Gnomon
Topic Author
Posts: 894
Joined: Thu Jun 03, 1999 12:38 pm

Overbooking On Southwest?

Tue Aug 02, 2005 11:12 pm

Feeling adventurous -- and needing a cheap way from North Florida to South Florida for a cruise -- I booked a rock-bottom fare on WN (~$30 each way -- can't beat that!).

This Saturday, I'm scheduled for WN2563 from JAX-FLL, leaving at 1045 and arriving at 1155 local.

What I'm concerned about is overbooking. I've noticed that WN2563 originates in BDL and has an intermediate stop in BWI before JAX and FLL.

I have to check in for my cruise at Port Everglades by 1600; there's one other WN flight from JAX that would get me there in time should I get bumped from 2563.

My question: What are the odds that 2563 is overbooked and that I'll be bumped? I don't want to end up like the hapless would-be cruise ship passengers on "Airline" who have to hang out in chilly MDW while their ship departs for the southerly latitudes.

I'd love your analysis of the odds of getting bumped on a Saturday-morning Northeast-South Florida flight, and advice (if any) on how to avoid getting bumped.

Thank you!
 
zonky
Posts: 417
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RE: Overbooking On Southwest?

Tue Aug 02, 2005 11:14 pm

Check in as early as possible.
 
1MillionFlyer
Posts: 1937
Joined: Wed Sep 08, 2004 8:55 am

RE: Overbooking On Southwest?

Tue Aug 02, 2005 11:17 pm

I don't understand why you just don't check-in online at 12:01AM the day of departure, you will get A group and will not have to worry about it.
Golf Foxtrot you are cleared for departure
 
FlyingTexan
Posts: 2998
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RE: Overbooking On Southwest?

Tue Aug 02, 2005 11:19 pm

It is exceedingly rare that passengers are involuntarily denied boarding provided they do everything reasonably – check in and show up in a timely manner, etc.

Quoting Gnomon (Thread starter):
Feeling adventurous

What – by taking a cruise in hurricane season?


 spin 
"Wouldn't your boss like to fly home nonstop at 4:30 on a Friday afternoon?" -Airline Exec to Congressional Staffer
 
Gnomon
Topic Author
Posts: 894
Joined: Thu Jun 03, 1999 12:38 pm

RE: Overbooking On Southwest?

Tue Aug 02, 2005 11:20 pm

1MillionFlyer and Zonky --

Thanks for the response. That goes to the heart of my question -- I'm a bit uninformed on WN's policies respecting overbooking.

I take it, based on your replies, that they bump the folks who check in last?

Thank you again.

FlyingTexan --

Adventurous not only bouncing around the Caribbean during hurricane season, but also doing so with the entire family. It'll be quite a week.

[Edited 2005-08-02 16:21:50]
 
AirRyan
Posts: 2398
Joined: Wed Mar 30, 2005 9:57 am

RE: Overbooking On Southwest?

Tue Aug 02, 2005 11:41 pm

I think that was like AIRLINE episode 6, where Southwest couldn't get these pax to their destinations on time so they missed their non-refundable cruise departures. For $30 your taking a gamble - but for $30 on Southwest well your running the gammit!  Smile
 
Gnomon
Topic Author
Posts: 894
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RE: Overbooking On Southwest?

Tue Aug 02, 2005 11:43 pm

AirRyan --

I think that's the one. They were overbooked by 53 seats IIRC. What a nightmare.
 
N1120A
Posts: 26467
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RE: Overbooking On Southwest?

Tue Aug 02, 2005 11:47 pm

Quoting AirRyan (Reply 5):
I think that was like AIRLINE episode 6, where Southwest couldn't get these pax to their destinations on time so they missed their non-refundable cruise departures. For $30 your taking a gamble - but for $30 on Southwest well your running the gammit!

You are not taking a gamble on WN at all. It has consistantly been one of the most ontime, reliable airlines in the world. Even for $30

Quoting 1MillionFlyer (Reply 2):
I don't understand why you just don't check-in online at 12:01AM the day of departure, you will get A group and will not have to worry about it.

