Frequent Flyer Fairness

Heading back from Newark last weekend, at a flight delay in Chicago.
A Southwest Airliness frequent flyer was ranting at the gate clerk, because a clerk at a different gate had told him that he would be first on the standby list for the flight, and he was now #4. American Airlines frequent flyers had bumped ahead of him. Apparently, Southwest does not do this.
Perhaps the first clerk should have read him the fine print. It’s something American Airlines customers know. I’m a sucker for it — I’ll pay a bit more for AA flights because I know that as a frequent flyer, if there are delays and overbooked flights, I’ll get on the airplane.
Both sets of rules have merit. It doesn’t seem like one set of rules is fairer than the next, so long as you know the rules.
p.s. Mr. Irate got on the plane. Apparently so did a number of others on standby.

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