Online Travel Review reports:
Continental has changed its standby policies to give passengers a bit more flexibility (for a price). For a $50 fee ($25 if you’re gold or platinum), you can change your flight to any other flight that is scheduled for within 12 hours of your original flight, provided you do it within 24 hours of your original flight time. The good news for Continental flyers is that it can also be 12 hours after the original flight, which was not necessarily the case before. Yes, they’re charging more for this service (ah the days of free upgrades), but having that flexibility is useful, especially for business travelers.
While the new policy offers great flexibility, it comes at a cost. CO has eliminated free standby entirely, as they previously allowed within three hours of one’s flight. While CO tries to spin this as an enhancement, they’ve been quiet about it, and for good reason– they’re providing a new service at the cost of a key existing one.