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Can standby passengers check bags with new screening procedures?

Dear Anita,

Do you know what is the new airport security procedure for checking in luggage for passengers flying on standby status?

I understand that checked-in luggage must be matched to a ticketed passenger. If people are traveling on standby, then they will only know at the last minute whether they can board. What do they do with their luggage for check-inóbring it along with them to the gate? If not, what should they do?

Thank you.

Alicia M.
Los Angeles, CA

Dear Alicia,

You're right. Each piece of checked baggage must now be matched with the correct passenger onboard the plane. My best advice for people traveling standby is to try to limit their items to one carry-on bag. However, I understand that this is not always possible.

I contacted the Air Transport Association (ATA) regarding this issue. They stated there are no set rules among carriers for standby passengers' checked luggage. If you need to check a bag, it's best to contact the airline you will be traveling standby on for specific policies. Most airlines can accommodate standby passengers, but how they do that varies by airline.

For instance, I have flown standby on a number of occasions and have successfully checked luggage. On one particular airline, when I checked my standby bag, the airline used a brightly colored tag to identify my bag as standby for the baggage handlers. The tag had all the necessary information, including my name and flight number. When the bag reached the aircraft, it was held off to the side until I was cleared for boarding. When I was cleared, the gate agent radioed down to a baggage supervisor telling him that the bag was cleared and could be loaded onto the aircraft. If the bag had not been cleared, it would either have been put on standby for the next flight or be shipped back to baggage claim.

I hope I've been helpful. Happy travels!

Anita Dunham-Potter

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