carnoc
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Shame! British Airways Overbooked Flight!

Sat Aug 24, 2002 1:44 am

Today, a Chinese national newspaper which is called People's Daily reported on its official web site that British Airways had overbooked its flight BA038 which did departure on 22 August, 2002 from Beijing (PEK), China's national capital.

Because the original was only in Chinese, I translated the main details into English and the story starts @ Beijing Capital International Airport (PEK). The author of the original Chinese report said in the article that he has been experienced the whole thing, but he was not a passenger on that flight and he said that he was going to the airport to say goodbye. BTW, all time mentioned below in Beijing local time.

On 22 August, 2002, in the morning, my friend was going to fly with Biritish Airways on flight BA038 to London. For this particular flight, check-in counters A15 to A20 were opened. However, not long after we got to check-in area, check-in officers told quite a lot of passengers who were holding confirmed British Airways flight tickets that no-one can fly on this flight, it's just simply because that British Airways had overbooked the flight and there were totally 68 passengers who were holding confirmed tickets, but can't go, because all seats had already been fully checked in for earlier passengers who were also holding confirmed tickets.

Since then, I saw two duty officers who wore British Airways' uniform, and they were busy to talk with other airlines duty managers in the check-in area and finally nearly 50 of those 68 passengers had been transfered onto other flights operated by Air China, KLM and a few other carriers. In fact, they were still lucky, because anyway they had gotten seats, but when I left the airport check-in area at 12:00pm, there were still almost 20 passengers and one officer who wore British Airways uniform simply told them that they cannot go at that day, but there wasn't any explaination from British Airways officers.

So, the article finalized with author's doubts -- Why did British Airways overbooked its flight for another 68 extra passengers? Why did no-one from British Airways give any explaination until now about the bad experiences which all those 68 people had in Beijing Capital International Airport? The article also said that if British Airways doesn't takecare its customers in China, the future will prove that this kind of carriers will have no market in China's airline industry.
 
BA DC-10
Posts: 140
Joined: Sun Jul 15, 2001 8:40 pm

RE: Shame! British Airways Overbooked Flight!

Sat Aug 24, 2002 1:51 am

Most airlines overbook their flights, its simply to ensure that flights are full regardless of last minute cancellations. 68 overbooked is very high though!! At LHR T4 you will usually be handed a letter saying if you fly on the next available flight you will be given £200 or so.

Overbooking is nothing new or outrageous.
 
carnoc
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Joined: Wed Oct 17, 2001 3:15 pm

RE: Shame! British Airways Overbooked Flight!

Sat Aug 24, 2002 1:53 am

BA DC-10, I know that overbooking is often used by airlines, but don't you think 68 overbooked passengers are quite unreasonable and unacceptable?
 
airblue
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RE: Shame! British Airways Overbooked Flight!

Sat Aug 24, 2002 1:56 am

Overbooking is a common sistem to ensure a full flights.
Also some no-frills carriers like Easyjet uses to overbook some flights.
In any case here in Europe if you are overbooked you could get a compensation between €75/€300.

 
Rick767
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Joined: Sun Jan 30, 2000 8:11 pm

RE: Shame! British Airways Overbooked Flight!

Sat Aug 24, 2002 2:00 am

Basically all British Airways flights are overbooked. They use a careful monitoring system to analyse the number of passengers who simply do not turn up for their flight (more than you would think). The system generates percentage no-shows for each route, each day of the week and even takes special consideration for different times of year like Easter and Christmas (when there will be fewer no-shows).

Normally of course, this poses no problem. The flight operates fairly full, and BA have sold say 350 tickets for a flight which only holds and carrys 300.

Sometimes of course, the system doesn't get it quite right, and most if not all people show up for their flight. In this case the overbooked passegners must be transferred onto other flights etc.. and compensation usually always results.

I think almost the same system is used by scheduled carriers all over the world.
I used to love the smell of Jet-A in the morning...
 
B747-437B
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Joined: Thu May 30, 2002 6:54 am

RE: Shame! British Airways Overbooked Flight!

Sat Aug 24, 2002 2:00 am

If you think 68 overbooked is bad, you really ought to look at some of the loads on the India-UK-USA runs at peak season. Overbooking profiles of +400 are not unusual. My rule of thumb for non-revving there is that if the booked load is under 750 (on a 435 seater), you can probably get on without a problem.
"The A340-300 may boast a long range, but the A340 is underpowered" -- Robert Milton, CEO - Air Canada
 
carnoc
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RE: Shame! British Airways Overbooked Flight!

Sat Aug 24, 2002 2:04 am

Airblue, thanks a lot. As what I said, I do understand why do airlines overbooking its flights, but the case happened in Beijing was very bad. Does British Airways need to overbook 68 passengers to ensure the flight would be full? Of course, the answer is NO.

Also, after they found the flight had been overbooked, British Airways airport officers said almost nothing to those 68 passengers, instead the ground services operators (I'm not sure which ground services company does British Airways choose in Beijing, but anyway there are only two companies -- Air China Ground Services & Beijing Ground Services) apologised for British Airways to those 68 people, is this fair? The check-in officers had done nothing wrong, but they had to sincerely apologise and do all explainations to those overbooked passengers.
 
Guest

RE: Shame! British Airways Overbooked Flight!

Sat Aug 24, 2002 2:12 am

Yes, overbooking happens every day, but the BA numbers ARE rather high.
I am rather surprised BA offered no compensation to those pax left behind?
Take note: ALWAYS pre-reserve a seat prior to check-in. I am sure all those bumped from the BA flight (and others) had no pre-reserved seat assignment.

