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Overselling Flights - Differences Between Airlines  
User currently offlineScalebuilder From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Posted (7 years 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 6723 times:

I recently returned from a short hop to Europe, but to my dismay my final flight segment from ORD to IND was way oversold. The flight was operated by UA, and with an ERJ-170 (seating 70 or so), but the gate agent asked for 20 volunteers to wait for the next flight. That is north of 25% of total available seats for that flight.

Does this seem high to you? It does to me, and I am really surprised that UA would overbook a flight by that much. To hand out vouchers to everyone volunteering has to be costly, and there must be a point that is reached where it would be cheaper to simply tell the traveling public that the flight is sold out.

I experienced this on my outbound flight too, but this flight was only oversold by four seats.

Why is it always that I experience this inconvenience here in the US? I believe most people simply want to stick with their original travel plan. I do not believe that I have experienced this in Europe, and I travel there frequently. Are the rules different?

65 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineFLYB6JETS From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (7 years 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 6715 times:



Quoting Scalebuilder (Thread starter):
but the gate agent asked for 20 volunteers to wait for the next flight. That is north of 25% of total available seats for that flight

That is retardedly high. I have to agree that at a certain point, you might as well just a) upgrade the aircraft or b) tell people the flight is sold out. I am travelling home from EWR this Friday and my flight is oversold but last I heard it was only like 4 seats.


User currently offlineRoseFlyer From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 9803 posts, RR: 52
Reply 2, posted (7 years 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 6693 times:

20 seems unusually high. I'm wondering if they were asking for volunteers not only because of overbooking.

ORD-IND shouldn't have problems with weight restrictions. I can't imagine there being problems with Maximum Landing Weight on an E170, but there could have been something restricting the capacity.

Could the plane have been different from what was originally on the route?



If you have never designed an airplane part before, let the real designers do the work!
User currently offlineSomeone83 From Norway, joined Sep 2006, 3503 posts, RR: 3
Reply 3, posted (7 years 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 6698 times:

It could also be heavily overbook due to a mistake. Remember back in 2000 when I was flying OSL-EWR with SAS and they due to computer issues had overbooked a 200 seat 767-300 with more than 30 passengers

User currently offlineUadc8contrail From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 1782 posts, RR: 9
Reply 4, posted (7 years 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 6618 times:

Scalebuilder,
as Someone83 noted, there could have been a glitch in apollo that allowed it to keep on selling seats after the cap was set, or i have been involved where we asked for 12 to volunteer one time to accomodate a group of kids going to socal and thier flight cncld, we put them on the next flightt and asked for 12 volunteers and got them, its only a inconvenience/hassle/problem what ever you want to call it if you are INVOL denied boarding, in your situatuion were you volunteering to give up your seat or are you just complaining???i have never met a disgruntled volunteer, but there is always a first.



bus driver.......move that bus:)
User currently offlineScalebuilder From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (7 years 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 6613 times:



Quoting RoseFlyer (Reply 2):
Could the plane have been different from what was originally on the route?

It was for sure an ERJ-170, and beyond any doubt.


User currently offlineILovePabst From United States of America, joined Dec 2006, 102 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (7 years 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 6582 times:



Quoting Scalebuilder (Thread starter):
I recently returned from a short hop to Europe, but to my dismay my final flight segment from ORD to IND was way oversold. The flight was operated by UA, and with an ERJ-170 (seating 70 or so), but the gate agent asked for 20 volunteers to wait for the next flight. That is north of 25% of total available seats for that flight.

Not enough info. Was this the equipment originally scheduled for this flight or was there an equipment downgrade? What about weather? Was there a take off or landing weight penalty because of local or enroute weather. Was there an alternate? Was there a MEL with the equipment that took a weight penalty?


User currently offlineFoxecho From United States of America, joined Dec 2000, 748 posts, RR: 17
Reply 7, posted (7 years 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 6560 times:

Happens all the time when Connection carriers downgrade from a 70 to a 50, those are ball busters.

Andrew
JFK/MEM/MCI



..uh, we'll need that to live......
User currently offlineScalebuilder From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 8, posted (7 years 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 6529 times:



Quoting Uadc8contrail (Reply 4):
its only a inconvenience/hassle/problem what ever you want to call it if you are INVOL denied boarding, in your situatuion were you volunteering to give up your seat or are you just complaining???

