Almost there!

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!

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The Joys of flying Standby

I must say, it is an awesome perk to have a friend who can fly you anywhere in the world for $150. I am so grateful for such an opportunity.

We are currently in Vancouver and the only flight to Seoul was full. That’s right, all 208 seats were on time and not a single person missed their flight.

A little more detail. There was a party of 4 flying standby who had one step ahead of us in priority but there was only 3 seats available. So for a little while it was looking pretty damn good for us.

Now, before I go any further, I should explain the standby setup. Typically most people know that if you fly standby, you only get on if there is a seat available. This is obvious. What isn’t obvious is that in order for Airline employees to get their great discounts, they have to fly standby. In general, airline employees tend to get a little higher priority that regular standby but not quite the assumed ‘caste’ system of choosing who gets to go and who does not.

What happened in our case is that the party of 4 also on standby included an employee who was a stewardess. She asked if she could have the ‘jump seat’ and as it was the captains call, he allowed it. For those who aren’t familiar with ‘the jump seat’, it’s just a little seat really only meant for temporary usage under certain circumstances(“an auxiliary seat for individuals – other than normal passengers – who are not operating the aircraft”) The employee opted to take this seat for her 16hr flight. Not the most pleasant way to fly but if you have to get somewhere, then you do what you have to. Unless she wanted to wait till next Tuesday before there was another flight out of Vancouver to Seoul. Which was now our problem.

Currently, my friend of working furiously with another co-worker to get us to Korea. We may actually have to fly BACK to Toronto…..which would suck.

Stay tuned…