Sponsor Message:
Aviation Trip Reports Forum
My Starred Topics | Profile | New Topic | Forum Index | Help | Search 
Why Do Airlines Overbook?  
User currently offlineAerLingus From China, joined Mar 2000, 2371 posts, RR: 0
Posted (14 years 1 week 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 2753 times:

Well, why do airlines overbook.
Frankly, I feel lucky never to have been bumped, but I always feel sorry because some unfortunate businessman is left yelling at the gate agent.

Get your patchouli stink outta my store!
16 replies: All unread, jump to last
User currently offlineCVG777 From United States of America, joined May 2000, 1251 posts, RR: 5
Reply 1, posted (14 years 1 week 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 2687 times:

Airlines overbook because, quite often, some passengers won't show up for their flight, for various reasons. The 'no-shows' are problems for airlines. So, they make overbooking (not by much though) a regular practice. Most of the time, everything works out fine, and not everyone scheduled on the flight shows up, and there is no need for bumping. Sometimes however, everybody shows up for the flight, and there is the need for some person(s) to be bumped to another flight, but usually with some sort of compensation.

User currently offlineLHSTR From Germany, joined Mar 2001, 226 posts, RR: 1
Reply 2, posted (14 years 1 week 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 2672 times:

to make it short:

Not all passengers booked on flight are actually taking that specific flight.

Reasons for that are for instance

- delayed connecting flight

- late arrival at the airport

- no shows

- people rebooking slightly before aircraft departs.

However, the airline wants to get the maximum use of their aircraft which means that they want to fill and sell all available seats.

So they figured out a system of booking more seats than the aircraft actually has and usually that works out.

This "system" is mainly based on experiences from the past and the kind of tickets sold for that specific flight (e.g. if they have mainly sold flexible tickets there is a higher chance that people holding these flights will take another flight).

Sometimes however it does not work out and thats the reason why sometimes people end up being bumped of flight for which they held a confirmed reservation.

Overbooking flights is just one part of the airlines yield-management.

User currently offlineAerLingus From China, joined Mar 2000, 2371 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (14 years 1 week 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 2661 times:

I assumed that this was the case, but I couldn't be sure.

Get your patchouli stink outta my store!
User currently offlineMarco From United Arab Emirates, joined Jul 2000, 4169 posts, RR: 11
Reply 4, posted (14 years 1 week 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 2655 times:

This belongs in the civil aviation forum....

Proud to be an Assyrian!
User currently offlineTekelbery From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (14 years 1 week 5 hours ago) and read 2635 times:

I still don't see the point of this. On ALL of my flights there are always Standby people.

User currently offlineCr-J From Canada, joined Feb 2001, 49 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (14 years 1 week 4 hours ago) and read 2627 times:

Back in 1996, I took a flight on CP from HKG to YVR, still in Kai Tak though.
The CP flight was overbooked and they need 10 seats from the aircraft.
When there was an announcement, everybody jumped to the flight attendant to get off. You know what's the deal? We will get the next day flight in the business class, and one return ticket between HKG and YVR for free!
My parents and me ran so fast and get the ticket on the next day. it was a funny experience though. I like it!

Well, in some flights, they got some overbooking because they want to fully utilize the flight capacity only.

I remember, on the day I took the CP flight the first day, there were 35 or standby passengers for the B747-475ER aircraft. None of them can get on.

On the second day, I got to sit on the top deck and this time, still 15 overbooked on the flight.

User currently offlineTravatl From United States of America, joined Mar 2001, 2174 posts, RR: 6
Reply 7, posted (14 years 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 2620 times:

95% of the time "Standby" passengers are not those passengers who held reservations for that flight, and then are forced to standby because a seat is not available (it happens occasionally, but agents ALWAYS seek volunteers before it gets to that point). Instead, "Standby" passengersng are usually:

-Passengers holding reservations on other flights later, and hoping to get on that flight.

-Passengers who missed earlier flights.

-Non-revenue Passengers (i.e. airline and industry employees and/or their families traveling on discounted or free passes).

-Passengers hoping to upgrade to a better cabin.

-Other airline's passengers who just found out about this nonstop flight, instead of going through ATL/ORD/DEN/ETC. and taking 3 extra hours.

-Other airline's passengers whose flights were cancelled, and are being reaccommodated on this carrier.

Airlines have the overbooking ratios down to a science. Each flight is monitored specifically by automated programs that determine the percentage of seats by which that flight will be "overbooked". Variables include time of day, market, noshow/misconnect history, passenger makeup (i.e primarily liesure or business), etc.

In my experience in both ground service and inflight, about 85% of "overbooked" flights depart the gate with at least one or more empty seats.



User currently offlineAerLingus From China, joined Mar 2000, 2371 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (14 years 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 2593 times:

I believe that this has the same justification in it's presence as anything else here, including topics like 'nice airports' or 'the best part of flying.' I asked for information, not criticisation on the pages in which I post.