I volunteered because being the last flight segment of a lenghty journey with the next day off I had time to spare. So I am not really complaining about this particular flight at all. However, I feel that the overselling of flights is way too frequent, and especially here in the United States. I primarily experience this situation here, and it is not always so convenient to be comfortable having to make contingent plans on "the fly". Sometimes the prospect of being denied boarding, I naturally think about my business and if tomorrow's business will go as planned.

Certainly I can understand that flights should be allowed to be "slightly" oversold, and the situation could be managable too (everybody gets there on time and as scheduled at the end of the day). However this incident caught me by surprise, and even though the gate agents handled the situation very professionally, I can only sit here and wonder how far airlines will go before they say "enough is enough".

Maybe indeed it was a mistake. I hope so.


User currently offlineScalebuilder From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 9, posted (7 years 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 6430 times:



Quoting ILovePabst (Reply 6):
Not enough info.

Not enough info? I booked more than 2 weeks in advance, 25% of the passengers are stranded, and to my knowledge there was no equipment downgrade. The aircraft that showed up at the gate is the same as what is printed on my itinirary.

The weather could have been no factor at all on my return flight. It could have been elsewhere that night, but not at ORD. It could also have been so when my family was outbound and with accumulating snow falling the night before and in the morning before our flight. However, this flight was only overbooked by 4 "volunteers". Manageable, and no problem whatsoever. We all got there, and on time.


User currently offlineILovePabst From United States of America, joined Dec 2006, 102 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (7 years 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 6406 times:



Quoting Scalebuilder (Reply 9):
It could also have been so when my family was outbound and with accumulating snow falling the night before and in the morning before our flight.

Please explain. Yes there was snow at IND or no there wasn't?


User currently offlineJoeljack From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 955 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (7 years 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 6393 times:

I flew IAD-ORD about a year ago on a UA 767 and it was overbooked by 70 people. I was actually on a later flight and was standing by on this flight and got on. They didn't even ask for volunteers, they just handed out vouchers to the last 70 or so people that checked in. It was interesting. I was really surprised that I got on this. I had an upgraded first class ticket and ended up with a coach middle seat. I think I got accommodated because I had a first class seat and this was the 2nd flight that I had stood by for.

To note, Ted was flying IAD-MDW at that time and they first asked for volunteers to take that flight instead. A whole slew of people did that.

As far as oversold, I see it all the time on United, Not uncommon to be crazy oversold. I've only seen it more than 30 though I think 3 times. Most the time between 1 and 6 or so.


User currently offlineUadc8contrail From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 1782 posts, RR: 9
Reply 12, posted (7 years 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 6377 times:

Joeljack,
in your situation, were you confirmed "F" on a 2 class 67?, i could easily see your flight over by 70 if it went from a 2 class 67 to a 3 class 67.



bus driver.......move that bus:)
User currently offlineUadc8contrail From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 1782 posts, RR: 9
Reply 13, posted (7 years 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 6377 times:

Joeljack,
in your situation, were you confirmed "F" on a 2 class 67?, i could easily see your flight over by 70 if it went from a 2 class 67 to a 3 class 67.



bus driver.......move that bus:)
User currently offlineOsprey88 From United States of America, joined Jul 2007, 330 posts, RR: 1
Reply 14, posted (7 years 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 6373 times:

I remember my US VCE-PHL flight, when I went to check in and they had a sign up asking for volunteers to take ~300/400 cash (IIRC) and hotel accommodation in Venice and be guaranteed a seat on the flight out the next day.

It was pretty funny in retrospect, because when I boarded, the flight had about ~15-20 seats empty. Apparently they oversold, and then went out the other direction, with so many people wanting to stay in VCE!  Big grin

This kind of thing ever happen to anyone else?



"Reading departure signs in some big airports reminds me of the places I've been"
User currently offlineScalebuilder From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 15, posted (7 years 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 6328 times:



Quoting ILovePabst (Reply 10):
Yes there was snow at IND or no there wasn't?

No. We definitely had snow on the ground, and potentially more "no shows" for the early morning flight as a result, so I think I can follow that particular logic with my limited knowledge.


User currently offlineILovePabst From United States of America, joined Dec 2006, 102 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (7 years 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 6300 times:



Quoting Osprey88 (Reply 14):
It was pretty funny in retrospect, because when I boarded, the flight had about ~15-20 seats empty. Apparently they oversold, and then went out the other direction,

It sounds to me like you were weight restricted. It is entirely possible that they needed to solicit for volunteers because they were potentially overweight not oversold.