My best personal overbooking incident happened in January of this year. I was scheduled (with seat assignments) on Air Canada - YYZ-YVR-YYJ for a weekend getaway. The flight was overbooked by 26 pax, and AC gate agents were asking for volunteers to give up their seats, receive compensation, and be placed on the next available AC flight. As I had payed a travel industry reduced fare of CAD$125.00, I knew I would definitely not qualify for compensation, BUT, the AC gate agents were all young, and frazzled! So, I decided to give it a shot. The agent failed to see my industry reduced fare, and made out an MCO for CAD$300.00, plus, she upgraded me to Executive class for the direct YYZ-YYJ flight! Awesome! Not only did I now pay nothing to get to Victoria for the weekend, I now had the moola to apply to a Feb YYZ-CPH flight, in addition to THAT reduced fare!

Thanks, Air Canada!!  Smile/happy/getting dizzy
 
carnoc
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Joined: Wed Oct 17, 2001 3:15 pm

RE: Shame! British Airways Overbooked Flight!

Sat Aug 24, 2002 2:13 am

Thanks for everyone's comments earlier.

I've just heard something from my friend who was in the airport check-in area at that day. She told me that in the case happened in Beijing, there are two things which cannot be accepted by most of those 68 passengers.

1. They think the number of overbooked passengers reached the point of 68 which is too high, and it is quite unacceptable.

2. They were mostly 'pissed off' (sorry for using this words) by the way British Airways officers did to solve the problem, almost no explainations, no basic assistance, being un-friendly to them etc.
 
Guest

RE: Shame! British Airways Overbooked Flight!

Sat Aug 24, 2002 2:35 am

Carnoc, I don't think it's a shame for BA. Air China should be feel ashame.

Why does BA flight always overbooked and not CA?
 
carnoc
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RE: Shame! British Airways Overbooked Flight!

Sat Aug 24, 2002 2:35 am

By the way, the female friend I mentioned in the last reply, she is working for Air China as an officer of general ground services in Beijing Capital International Airport.

Also, she told me that a lot of passengers on that flight were Chinese students who're studying in England and many of them are pretty young, she believes that they're just high school students.
 
eugdog
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RE: Shame! British Airways Overbooked Flight!

Sat Aug 24, 2002 2:35 am

my experience is that when an aircraft is overbooked it is a scramble to be a volunteer to be bumped -why? becausse the compensation is so generous. On a flight from ORD to PHX - it was overbooked so they put me on the next flight in first class (3 hours later) and gave me a $400 voucher. What more could I ask for. I was one of the lucky ones who check in sooner!!!!!!!

Easyjet offered £50 in cash, a free return ticket and booking on the next flight the following day . That was pretty good as well - but no meals or other hospitality was offered!
 
carnoc
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RE: Shame! British Airways Overbooked Flight!

Sat Aug 24, 2002 2:55 am

Bigo747, you have to understand that British Airways is one of most well-known carriers worldwide and people have been push the airline in a position where people trust the company and also believe that the airline offers world's best services and products (comparing to other airlines) to its passengers, but the fact is that many people do not agree with it and I do also not think British Airways is as good as Cathay Pacific Airways, Singapore Airlines and a few others etc.

But, Air China (CA), it is true that this airline is the national flag carrier of China, but everyone knows that Air China faces a lot of problems on their services and products, but also no-one can really deny that Air China is trying very hard to catch up with other world class carriers, but it takes a period, maybe a few years or perhaps even a decade. Additionally, you have to realise that the disadvantages what does Air China have today are not all causing by the company, there are a lot of other factors we need to consider in this issue.

On the other hand, the past figures showed that Air China is now the most passenger and cargo carring carrier in China's three large airline groups. In fact, according to my personal experiences, I also think Air China offers better services and products than other China-based airlines. Seriously, if Air China wants, it can accept overbookings, but a lot of Air China officers told me that they will not do so on most of its domestic and international routes, unless they need to do so.
 
bobcat
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RE: Shame! British Airways Overbooked Flight!

Sat Aug 24, 2002 2:57 am

Here's the original from the official Chinese propaganda
machine, a.k.a. People's Daily....



*** After a quick search through PD's archives, something interesting
came up... this is the SAME reporter who wrote a very
critical article against the US gov't, referring to the "pirate"
US spy plane that killed a "patriotic comrade" Chinese
fighter pilot and subsequently landed on Hainan Island...




_______________________________________________


Last updated at: (Beijing Time) Friday, August 23, 2002

BA Sold Extra Tickets Stranding Chinese Passengers

In the morning, August 22, Beijing Capital Airport, British Airways(BA)' BA038 flight which flies from Beijing to London sold extra 68 tickets, stranded dozens of Chinese passengers. Though these Chinese passengers had all their OK tickets from British Airways they could not board on Airways plane, a thing unheard-of the reporter personally witnessed at the airport.

In the morning, August 22, Beijing Capital Airport, British Airways' BA038 flight which flies from Beijing to London sold extra 68 tickets, stranded dozens of Chinese passengers. Though these Chinese passengers had all their OK tickets from British Airways they could not board on Airways plane, a thing unheard-of the reporter personally witnessed at the airport.

People began to queue up for getting boarding cards for BA038 flight in the early morning. But what is unexpected, counter serviceman said that the seats had already been occupied though some passengers had taken a long queue for more than an hour.

What is even more bewildered was that why there were no seats for those Chinese passengers who have got their Airways tickets confirmed and the shocking thing the serviceman said that the British Airways had sold 68 more tickets out to a profiteering purpose.