You don't even have to do that. Since you are taking the whole family on a cruise, I am sure you will be checking bags for your trip (which means that Rapid CheckIn Online is not of much use). Also, as the number of people in a group go up, I am sure you have more interest in getting to the airport early simply to guard against logistical issues that can always come up. As long as you get there say an hour and a half to two hours early, you are basically guarenteed an A group seat and certainly, as a confirmed passenger checked in WAY before the close of check in , you will not be subject to IDB
Mangeons les French fries, mais surtout pratiquons avec fierte le French kiss
 
r311music
Posts: 102
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RE: Overbooking On Southwest?

Tue Aug 02, 2005 11:52 pm

You should be fine. Usually the BDL-BWI segment is only 75% full with only a handful going on to JAX and FLL.
confusing use of time
 
thegreatchecko
Posts: 689
Joined: Sat Mar 06, 2004 3:34 pm

RE: Overbooking On Southwest?

Tue Aug 02, 2005 11:53 pm

Quoting Gnomon (Reply 4):
I take it, based on your replies, that they bump the folks who check in last?

Yes, its fairness at its best. Just make sure you are early or just check in online. Anytime outside of 3 hours and you shouldn't have a problem. You can still check your bags at the airport even if you already have your boarding passes from online as well (I haven't done this in a while though, so call WN just to make sure).

The mistake the people on Airline did was that they showed up at the airport an hour before departure. On any airline, if you check in that late on a high density route you are gambling with ending up on the overbooked end of things.

Enjoy your cruise!

GreatChecko
"A pilot's plane she is. She will love you if you deserve it, and try to kill you if you don't...She is the Mighty Q400"
 
ont 737
Posts: 606
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RE: Overbooking On Southwest?

Wed Aug 03, 2005 12:05 am

At the Southwest's revenue management department they have this oversized plastic bone that they "award" to the person who had the most oversold flights for the week.  Big grin

And just so people have the terminology down...

Overbooked is selling more seats than the plane has.
Oversold is when you have more "confirmed" people checked in than you have seats on board.
 
Gnomon
Topic Author
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RE: Overbooking On Southwest?

Wed Aug 03, 2005 2:46 am

Terrific. Thanks, everyone, for the good information -- and the well wishes.

I'm looking forward to flying WN again after long years of nothing but DL.

Thank you again.
 
Pope
Posts: 3995
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RE: Overbooking On Southwest?

Wed Aug 03, 2005 2:54 am

Worse case scenario - if you miss the 1045 flight, you can hop in your car and be in Port Everglades well before 1600. Bigger problem is if the flight is late. At some point you need to commit to one strategy or the other.
Hypocrisy. It's the new black for liberals.
 
AirRyan
Posts: 2398
Joined: Wed Mar 30, 2005 9:57 am

RE: Overbooking On Southwest?

Wed Aug 03, 2005 3:04 am

Quoting N1120A (Reply 7):
You are not taking a gamble on WN at all. It has consistantly been one of the most ontime, reliable airlines in the world. Even for $30

I wasn't referring to the on-time of the aircraft but the odds that they didn't overbook the flight and for whatever reason you won't be able to get to your cruiseship departure on time. It's all in the episode, I'm not making this up!  Smile

Quoting TheGreatChecko (Reply 9):
The mistake the people on Airline did was that they showed up at the airport an hour before departure.

Ahh, so if I want to fly Southwest I need to waste two to three hours of my time checking in extremely early? No wonder Southwest is the business traveler's first choice!  scratchchin 
 
nonrevman
Posts: 1258
Joined: Mon Nov 19, 2001 6:33 am

RE: Overbooking On Southwest?

Wed Aug 03, 2005 6:49 am

Quoting AirRyan (Reply 13):
Ahh, so if I want to fly Southwest I need to waste two to three hours of my time checking in extremely early? No wonder Southwest is the business traveler's first choice!

No, you can check in online any time past midnight in order to get your boarding group. You do not have to sit at the airport for 3 hours or more.