Quoting Scalebuilder (Reply 15):
No. We definitely had snow on the ground

Your instance might be very similar. If the weather in IND was marginal or forecast to go down there would be a need for an alternate and thus additional fuel. In addition it's possible that ORD weather (as well as ATC flow) might be forecast to go down after takeoff preventing a return to ORD and thus a secondary alternate. I don't know when you flew but midwest weather was poor last week. It's possible you could have had a distant secondary landing alternate and ultimately required even more fuel.


User currently offlineJIWNCO From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 17, posted (7 years 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 6253 times:

Fly B6... They never oversell!

User currently offline44k From United States of America, joined Aug 2007, 310 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (7 years 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 6253 times:



Quoting Scalebuilder (Thread starter):
but the gate agent asked for 20 volunteers to wait for the next flight. That is north of 25% of total available seats for that flight.

That is abnormaly high. I can guartantee you that this was not a regular oversale. Equipment problems.weight restriction had to be at play. There is no airline that would oversell it by 25% voluntarily.

Quoting Joeljack (Reply 11):
I flew IAD-ORD about a year ago on a UA 767 and it was overbooked by 70 people

Once again, this is abnormal. Any airline would be insane to overbook it by that much, there must have been something else at play. I have seen an AA 777 OS by 34 in Y, but there were J and F seats available.

I'm not sure which airline is the worst, but WN and DL have the highest numbers of INVOL denied boarding.


User currently offlineAccess-Air From United States of America, joined Sep 2000, 1940 posts, RR: 12
Reply 19, posted (7 years 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 6231 times:

A few words.....

Overbooking is from the wonderful people in yeild management that intensely study booking trends, usually from the year before and based upon how many people allegedly no show for flights, they over book by that much.... However, overbooking from what I can tell is grossly an over used an UN-NECCESSARY practice as 90% of most airline tickets are NONREFUNDABLE and you now lose ALL your money if you no show!!!!! .Also, because ticket numbers are required to be in the reservation to show that tickets have been issued, I dont see how and or why ANY Airline thinks they have the right to overbook ANY flight....
If any of you know about how airline reservations work today....Airlines will AUTO cancel any airline reservation that is NOT ticketed!!!!!!! So therefore kiddies, this senssless practice of overbooking airline flights should be something an airline tries to stay as far away from doing as they can.
Unfortunately airlines are greedy for money and dont much care if you no show because they get to keep your money anyway.....
However, other that messing up many air travellers plans by stranding them, overbooking is horribly bad in that one way or another the airline ends up losing money by having to give out Denied Boarding Compensation vouchers (Basically free travel) or worse having to put people up in hotels. However, at least when someone no shows on an NON refundable ticket now the whole ticket becomes non refundable, period!!!!!
I dont know about all of you, but other that giving someone at the airlines a job to monitor all these flights, I really dont see where yeild management does an airline much good especially when they allow flights to be over booked...

Obviously, the author of this thread was angry about his "bump" or over booked flight...Just imagine this kind of thing all over the place every day...And we as travellers have just decided to accept this horrible practice as "part of the travel game." Its amazing that we keep on supporting this industry when this kind of stuff keeps getting worse every year....

Access-Air

p.s. Alleginat Air DOES NOT Ovebook their flights.....so wheres the monkey see monkey do behaviour reagarding this??? Shouldn't other airlines be copying this????



Remember, Wherever you go, there you are!!!!
User currently offlineJoeljack From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 955 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (7 years 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 6211 times:



Quoting Uadc8contrail (Reply 13):
Joeljack,
in your situation, were you confirmed "F" on a 2 class 67?, i could easily see your flight over by 70 if it went from a 2 class 67 to a 3 class 67.

I was confirmed first later in the day and was standing by to go earlier. The plane was a 3 class 767 that was oversold that I got on in coach. I don't know what it was originally scheduled to be a 2 or 3 class plane. Now they only have the 3 class. They also gave me a CR upgrade for taking the coach seat even though I was just standing by. I was extremely surprised and happy.


User currently offlineOsprey88 From United States of America, joined Jul 2007, 330 posts, RR: 1
Reply 21, posted (7 years 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 6177 times:



Quoting ILovePabst (Reply 16):
It sounds to me like you were weight restricted. It is entirely possible that they needed to solicit for volunteers because they were potentially overweight not oversold.

This is possible, depending on which type of engines US has on their 762ERs, but even so, the specs show that the takeoff run for a 762ER at MTOW at sea level could make if off VCE's 11,100 foot runway with most engine combinations.

