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Overbooking On Southwest?  
User currently offlineGnomon From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Posted (8 years 11 months 3 weeks 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 2785 times:

Feeling adventurous -- and needing a cheap way from North Florida to South Florida for a cruise -- I booked a rock-bottom fare on WN (~$30 each way -- can't beat that!).

This Saturday, I'm scheduled for WN2563 from JAX-FLL, leaving at 1045 and arriving at 1155 local.

What I'm concerned about is overbooking. I've noticed that WN2563 originates in BDL and has an intermediate stop in BWI before JAX and FLL.

I have to check in for my cruise at Port Everglades by 1600; there's one other WN flight from JAX that would get me there in time should I get bumped from 2563.

My question: What are the odds that 2563 is overbooked and that I'll be bumped? I don't want to end up like the hapless would-be cruise ship passengers on "Airline" who have to hang out in chilly MDW while their ship departs for the southerly latitudes.

I'd love your analysis of the odds of getting bumped on a Saturday-morning Northeast-South Florida flight, and advice (if any) on how to avoid getting bumped.

Thank you!

31 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineZonky From New Zealand, joined Nov 2004, 432 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (8 years 11 months 3 weeks 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 2767 times:

Check in as early as possible.

User currently offline1MillionFlyer From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (8 years 11 months 3 weeks 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 2754 times:

I don't understand why you just don't check-in online at 12:01AM the day of departure, you will get A group and will not have to worry about it.

User currently offlineFlyingTexan From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (8 years 11 months 3 weeks 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 2745 times:

It is exceedingly rare that passengers are involuntarily denied boarding provided they do everything reasonably – check in and show up in a timely manner, etc.

Quoting Gnomon (Thread starter):
Feeling adventurous

What – by taking a cruise in hurricane season?


 spin 


User currently offlineGnomon From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (8 years 11 months 3 weeks 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 2740 times:

1MillionFlyer and Zonky --

Thanks for the response. That goes to the heart of my question -- I'm a bit uninformed on WN's policies respecting overbooking.

I take it, based on your replies, that they bump the folks who check in last?

Thank you again.

FlyingTexan --

Adventurous not only bouncing around the Caribbean during hurricane season, but also doing so with the entire family. It'll be quite a week.

[Edited 2005-08-02 16:21:50]

User currently offlineAirRyan From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 2532 posts, RR: 5
Reply 5, posted (8 years 11 months 3 weeks 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 2702 times:

I think that was like AIRLINE episode 6, where Southwest couldn't get these pax to their destinations on time so they missed their non-refundable cruise departures. For $30 your taking a gamble - but for $30 on Southwest well your running the gammit!  Smile

User currently offlineGnomon From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (8 years 11 months 3 weeks 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 2691 times:

AirRyan --

I think that's the one. They were overbooked by 53 seats IIRC. What a nightmare.


User currently offlineN1120A From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 26354 posts, RR: 76
Reply 7, posted (8 years 11 months 3 weeks 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 2683 times:

Quoting AirRyan (Reply 5):
I think that was like AIRLINE episode 6, where Southwest couldn't get these pax to their destinations on time so they missed their non-refundable cruise departures. For $30 your taking a gamble - but for $30 on Southwest well your running the gammit!

You are not taking a gamble on WN at all. It has consistantly been one of the most ontime, reliable airlines in the world. Even for $30

Quoting 1MillionFlyer (Reply 2):
I don't understand why you just don't check-in online at 12:01AM the day of departure, you will get A group and will not have to worry about it.

You don't even have to do that. Since you are taking the whole family on a cruise, I am sure you will be checking bags for your trip (which means that Rapid CheckIn Online is not of much use). Also, as the number of people in a group go up, I am sure you have more interest in getting to the airport early simply to guard against logistical issues that can always come up. As long as you get there say an hour and a half to two hours early, you are basically guarenteed an A group seat and certainly, as a confirmed passenger checked in WAY before the close of check in , you will not be subject to IDB



Mangeons les French fries, mais surtout pratiquons avec fierte le French kiss
User currently offlineR311music From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 105 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (8 years 11 months 3 weeks 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 2672 times:

You should be fine. Usually the BDL-BWI segment is only 75% full with only a handful going on to JAX and FLL.


confusing use of time
User currently offlineTheGreatChecko From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 1128 posts, RR: 2
Reply 9, posted (8 years 11 months 3 weeks 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 2662 times:

Quoting Gnomon (Reply 4):
I take it, based on your replies, that they bump the folks who check in last?

