stock1985
Posts: 66
Joined: Thu Sep 04, 2003 12:47 am

Best Way To Get Bumped Off For Freebies

Sun Mar 07, 2004 11:03 am

I am traveling next week and know that all airlines are extremely busy due to the spring break crowd. I was wondering what advice you would give if you are looking to get bumped off the plane for a free voucher, flight coupon, etc. I am flying United next weekend on Mar 12 and Mar 19, and have called ahead, my first flight is overbooked by 6 people already.

My question: Should tell the agent at check in that I will be willing to get bumped? Should I wait until they ask for volunteers? Should I get to the airport extra early(flight leaves TUL at 6AM)? PLEASE give suggestions or stories....
 
User avatar
KaiGywer
Crew
Posts: 11182
Joined: Sun Oct 26, 2003 9:59 am

RE: Best Way To Get Bumped Off For Freebies

Sun Mar 07, 2004 11:05 am

I would suggest you to show up earlier than usual and tell the check in agent. That way they will place a volunteer tag on your bag, making it not go on the plane unless you do. Saves work for the ramp. Also, by telling them early, you have a better chance.
“Once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, an
 
WMUPilot
Posts: 1428
Joined: Thu Jan 30, 2003 2:48 am

RE: Best Way To Get Bumped Off For Freebies

Sun Mar 07, 2004 2:02 pm

I'd say the same thing that KaiGywer said to do. Showing up early is almost a garauntee that will be bumped, if they need seats.
JetBlue - Bringing humanity back to air travel
 
Type-Rated
Posts: 3901
Joined: Sun Sep 19, 1999 5:18 am

RE: Best Way To Get Bumped Off For Freebies

Sun Mar 07, 2004 2:04 pm

I usually check in early, be very nice to the agent , and tell them that I have no urgent need to get to my destination and wait. They almost always say thanks and I have had quite a few tell me that I was not needed on this flight, but they really appreciated my offer. A few times I even got bumped up to First!

It pays to be nice!
Fly North Central Airlines..The route of the Northliners!
 
star_world
Posts: 943
Joined: Mon Jun 25, 2001 7:52 am

RE: Best Way To Get Bumped Off For Freebies

Sun Mar 07, 2004 6:38 pm

Myself and a friend managed this twice in a row flying JFK-LHR on AA a few months back. They have about 4 flights one after the other throughout the evening, we were booked on an early one but didn't have any great need to be back in LHR at 6am! We volunteered to be bumped from the first flight, and got a $300 voucher each and a seat on a later flight. Then we heard they were also overbooked on this flight, I had a quiet word with the supervisor offering to do a deal with her - we'd give up our two seats, in return for an additional $300 and a business class seat on the last flight - she immediately agreed, and we arrived home with $600 in vouchers each and in J class! Not bad for a few hours wait...!

 
LEARJET23
Posts: 244
Joined: Sun Jan 11, 2004 6:50 am

RE: Best Way To Get Bumped Off For Freebies

Mon Mar 08, 2004 1:28 am

Tell the agent you have billions in stock in that airline, tell her she is a disgusting slob and should have been a walmart greeter! If its a guy ask him when he and his husband are going on there honeymoon? Even if its obvious he's straight as hell. Let everyone in the gate area know how sorry you feel for the poor service they are about to receive on "your " airline... Also let it be known you are on your way to claim your knockout Russian mail order bride at the next destination, and you have been popping viagra like tic tacs all morning getting ready for the "showdown" ... This is one flight you wont be on!
 
delta-flyer
Posts: 2631
Joined: Mon Jul 30, 2001 9:47 am

RE: Best Way To Get Bumped Off For Freebies

Mon Mar 08, 2004 1:38 am

This is one flight you wont be on!

Haha!  Smile But you may not get much in compensation either!

Pete
"In God we trust, everyone else bring data"
 
Jumpseat70
Posts: 359
Joined: Sun Jan 25, 2004 12:52 am

RE: Best Way To Get Bumped Off For Freebies

Mon Mar 08, 2004 1:52 am

I think this is a riot! I look for people like this when my flight is oversold. I guess you think we are doing you a favor when indeed you are doing us a favor and we SOOOOO appreciate you during Spring Break. Walk right up and say, "Hi, I'd like to volunteer to be bumped!" and then watch the smile creep across the agents face. (We will then put you on a list and look at you with a sweet smile.)
"Up, Up and away with TWA"
 
DeltaAgent1
Posts: 103
Joined: Fri Feb 20, 2004 9:34 am

RE: Best Way To Get Bumped Off For Freebies

Mon Mar 08, 2004 2:12 am

Jumpseat, or how about the question-- What you giving away today to give up my seat?
 