Anyone know what type of engines US puts on their 762s?

Refer to pages 14-19 on the pdf:

http://www.boeing.com/commercial/airports/acaps/767sec3.pdf



"Reading departure signs in some big airports reminds me of the places I've been"
User currently offlineIADCA From United States of America, joined Feb 2007, 1367 posts, RR: 8
Reply 22, posted (7 years 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 6168 times:



Quoting Scalebuilder (Thread starter):
Does this seem high to you? It does to me, and I am really surprised that UA would overbook a flight by that much. To hand out vouchers to everyone volunteering has to be costly, and there must be a point that is reached where it would be cheaper to simply tell the traveling public that the flight is sold out.

If this was quite recently, I remember a thread a few days ago that dealt with UA cancelling 2 ORD-IND flights in one day due to WX, I believe. If two earlier flights were cancelled, that would lead to a massive number of people showing up for later flights.

See the first post in this thread: Why Does ORD Have To Be O'Horror? (by BR715-A1-30 Dec 16 2007 in Civil Aviation)?threadid=3752205&searchid=3752205&s=ORD-IND#ID3752205


User currently offlineILovePabst From United States of America, joined Dec 2006, 102 posts, RR: 0
Reply 23, posted (7 years 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 6146 times:



Quoting Osprey88 (Reply 21):
This is possible, depending on which type of engines US has on their 762ERs

Not necessarily anything to do with engines.

Quoting 44k (Reply 18):
That is abnormaly high. I can guartantee you that this was not a regular oversale. Equipment problems.weight restriction had to be at play

I would concur.A lot of other factors can cause a weight problem. MTOW can be dependent on field temp as well as any deferred MELs that might cause a performance hit. Additionally enroute weather, strong headwinds and destination weather can cause weight restrictions for holdover fuel and landing alternates.


User currently offlineSkyTeamTriStar From United States of America, joined Dec 2007, 403 posts, RR: 0
Reply 24, posted (7 years 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 6133 times:

Overbooked Vs. Oversold terminology = big difference.

* Hub cities overbook huge amounts due to no-show/misconnects. no secret on that one.
*What about the flights full throughout the day?? People get rolled over to the next flight so at the end of day the plane is overbooked by 40 (u get the point).
*Historical data shows a lot of people no-showed on xyz flight and therefore overbooked one year to the day.

plus a zillion other reasons why UA, DL, WN....blah blah airlines overbook and it can become a nasty situation for the gate agent, too.

As mentioned above, Yield Mgmt would love to see every single flight go from an overbooked flight to now an oversold flight and still issud DBCs and still make money on the flight. That's their job. It's the Airport Customer Services' job at the gates to handle crowd control. Yea!

[Edited 2007-12-18 19:55:07]

[Edited 2007-12-18 20:00:37]