Yes, its fairness at its best. Just make sure you are early or just check in online. Anytime outside of 3 hours and you shouldn't have a problem. You can still check your bags at the airport even if you already have your boarding passes from online as well (I haven't done this in a while though, so call WN just to make sure).

The mistake the people on Airline did was that they showed up at the airport an hour before departure. On any airline, if you check in that late on a high density route you are gambling with ending up on the overbooked end of things.

Enjoy your cruise!

GreatChecko



"A pilot's plane she is. She will love you if you deserve it, and try to kill you if you don't...She is the Mighty Q400"
User currently offlineOnt 737 From United States of America, joined Mar 2001, 587 posts, RR: 2
Reply 10, posted (8 years 11 months 3 weeks 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 2650 times:

At the Southwest's revenue management department they have this oversized plastic bone that they "award" to the person who had the most oversold flights for the week.  Big grin

And just so people have the terminology down...

Overbooked is selling more seats than the plane has.
Oversold is when you have more "confirmed" people checked in than you have seats on board.



"The world is run by C students"-Harry Truman
User currently offlineGnomon From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 11, posted (8 years 11 months 3 weeks 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 2548 times:

Terrific. Thanks, everyone, for the good information -- and the well wishes.

I'm looking forward to flying WN again after long years of nothing but DL.

Thank you again.


User currently offlinePope From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 12, posted (8 years 11 months 3 weeks 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 2532 times:

Worse case scenario - if you miss the 1045 flight, you can hop in your car and be in Port Everglades well before 1600. Bigger problem is if the flight is late. At some point you need to commit to one strategy or the other.

User currently offlineAirRyan From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 2532 posts, RR: 5
Reply 13, posted (8 years 11 months 3 weeks 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 2510 times:

Quoting N1120A (Reply 7):
You are not taking a gamble on WN at all. It has consistantly been one of the most ontime, reliable airlines in the world. Even for $30

I wasn't referring to the on-time of the aircraft but the odds that they didn't overbook the flight and for whatever reason you won't be able to get to your cruiseship departure on time. It's all in the episode, I'm not making this up!  Smile

Quoting TheGreatChecko (Reply 9):
The mistake the people on Airline did was that they showed up at the airport an hour before departure.

Ahh, so if I want to fly Southwest I need to waste two to three hours of my time checking in extremely early? No wonder Southwest is the business traveler's first choice!  scratchchin 


User currently offlineNonrevman From United States of America, joined Nov 2001, 1290 posts, RR: 1
Reply 14, posted (8 years 11 months 3 weeks 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 2432 times:

Quoting AirRyan (Reply 13):
Ahh, so if I want to fly Southwest I need to waste two to three hours of my time checking in extremely early? No wonder Southwest is the business traveler's first choice!

No, you can check in online any time past midnight in order to get your boarding group. You do not have to sit at the airport for 3 hours or more.

When it comes to cruises, I would be extremely careful about same day travel to the cruise port. There are just too many things that can go wrong besides overbooking. If you miss the cruise departure for whatever reason (bumped, weather, delay, etc.), you are basically screwed. You will lose a large chunk of your vacation and money trying to fly to the next port of call. And if the ship does not make that particular port, then it gets worse. The best advice I have been given concerning cruises is to set up the flight for the day before and spend the night in the departure city for the cruise. For the original poster-- I suppose you are close enough already to FLL to have time to react to a problem such as weather, overbooking, or a delay. In other words, if you can drive the distance if you had to, then it is not really a bad risk. Some cruise passengers make the monumental mistake of flying in the same day and giving themselves only a couple of hours to make the cruise. This is probably the situation the "Airline" passengers were in.


