Jaumett From Spain, joined Mar 2001, 42 posts, RR: 0 Posted (5 years 2 months 1 week 5 hours ago) and read 4204 times:
I guess there are signs that can tell you if your flight is overbooked, such as not being able to pick a seat when you usually would, not being able to check in online, route is sold out for dates you are booked on... but, is there a reliable way to check online if a flight is overbooked? Or to check by how much a flight is overbooked?
Bobnwa From United States of America, joined Dec 2000, 5981 posts, RR: 9 Reply 2, posted (5 years 2 months 1 week 4 hours ago) and read 4160 times:
Quoting Jaumett (Thread starter): guess there are signs that can tell you if your flight is overbooked, such as not being able to pick a seat when you usually would, not being able to check in online, route is sold out for dates you are booked on... but, is there a reliable way to check online if a flight is overbooked? Or to check by how much a flight is overbooked?
The only sure way is to have a friend at the airline who can check the actual bookings vs aircraft capacity.
Rivet42 From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2005, 817 posts, RR: 1 Reply 3, posted (5 years 2 months 1 week 4 hours ago) and read 4119 times:
Unfortunately there's no clear indication unless you know someone who works for an airline and can give you some 'inside' information on a specific flight.
The problem is that airlines are naturally a bit sensitive about their overbooking 'margins' - i.e. the number of seats that may be sold above capacity. Indeed, those margins can vary for different flights on the same route, and indeed can be different for the same flight on different days! Thus even knowing how many seats have been sold (or booked) is not an accurate measure, and may actually vary if, as happens on many European routes, the aircraft being used has variable cabin configuration, and that configuration is changed as the booking profile changes.
Even being denied online services in not a reliable measure - there may simply be system restrictions that prevent you from doing some things, I've had denied online checkin because there was an issue with the type of ticket I had, but it was nothing to do with overbooking.
Of course, if it is not possible to buy a ticket at all for a given flight, it is almost certainly oversold, although there is no way of knowing by how much without that 'inside' info. However, if you are simply trying to determine your chances of getting on a (overbooked) flight, then if tickets are still available for sale right up to checkin, chances are the airlines' revenue management systems believe that the flight will not be full...
There are often requests on a.net for such info - what is unclear is how commercially sensitive individual airlines consider such data, and therefore whether airline employees are in breach of contract by making that data public.
JGPH1A From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 4, posted (5 years 2 months 1 week 3 hours ago) and read 4051 times:
Unless you actually work for the airline and have access to the Res system, you've almost no way of finding out. Even checking availaiblity on public sites like Amadeus.net is no guarantee. Flights showing available may be overbooked, flights showing closed may only be closed in some markets but not all.
And what use is wait listing a segment, since thats what all real systems use LL for. . . . (sorry, couldn't resist)
What my esteemed colleague says is true, without access to the actual loads (which not even all airline personnel can see), there's really no telling. I know of flights that are allowed to overbook by 35% or better, and others that are closed out w/ five open seats.
"The two most common elements in the universe are Hydrogen and stupidity"
JGPH1A From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 7, posted (5 years 2 months 1 week 1 hour ago) and read 3919 times:
Quoting Searpqx (Reply 5): And what use is wait listing a segment, since thats what all real systems use LL for. . . .
OK "PE" is just wierd, I agree - very USAS. But that's not what I meant. The LL list display has replaced the old "PAL/PAN" entries used by staff to check loads and overbooking. Very handy. Also tells you what children and (worse) infants are on board, and the number of standby and duty staff.
Quoting Searpqx (Reply 5): I know of flights that are allowed to overbook by 35% or better
There's higher overbooking than that in some markets - high-frequency domestic can sometimes go as high as 75%, when they know they can get early pax away on earlier flights.
Sevenair From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2001, 1728 posts, RR: 0 Reply 8, posted (5 years 2 months 1 week 1 hour ago) and read 3874 times:
I find looking at seatmaps to be the best indicator. And to a lesser degree, the price of the flight. If there are just a couple of free seats, and it price of the tickets are crazily high, then there is a good chace the flight is, or will become overbooked.