I sit writing this in Austin, TX after an awesome week at the 2010 SXSW Interactive Conference. I will be sitting here a while - about 14 hours to be exact. Why? Because American Airlines has implemented a new rule that you need to know about if you every fly standby with them.
Last night I called American to find out if there were any open seats on the flights to Portland tomorrow before my 7 pm flight. I was hoping to get home before my family goes to sleep. At this point I miss them and just want to get home. The agent last night told me that there were a couple of flights with 1 or 2 seats on them. So I got up at 4 am to give it a shot. What she failed to mention was that American now has a new rule that not all tickets can fly standby. This is a new rule as of about 5 days ago I was told. I have flown a ton over the last 10 years and have never run into this. If that is the rule that is fine but the agent last night should have said something. I could still be asleep right now.