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Questions For Gate / Airline Personnel

Tue Dec 16, 2003 6:45 am

I'll preface this by saying that i'm a college student and travel anywhere from 10-12 times a year to see a long-distance girlfriend  Nuts , recently I've been making travel arrangements with the goal of getting bumped.

I'm wondering if any airline employees have tips on how to accomplish getting bumped the best ? I've seen some threads on this but more specifically I'm wondering if gate agents like or dislike some tactics by those trying to get bumped, or have recommendations on which kind of flights have really good chances for needing volunteers.

I've also heard about this somewhat unethical method used by folks when trying to get bumped - showing up at the airport and buying refundable tickets, then if the flight does not need anyone just cashing in the ticket instead of using it. Suppose though that I showed up at the airport, bought a ticket for $1000 and then volunteered myself - would I still be able to refund that $1000 ticket and get booked on the next flight and a voucher?

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RE: Questions For Gate / Airline Personnel

Tue Dec 16, 2003 6:57 am

I don't work for an airline, so I have no idea how often that "trick" is used
or if it is at all. I'm not sure any airline personnel would be willing to share
on a public board how to defraud, or at least "rip off" their airline. I know
I wouldn't want to share with someone how to "rip off" my employer.

What a long strange trip it's been
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RE: Questions For Gate / Airline Personnel

Tue Dec 16, 2003 7:27 am

I don't know of any way to know which flights need volunteers, but when you get to the ticket counter, ask if the flight is overbooked or nearly so. If it is, then just tell the people at the counter that you are willing to volunteer if they need the space.

Of course, why you'd want to get bumped when going to see your girlfriend, I don't know... Unless it's on the way back and it's the last flight of the day...  Innocent
Those who fail to learn history are doomed to repeat it in summer school.
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RE: Questions For Gate / Airline Personnel

Tue Dec 16, 2003 10:26 am

If in the event you get bumped voluntarily, you basically have 2 choices, take a travel voucher and get booked on the next available flight or you may choose to refund your ticket in full, but NOT both. INVOLUNTARY denied boardings are very rare and have a different set of ground rules, which I won't get into right now. And if you think airline employees aren't saavy as to who's trying to cheat the system, think again.
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RE: Questions For Gate / Airline Personnel

Tue Dec 16, 2003 10:35 am

As someone who went through this for a year, I am from Florida and my girlfriend (now wife) was in California, it seems to me you are going about it the wrong way.

Maybe if you told us what cities you are near, we could offer you some more helpful advise.
Southwest Airlines "A Symbol of Freedom"
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RE: Questions For Gate / Airline Personnel

Tue Dec 16, 2003 10:51 am

Right after 9/11, when airlines slashed fares and frequencies, I was bumped several times. However, I have not been bumped in a long while, and neither has my fiancee (in DC), even though we almost always volunteer. I've heard that the airlines have gotten better at load management and are not overselling flights as much as they used to. Can anyone confirm this? Or are load factors just down?
"Lose" is not spelled with two o's!!!!