When it comes to cruises, I would be extremely careful about same day travel to the cruise port. There are just too many things that can go wrong besides overbooking. If you miss the cruise departure for whatever reason (bumped, weather, delay, etc.), you are basically screwed. You will lose a large chunk of your vacation and money trying to fly to the next port of call. And if the ship does not make that particular port, then it gets worse. The best advice I have been given concerning cruises is to set up the flight for the day before and spend the night in the departure city for the cruise. For the original poster-- I suppose you are close enough already to FLL to have time to react to a problem such as weather, overbooking, or a delay. In other words, if you can drive the distance if you had to, then it is not really a bad risk. Some cruise passengers make the monumental mistake of flying in the same day and giving themselves only a couple of hours to make the cruise. This is probably the situation the "Airline" passengers were in.
 
AirRyan
Posts: 2398
Joined: Wed Mar 30, 2005 9:57 am

RE: Overbooking On Southwest?

Wed Aug 03, 2005 10:59 am

Quoting Nonrevman (Reply 14):
No, you can check in online any time past midnight in order to get your boarding group. You do not have to sit at the airport for 3 hours or more.

That kind of defeats the entire purpose of checking in then, does it not? I mean, if you plunked down your hard earned $30 two weeks earlier than what's the big difference between your intent then and your intent a few hours past midnight?

My point was not nescessarily to bag on Southwest just that I had seen the exact same scenario before on AIRLINE via Southwest, but just the point of gambling say a $1000 trip on $30 of airfare with no guaranteed seat.
 
jeffinbwi
Posts: 141
Joined: Tue Nov 18, 2003 8:59 am

RE: Overbooking On Southwest?

Wed Aug 03, 2005 4:45 pm

Quoting AirRyan (Reply 15):
My point was not nescessarily to bag on Southwest just that I had seen the exact same scenario before on AIRLINE via Southwest, but just the point of gambling say a $1000 trip on $30 of airfare with no guaranteed seat.

You are such a sensationalist! Southwest has over 3000 flights a day and one of the lowest load factors in the industry. They have a reservation on the flight and that is all they need. Even if the flight was sold out (unlikely) and this guy and his family showed up at the last second (even more unlikely) they would have people lining up to volunteer there seat for a voucher. Stop scaring this guy with misinformation about an airline that you have very little if any experience flying.
 
SWA TPA
Posts: 1454
Joined: Wed Aug 29, 2001 6:10 am

RE: Overbooking On Southwest?

Thu Aug 04, 2005 2:34 am

I am still a bit confused on what the problem is here?
Just check in at Southwest.com the night before (12:01am or later).
Even if you wait until ya'll wake up to do it you will be fine!
Now if you check in at the airport for a boarding card and it's a booked flight you have a good chance of ending up with a "C" group card.
I have worked flights before where it was oversold before I even got up to the gate to open the flight. We open our flights 1 hour before departure time at the gates. Those are rough to work!!!!!
Our flights out of Tampa that tend to be chronically overbooked are basically anything going to the northeast, PVD, BWI, MHT, ISP etc.
The worst is our flight #616. TPA-LAS. That flight is FULL of elderly pax and large tour groups. These people all tend to show up HOURS before the flight for check in. The "A" and "B" cards are gone waaaaay in advance!
Same thing with TPA-ISP flt 1304. That one has loads of elderly pax and wheelchair galore. I swear it seems like half the flight pre-boards!
Anyways just try online check in and you should be fine. The only time you cant use online check in or the kiosk is if you purchased any child fares, senior fares or a military fare. Also if your name is on the government watchlist you will get kicked out as well.

Enjoy you trip!

SWA TPA
I believe I can fly.....
 
Gilligan
Posts: 1993
Joined: Mon May 02, 2005 12:15 pm

RE: Overbooking On Southwest?

Thu Aug 04, 2005 11:09 am

Quoting Jeffinbwi (Reply 16):
Southwest has over 3000 flights a day and one of the lowest load factors in the industry.



Quoting TPA" class=quote target=_blank>SWA TPA (Reply 17):
Our flights out of Tampa that tend to be chronically overbooked are basically anything going to the northeast, PVD, BWI, MHT, ISP etc.
The worst is our flight #616. TPA-LAS

Hmmmm, seems to be some disagreement among the cheerleaders.
Warm winds blowing, heating blue skies, and a road that goes forever, I'm going to Texas!
 