The plane should have taken off at 11:25 on the day Beijing time, but people with tickets on hand had to wait on the airport and heard not a word of explanation from the whole of British Airways staff at the airport. Passengers had to shuttle from those counters, hoping to get seats.

Eleven senior school students as passengers from Harbin had planned to go to London by a group, but they have to make a change of their plan to take to three different flights, some will fly via Helsinki, some via Switzerland.

Originally, they should arrive in London at 3:30 pm on August 22 local time, but now they are not sure when and how they will get to and meet in London.

Majority of these student passengers may arrive in London at midnight local time. Things seem all in a maze to them and many will fly for Britain on a study program. Moreover, this is their very first time to go abroad.

A mother of one of the students said, "I'm worrying what will happen because my son's ticket has been changed. This is his first time to go abroad and the plane may arrive at midnight, what's more, it will take one to two hours from London airport to the Cambridge University and his school is very far from the university."

When reporter left the airport at noon, some 20 passengers are still waiting there, they could not get the day's flight and have to try another day.

Under ordinary situation, OK tickets have been confirmed, but how come the British Airways sold 68 more tickets only for the company's gain?

The thing is all too clear that some passengers could not board on plane. While servicemen in the airport explained that except Air China, most of airlines ever sold extra tickets.

They thought that passengers may change idea, but this wrongdoing is totally irresponsible for passengers.

I have been on many air companies' flights abroad, but this is the first time I met such a detrimental situation at the expense of passengers. Since the American 9.11 incident, international aviation market has slackened, there are not many airlines like British Airways selling extra tickets at the school entry peak time.

More and more Chinese students would love to study in Britain, this will bring a great benefit to British Airways, but their irresponsible behavior makes it lose reputation for they just have their eyes on immediate interests at the expense of the customers.

Suppose this was in the US or European countries, instead of being in a developing country like China, what things would be like? I think, at least, British Airways have to think about complaints first, being otherwise castigated by media, or they would not dare sell extra tickets so wantonly and brazenly to harm their customers.

By PD Online Staff Li Yan


 
bobcat
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RE: Shame! British Airways Overbooked Flight!

Sat Aug 24, 2002 3:03 am

I get the feeling that this reporter does not like "people from the West" very much?  Wow!
 
carnoc
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RE: Shame! British Airways Overbooked Flight!

Sat Aug 24, 2002 3:16 am

Bobcat, thank you for your translated report, I believe that it actually just translated by that staff from People's Daily, because the author of original Chinese report was written by Hai Bo.
 
bobcat
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RE: Shame! British Airways Overbooked Flight!

Sat Aug 24, 2002 3:22 am

I didn't translate anything, the article is in the English section of PD:

http://english.peopledaily.com.cn/200208/23/eng20020823_101969.shtml


Okay, I just realized the articles were translated to English by the same PD editor, but written by two different Chinese reporters.... anyway, neither one seem to like Westerners very much...  Sad

I wonder if they realize how many people are bumped each day in the US alone... I don't mind being bumped at all, since "they give you cash, which is just as good as money"
(a little Aflac commercial joke).

 
Guest

RE: Shame! British Airways Overbooked Flight!

Sat Aug 24, 2002 3:30 am

Carnoc, if BA is a well-known airline, then why are you saying it's a shame for BA to overbook passengers?

Is it because that your comment above saying that you don't consider BA's service is in the equal level, compared to CX and SQ, so you think it's a shame?

Air China is not willing to overbook the flight is because they're afraid to argue with the travellers with "low-knowledge" of travelling. (This description is very cruel, but sadly, it's a fact, especially to Chinese)

The reason why Air China's service is not-so-good is because political stuff. Air China symbolize Chinese Government in a sense. Current Government in China is not willing to be open enough and very conservatitive. I think we have to wait until the new leader Hu Jing-Tao holds the power. At least Hu is younger, and is willing to tell his comrades at Air China that what should they do to become more modernize and the service is equal to those international ones.
 
carnoc
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RE: Shame! British Airways Overbooked Flight!

Sat Aug 24, 2002 3:35 am

Sorry, I didn't mean you have translated the article, I was in a hurry and typed something wrong, I think.

The original report (in Chinese) written by Hai Bo and the editor was Dong Meng Jun, but People's Daily online English editor Li Yan did the translation and put the English report on the English version of People's Daily web site.

BTW, if British Airways staff apologised for overbooking or even mentioned about compensation, I will not really unhappy like today, but they almost said nothing, even not a sorry to those 68 passengers.
 
Guest

RE: Shame! British Airways Overbooked Flight!

Sat Aug 24, 2002 3:57 am

The translated articles give me an impression that "These reporters from China are ignorant". I'm doubting their motivation for this report.

People Daily is related to Chinese Government. Air China is related to Chinese Government. Their motivation is very clear.

They're just trying to bash the foreign airlines and trying to get these people flying their own airline.

Why don't they write a separate article about "What is overbooking"? I don't see any related articles on PD's site.

British Airways can be wrong, and they can do it better. And BA don't have to actually apologize. Why? Because BA has begun to process these overbooked ticket under or above the industry standard. That's equal to an apology.

What I saw from China is they only know how to "Criticize", and not willing to find out what's the truth and reason. I was laughing at those travellers in the "JAL incident", which passengers suing JAL for treating them like 2nd or 3rd-class citizens. I don't think these passengers deserves compensation. Funniest thing is that, even one of the passenger wrote a book about it, and literally bashing JAL. All they want is just Money. They don't care whether you're a first-class airlines or those cat-class airlines. All they want is money.

