Cultural Experience | Resources

20 Emotions You Experience When You Fly Standby

The good, the bad, and the ugly of playing Russian roulette with your travel plans.

1. All packed, only the essentials. You don’t want to check a bag in case you don’t get on.

2. Feeling good, preparing to go catch your flight! You’re all checked in and you are first on the standby list!

3. You arrive at your gate to discover that it is now completely booked and checked in full.

4.You try to ask the gate agent if the flight is running on time…

5. …because you know that if anyone is trying to connect from an international flight they might get stuck in customs and not make it to the gate! Hello open seat!

6. But for now, you wait and wait…and wait.

7. And then…“group 1 is now welcome to board…group 2 is now welcome to board…”

8. You start to get antsy as everyone boards the plane while your high flying fate hangs in the balance. You look around for any people running with luggage towards your gate.

9. Everyone is boarded and now the gate agent starts to assign open seats to everyone left on the list.

10. The gate agent starts calling people up and basically all you’re hearing is, “Passenger Not You? Passenger Not You Again, please come to the podium. Passenger Also Not You? Passenger Still Not You come get your seat assignment!”


11. You look at the standby list and read all the names ahead of you like,

12. And then…you hear the dreaded announcement: “this flight is now full, all remaining standbys will be rolled over to the next flight.”

13. Then it starts to get real ugly as the soul crushing disappointment of not making it on a flight sets in:

14. And you resign yourself to solitude as you trudge to the next gate…stopping for a pretzel dog to easy your sorrows as you go:

15. You repeat the roller coaster of emotions 3-11 until the patron saint of aisle seats takes pity upon your poor, standby-ed soul and you finally make it off the list when the gate agent calls your name:

16. You race up to the podium to get your ticket like,

17.  And then you take a victory jog down the corridor to board the already seated plane, greeting your fellow passengers with a manic smile and slightly twitchy eye as you sidle past them.

18. They offer you congratulatory smiles and pats on the back as you pass.

19. Meanwhile the person next to you is all like,

Screen Shot 2014-11-10 at 4.04.17 PM


20. But you don’t care because you finally made it through flying standby.


Chayenne Skeete

Columbia University | 6 stories

Chayenne is a rising junior from Houston, studying psychology and sociology at Columbia University in New York City. She loves to dance: ballroom, modern, ballet, bachata, merengue, salsa and hip hop. She is practiced in the art of throwing shade and is a strong proponent of the #selfie. She also likes to think she says funny things on twitter: (@chayennemia)

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