WMUPilot
Posts: 1428
Joined: Thu Jan 30, 2003 2:48 am

RE: Best Way To Get Bumped Off For Freebies

Mon Mar 08, 2004 6:09 am

You'd be amazed at how many people jump at getting bumped when they hear the words "free" and/or "Upgrade". Take this, I just got off work and our ATA Connection Saabs were oversold all morning from GRR (for ATA Connection oversold means booked to 32 out of 34 seats..stupid new weights). The first 3 flights were able to leave with 32 people because there wasn't a lot of baggage, there were kids, and the aircrafts were one of the lightest ones in the fleet. Come our 125p departure. 32 people, 37 checked bags, 17 carryons, 1 child. We weren't sure if the aircraft would be under weight so I went up to brave the crowd and make the announcement that the aircraft maybe overweight and we were looking for volunteers to possibly give up there seat in return for accommodation on the next available flight. My first announcement said nothing about compensation (I was going to give it out anyways as they were entitled to the free round trip) to see if anybody would take me up on my offer. One nice gentleman said he would and at that point I told him if we needed his seat he would get a free round trip and he was pleased. As I was still looking for more passengers to volunteer I made the second announcement, which contained the message "free round trip" immediately I was surrounded with 15 people willing to give up their seat. Luckily enough we didn't need the seats and the weight and balance worked out, but a lot of people want to hear the word "FREE" before they volunteer. Spring Break is the best time to get bumped. I know of one family in GRR that flies ATA every year the 1st of April, and every year the volunteer to give up their seat, and we do take them up on it, and the get the free round trip. I think they've been flying free now for about 2 1/2 years.
JetBlue - Bringing humanity back to air travel
 
SHUPirate1
Posts: 3428
Joined: Sat Sep 20, 2003 2:53 pm

RE: Best Way To Get Bumped Off For Freebies

Mon Mar 08, 2004 6:19 am

If I'm flying, they probably shouldn't even call it VDB...rather, it's more like EDB (Eagerly Denied Boarding)...heck, if I could, I'd spend my whole life at ORD simply getting bumped from one flight after another...
Burma's constitutional referendum options: A. Yes, B. Go to Insein Prison!
 
UAORD
Posts: 84
Joined: Wed Nov 05, 2003 4:01 am

RE: Best Way To Get Bumped Off For Freebies

Mon Mar 08, 2004 9:59 am

As previously stated, I would ask the gate agent if they are looking for volunteers and if so can they add your name to the list. I would also try and have carry-on luggage only and let them know that.


I am picky about my seat and normally have an exit aisle or bulkhead aisle, I always ask the gate agent to "hold" my seat assignment until they are 100% sure they will need my seat etc.

 
Alpha 1
Posts: 12343
Joined: Sat Feb 03, 2001 12:12 am

RE: Best Way To Get Bumped Off For Freebies

Mon Mar 08, 2004 10:01 am

I always like it when a customer asks me if we'll need volunteers. That way I immediately know that at least SOMEOENE is interested.  Smile

Go ahead and ask. All they can say is they don't need you.
 
SHUPirate1
Posts: 3428
Joined: Sat Sep 20, 2003 2:53 pm

RE: Best Way To Get Bumped Off For Freebies

Mon Mar 08, 2004 10:14 am

Oh, and one more thing...if the flight is overbooked by only six, expect to be on that plane...generally, it takes about 15% (or more) for a plane to be overbooked by enough passengers for them to be looking for volunteers, simply becasue of all the passengers that simply decide not to show up...
Burma's constitutional referendum options: A. Yes, B. Go to Insein Prison!
 
Alpha 1
Posts: 12343
Joined: Sat Feb 03, 2001 12:12 am

RE: Best Way To Get Bumped Off For Freebies

Mon Mar 08, 2004 10:34 am

SHUPirate1, that can usually be the case, but each flight is different, and I've seen flights over by only a few (mainline jet), that have gone over. Usually, the no-show factor means the flight will not oversell, but that doesn't always hold true. Even if I'm only over 5 or 6 on a mainline jet, or even 1 or 2 on an RJ, and I know all connectors will make it, and there's no one booked twice, or something like that, which can skew the numbers, I'll probably ask for a volunteer, simply to cover my own rear end.