They have enough of "JAL incident". Now what? "BA incident"?
 
carnoc
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RE: Shame! British Airways Overbooked Flight!

Sat Aug 24, 2002 4:03 am

Bigo747, I used the word of shame, because it is disgraceful for British Airways to offer passengers that kind of services.

Firstly, I don't deny that airlines should be allowed to overbook their flights, but overbooking should be limited, the number of 68 is just unreasonable.

Secondly, the way of British Airways airport staff to solve the problem is not welcomed, at least they should apologise to those passengers, at least they should explain the situation to those passengers, at least they should give basic assistance to those passengers and at least they should know to serve every passenger equally.

Now, don't you think it is enough for me to say shame to British Airways?

BTW, there are some political stuff to do with the matter we discussed about Air China, but it is not all true. Also, I partly agree that some Chinese passengers have less knowledge about air travel, but Air China doesn't afraid to argue with them on the overbooking issue, because CAAC's regulation already legalised that Chinese airlines are allowed to overbook their flights.

For every single flights, airlines are allowed to overbook less than a max. of % (sorry, can't remember the actual percentage, I reckon something like 5%, but not for sure) of the number of its scheduled total useable passenger seats on that aircraft or something very similar.

Moreover, Air China is doing a good job at the moment and the management of Air China will try their best to ensure that Air China does a good job in the future too.
 
Guest

RE: Shame! British Airways Overbooked Flight!

Sat Aug 24, 2002 4:22 am

Carnoc, the reason why Air China is not willing to overbook the flights is because they're afraid to loose the passengers.

Travellers with less or medium knowledge of air travel will have the following reaction if they bought a ticket, but unable to fly Air China.

"I swear I'll never fly Air China again because they did so."

The over-booking limit is 5-10%. For a 777, BA can only overbook about 25-50 passengers. Before criticizing BA overbooked too much, FIRST, think about this: Why would BA overbook such number? It's Chinese' problem. Because Chinese always have this bad habit about flying, like they don't cancel their seat if they can't make it; or, they're just being late, they think it's the plane waiting for me, not me waiting for the plane.

And as I said, BA did everything that's under the industry standard. And for the airport staff, what if one of them does not work for BA?

You can say I'm praising and admires these airlines, but I have to tell you is that it's just simply a FACT.

Are you going to say it's their attitude towards Chinese is like, "because they're Chinese, so we can do everything what we want". No, no airline dare to do this. Who don't want passengers to fly them so they can get more revenue?

If BA is a shame, then I would rather see Air China as a shame.

at least they should know to serve every passenger equally.

Now, please tell me what's your definition of serve every passenger equally?

Chinese always have this attitude of "I feel like you don't treat me nice, so I'm considering you as not treating me equally". This is funny. If you're attitude didn't change at the first place, then you don't deserve to stand in a position to criticize the others.


Yes, it's a fact that Air China is trying their best. But according to my observation from my daily visit to CARNOC's Air China message board, I don't see any positive comments. All I saw not-so-positive comments. One of the comment I saw is:

the new Business Class seat is even worse than other airlines' Economy Class.
 
LJ
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RE: Shame! British Airways Overbooked Flight!

Sat Aug 24, 2002 4:40 am

I don't see the problem with overbooking. As long as they ask volunteers and provide the usual compensation (thus $$$$$$$).

Tomorrow my flight (BA8121 LGW-AMS) is either full or already in the plus (thus overbooked) as only to 2 C class fares are available for booking. One thing for sure, I'm ready to take up the denied boarding compensation (free night in London, EUR 150) but probably that won't happen as I never have the luck of ending up on an oversold flight.

BTW 68 isn't very strange. Have heard KLM sometimes sells 100 seats more on flights to Africa (notably Lagos) end still ends up with some empty seats (just for the record KLM uses an MD-11 with 300 seats to Lagos thus they sell 133% of the seats). It all comes down to yield management (and the fact that it's still cheaper to overbook than to fly with empty seats).

Regards
Laurens
 
Guest

RE: Shame! British Airways Overbooked Flight!

Sat Aug 24, 2002 4:47 am

LJ, well said. There will always be the no-show factor, which is why it does make sense for carriers to overbook to a sensible degree. Where I do have a problem is when carriers are negligent in offering bumped pax applicable and fair compensation packages. And as I said, as long as you ensure you have a pre-assigned seat prior to check-in, your reservation should be fine, and you runa very low risk of being bumped from your flight.

Personally, I pray for overbookings, where (schedule permitting) I can volunteer and receive that nice compensation package. Gives me more time to stroll through an airport and/or watch take-offs and landings prior to my revised new flight time. I always LOL at the "mad scramble" of pax like me to the gate counter when volunteers are called for!  Smile/happy/getting dizzy
 
Guest

RE: Shame! British Airways Overbooked Flight!

Sat Aug 24, 2002 4:56 am

I'm also one of those who would love to be bumped off a flight, but never am (although I occasionally fly in J, so it's very unlikely in that case).

On a sidenote, 'flybe', a British regional carrier (formerly 'British European') has made it explicitly clear on its website that it intends to bring an end to overbooking, by the start of its winter timetable.

http://www.flybe.com/company/
 
RickB
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Joined: Mon May 19, 2003 3:11 am

RE: Shame! British Airways Overbooked Flight!

