seoul somewhere around 8pm and as far as I can tell, we won’t make the bus to Uijeongbu tonight. Means another overnight stay in Incheon(Seoul).
So, that means from trying to leave on Sunday in Canada on Sunday, I won’t get to my destination till Wednesday night(Canada), Thursday Morning locally.
While many would absolutely flip because of this, I am enjoying it to some degree. I get to see a little bit more of the world but it kind of kills my friend’s schedule who is lucky enough to work at Air Canada and can get people to cover his shifts.
As a point of interest, we got corporate rate for the room. It cost us about $110 CDN for both of us. Standard rate is about $370 CDN for the room we got.
We shall see how the rest of the day goes!