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Flying Standby with Delta

I missed my flight due to a bunch of airline employees telling me that I was in the wrong line and not taking my luggage before the cut off. Due to not wanting to make that story long nor wanting to relive that frustration, I’ll skip to the end of that when the airline employee told me that my mom and I would be the first two standby passengers for the next flight.

We get to the respective Delta gate at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport. We were about three hours early for the next flight, so we ate and waited. After an hour or so, we ask one of the Delta staff about the standby situation. She informed us that we would see the first three letter of our last name and our first initial on the TV screens above. If our name was in blue, then a seat was secured. If it were in gray, then keep watching but we were not guaranteed a seat. Okay, cool.

Around the time for check-in, we were informed that the gate changed. We were no longer B2 (or whatever we were) but now B27 (something like that). So we fast-walked to the other side of the terminal. And when we looked at the screen, we were actually passengers 12 & 13. Girl, what? How.

We inquired with one of the Delta staff working at that gate. Nonchalantly, she didn’t offer much advice. I mean, she was where she needed to be. Her direct deposit was going to hit regardless of our confirmed seating.

It was almost time to board the flight (for them, not us, we were in the gray) and something told me to complain to Delta on Twitter. Customer service Twitter stays on 100, so someone asked me to DM them with my flight confirmation number. I did. During this time, I made my pre-flight trip to the loo and when I returned to my seat at the gate, I saw that my mom and I magically had seats on this plane. Glory.

Those 3+ hours were frustrating. Say we lost out on this flight and had to wait another six hours for the next? Say we had an emergency and needed to catch that earlier flight? What if there wasn’t another flight that day? Riding standby is stressful to say the very least. But now I know that if I miss another flight, it really isn’t the end of the world.