Sat Aug 24, 2002 6:28 am

I dont think BA have anything to be ashamed of - the overbooking figures are carefully worked out and in the vast majority of cases all passengers who turn up for the flight are given a seat - in the minority of cases where they can't be carried, then the 'denied boarding compensation' kicks in - which varies from airline to airline. Most of the time the computers get it right and the correct number of passengers show up. In this case, it got it wrong - too many people turned up, no big deal - give them the compensation and get on with it - sometimes its horrible when it happens to you - other times your happy to take the money and spend a bit longer somewhere usually at the airlines expense !!

I have to say I got denied boarding compensation from SAS at least twice a month from Oslo to Manchester (either direct or via Copenhagen - I worked in Oslo for 6 months a few years ago and used to fly back at weekends and for football matches).

I think the truly shameful thing here is the reporting, obviously the reporter has flown very infrequently if he has never heard of this happening before. I think that the reporter has an ulterior motive if you ask me !!

RickB
 
a380
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RE: Shame! British Airways Overbooked Flight!

Sat Aug 24, 2002 7:24 am

I think some posts went too far in this thread. Do we not criticize other airlines right here? Some people here seemed to have the attitude of 'Chinese should not complain'. Why a confirmed passenger cannot ask for a seat, if he/she wants to fly on that date, tell me please?

Btw, just because a system is 'used by everyone' doesn't mean it has no problems at all.
 
Guest

RE: Shame! British Airways Overbooked Flight!

Sat Aug 24, 2002 9:00 am

A380, I didn't say that Passengers does not have the rights to ask anything or thinks that "Chinese should not complain".

Actually it's good to see Chinese did so, because they know their rights. However, they seems to push the limits too far.

If someone slightly treats other nicely than you, you, as a Chinese, will automatically think that they're racist, don't treats you equally.

What kind of thinking and attitude is that?
 
airfrancejfk
Posts: 451
Joined: Sun Jan 13, 2002 1:05 am

RE: Shame! British Airways Overbooked Flight!

Sat Aug 24, 2002 11:16 am

When you have a 30% no show factor (speaking from AF experience), you have no choice but to overbook. First Class is never overbooked, business can only be overbooked by 10, and economy by 40. Once you past the 40 mark in economy, you know you're in trouble so I agree 68 is alot. However, without overbooking, believe me, you'd be payin alot more for tickets, and there'd be alot fewer airlines flying, I think people fail to realise how high no show factors are. Its like before I started working for an airline, I would wonder who in their right might would not turn up for a flight. However, you will always have passengers holding full fare tickets (which can be changed as many times as the passengers please, therefore allowing the passenger to cancel at the last minute), passengers who might have altered their travel plans at the last minute or people who simply dont make it to the airport in time, so don't criticize airlines for overbooking, without it, I doubt they'd be able to survive.
 
tsentsan
Posts: 1921
Joined: Mon Jan 28, 2002 10:48 pm

RE: Shame! British Airways Overbooked Flight!

Sat Aug 24, 2002 3:28 pm

On SIA, if you're on an overbooked flight, and you volunteer of offload, they'll compensate you SGD $500.
NO URLS in signature
 
carnoc
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RE: Shame! British Airways Overbooked Flight!

Sat Aug 24, 2002 5:15 pm

Thanks for all earlier replies.

However, at least, there are two very unacceptable things inside the case happened in Beijing:

1. British Airways airport staff had no explaination, no basic assistance, non-friendly attitude, so can anyone say that the services offered are equal to the normal international standard and standard what does British Airways suppose to offer to their passengers? The real example is that my friend who was there as an officer of general ground services from Air China told me that during the whole check-in period, those British Airways airport staff being very rude to some Chinese passengers who did nothing wrong, but they never gave rude faces to foreign passengers and even move some foreign passengers from back of queues to the very front of queues, is this discriminating to those Chinese passengers? Also, she told me that everytime those Chinese passengers who were unable to fly on that flight, when they being friendly to ask British Airways airport staff for reasons and solutions, the staff just said "Wait somewhere nearby these counters." with their 'ugly' faces, I wonder don't those Chinese passengers have the rights to know what happened and don't those overbooked Chinese passengers can know what are they going to do with the matter?

2. All 68 overbooked passengers were not volunter of offload and those overbooked passengers were most Chinese students who study in England and that was the first aboard trip for most of them. However, during the whole check-in processing, BA airport staff keep move foreign passengers from back of queues to the very front, so I doubt probably that BA airport staff already knew there were too many passengers, but they tried their best to make sure all passengers who were not Chinese can successfully fly on that flight. On the other hand, someone who didn't want to fly with other carriers, a BA airport staff simply and rudely told him "fine, if you don't go today, you can go later." Do you think that this is the right way to serve your customers? Of course, not. Finally, BA airport staff said nothing about compensation.
 
carnoc
Posts: 758
Joined: Wed Oct 17, 2001 3:15 pm

RE: Shame! British Airways Overbooked Flight!

Sat Aug 24, 2002 5:36 pm

Bigo747, do you really know what happened between Japan Airlines and Chinese passengers? Seriously, Japan Airlines (actually, mostly the ground services) did something wrong, why cabin crews didn't let all Chinese passengers to leave the aircraft? Why the leaving of passengers of the aircraft has to be in order -- Japanese first, Other nation passengers second and Chinese passengers last. Why didn't Japan Airlines ground services give enough food and drinks when there are restaurants already opened? Why didn't some ground services officers didn't accept those Chinese passengers to phtograph where they were staying overnight. Why did ground services officers disappeared for so many hours? Why did those Chinese passengers complain to Japan Airlines so many times, but had no reply at all? So, can you say that Japan Airlines or at least its ground services didn't do anything wrong?