User currently offlineAirRyan From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 2532 posts, RR: 5
Reply 15, posted (8 years 11 months 3 weeks 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 2358 times:

Quoting Nonrevman (Reply 14):
No, you can check in online any time past midnight in order to get your boarding group. You do not have to sit at the airport for 3 hours or more.

That kind of defeats the entire purpose of checking in then, does it not? I mean, if you plunked down your hard earned $30 two weeks earlier than what's the big difference between your intent then and your intent a few hours past midnight?

My point was not nescessarily to bag on Southwest just that I had seen the exact same scenario before on AIRLINE via Southwest, but just the point of gambling say a $1000 trip on $30 of airfare with no guaranteed seat.


User currently offlineJeffinbwi From United States of America, joined Nov 2003, 152 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (8 years 11 months 3 weeks 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 2293 times:

Quoting AirRyan (Reply 15):
My point was not nescessarily to bag on Southwest just that I had seen the exact same scenario before on AIRLINE via Southwest, but just the point of gambling say a $1000 trip on $30 of airfare with no guaranteed seat.

You are such a sensationalist! Southwest has over 3000 flights a day and one of the lowest load factors in the industry. They have a reservation on the flight and that is all they need. Even if the flight was sold out (unlikely) and this guy and his family showed up at the last second (even more unlikely) they would have people lining up to volunteer there seat for a voucher. Stop scaring this guy with misinformation about an airline that you have very little if any experience flying.


User currently offlineSWA TPA From United States of America, joined Aug 2001, 1559 posts, RR: 34
Reply 17, posted (8 years 11 months 3 weeks 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 2242 times:

I am still a bit confused on what the problem is here?
Just check in at Southwest.com the night before (12:01am or later).
Even if you wait until ya'll wake up to do it you will be fine!
Now if you check in at the airport for a boarding card and it's a booked flight you have a good chance of ending up with a "C" group card.
I have worked flights before where it was oversold before I even got up to the gate to open the flight. We open our flights 1 hour before departure time at the gates. Those are rough to work!!!!!
Our flights out of Tampa that tend to be chronically overbooked are basically anything going to the northeast, PVD, BWI, MHT, ISP etc.
The worst is our flight #616. TPA-LAS. That flight is FULL of elderly pax and large tour groups. These people all tend to show up HOURS before the flight for check in. The "A" and "B" cards are gone waaaaay in advance!
Same thing with TPA-ISP flt 1304. That one has loads of elderly pax and wheelchair galore. I swear it seems like half the flight pre-boards!
Anyways just try online check in and you should be fine. The only time you cant use online check in or the kiosk is if you purchased any child fares, senior fares or a military fare. Also if your name is on the government watchlist you will get kicked out as well.

Enjoy you trip!

SWA TPA



I believe I can fly.....
User currently offlineGilligan From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 18, posted (8 years 11 months 3 weeks 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 2156 times:

Quoting Jeffinbwi (Reply 16):
Southwest has over 3000 flights a day and one of the lowest load factors in the industry.



Quoting TPA" class=quote target=_blank>SWA TPA (Reply 17):
Our flights out of Tampa that tend to be chronically overbooked are basically anything going to the northeast, PVD, BWI, MHT, ISP etc.
The worst is our flight #616. TPA-LAS

Hmmmm, seems to be some disagreement among the cheerleaders.


User currently offlineAirRyan From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 2532 posts, RR: 5
Reply 19, posted (8 years 11 months 3 weeks 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 2103 times:

Quoting Jeffinbwi (Reply 16):
Stop scaring this guy with misinformation

I wouldn't exactly call it misinformation when SWA allowed A&E to broadcast the exact same situation in an episode of AIRLINE. Sure, I haven't flown SWA in about 5 years but that's doesn't mean there is nothing to be taken from my comments. It's not so much buyer beware of SWA per se, but rather any airline as the reality of how the airline business works may have you missing your departure in a hypothetical worst case scenario.


