Topic Author
Posts: 296
Joined: Sun Dec 14, 2003 9:39 am

UA Bumping Question

Sat Dec 27, 2003 3:00 am

I have an upcoming United flight from ATL-ORD on Jan. 2 and my dad and I booked the last two seats, and it is still open for booking- so I figure it is going to be overbooked- so, if we get bumped- what will we get? This is UA's last flight to ORD from ATL that day.
Posts: 523
Joined: Sat Oct 06, 2001 12:06 pm

RE: UA Bumping Question

Sat Dec 27, 2003 3:29 am

I am curious now, how do you know you booked the last two seats? If there are seats still open for sale, then the aircraft may not be full yet. In fact, I know it has plenty of seats left as it is only booked to 87 of 112 seats in the back.

If you took the last two seats, meaning you took the last two preassigned seats, then that would tell me that the flight is very likely to be full, and possibly oversold, but understand that we don't allow all of the seats to be preassigned. The last few rows are saved for the airport to check in groups, large families, etc. The Economy Plus section can only be preassigned if you have a qualifying fare or are a Premier member.

The last flight of the day, can be one of the most open flights, due to people trying to standby for an earlier flight all day, or if can be the most full flight, due to irregular operations/weather/previous cancellations, etc. So its hard to say if this flight will truly be a flight you could be bumped off of. Even then, we VERY often get plenty of volunteers that want to be bumped for the compensation. I would, its a sweet deal if I have flexible travel plans!

Okay, let me answer your question. For those volunteers, they will be offered a free round trip ticket that is good within the lower 48 states. Often times, depending on the situation, you may be rebooked on another carrier or provided a hotel and rebooked the following day. Let me know if you have any other questions.

Thanks for choosing United!
Posts: 94
Joined: Fri Dec 19, 2003 1:37 pm

RE: UA Bumping Question

Sat Dec 27, 2003 3:41 am

Additionally to what JC5280 stated, airlines are allowed to over sell a flight. I know, because I grew up as an airline brat, and my mother works in reservations. For example, lets say a 737-800 has 158 seats, 12 First, 146 coach. The airline can sell up to what is called an authorization level. Meaning, some bean counter figured out a logarithm to account for things like no shows, and the such, so that the airline can sell more seats, with the knowledge that not everybody is going to show up, and if they do, like JC5280 said, VOLUNTEER! So given are example, the airline could sell up to 164 seats or so, even though there is only 158 on that flight. (however, usually they don't over sell First, because those people always show up, well usually). I hope this makes some sense
BTW, SouthwestMDW, welcome on to Airliners even though its been two weeks

[Edited 2003-12-26 19:50:45]
Topic Author
Posts: 296
Joined: Sun Dec 14, 2003 9:39 am

RE: UA Bumping Question

Sat Dec 27, 2003 6:13 am

We knew we booked the last two seats when we booked @ and saw that there were only two open seats that had the blue open color and the rest had grey. ITN shows you E+ along with economy, but open is a green color, but it was all grey, and F was full. Thanks for the quick answers to the question!
Posts: 689
Joined: Thu Jun 12, 2003 12:14 pm

RE: UA Bumping Question

Sat Dec 27, 2003 6:28 am

JC5280 and APAOps5 -

Together, you really gave great explanations with regard to booking procedures. The general public has no idea of inventory control, flight history, or even seasonality of flights. Many people I know just can't understand why they can't get a free seat when a flight shows availability. It's too bad one or all of the airlines explain their booking philosophies.

Again, thanks for your efforts. I know I appreciate what you both wrote!
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Joined: Mon Jul 17, 2000 8:30 am

RE: UA Bumping Question

Sat Dec 27, 2003 7:10 am


Seats are also blocked for airport check-in, therefore, the seats that appear
grey may as well be open seats.
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Joined: Fri Dec 19, 2003 1:37 pm

RE: UA Bumping Question

Sat Dec 27, 2003 7:35 am

Tbear815, thanks for the kind words.
Posts: 127
Joined: Sun Nov 30, 2003 6:55 am

RE: UA Bumping Question

Sat Dec 27, 2003 10:33 am

Just as a little addition to why airlines block some seat...

The DOT requires that a certain number of seats be blocked for diabled passengers. The seats can be reserved, but you usually have to speak to a special desk at reservations.
Knowledge is Power. Power Corrupts. - Study Hard, Be Evil

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