Figuring out flight benefits


My son has just started flying for a regional airline and he has informed us that we, his parents, are getting flight benefits in the form of riduculously cheap fares. Only thing is, as I understand, we can do this but on a space available basis - kinda like standby. I figure if I could predict which flights are notoriously sparsely populated that we could always get on a flight which would make travel planning a lot more sure. Does anyone know of any statistiscs or ideas that could help me determine this for the major airlines? Also, anyone know of discussion groups for this sort of thing - flight benefits secrets, etc.



Spare me!


You can usually call the res center to get an idea on the passenger loads a day before you want to go somewhere.
You’ll always have to be flexible though with your schedule.


Go to or the desired airline’s Web site and check the flight’s seating chart for the same day of the week that you want to travel. If you’re planning to travel on a Saturday next month, check the seating on this coming Saturday’s flights. Keep in mind that planes will be fuller on holiday weekends. Hope it helps…


stay away from mondays, (business travelers always travel that day). Tuesday flights are usually pretty empty


Your son may be your best resource for up to date load info. We let ours guide us and list us, if we can reach him and he’s with a computer.

Probably 80% of the time we get on. Almost always we get on sometime during the day. Three times in 8 years we’ve had to get a hotel.

90% of our flying is major airlines. Regionals have fewer seats and you are on the low end of the seniority list in either case.

But no one getting these perks complains:) Enjoy them!

-Joe B


FARECOMPARE shows the average occupancy load at an from an airport to another. As a general rule of thumb, business routes are lighter, leisure routes are packed.

example from chicago area: … /city.html