It's better to solicit for volunteers, then not need tham at the end, than to assume the no-show factor will work out fine, and get into a sticky situation towards departure time.
 
Guest

RE: Best Way To Get Bumped Off For Freebies

Mon Mar 08, 2004 10:41 am

Alpha 1,

Go ahead and ask.

Thanks for that... it's nice to know that some gate agents do appreciate our willingness to volunteer, even if we're doing it more so for ourselves! I’ve often been pounced on for asking; it seems like more-and-more GA are angry that pax aren’t waiting for the announcement.

- - -

Another thing: even though some gate agents may pounce on you if you asks, it still doesn’t hurt to do so. Even if they don’t need your seat, you may be rewarded with a First Class upgrade, drink coupon or small voucher (UA use to give $25/$50 consumer service certificates, CO use to give comp bookets… haven’t seen CO give them out in since Jan. 2002 though).
 
stock1985
Posts: 66
Joined: Thu Sep 04, 2003 12:47 am

RE: Best Way To Get Bumped Off For Freebies

Mon Mar 08, 2004 12:58 pm

I find it so funny how many people look upon those of us asking for a free ticket as some form of heathens! Anyways, I was wondering what the policy was on when the airline must re-accomodate the passenger. Within 3 hours? By the end of the day? Does anyone know specifically for United and American?
 
ckfred
Posts: 4734
Joined: Wed Apr 25, 2001 12:50 pm

RE: Best Way To Get Bumped Off For Freebies

Mon Mar 08, 2004 2:19 pm

Here's my advice. First, be very pleasant. If your departure is at 6 am, a smiling face will do wonders. I once got an upgrade because, during the X-Mas holiday rush, the agent asked if I had been given any packages by strangers. I said "Strange people? Yes, but they're relatives." It was probably the first good laugh he had all day.

Second, try to stay seated near the desk in the gate area. I've seen people who volunteered to get bumped wind up on the plane, because they had wondered off when the agent started calling volunteers to work out the rebookings.

Third, dress nicely. I'm not suggesting business formal. But try for business casual. Many airlines will put you in First Class on the later flight. Even though I've seen a lot of slobs in First, an agent is more likely to put you in First if you look like a business flyer.
 
MAH4546
Posts: 24597
Joined: Wed Jan 24, 2001 1:44 pm

RE: Best Way To Get Bumped Off For Freebies

Mon Mar 08, 2004 2:27 pm

Oh, and one more thing...if the flight is overbooked by only six, expect to be on that plane...generally, it takes about 15% (or more) for a plane to be overbooked by enough passengers for them to be looking for volunteers, simply becasue of all the passengers that simply decide not to show up...


It depends on the route and time of year. If you are looking at a "spring break" route, like MIA-BOS or JFK-CUN, they are all showing up.
a.
 
airxliban
Posts: 4285
Joined: Wed Oct 01, 2003 12:14 pm

RE: Best Way To Get Bumped Off For Freebies

Mon Mar 08, 2004 2:39 pm

what exactly is the point of this exercise? the reward? first class voucher or whatever?
PARIS, FRANCE...THE BEIRUT OF EUROPE.
 
stock1985
Posts: 66
Joined: Thu Sep 04, 2003 12:47 am

RE: Best Way To Get Bumped Off For Freebies

Mon Mar 08, 2004 3:24 pm

Anyone have any horror stories of getting bumped off of a flight and not being able to get to there destination in a timely manner? Any broken promises? I just am skeptical in giving up my seat in the very busy spring break season!
 
jkudall
Posts: 389
Joined: Sat Mar 06, 2004 3:21 am

RE: Best Way To Get Bumped Off For Freebies

Mon Mar 08, 2004 3:29 pm

I echo the previous statements given by agents. Anyone willing to volunteer on one of my oversold flights is greatly appreciated. There is nothing worse than having an oversold flight, knowing everyone is going to be there, and not having any volunteers! It's enough to give you a heart attack sometimes.