Additionally, I totally disagree with the way you describe those Chinese passengers, they didn't really want the money, the only thing they wanted was a real sincere apologise and further improvements. By the way, in the report issued by Japan Airlines, airline officials added "We have certainly done a lot of unfair things to those Chinese passengers." Lastly, the book was not wrote by any Chinese passenger who experienced the whole thing.

BTW, as what I said earlier, Air China needs time to improve, to catch up, it is not the work any carrier can be done within a day or a month!
 
jesseycy
Posts: 322
Joined: Fri Aug 03, 2001 2:15 pm

RE: Shame! British Airways Overbooked Flight!

Sat Aug 24, 2002 5:37 pm

I get why the reporter seems so annoyed/disappointed........

"except Air China, most of airlines ever sold extra tickets. "

So does this means that Air China does not overbook their flights? Well, that's quite good! But then again, wouldn't really make economic sense. But I'm guessing that the reporter only heard of this "overbooking" system, so he's quite annoyed......
 
carnoc
Posts: 758
Joined: Wed Oct 17, 2001 3:15 pm

RE: Shame! British Airways Overbooked Flight!

Sat Aug 24, 2002 5:51 pm

Jesseycy, Air China does overbook its flights, but only on very few routes. Also, what do most Chinese airlines do is that all passengers who hold confirmed one way flight tickets, their bookings will be automatically reconfirmed in the system, but for those who hold return flight tickets, their first trip on the return tickets will also be automatically reconfirmed in the system, but for their return flight, passengers have to call the airline at least 72 hours before the scheduled departure time to reconfirm their seats, if they don't do that, airlines have the rights to sell extra tickets by using their seats and it has been legalised by CAAC's regulations. However, if there are already no seat left when passengers check-in at airports, the airline will ask those passengers to change their departure dates or transfer them to other carriers.
 
James768
Posts: 110
Joined: Thu Dec 21, 2000 11:26 am

RE: Shame! British Airways Overbooked Flight!

Sat Aug 24, 2002 9:24 pm

Overbooking happens, everywhere, everyday. I don't see why Beijing would be an exception. It's not a disgrace - and clearly the reporter had never been to Beijing Aiprot because in my experience the place is pretty chaotic and frequently full of passengers arguing with airline staff.

And, sorry, am I missing something? We are taking as gospel truth a report in PEOPLE'S DAILY....hmmmm...
 
JAL
Posts: 3875
Joined: Sun Apr 30, 2000 12:37 pm

RE: Shame! British Airways Overbooked Flight!

Sat Aug 24, 2002 10:08 pm

Airlines routinely overbook their flights to ensure that they are full so the British Airways case is not that uncommon.
Work Hard But Play Harder
 
carnoc
Posts: 758
Joined: Wed Oct 17, 2001 3:15 pm

RE: Shame! British Airways Overbooked Flight!

Sat Aug 24, 2002 10:32 pm

James768 & JAL, no-one in here really mean that Beijing should be an exception for airlines overbokking their flights, but everyone who was there absolutely shocked with the way British Airways airport staff (not check-in officers, but BA Beijing airport officers) to serve their passengers, especially to those overbooked Chinese passengers.

By the way, I have just heard something new from my friend who is currently in England, that some Chinese students who study in England have started to work together for the very bad experience those 68 overbooked passengers (mainly Chinese students) had with British Airways, especially the sort of 'services' and 'assitance' offered by BA airport staff in Beijing and they also urged all Chinese people who are in England and will travel to England to choose other carriers instead of flying with British Airways.

Additionally, although the original Chinese and English articles had not too much about the way BA airport staff served their passengers, but I also heard a lot of comments from the people who were there and they told me that BA airport staff surely offered very unfair services between foreign passengers and Chinese passengers at that time and most of them believed that it's nothing new, but only word can describe those BA staff is discriminations.
 
teva
Posts: 1764
Joined: Thu Feb 01, 2001 12:31 am

RE: Shame! British Airways Overbooked Flight!

Sun Aug 25, 2002 5:22 am

For all those saying that people shoukd be happy and should volunteer because of the compensation, I would like to meke this little comment:
What is the compensation offered by BA to those travellers?
And in Europe, there has been a very long fight made by the consumers, before the European Union started to force the airlines to give compensation. (and because not all the passengers know their rights, they receive less than the legal minimum)

And to conclude, it is not because, as an airline employee, you have to deal with this problem that you have to be arrogant.
And if 68 pax didn't fly, how many extra seats have been sold by BA? 100 ?
Teva
Ecoute les orgues, Elles jouent pour toi...C'est le requiem pour un con
 
Guest

RE: Shame! British Airways Overbooked Flight!

Sun Aug 25, 2002 5:35 am

Carnoc: don't you have something better to do then keep on posting the same Chinese anti-BA propaganda over and over again? Overbooking is nothing special, it happened to you, it happened to me, it happens to all of us. And no, it is not a good thing, bad-bad-bad BA, but there are more important things in life. You could have flown from China to London in the time it took you to write the same message 20 times or so. Get a life. If you don't like BA, book Air China. I hope they don't crash your flight though.
 
GuyBetsy1
Posts: 806
Joined: Thu Aug 16, 2001 4:00 am

RE: Shame! British Airways Overbooked Flight!

Sun Aug 25, 2002 6:37 am

Why the People's Daily in China posted that article is bewildering in the first place. Don't they have any other news to report?

Overbooking is an everyday occurance in the airline world and at any airport in the world. Funny why the newspaper doesn't even dare to mention the severe overbookings during the Lunar New Year seasons (Chinese New Year)on ANY Chinese airline within mainland China.

