For travel on or after April 28 and tickets booked on or after April 10, United will start charging a $50 fee for same-day standby. Global Services and 1K members are exempt from this fee. The fee for same-day confirmed changes also goes up to $75 (from $50).
Can’t say I’m surprised, unfortunately, although I am a bit disappointed to see that Premier Executives (and maybe Premiers) aren’t exempt from paying the standby fee.
On the other hand, this will have benefits. The gates shouldn’t be as packed with standby travelers, and if anything flight loads will become more predictable, meaning flights that look packed probably will end up being packed, which often isn’t the case on routes with hourly service, like Los Angeles to San Francisco, where half the plane goes standby on an earlier flight. This could mean more predictable bumps (in theory). 😉
All the more reason to maintain 1K status…
(Tip of the hat to Alex)