United Airlines: Flying standby

A standby list allows you to change to a different flight if a seat becomes available. It’s an option if you’re hoping for an earlier flight or if your flight has been canceled or delayed. Flying standby with United is free and easy, but there’s no guarantee that you will get a seat while on a standby list.

You can join the standby list no more than 24 hours before your original flight. The new flight must be on the same day and have the same start and end point as your original flight. If a seat is available, United will assign one to you automatically. Seats are assigned 30 minutes before a domestic flight and 60 minutes before an international flight.

Add yourself to the standby list:

  • On united.com or the United app
  • At an airport kiosk
  • With a United agent

Once you’ve been added to the list, look for the first three letters of your last name and your first initial on the screens near your gate. For example:

“Mary Clark” will be shown as “CLA, M.”

“John Smith” will be shown as “SMI, J.”

“Deshawn Brown” will be shown as “BRO, D.”

The waitlist will be updated frequently as customers are always being added. The order of the standby list is prioritized by Premier status.

  • Premier status
  • Cabin
  • United Club Infinite CardSM and Presidential Plus Cardmembers
  • Premium cabin on a Star Alliance member airline
  • United Corporate Preferred users
  • United Chase Cardmembers with $25,000 in annual spending
  • Date and time of request

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