Why BA didn't explain - well, it's up to the ground staff to explain to you and honestly if it is manned by similarly well-mannered mainland Chinese nationals I can fully understand why! (Please don't think I'm racist. I'm Chinese too and after having witnessed how some mainland Chinese behave at airports over the smallest incidents... I am embarrassed to be asian. Period)

True that BA may not have acted the way it did at other European, American airports because there are laws governing over such incidents, but basically China has no such law (or rights) to demand any sort of monetary compensation for its bumped off passengers.

68 is not too horrible a number. At least BA managed to transfer the passengers to other flights departing that day, and in some small token BA did what it had to do. Basically transport the passengers from one place to another. And it did that.

Okay - so maybe these 68 won't fly on BA again. But there's the other 1 billion less 68 who might.
 
Guest

RE: Shame! British Airways Overbooked Flight!

Sun Aug 25, 2002 6:42 am

Carnoc, Chinese will always think they're right, they did nothing wrong.

And you can easily categorize those staff as a "racist" just by looking at their angry faces?

Now, THINK. Why would they show angry faces towards Chinese, not the foreigners? (Don't tell me they're bunch of racist staff)

BA airport staff keep move foreign passengers from back of queues to the very front.

What if these foreign passengers bought these tickets earlier than these students? Don't you know that there's "First come, First serve"?

a BA airport staff simply and rudely told him "fine, if you don't go today, you can go later."

What's your definition of being rude? According to the staff's word? What are you expecting? Are you expecting this staff on his knees begging you to forgive him because he/she can't put you on a flight?

why cabin crews didn't let all Chinese passengers to leave the aircraft? Why the leaving of passengers of the aircraft has to be in order -- Japanese first, Other nation passengers second and Chinese passengers last.

Now, now, it's just the Chinese "attitude" that started this. And I'm going to tell you know that Chinese is the ONLY ethnic groups who love to labelling towards certain thing and certain stuff. IF they don't like it, they can make any stories trying to make you look ugly.

By the way, in the report issued by Japan Airlines, airline officials added "We have certainly done a lot of unfair things to those Chinese passengers."

Excuse me, but do you really believe they're truly feel sorry? No. JAL was FORCED to do so, because they want to avoid the lawsuit, started by those IGNORANT passengers.

I feel funny when these IGNORANT passenger claims JAL is being "racist" to Chinese just because they're the last the group to leave. And It could be the coincidence that there's nothing left (meals, drinks) for these passengers.

What if the situation is like the following?

A group of American tour group is the last one to leave Air China's plane. The American group suing Air China because they're the last group to leave, and Air China being "racist" to them. What would you think about this?

Again, Air China is not willing to overbook the flights, because they don't want to argue with these ignorant travellers over these issues.

I think I'm gonna stop it here now. I just feel pathetic for being a Chinese. Chinese has low manner, even travelling attitude is the same.
 
PHXinterrupted
Posts: 461
Joined: Thu Apr 25, 2002 6:41 am

RE: Shame! British Airways Overbooked Flight!

Sun Aug 25, 2002 6:50 am

This is so lame that it isn't even worthy of the news. This BS happens every day and until governments (especially the US) hold airlines accountable, nothing will change.
Keepin' it real.
 
ual777contrail
Posts: 2914
Joined: Sun Feb 17, 2002 11:33 am

RE: Shame! British Airways Overbooked Flight!

Sun Aug 25, 2002 7:04 am

phxinter,in all the flights i have ever worked as a gate agent i have rarely ever had to deny a passenger a ride due to NOBODY wanting to get off.

anybody who gets denied boarding conpensation gets a free tkt. who wouldnt want this?

there are always people who want to have a tkt for the holidays.


ual 777 contrail
 
carnoc
Posts: 758
Joined: Wed Oct 17, 2001 3:15 pm

RE: Shame! British Airways Overbooked Flight!

Sun Aug 25, 2002 10:53 am

Once again, I thank you for all past replies.

But, the case in Beijing is certainly an uncommon one, it's not only because BA overbooked 68 passengers.

As what I said, British Airways airport staff moved foreign passengers from back of queues to the very front, it's not because that those foreigners had frequent flyers or had special tickets or had booked earlier, the people who were there told me that BA airport staff didn't check anything, everytime they saw a foreign passenger, then they will move that person, so is it discriminating Chinese passengers? If it is not, why did they have to move those foreign passengers? One of a check-in officers from Beijing Ground Services said that BA airport staff did everything possible to ensure those foreign passengers to fly on that flight, but they did not really care to their Chinese customers, or at least they served Chinese and foreigners differently and quite unfairly.

Also, does BA airport officers suppose to ask for volunteers of offload, of course they should and BA has regulated this, you will easily find it on BA web site. However, BA airport staff didn't do so this time, they just simply left 68 Chinese passengers who had waited for nearly 2 hours at check-in area, it is unfair especially when some of them arrived the airport pretty early, but because BA airport staff kept moving foreign passengers from back to the front of queues, so they can only wait.

By the way, the case between JAL and Chinese passengers is not only caused because the order of leaving of the aircraft, there were many issues. Bigo747, why didn't you answer me that why did those JAL ground services officers disappeared for so many hours after they guided all Chinese passengers to the area where they were staying for one night.