25 Post contains links FreequentFlier : Well I knew this was coming, so I'll repeat what I've always said: Contrary to popular opinion, overbooking is a PRO-CONSUMER strategy. Why? Simple r
26 Post contains images PiedmontINT : The compensation for denied boarding in most European countries is much higher than the US: Southwest would go out of business if they had to shell o
27 ANother : It is not unusual for an airline to look for volunteers and find that they hadn't needed any. They then quietly thank the passenger, and tell them th
28 Scalebuilder : I did not get so angry about this particular flight because this time I had the ability to wait....it is more the recurring practice and the utter ab
29 Avek00 : With all due respect, some of us DO know how airline reservations work today, and some of your assertions are misleading: 1. Even though most airline
30 Scalebuilder : I am by no means suggesting that overbooking should be banned. I just happen to travel frequently for business (and leisure too), and I generally wan
31 Avek00 : Such a high degree of overbooking is relatively rare, and generally exists only in markets with unusually high no-show factors, such as business mark
32 Ualcsr : Although I've never worked in yield management, I was a UA primary gate agent for some time and handled many overbooked flights. For one thing, it dep
33 PiedmontINT : Actually, according to Great Circle, LAS-PHL clocks in at 3503 km = 2174 mi which would put it over the the 3500 km mark.... Even still, EUR250 isnt
34 OH-LGA : Often what happens that I've seen is when a codeshare flight is loaded incorrectly by a codeshare partner. When SFO-YEG started, one day we were massi
35 Georgebush : I know that flights can be overbook due to irregular ops. If an earlier flight cancels they can overbook the later flights to accommodate displaced pa
36 44k : How are they lazy, you obviously have never worked a gate? If yield management will let you oversell, you got a problem solved. Usually it all works
37 Georgebush : Its lazyness because you know the flight is bound to be oversold and you do it anyways, thats laziness. I will admit to it as I have done it. I have
38 Bluewhale18210 : Only up to a certain time. You don't have to. Just pay 20% more for the seats airlines not able to fill without oversales. Since airlines don't sell
39 TIMEAIR : Overselling is a direct result of passengers who make reservations and don't honor them by "no-showing". This is taken into consideration by the carr
40 EXAAUADL : possible a last minute equipment down grade
41 Wj : For the main topic, it is also possible that early cancellations led to high overbooking. No airline goes to that high of a no-show factor on a consis
42 Scalebuilder : I am starting out by quoting myself. I wasn't really that angry at all, but can you understand that someone who relies on airtravel regularily, and w
43 Post contains images 44k : No it isn't. It's a solution to a problem. If I wouldn't oversell, someone else likely would. This is part of the job. The ATO/revenue mgmt oversells
44 LHR777 : 10 or 20 oversold is nothing. I worked a flight this morning from LHR that was *89* oversold. It departed with 33 empty seats. Pro-consumer? Definitel
45 Georgebush : I was refering to these modifications. For sure! I had someone come to my counter and she knew her flight had been cancelled so she gave me a coffee
46 Post contains links Viscount724 : The Canadian government reminded AC yesterday to correctly apply it's published denied boarding policy. http://www.cta-otc.gc.ca/media/communique/2007
47 Scalebuilder : I am really curious, and by all means I understand and respect that your knowledge may be confidential, but would still appreciate anything you can s
48 Aa757first : These rules seem a little weird to me. Why does it matter if you're stuck 800 km from home as opposed to 1800 km from home? You're still stuck.
49 Post contains images Falcon84 : For a 70-seater, yes. For an ERJ145, anything over 5 is way out of the ordinary at COEX. I'm thinking it could have been a downgraded A/C or an error
50 44k : Nothing secretive. All AA oversells are authorized by yield, they deermine by much and what flights to oversell. I'm sorry, perhaps you misunderstood
51 EDICHC : The EU regulations regarding denial of boarding apply to ALL carriers irrespective of their nationality if the journey originates, terminates or invo
52 Someone83 : I have 3 no-shows thsi year on non-refundable tickets, (2 due to missed connections and the last when I deceided to take an earlier flight) so even w
53 Viscount724 : As far as I understand, the EU regulations apply to EU-based carriers for flights both from and to EU airports, but for non-EU carriers they can only
54 Georgebush : Not everyone at the airport has just had a death in the family. We usually know which pax are on bereavement fares. I would sooooo hold a rude pax ba
55 Scalebuilder : I am by no means saying that they do, but your surely statement above really pisses me off! If you know that you have a bereavement passenger buried
56 Post contains images Uadc8contrail : Scale, after reading your post i decided to look at every ord-ind flight as far back as dec 18th(the day you started this thread) and came up with som
57 SFOQQAA : I guess this comment is for the revenue management individuals out there. I understand all the reasons behind why an airline will overbook flights and
58 EDICHC : If you lodge your complaint with the carrier once you arrive in the EU the carrier IS bound to meet the compensation requirements....you may need to
59 Georgebush : I would let a bereavement pax go first ANY DAY over the big bad business man with his 2 blue-tooths and 10,000 beeping gadgets. We aren't stupid, ver
60 Post contains images Worldrider : If you lodge your complaint with the carrier once you arrive in the EU the carrier IS bound to meet the compensation requirements....you may need to a
61 UN_B732 : It happens. There are some Delta 767 flights christmas day that are authorized to oversell by 40 seats. -A
62 Post contains images Falcon84 : Back in the day, around Y2K, when I worked CLE-LGW quite often, the last flight of '99, at one point, was overbooked in Y by 70. It went out with emp
63 Greenair727 : Actually, there 3 exceptions to the US compensation rule, where airlines do not have to compensate you if you are INVOLUNTARILY bumped: 1) passenger
64 Scalebuilder : I completely understand, and I do not have a blue-tooth by any means. I can certainly understand and appreciate the effort you guys at the gate put u
65 Georgebush : Yea but people don't understand the ones actually overbooking those flights are people making 6 figures in an air-conditioned office somewhere!! We a
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