I would say that of all the flights I have worked the last 7 or 8 days, at least half of them were oversold. The majority of my volunteers were re-routed on other airlines (because all our other flights were oversold). Some of the flights I worked (i.e. all the PHX, RNO flights) were oversold for days.

Nothing wrong with asking if the flight is oversold and volunteering to be bumped, even if they haven't asked for anyone yet. As far as I am concerned anyways.
 
SFO2SVO
Posts: 304
Joined: Thu Jan 29, 2004 4:56 pm

RE: Best Way To Get Bumped Off For Freebies

Mon Mar 08, 2004 5:05 pm

I second everybody's opinion about nicely asking the gate agent.
Also after 9/11 it helps to have no checked luggage: I think they would rather choose you then have to go and un-load someone else's luggage.

My personal "records" are being bumped twice on the day after Thanksgiving (yse, two vouchers!) and being upgraded to the first class just for volunteering - even though they did not need my seat on SJC-LAX. (Yes, United used to have FC on this route!  Smile/happy/getting dizzy
318-19-20-21 332 343 717 727 737-234578 743-4 752 763 772 D9/10 M11/8x/90 F70 RJ85 ATR72 SF340 E120 TU34/54 IL18/62/86/9
 
SHUPirate1
Posts: 3428
Joined: Sat Sep 20, 2003 2:53 pm

RE: Best Way To Get Bumped Off For Freebies

Mon Mar 08, 2004 5:25 pm

I'm not sure about the whole baggage issue...I remember one time unsuccessfully standing by on a United flight ORD-IAH, and then getting VDB from the next flight (my original flight), and my bag was waiting for me at IAH when I got there (and actually was tagged for the flight I tried to stand by on)...coming back, I flew IAH-ORD-LGA, was VDB ORD-LGA, and my bag was waiting for me at LGA when I got there, having made it onto the flight I was supposed to be on 5 hours earlier...I believe that, if you are flying to the same airport as you were originally ticketed for, you can have checked baggage, however, if they need to change your destination airport (such as if UA had needed to route me to EWR, or through IAD to JFK), then you have to be carrying everything on...
Burma's constitutional referendum options: A. Yes, B. Go to Insein Prison!
 
sfointern
Posts: 1104
Joined: Wed Oct 10, 2001 1:19 am

RE: Best Way To Get Bumped Off For Freebies

Mon Mar 08, 2004 5:27 pm

I've been offered many times, but I often find that the extra few hours wait isn't worth $300. Then, I get to where I'm going, and I have nothing to. Then, I realized that the $300 would look good to my wallet.
 
QIguy24
Posts: 2744
Joined: Sat Aug 07, 2004 1:13 am

RE: Best Way To Get Bumped Off For Freebies

Mon Mar 08, 2004 5:37 pm

I would be patient and relaxed. I would never run up to the gate agents like it was a 100m dash. I had succes with it before, so I always keep calm and relaxed. But I never do that if it is a small airport. Then I rather go to my destination as planned.
 
Type-Rated
Posts: 3901
Joined: Sun Sep 19, 1999 5:18 am

RE: Best Way To Get Bumped Off For Freebies

Tue Mar 09, 2004 2:01 am

I once witnessed a funny incident on a UA flight (IAH-ORD). It was a 737-500 and the Captain made a PA where he said that while all the seats aren't sold, the aircraft is overweight and they will need some volunteers to get bumped.
BTW, this was announced on the aircraft after everyone had boarded.

1st Announcement: $200.00 in UA Travel Vouchers... No Volunteers
2nd Announcement: $400.00 in UA Travel Vouchers .... No Volunteers
3rd Announcement: $200.00 in UA Travel Vouchers and 1 Free RT Ticket
For use in Domestic USA only.... No Volunteers
4th Announcement: 1 RT Ticket for use anywhere UA flies.. Then came a mad
rush of passengers towards the front of the cabin!


One guy yelled "I'm going to Hawaii!!!" as he was running to the front. You would have thought these people were on a game show!
Fly North Central Airlines..The route of the Northliners!
 
ultrapig
Posts: 570
Joined: Fri Dec 12, 2003 11:38 pm

RE: Best Way To Get Bumped Off For Freebies

Tue Mar 09, 2004 2:07 am

I've been voluntarily bumped several times-but what is the deal when they offer $250 in vouchers and you take the deal and then up the ante to a round trip-do the early takers get the whole hog- or just the little piglet?