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Is It Possible To Check Overbooking In Advance?  
User currently offlineJaumett From Spain, joined Mar 2001, 42 posts, RR: 0
Posted (6 years 4 months 1 week 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 6452 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?

Cheers

Jaume

9 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineAg92 From India, joined Jul 2006, 1317 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (6 years 4 months 1 week 6 days ago) and read 6421 times:

Hmmm you could just make a dummy booking for a relatively vague answer on what the loads are like

User currently offlineBobnwa From United States of America, joined Dec 2000, 6449 posts, RR: 9
Reply 2, posted (6 years 4 months 1 week 6 days ago) and read 6408 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.


User currently offlineRivet42 From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2005, 818 posts, RR: 1
Reply 3, posted (6 years 4 months 1 week 6 days ago) and read 6367 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.

Riv'



I travel, therefore I am.
User currently offlineJGPH1A From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (6 years 4 months 1 week 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 6299 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.

Hence the joy of the LL entry  Smile


User currently offlineSearpqx From Netherlands, joined Jun 2000, 4343 posts, RR: 10
Reply 5, posted (6 years 4 months 1 week 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 6224 times:



Quoting JGPH1A (Reply 4):
Hence the joy of the LL entry

And what use is wait listing a segment, since thats what all real systems use LL for. . . .  stirthepot  (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"
User currently offlineAloha73G From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 2356 posts, RR: 4
Reply 6, posted (6 years 4 months 1 week 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 6184 times:

In the US every airline with a Customer First policy (pretty much all of them) are required to tell you if a specific flight is overbooked if you call the reservations hotline.

-Aloha!



Aloha Airlines - The Spirit Moves Us. Gone but NEVER Forgotten. Aloha, A Hui Hou!
User currently offlineJGPH1A From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (6 years 4 months 1 week 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 6167 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.


User currently offlineSevenair From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2001, 1728 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (6 years 4 months 1 week 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 6122 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.

User currently offlineJGPH1A From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 9, posted (6 years 4 months 1 week 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 5887 times:



Quoting Sevenair (Reply 8):
I find looking at seatmaps to be the best indicator.

Seatmaps are no help - most carriers keep 30-50% of the cabin back for use at the airport, so even if the seatmap shows no seats available for assignment, it could still be 50% empty.


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