User currently offlineFlyingTexan From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 20, posted (8 years 11 months 3 weeks 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 2090 times:

Quoting AirRyan (Reply 19):
A&E to broadcast the exact same situation in an episode of AIRLINE

Keep in mind, A&E seeks out odd situations and whacked-out indigents to broadcast on their idiotic soapbox.


User currently offline777Purser From United States of America, joined Aug 2005, 219 posts, RR: 3
Reply 21, posted (8 years 11 months 3 weeks 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 2085 times:

Are you flying on an airline that does not offer multiple flights to your destination the same day of the cruise??? See here is where I do not understand passengers. You are concerned about overbooking....WHY IF THERE IS A MECHANICAL???

So many times I hear horror stories. Go the day before, avoid problems. Airplanes are machines, it is the hurricane season, JAX or FLL could be closed because of thunderstorms or what not.... Hope you make it ok, but like I said...I do not understand passengers sometimes.

Good luck!


User currently offlineJetdeltamsy From United States of America, joined Nov 2000, 2987 posts, RR: 8
Reply 22, posted (8 years 11 months 3 weeks 2 days 20 hours ago) and read 2054 times:

Quoting Gnomon (Thread starter):
My question: What are the odds that 2563 is overbooked and that I'll be bumped?

Check in on-line if you can. Get there EARLY.

Are you on a cruise fare? If so, you don't have to worry much...on a cruise fare, should you miss your departure due to a problem with your flights, the airline will get you on to the next port where the ship calls (at their expense). If you built your trip yourself, doing everything as cheaply as possible, you're at the mercy of Southwest's Contract of Carriage...which does not guarantee anything...and you have to get to the next port at your own expense.

Did you buy trip insurance??? to cover events just like this????

This is an example of where a GOOD, PROFESSIONAL travel agent could have saved the day...by booking you on a cruise fare and NOT Southwest and/or selling you trip cancellation insurance.



Tired of airline bankruptcies....EA/PA/TW and finally DL.
User currently offlineGarnetpalmetto From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 5358 posts, RR: 53
Reply 23, posted (8 years 11 months 3 weeks 2 days 20 hours ago) and read 2035 times:

Quoting Gilligan (Reply 18):
Hmmmm, seems to be some disagreement among the cheerleaders.

I see no disagreement there. Network-wide, WN has one of the lowest load factors in the industry. Fact. On segments out of TPA, they do tend to have heavy loads. Fact - but TPA is hardly their entire network - at some point lower load factors on the rest of the network average out TPA's higher numbers.



South Carolina - too small to be its own country, too big to be a mental asylum.
User currently offlineFlyboyaz From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 24, posted (8 years 11 months 3 weeks 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 2002 times:

Quoting FlyingTexan (Reply 3):
It is exceedingly rare that passengers are involuntarily denied boarding provided they do everything reasonably – check in and show up in a timely manner, etc.

It's a lot more common than you think. Seems to be more recently that I've noticed it...last couple of years or so. Last winter in TUS CO had NUMEROUS invols, especially on the EWR flight...HP didn't have as many. It wasn't a pretty holiday season.


25 Gilligan : Fact, Jeffinbwi insists that WN flights are virutally vacant and that you can meander up to the gate right to close and the gate agents will cheerful
26 Indy : My wife is going on a cruise in Oct and leaving out of Tampa. Wisely she is flying down the day before. It isn't on WN but as has been mentioned many
27 Gipper913 : Quoting Garnetpalmetto (Reply 23): Fact. Fact: WalMart Air's cheerleaders have gotten their tentacle like reach into a.net crew! Fact: Garnetpalmetto
28 Jeffinbwi : Why as a matter of fact he is. There is another flight an hour and ten minutes later. Thank you, and by the way the thread is a question that is abou
29 Gilligan : Not what you said. Read the third sentence, particular attention to "last second". Read the second qoute in it's entirety. That is what I was making
30 Gipper913 : Gilligan, No doubt we have had a run of people in this thread with no appreciation for irony nor any senses of humor. Know that some of us appreciate
31 IRelayer : Specifically what WN knew when they signed up do make a reality show. A reality show is not reality, a reality show is a small snippet, the ridiculou
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