I was done with work early so instead of waiting around until 9 pm I tried my chances at an earlier flight. Usually on United this results in a “you have a snowball’s chance on the sun”, but the agent at the first class/elite desk put me on the list with no commentary. I appreciated that because I already knew I had a snowball’s chance! Flight when I got there was oversold and I was added to the list during boarding anyway so I had little hope.
Next flight was asking for volunteers and offering $450 in travel vouchers which is very generous for US.
Next flight was technically oversold (i think they said +2), but they were able to accommodate a few of the people I’d been waiting with, then a party of 2 didn’t show so I got on as well as a lady traveling to DTW. She said she had been there since 11 am and needed to get on this flight or she’d miss her flight to DTW. I’m not sure what flight she was originally confirmed on, but I was called before she was and I was not connecting and I was confirmed for a flight in 3 hours.
After they called my name off the standby list the lady next to me in the waiting area asked how I got on an earlier flight so I told her about free standby and the Move Up program, but since no seats were confirmable there was no chance for move up. She was apparently just waiting there for all the Charlotte flights for no real reason! I didn’t ask which flight she was confirmed on either, but I bet she was probably also on the last one of the night.
During Holiday rush star alliance gold beats standby again!