Q. My first grandson is scheduled to be born soon and my husband and I would love to reserve flights but we all know that the baby could come days before or after the due date. I need not tell you that the airline would hit us with all kinds of fees to travel outside of our scheduled flight. I toy with the idea to go stand-by but as you know they have made many changes to the rules that make it difficult to go stand-by, not to mention more fees and loops to jump through. Is there a program out there that addresses our situation?
A. Standby travel rules, as you noted, have changed and as the question above explains, it's only for same day travel where permitted. The only way to mitigate this "expectant grandmother" scenario, other than paying a fee as much as $150 and any applicable fare difference, is to fly on Southwest Airlines. Southwest doesn't charge a change fee. However, you might be charged a fare difference if the current fare is higher than your original fare.