02-18-2017, 06:35 PM
It's a well known fact. There are usually less than 20 unsold seats and most of them are up front. The day we flew we were too low in the pecking order to get business class and had to settle for economy seating. It isn't too bad if you don't get next to someone over 300 pounds but it seems I always get a baby behind me kicking my seat (this time too!), On the way back we shall see what happens. Last time we got on at the very last second (had to run all the way to the gate) but we got business class which is always a huge benefit. If you fly buddy pass you have to be flexible and not on a deadline because you will be under too much stress. In the US and Europe you wait at the gate for available seats but in China they do it differently (it's China after all) and they don't allow anyone through security who doesn't have a seat so you wait at the ticket counter until they verify your seat (which is why we had to run all the way to the gate last time). On that flight there were about 5 standby passengers and in the priority we were 3 and 4. Number 5 was a young Chinese girl (22 maybe) who absolutely had to get to US the next day. My wife even overheard her (in Chinese) trying to get the gate agent to move her up in priority ahead of us but the agent wouldn't do it (not even sure if they can do that). It turns out we got the last two seats and as they were printing our boarding passes that girl was crying real tears because she was not going to make her appointment. The moral here is don't fly buddy pass (or any standby ticket) if you are not flexible.