Once in a while, when my accumulated points permit, I enjoy flying first-class. When doing so, this is a decision that I make at the time of booking since I know that I have the points and/or finances to cover it. So it surprises me as of late that whenever I fly I see a standby list for upgrades at the airport. I particularly noticed this with a recent flight aboard American Airlines. It *seems* people go to the counter as soon as it opens, putting their names on a list, and hoping to nab unfilled first-class seating. My question is, what is going on here? What kind of discount opportunity is available to people who nab extra seats that are available in first-class?