Get your patchouli stink outta my store!
User currently offlineSingapore 777 From Australia, joined May 1999, 1026 posts, RR: 3
Reply 9, posted (14 years 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 2584 times:

Just thought I'd let you guys know that there were about a group of 15 people waiting to take our flight to Perth last year. They were bumped off a Qantas flight earlier in the morning and they were making a lot of noise at the check-in counters where we were also doing our check-in.

In the end, we made it out of the gate with 2 empty seats behind me (which was Row 60, I was in Row 59 in the A340).

User currently offlineAerLingus From China, joined Mar 2000, 2371 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (14 years 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 2571 times:

I meant to say criticism (that was one heck of a typo).

Get your patchouli stink outta my store!
User currently offlineMikea350 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 11, posted (14 years 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 2556 times:

I appreciate your question. And I like your creation of a new word! "Criticisation" has a nice ring to it!

User currently offlineZoomer From Netherlands, joined Dec 2000, 218 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (14 years 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 2553 times:

I remember (years ago in 1981) when I was on an industry stand-by for a Capitol DC-10 from JFK to SJU. It was overbooked by 57!! We departed with about 20 empty seats!!

User currently offlineMarco From United Arab Emirates, joined Jul 2000, 4169 posts, RR: 11
Reply 13, posted (14 years 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 2550 times:

Sorry AerLingus didn't mean to offend you...but this is a trip reports forum...I don't see the relevance of "why airlines overbook" with trip reports. This would be an excellent question had you asked it in the appropriate forum, which is the civil aviation forum.

Proud to be an Assyrian!
User currently offlineGOT From Sweden, joined Dec 2000, 1912 posts, RR: 1
Reply 14, posted (14 years 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 2550 times:

The main reason is that the airlines make more money this way. A few people don't show up to a flight so if you can sell there seat again you will make more money.
By the way, I was asked to stay at ORD overnight while flying SK to CPH. If I would I would have got a via flight, 400$ cash and 800$ free trips. But sadly I couldn't stay.


Just like birdwatching - without having to be so damned quiet!
User currently offlinePurdue Arrow From United States of America, joined May 1999, 1574 posts, RR: 7
Reply 15, posted (14 years 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 2544 times:

For another example of how many no-shows a flight can see, I recently got onto an American flight, flying standby, which was full in First, overbooked 4 in Business, and overbooked 10 in Coach. The flight, a 190 seat 767-300, also had 10 revenue standby passengers. So, with 24 more revenue passengers booked than seats available (about 12% over), they were able to accomodate I think 4 non-revs, hence 28 no-shows on one flight. The flight was CDG-JFK, the afternoon of the birdstrike. A lot of passengers headed to MIA on the flight that hit the birds were reaccomodated on this JFK trip.

American Way had a great Vantage Point article on this topic, don't remember whether it was from Carty or Crandall, but it doesn't seem to be available online anymore.

User currently offlineBoeing764 From Canada, joined Apr 2001, 298 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (14 years 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 2528 times:

I am an airline employee and we travel stand by. I have flown from Vancouver to Hong Kong twice and both times the flight was oversold but I got on because there were so many no shows. The first time 67 people didn't show up for the flight!

From Dr. King's America to Nelson Mandela's Africa, the journey of equality moves on.
Top Of Page
Forum Index

Reply To This Topic Why Do Airlines Overbook?
No username? Sign up now!

Forgot Password? Be reminded.
Remember me on this computer (uses cookies)
  • Trip reports only! Other topics here
  • If criticizing an airline, express yourself in a dignified manner.
  • No adverts of any kind. This includes web pages.
  • No hostile language or criticizing of others.
  • Do not post copyright protected material.
  • Use relevant and describing topics.
  • Check if your post already been discussed.
  • Check your spelling!
Add Images Add SmiliesPosting Help

Please check your spelling (press "Check Spelling" above)

Similar topics:More similar topics...
Asia Part 3: HAN-REP On Vietnam Airlines (pics) posted Tue Jun 3 2008 18:36:38 by Jsnww81
SGN-HAN-SGN On BL (Pacific Airlines) W/pics (#2) posted Tue Jun 3 2008 16:34:55 by 9W748Capt
Re Do Of Anchorage-Lihue posted Tue May 20 2008 18:53:48 by ASFlyer81
Around The World On 5-star Airlines posted Mon May 19 2008 15:23:21 by Kdonohue
OSL-FCO-BKK Norwegian / China Airlines (Business) posted Mon May 19 2008 04:16:30 by MountainDew
Turkish Airlines / A321 / J Class Video+Pic Report posted Thu May 15 2008 15:19:21 by OA260
SUX-DEN-COS Frontier Airlines/Lynx Aviation posted Sun May 11 2008 18:18:46 by Mfricke
China Airlines: LAX-TPE In C posted Thu May 1 2008 05:32:25 by Coolfish1103
Delta Airlines: ONT-ATL-BUF Round Trip posted Thu May 1 2008 04:30:13 by Coolfish1103
2008/04/14 Infamous Airlines Trip Reports posted Tue Apr 22 2008 10:47:39 by Coolfish1103

Sponsor Message:
Printer friendly format