Lastly, once the flight overbooked, do BA airport officers suppose to help overbooked passengers to transfer on other flights? Of course they should. However, what did BA airport staff do in Beijing? They only asked other airlines and simply tell those 68 Chinese passengers to go to other airlines counters, didn't even ask any comment about their solutions from those passengers. Bigo747, being rude means very un-friendly and that's what did BA airport staff do in Beijing. If anyone from any airline said that to me and I'm the customer, I will complain to the manager or someone who in charge that area, because it is not what you should say when you face-to-face a passenger who did nothing wrong to you and to the airline.
 
carnoc
Posts: 758
Joined: Wed Oct 17, 2001 3:15 pm

RE: Shame! British Airways Overbooked Flight!

Sun Aug 25, 2002 10:58 am

GuyBetsy1, I'm sorry, but the past figures showed that British Airways is now already facing the position that other airlines start to get passengers from BA, a lot of people who were flying with BA now have been chosen to fly with other carriers such as Lufthansa, KLM and Air China.
 
ual777contrail
Posts: 2914
Joined: Sun Feb 17, 2002 11:33 am

RE: Shame! British Airways Overbooked Flight!

Sun Aug 25, 2002 11:17 am

i know that when the flight is overbooked your name appears in the computer with a number next to it. the computer splits up the names based on how much they paid for a tkt,mileage plus status,and class of service. they dont split up passengers based on race.

i dont know what happened in beijing with this whole thing but there may have been more foreigners than chinese on the plane anyways.
just a thought

ual 777 contrail
 
carnoc
Posts: 758
Joined: Wed Oct 17, 2001 3:15 pm

RE: Shame! British Airways Overbooked Flight!

Sun Aug 25, 2002 11:24 am

Bigo747, I forgot to say that when something has happened like the situation those Chinese passengers had with Japan Airlines, why couldn't the airline ask passengers to leave the aircraft in order of their seating allocations as normal as what all airlines do when passengers get off a jet?
 
Guest

RE: Shame! British Airways Overbooked Flight!

Sun Aug 25, 2002 11:28 am

the case in Beijing is certainly an uncommon one

The reason why you may think that the case is uncommon one is because this never happens in China before.

If it is not, why did they have to move those foreign passengers?

Again, Chinese love to labelling people. And in this case, Chinese are labelling these BA staff as racist.

If BA moves these Chinese students to the front queue, will these foreign passengers think BA being racists? NO.

It's the Chinese travellers' attitude that causing this whole problem. If you don't let me go first, you're being racist to me.

One of a check-in officers from Beijing Ground Services said that BA airport staff did everything possible to ensure those foreign passengers to fly on that flight, but they did not really care to their Chinese customers, or at least they served Chinese and foreigners differently and quite unfairly.

But they did not really care. AT LEAST THEY CARE. If they don't really care these Chinese, they don't have to waste their time to tell you to go to other counter, and hop on their plane.

BA airport staff didn't do so this time, they just simply left 68 Chinese passengers who had waited for nearly 2 hours at check-in area, it is unfair especially when some of them arrived the airport pretty early, but because BA airport staff kept moving foreign passengers from back to the front of queues, so they can only wait.

The reason why BA Airport staff didn't do this is because they're afraid to be the 2nd JAL. If BA asked this, Chinese passengers will begin yelling and being out of control, and blaming BA this and that. BA is not going to take this risk. Another risk that BA is not willing to take is that, if BA let foreign pax off the plane, they'll complain BA waster their time. If BA let chinese pax off the plane, chinese passengers will say BA is "discriminating" them.

And BA is now described as "racist, discrminating Chinese".

By the way, the case between JAL and Chinese passengers is not only caused because the order of leaving of the aircraft, there were many issues. Bigo747, why didn't you answer me that why did those JAL ground services officers disappeared for so many hours after they guided all Chinese passengers to the area where they were staying for one night.

Alrite, so it's JAL's fault. But what about the Chinese' attitude? Rude. So it's ok for Chinese being rude, not the foreigners? And at least JAL guided you to the area, and not let you got stuck on the plane.

only asked other airlines and simply tell those 68 Chinese passengers to go to other airlines counters, didn't even ask any comment about their solutions from those passengers.

Why bother asking? Because the same answer will always be "go to other airline counters". Are these students willing to stay one night at the airport?

being rude means very un-friendly and that's what did BA airport staff do in Beijing.

Yes, being rude is un-friendly. But do you really think that he/she intends to be rude? What if they're tired after the busiest hours before the flight takes off? If they talk to you with an ugly face (cause they're tired), are you saying them they are rude?


If you don't like the way how a foreign airlines work. FINE. Go fly with China's Big 3. I don't even think they'll do better than other foreign airlines like BA, UA, AF, LH, AF...etc.

And before criticizing, I suggest that you better see things more in-depth. Not just see things on the "surface". Obviously the report only see the "surface", no any "in-depth" thinking.
 
carnoc
Posts: 758
Joined: Wed Oct 17, 2001 3:15 pm

RE: Shame! British Airways Overbooked Flight!

Sun Aug 25, 2002 11:33 am

In fact, there are two different sites we can see from the whole thing. The problems I'm trying to say is that the way of BA Beijing airport staff to serve their passengers should be improved or at least serve all passengers equally, not serve passengers based on races.

However, the good thing is that British Airways transfered those Chinese passengers as many as possible on other airlines flights and most of them had upgraded to business class on other flights and British Airways paid hotel fees for some overbooked passengers who had to stopover in other places or stay in Beijing for another day.
 
Guest

RE: Shame! British Airways Overbooked Flight!

Sun Aug 25, 2002 11:43 am

Air China is not willing to overbook the flight is because they're afraid to argue with the travellers with "low-knowledge" of travelling.

LOL...God, they should start doing that in the US cause that's about 90% of airline travelers.  Big grin

Airlines overbook...Get over it.

B