AirRyan
Posts: 2398
Joined: Wed Mar 30, 2005 9:57 am

RE: Overbooking On Southwest?

Thu Aug 04, 2005 12:17 pm

Quoting Jeffinbwi (Reply 16):
Stop scaring this guy with misinformation

I wouldn't exactly call it misinformation when SWA allowed A&E to broadcast the exact same situation in an episode of AIRLINE. Sure, I haven't flown SWA in about 5 years but that's doesn't mean there is nothing to be taken from my comments. It's not so much buyer beware of SWA per se, but rather any airline as the reality of how the airline business works may have you missing your departure in a hypothetical worst case scenario.
 
FlyingTexan
Posts: 2998
Joined: Tue Jan 07, 2003 8:30 am

RE: Overbooking On Southwest?

Thu Aug 04, 2005 12:24 pm

Quoting AirRyan (Reply 19):
A&E to broadcast the exact same situation in an episode of AIRLINE

Keep in mind, A&E seeks out odd situations and whacked-out indigents to broadcast on their idiotic soapbox.
"Wouldn't your boss like to fly home nonstop at 4:30 on a Friday afternoon?" -Airline Exec to Congressional Staffer
 
777Purser
Posts: 215
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RE: Overbooking On Southwest?

Thu Aug 04, 2005 12:28 pm

Are you flying on an airline that does not offer multiple flights to your destination the same day of the cruise??? See here is where I do not understand passengers. You are concerned about overbooking....WHY IF THERE IS A MECHANICAL???

So many times I hear horror stories. Go the day before, avoid problems. Airplanes are machines, it is the hurricane season, JAX or FLL could be closed because of thunderstorms or what not.... Hope you make it ok, but like I said...I do not understand passengers sometimes.

Good luck!
 
jetdeltamsy
Posts: 2688
Joined: Tue Nov 14, 2000 11:51 am

RE: Overbooking On Southwest?

Thu Aug 04, 2005 1:15 pm

Quoting Gnomon (Thread starter):
My question: What are the odds that 2563 is overbooked and that I'll be bumped?

Check in on-line if you can. Get there EARLY.

Are you on a cruise fare? If so, you don't have to worry much...on a cruise fare, should you miss your departure due to a problem with your flights, the airline will get you on to the next port where the ship calls (at their expense). If you built your trip yourself, doing everything as cheaply as possible, you're at the mercy of Southwest's Contract of Carriage...which does not guarantee anything...and you have to get to the next port at your own expense.

Did you buy trip insurance??? to cover events just like this????

This is an example of where a GOOD, PROFESSIONAL travel agent could have saved the day...by booking you on a cruise fare and NOT Southwest and/or selling you trip cancellation insurance.
Tired of airline bankruptcies....EA/PA/TW and finally DL.
 
garnetpalmetto
Posts: 5351
Joined: Tue Oct 21, 2003 1:38 am

RE: Overbooking On Southwest?

Thu Aug 04, 2005 1:31 pm

Quoting Gilligan (Reply 18):
Hmmmm, seems to be some disagreement among the cheerleaders.

I see no disagreement there. Network-wide, WN has one of the lowest load factors in the industry. Fact. On segments out of TPA, they do tend to have heavy loads. Fact - but TPA is hardly their entire network - at some point lower load factors on the rest of the network average out TPA's higher numbers.
South Carolina - too small to be its own country, too big to be a mental asylum.
 
flyboyaz
Posts: 2077
Joined: Sat Sep 13, 2003 11:32 am

RE: Overbooking On Southwest?

Thu Aug 04, 2005 3:16 pm

Quoting FlyingTexan (Reply 3):
It is exceedingly rare that passengers are involuntarily denied boarding provided they do everything reasonably – check in and show up in a timely manner, etc.

It's a lot more common than you think. Seems to be more recently that I've noticed it...last couple of years or so. Last winter in TUS CO had NUMEROUS invols, especially on the EWR flight...HP didn't have as many. It wasn't a pretty holiday season.
Catch a ride on a smile!
 
Gilligan
Posts: 1993
Joined: Mon May 02, 2005 12:15 pm

RE: Overbooking On Southwest?

Fri Aug 05, 2005 7:35 am

Quoting Garnetpalmetto (Reply 23):
Fact.



Quoting Garnetpalmetto (Reply 23):
Fact

Fact, Jeffinbwi insists that WN flights are virutally vacant and that you can meander up to the gate right to close and the gate agents will cheerfully board you no matter how oversold the flight is. Meanwhile SWA TPA says, in effect, holy overbookings batman, we're getting killed here, check in as early as you can! If you cannot see the irony in those two opposing viewpoints from two people, one of which for sure works for the airline, I can't help you.
Warm winds blowing, heating blue skies, and a road that goes forever, I'm going to Texas!
 
Indy
Posts: 3898
Joined: Thu Jan 20, 2005 1:37 pm

RE: Overbooking On Southwest?

Fri Aug 05, 2005 7:48 am

My wife is going on a cruise in Oct and leaving out of Tampa. Wisely she is flying down the day before. It isn't on WN but as has been mentioned many times you just have no idea what could go wrong. When you spend that much money on a cruise ticket perhaps cheaping out on the airfare isn't the best idea. Want to lose a thousand dollar cruise ticket because of a cheap airline ticket?
Indy = Indianapolis and not Independence Air
 
gipper913
Posts: 172
Joined: Thu Jul 28, 2005 8:22 am

RE: Overbooking On Southwest?

Fri Aug 05, 2005 7:50 am

Quoting Garnetpalmetto (Reply 23):
Fact.


Fact: WalMart Air's cheerleaders have gotten their tentacle like reach into a.net crew!

Fact: Garnetpalmetto certainly has a correct logical analysis but lacks any appreciation for the ironic humor.

Quoting 777Purser (Reply 21):
Go the day before, avoid problems. Airplanes are machines, it is the hurricane season, JAX or FLL could be closed because of thunderstorms or what not.... Hope you make it ok, but like I said...I do not understand passengers sometimes.

You make good points, and I wouldn't take the approach Gnomon has, but he freely admitted he was "feeling adventurous" and taking a risk. Plus, passengers' jobs only allow them x number of vacation days, so taking an extra day on top of cruise can be difficult. I have an upcoming trip LAX-LIH (Lihue, Kauai) and am taking the later of the only two AA flights. Would I prefer the earlier one to insure for mechanicals. etc? Yes, as would I prefer more flights on that route as insurance) but I and my traveling companion have work duties, she has to fly down from PDX, etc. Life happens. Though risking a whole cruise on WN? Um....not the wisest, IMHO.
The size of the federal budget is not an appropriate barometer of social conscience or charitable concern. --R. Reagan
 
jeffinbwi
Posts: 141
Joined: Tue Nov 18, 2003 8:59 am

RE: Overbooking On Southwest?

Fri Aug 05, 2005 12:09 pm

Quoting 777Purser (Reply 21):
Are you flying on an airline that does not offer multiple flights to your destination the same day of the cruise??? See here is where I do not understand passengers.

Why as a matter of fact he is. There is another flight an hour and ten minutes later.

Quoting Garnetpalmetto (Reply 23):
I see no disagreement there. Network-wide, WN has one of the lowest load factors in the industry. Fact. On segments out of TPA, they do tend to have heavy loads. Fact - but TPA is hardly their entire network - at some point lower load factors on the rest of the network average out TPA's higher numbers.

Thank you, and by the way the thread is a question that is about a flight between JAX and FLL. No where does the thread starter mention TPA.

Quoting Gilligan (Reply 25):
Fact, Jeffinbwi insists that WN flights are virutally vacant and that you can meander up to the gate right to close and the gate agents will cheerfully board you no matter how oversold the flight is. Meanwhile SWA TPA says, in effect, holy overbookings batman, we're getting killed here, check in as early as you can! If you cannot see the irony in those two opposing viewpoints from two people, one of which for sure works for the airline, I can't help you.

