When Standby Doesn't Pay Off on United

I'm in a bit of a bind this weekend thanks to the winter storms that will be hitting the East Coast tomorrow.

I booked a Sunday morning return from Burbank to Philadelphia via SFO because it was half the price of the evening/redeye I wanted. As I usually do, I planned to just standby for my preferred flights.

But with storms approaching, United has issued a travel waiver for many East Coast cities and preemptively cancelled flights. Analyzing ExpertFlyer today, I was dismayed to see that UA11, the redeye from SFO-PHL is zeroed out and even the BUR-SFO flight is zeroed out. I know inventory can change rapidly, but I doubt I will make it on my desired flights.

Unfortunately, that means I will have to miss a Christmas Concert I was going to attend Sunday evening and a lunch with friends in the afternoon. See what happens when you play the standby game long enough?

The good news is, my afternoon SFO-PHL flight is zeroed out as well. I'd love a bump, but I also have obligations in PHL Monday morning and it wouldn't do me much good to be stuck in SFO for a day.

My idea is to attempt to bump, then get re-routed through LAX so I can fly down to Los Angeles, attend my events, then still make it to PHL via ORD by late morning tomorrow. The LAX-ORD redeye is F9Y9 (for now). Pulling that off would be a perfect storm...

I'll keep you updated!


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