As a flight attendant, the only way for me to get my cheap flights (and the only way I’m currently able to travel as much as I do) is to fly standby. This means I buy my ticket at the price of basically just the airport taxes and go through the airport like normal: check in bags if necessary, get boarding pass to be able to go through security, go to my gate and wait. But my wait includes a bit of nail biting, wondering if there will be seats on the plane for me to even leave. Flying standby means I paid for a seat only if there are seats available after the regular paying customers have gotten on. So basically I hope the flight wasn’t booked to capacity or someone didn’t show up after buying their ticket (which oddly happens more often than you’d think).
I’ve never not gotten on a flight due to standby (knock on wood). However, I’ve had close calls a couple times, such as having to take a jump seat once.
But I have to say I kinda love standby life. It makes air travel part of the adventure. It forces me to think on my feet and try to figure out multiple ways to get to my ultimate destination. It also means I can travel quite spontaneously. Because if I do miss my flights, I’m not going to want to lose money on hostels, so I have to wait until I get there to book anything.
Interested in my misadventures in non-revving? Here’s the stories so far: