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Volunteering In Overbooked Flights  
User currently offlineMaracucho85 From Venezuela, joined Aug 2007, 50 posts, RR: 2
Posted (6 years 7 months 1 week 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 5188 times:

Hi all,

Not long ago I recalled reading a study that pointed out that the act of volunteering to give up a seat in an overbooked flight was seen as a discriminating act. The study alleges that, most likely, the people giving up the seats are the ones that "need" that credit, or as the study calls them, "financially restricted" people. Therefore, this process would then discriminate "poor" people.

What do you guys think about this? Personally, I dont see it as discriminating. I haven´t had many overbooked flights, but I´m always glad to accept one and travel for free some other time, of course, if I´m not in a hurry.

Regards from Venezuela,

Alberto

33 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlinePHLstudent From United States of America, joined May 2006, 498 posts, RR: 7
Reply 1, posted (6 years 7 months 1 week 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 5183 times:

I don't know if I would say poor people, but the more flexible people. Regardless of how much money you have, if you have to be some place, you have to be there. When ever my plans are flexible i'm more than happy to get a voucher or flight credit, it all depends on why I'm traveling.

User currently offlineDeltAirlines From United States of America, joined May 1999, 8867 posts, RR: 12
Reply 2, posted (6 years 7 months 1 week 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 5158 times:

If I have some flexibility, I'll always volunteer. It's not based on need; if I don't need to be there in a hurry, I'll sacrifice a few hours of time for a $200 voucher, which I really don't mind.

Not to mention that it's really tough to be able to accurately gauge far in advance if a certain flight is going to end up in a situation where volunteers are needed. You can't really book a flight and then know that you'll be able to volunteer your seat.


User currently onlineHA_DC9 From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 652 posts, RR: 1
Reply 3, posted (6 years 7 months 1 week 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 5152 times:

Quoting PHLstudent (Reply 1):
Regardless of how much money you have, if you have to be some place, you have to be there. When ever my plans are flexible i'm more than happy to get a voucher or flight credit, it all depends on why I'm traveling.

 checkmark  Same goes for me as well. Sometimes on routes with a lot of frequencies during the day, I will volunteer to bump if they ask for volunteers and take a later flight and get a flight voucher. I'll try and use the voucher for the family for vacation time.


User currently offlineMaracucho85 From Venezuela, joined Aug 2007, 50 posts, RR: 2
Reply 4, posted (6 years 7 months 1 week 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 5114 times:

I have the same thoughts guys. Just found it strange to read that kind of conclusion on that publication. I had never seen it that way.

Of course, here in Venezuela there is not too many frequencies between destinations, therefore, there´s not much room for overbookings but for very busy seasons like summer or Xmas. Nonetheless, a travel voucher always comes handy to me  Silly

Regards from Venezuela,

Alberto


User currently offlinePnwtraveler From Canada, joined Jun 2007, 2198 posts, RR: 12
Reply 5, posted (6 years 7 months 1 week 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 5006 times:

I routinely used to book on flights I knew would be the most popular. For example the 9am departure from yyz to yvr. I did so specifically to heighten the chances of a full flight. I would book on a seat sale fare. Then I would check the loads on that flight periodically. The morning of the flight I would arrive early, check in early to ensure my seat selection or be aware of any equipment changes. Go into the AC Maple Leaf Lounge and have breakfast. I would check with the agent in the lounge to see how the checkin was coming. If the flight was oversold I would have them put a note on my file that I was a possible volunteer. As soon as the agent was at the gate I was there and would volunteer. By then they would know how many had checked in. Once it was pretty sure I would be successful I would say I would like to be upgraded on the next available flight. If they needed a number of seats the offers would start. Usually I would get the upgrade and occasionally the $200 to $300 voucher. I would go back to the lounge knowing I had a seat up front for seat sale price and relax or do business. I don't know if it has been plugged yet but I would also get J Class Aeroplan points for the flight. In other words full mileage credit plus the J class bonus. One of the senior gate agents actually started to recognize me and would just call me over and give me the new boarding passes. Also didn't hurt that I got to know some of the concierges during the testing and openning of the new terminal at yyz. They are all powerful  Smile

User currently offline777ER From New Zealand, joined Dec 2003, 11845 posts, RR: 18
Reply 6, posted (6 years 7 months 1 week 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 4949 times:
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When I was waiting to board UA82, a red eye from LAX-IAD in May, the B763 flight was overbooked. The UA agents, starting off offering free one way ticket, a night in LA and a business class seat to IAD the next day, with only a few offering to give up their seats. About 20 minutes later, the offer was increased with $500 and 500 bonus miles. By now if I had the phone number of the people, I was staying with, I would have offered my seat and phoned the people in michigan and informed them. I was also waiting for a flight from IAD-JFK on August 21st, and the E170 was over booked. The UA offering was one free one way ticket. I would have taken that also, if I was in New york for more then one day

User currently offlineOsiris30 From Barbados, joined Sep 2006, 3186 posts, RR: 26
Reply 7, posted (6 years 7 months 1 week 4 days ago) and read 4888 times:

I would often volunteer if the crew was able to reticket me on the next flight upfront. (transcon flights that is). I'd spend an hour or two extra on the ground and have a much more pleasent flight in the air. Often the gate crews were very happy to accomodate me when I would approach them with that offer (always done prior to boarding being called.. I would ask if the gate area was looking busy).


I don't care what you think of my opinion. It's my opinion, so have a nice day :)
User currently offlineDL767captain From United States of America, joined Mar 2007, 2539 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (6 years 7 months 1 week 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 4603 times:

I don't think it is about being poor, I'm not poor and I sometimes give up my seat when I don't need to be anywhere in a hurry and its part of a family or something that need to travel together, I do however think they should grant the person access to their lounge so they actually have somewhere to wait instead of just sitting in the terminal

User currently offlineBwaflyer From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2004, 689 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (6 years 7 months 1 week 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 4579 times:

It always frustrates me that when I'm travelling in the US, every gate around me is calling for volunteers, but my flight boards as normal! I usually build plently of flexibility into my travel plans on holiday, and would be happy to volunteer. Word to the wise, if you positively have to be on that flight - make sure I'm on it - you'll never get bumped!!

User currently offlineBlueFlyer From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 3696 posts, RR: 2
Reply 10, posted (6 years 7 months 1 week 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 4528 times:
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This discrimination theory is just plain silly. I'm sure that any interest in a cash incentive is generally inversely proportional to personals income, but a lot of other factors do come into play as well, many of which not worth the incentive, however "poor" you may be. In fact, I would suspect that less well-off passengers travel with as much, if not more, of a purpose than any other. When flying for a personal reason, passengers with a higher disposable income can add some padding to their trip at either end (such as arrive two days before a wedding), whereas those for whom flying and traveling is a larger share of their income will likely not include any padding so as to minimize the disruption on their job and maximize their earnings. Most calls for volunteers come later in the day as the culminated effects of delays and cancellations lead to more passengers than there are seats on the last flight out and for those without padding in their travel plan, taking the cash incentive means missing a wedding, being late back to work or not catching the cruise they saved for so long.

When traveling for work, I think the business schedule will be the primary factor rather than the value of the incentive. I don't think that airlines will ever offer enough cash to make it worth one's while to be late for a business meeting or not show up back at the office on time, especially if one's boss finds out the delay was entirely optional.

It's been a while since I've had the opportunity to give up my seat in the back, but I've done so in the past for no other reason than preferring to spend a night at an airport hotel and get the first flight out in the morning rather than stay on a long-delayed flight arriving exhausted at my destination in the middle of the night... The cash and/or free ticket is just an extra bonus.

Giving a seat upfront on a TATL flight can be very lucrative though, and worth the hassle, again schedule permitting.



I've got $h*t to do
User currently offlineFsnuffer From United States of America, joined Jun 2007, 246 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (6 years 7 months 1 week 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 4439 times:

I would not consider myself poor but I am cheap and love a good "scam". I had a long term engagement in Washington DC when I was living on Long Island. The 5:09 P.M. commuter flight from IAD->ISP was always oversold. Over a period of 35 weeks, I would always book that flight knowing that I would finally wind up on the 7:09 P.M flight. Each time I volunteered I would get a $300 voucher. Over the 35 week, I would say I got bumped 80% of the time. It got to the point the gate agents knew me and I had a standing request to volunteer. It still didn't compare to my $1600 in vouchers I got in one day from AA but that is a story for another thread.

User currently offlineIkramerica From United States of America, joined May 2005, 21413 posts, RR: 60
Reply 12, posted (6 years 7 months 1 week 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 4322 times:

Where did you read about this "study"? What publication and what country does it come from?


Of all the things to worry about... the Wookie has no pants.
User currently offlineMaracucho85 From Venezuela, joined Aug 2007, 50 posts, RR: 2
Reply 13, posted (6 years 7 months 1 week 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 4313 times:

Hi all!

It´s great to hear about all the insight and opinions you guys have regarding this topic.

Quoting BlueFlyer (Reply 10):
This discrimination theory is just plain silly. I'm sure that any interest in a cash incentive is generally inversely proportional to personals income, but a lot of other factors do come into play as well, many of which not worth the incentive, however "poor" you may be.

I completely agree with you. Although the elasticity concept may arise, a person with less income is limited to these other factors you mention, therefore we cannot conclude how exactly this incentives will affect their decision.

Quoting Fsnuffer (Reply 11):
It still didn't compare to my $1600 in vouchers I got in one day from AA but that is a story for another thread.

Now that this has arisen, why don´t we share this kind of stories? What seat volunteering stories do you have?

Regards from Venezuela,

Alberto


User currently offlineMaracucho85 From Venezuela, joined Aug 2007, 50 posts, RR: 2
Reply 14, posted (6 years 7 months 1 week 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 4277 times:

Quoting Ikramerica (Reply 12):
Where did you read about this "study"? What publication and what country does it come from?

I was trying to remember the exact source not long ago but I couldn't recall. I study economics, and it was 3 semesters ago when a professor of General Equilibrium handed us some papers that discussed about incentives and the way they affect our decisions.

I will try to look for it and let you know if I find it.

Regards from Venezuela,

Alberto


User currently offlineNcelhr From Vatican City, joined Jul 2006, 357 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (6 years 7 months 1 week 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 4110 times:

In 2000 I used to fly twice a month between LHR & JFK. Volunteering to get bumped off flights, I ended up only paying for 2 tickets out of every 3 trips. Discrimination? I don't think so. I loved it.
 Big grin


User currently offlineIkramerica From United States of America, joined May 2005, 21413 posts, RR: 60
Reply 16, posted (6 years 7 months 1 week 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 4016 times:

Quoting Maracucho85 (Reply 14):
I was trying to remember the exact source not long ago but I couldn't recall. I study economics, and it was 3 semesters ago when a professor of General Equilibrium handed us some papers that discussed about incentives and the way they affect our decisions.

where are you studying? what country?



Of all the things to worry about... the Wookie has no pants.
User currently offlineRIXrat From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 784 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (6 years 7 months 1 week 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 3996 times:

I've had two calls for those who will get off the plane, enjoy $400 in cash, free hotel, free dinner, free breakfast and choice of flight to the destination, thereafter. Both times I took them, because I was in no hurry. One was from EWR and the other was from CPH.

Funny, these people had the cash in hand to give to me right there on the spot. However, it was a different story when I went to the SAS desk to retrieve my overnight pouch -- you know what I mean. I finally got that one also to look decent in the next morning.


User currently offlineMaracucho85 From Venezuela, joined Aug 2007, 50 posts, RR: 2
Reply 18, posted (6 years 7 months 1 week 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 3909 times:

Quoting Ikramerica (Reply 16):
where are you studying? what country?

Im in my last year for my economics degree in Universidad Católica Andres Bello (UCAB) in Caracas, Venezuela

Regards from Venezuela,

Alberto


User currently offlinePtugarin From United States of America, joined Sep 2006, 326 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (6 years 7 months 1 week 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 3862 times:

One could argue that volunteering also discriminates against handicapped people; someone who's handicapped is not capable of earning their incentive because they are less likely going to sacrifice their comfort.

[Edited 2007-09-09 23:04:00]

User currently offlineJetdeltamsy From United States of America, joined Nov 2000, 2986 posts, RR: 8
Reply 20, posted (6 years 7 months 1 week 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 3746 times:

Quoting Maracucho85 (Thread starter):
What do you guys think about this? Personally, I dont see it as discriminating

I don't see how anything that you would volunteer for could be considered discriminatory.

Let's face it, there is no "good" way to determine who gets bumped if there aren't sufficient volunteers.

I don't have the answer, but i don't think the current system is discriminatory.



Tired of airline bankruptcies....EA/PA/TW and finally DL.
User currently offlineCjbmibe From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2006, 108 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (6 years 7 months 1 week 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 3462 times:

A few years ago I travelled a lot for School on Military fares, it was all paid for by our MOD. We had flexible tickets and usually the travel was during holiday periods so being 16 I didnt have anywhere to really be when returning home.

A few times BD offered me £50 cash, free flight voucher (return) and a seat on the next flight.

The one time I actually wanted to do it my parents said no like the protective overbearers they are. The school and MOD were happy enough for us to travel unaccompanied across the UK, as were my parents but on this occasion it was the last flight of the day I was booked on so BD were also offering transfer to an airport hotel and a free room plus expenses (ie food drink). Because of the overnighter my parents didnt want me to volunteer to offload.
It was easter and all flights were very busy. Heathrow was a mad - more than usual. Luckily I had my dads BD*S card to use business checkin - just pretended I didnt know any better lol. The fare got me into the lounges (YMIL)

I dont see how it discriminates - by comparison as a 16 year old I would have been the poorest person on the flight probably but thats not why I wanted to offload, I wanted to offload so I had more time to spot and my reason for travelling immediately probablly was not as important as someone elses.

I have to agree its all down to your flexability, not your personal wealth. A free ride is still a free ride.



How can I soar like an Eagle when I have to work with these turkeys?
User currently offlineA3xx900 From Germany, joined Jan 2004, 335 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (6 years 7 months 1 week 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 3366 times:

I was booked on a LH flight from MUC to TXL and return one day, as me and a friend wanted to spend some days in Berlin. The whole trip cost us about 150 EUR each, including flight and hotel costs. At the gate the agent called out for two volunteers to take a later flight (1 hour later, to be exact) and get a reward of 300 EUR each. Sure thing I was the first one to be at her desk even before she finished her speech and even before my friend realized what was going on  Wink

Hell, who would have been so stupid not to take that opportunity, given our circumstances. And yes, being a student, I was financially restricted at that time. But I'd do it any day - IF I'm flexible.



Why is 10 afraid of 7? Because 7 8 9.
User currently offlinePnwtraveler From Canada, joined Jun 2007, 2198 posts, RR: 12
Reply 23, posted (6 years 7 months 1 week 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 3315 times:

I mentioned to someone who used to work with me about the volunteering thread here. He reminded me of the time when he was flying with me to Vancouver and we volunteered. We did the usual upgrade from a seat sale fare to a J class seat and each got $150 in vouchers. We went to the lounge to relax and have a drink. Not too much later I was paged to the desk in the lounge along with my employee. It seems there was a problem with the oxygen over our seats on the 767 we were to fly on and all the other seats were booked. We would have to standbye for the flight and see what seats were availiable. I mentioned very nicely that we had already volunteered and the upgraded seats were part of the deal. She looked further down in the notes and indeed saw the record of that. So I said we would wait for the following flight if necessary (only an hour later) if she would get us J class on that flight and put a note in our file to upgrade us on the return leg if possible. The flights to YVR were almost every hour so we only had a total of a two hour wait. Two scotches with cheese and snacks in the lounge made that go very fast. Plus the third flight was on a A340 with the nicer international version of J class rather than the domestic one on the second 767 flight. We enjoyed our flight to YVR very much. When we checked in for the return leg in YVR we were automatically upgraded and had another great flight. When you know the rules, the ways around them, and treat the gate agents very well the rewards usually happen. The odd box of chocolates for the holidays and other things for regular staff you see make a world of difference.

User currently offlineFsnuffer From United States of America, joined Jun 2007, 246 posts, RR: 0
Reply 24, posted (6 years 7 months 1 week 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 2940 times:

Quoting Maracucho85 (Reply 13):
Quoting Fsnuffer (Reply 11):
It still didn't compare to my $1600 in vouchers I got in one day from AA but that is a story for another thread.

Now that this has arisen, why don´t we share this kind of stories? What seat volunteering stories do you have?

I'll give you the summary. This was the best voucher day I ever had. I was gold with AA at the time and did most of my scamming at the Admirals club:

8am LGA->ORD. I volunteered at $300 but they had to bid it up to $500 so that is what I got. My new routing was LGA->ORD->MCO at 9:35am in first class.

Get to ORD at 11am for a 12pm connection to ORD. Ask if oversold, answer yes get $400 voucher.

Now on the 3pm flight, still 1st class. Go to USO, rent a cot for $3 and take a nap for three hours.

Guess what, the 3pm flight is oversold and I get another $300, head back to USO for another nap.

7pm flight oversold, get $400 bucks, could not sleep so I drank at the bar.

I finally had to go out on the 10:30pm flight, was angling for another voucher plus a hotel but no luck. Still I was in first class so I did get to relax on the flight down.

That was my best day of voucher scamming.


25 Post contains images PlymSpotter : For me it's pretty spot on, I do frequently volunteer to bump from a flight because I'm a student and, although I travel a lot, them more money I have
26 Nycaviator : Nothing beats a free trip!! Or even an upgrade to first class
27 Yflyer : Since this topic has come up, I've got a question about volunteering to take a later flight. Most of the times I've been on overbooked flights have be
28 Post contains images PlymSpotter : It has always been my experience that you cannot 'bump' if you have a connecting flight, although this has proven for some interesting situations whe
29 Pnwtraveler : Yeah if you are connecting you become much less attractive for bumping. You start to create havoc all over the system. I have only ever been successfu
30 Ikramerica : the reason I ask is it sounds more like socialist propaganda than any factual study. purely anecdotal observance in my life points to the reality tha
31 IADCRJ : The only time I ever had such an oppurtunity do such was on Christmas eve of 2005, on DL in ATL for a flight to PHL. When I first arrived in the gate
32 UPPERDECKFAN : Do you mean you get the same miles as people paying J-fare? that's really great!!! All the times I've been upgraded, never been awarded full mileage
33 Pnwtraveler : Yes the same mileage as a J class paying passenger not just full mileage. I can't remember offhand but I believe it is 1.25 or 1.5 x the miles flown o
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