I never said that. I simply stated a fact that WN has one of the lowest load factors in the industry. I never said we had no load factor. AirRyan, in my opinion was implying that because you can not get an advance seat assignment on the internet with those cute little seat maps (which doesn't mean anything), you don't have a seat. The facts are he has a reservation and is guaranteed a seat as long as he is at the gate 10 minutes before departure. If he gets to the gate at least 10 minutes before departure and the flight is full. The Agent would ask for volunteers to free up seats for Customers who do not have them.

Oh, by the way, one of the lowest load factors in the industry doesn't matter with this flight as of Thursday night is has only 2 seats left to sell. Fortunately the next flight 1312 at 11:55AM arriving 1:05PM as of Thursday night has 47 seats left to sell.

Yes I have been an employee of the airline for six years as a CSA, CSS and now a Flight Attendant. I just tend to read post more often than post my own.
 
Gilligan
Posts: 1993
Joined: Mon May 02, 2005 12:15 pm

RE: Overbooking On Southwest?

Sat Aug 06, 2005 7:14 am

Quoting Jeffinbwi (Reply 16):
Southwest has over 3000 flights a day and one of the lowest load factors in the industry. They have a reservation on the flight and that is all they need. Even if the flight was sold out (unlikely) and this guy and his family showed up at the last second (even more unlikely) they would have people lining up to volunteer there seat for a voucher.



Quoting SWA TPA (Reply 17):
Our flights out of Tampa that tend to be chronically overbooked are basically anything going to the northeast, PVD, BWI, MHT, ISP etc

Not what you said. Read the third sentence, particular attention to "last second". Read the second qoute in it's entirety. That is what I was making reference to in regards to "cheerleaders disagreement". It was in jest because of the irony of the two opposing statements from what we know now to be employees of the same company. Unfortunately we have a a.net employee who has no sense of irony and a WN employee that's just a little touchy so further attempts at pointing out the irony of such statements and any satire that would follow will cease and desist owing to the sensitive nature of the situation! btw I was a WN employee and can attest to the fact that what lowers those numbers are the bus runs between DAL and HOU and the like. Flights to vacation destinations and back are almost always booked up.
Warm winds blowing, heating blue skies, and a road that goes forever, I'm going to Texas!
 
gipper913
Posts: 172
Joined: Thu Jul 28, 2005 8:22 am

RE: Overbooking On Southwest?

Sat Aug 06, 2005 8:12 am

Quoting Gilligan (Reply 29):
It was in jest because of the irony of the two opposing statements from what we know now to be employees of the same company. Unfortunately we have a a.net employee who has no sense of irony and a WN employee that's just a little touchy so further attempts at pointing out the irony of such statements and any satire that would follow will cease and desist owing to the sensitive nature of the situation! btw I was a WN employee and can attest to the fact that what lowers those numbers are the bus runs between DAL and HOU and the like. Flights to vacation destinations and back are almost always booked up.

Gilligan,

No doubt we have had a run of people in this thread with no appreciation for irony nor any senses of humor. Know that some of us appreciated the point you were making, little buddy!
The size of the federal budget is not an appropriate barometer of social conscience or charitable concern. --R. Reagan
 
irelayer
Posts: 929
Joined: Wed Jul 06, 2005 4:34 pm

RE: Overbooking On Southwest?

Sat Aug 06, 2005 8:29 am

Quoting FlyingTexan (Reply 20):
Keep in mind, A&E seeks out odd situations and whacked-out indigents to broadcast on their idiotic soapbox.

Specifically what WN knew when they signed up do make a reality show. A reality show is not reality, a reality show is a small snippet, the ridiculous side of our daily lives, edited to make it even more ridiculous. I wouldn't call a show an "idiotic soapbox" if WN agreed to do it and doesn't object to the way it is edited or presented. I respect WN for having the courage to show everything, the good and the bad, but your comments suggest that you somehow think they are misrepresenting your airline, which they are not. If I wanted to see normal, daily airline operations, I would go to an airport and hang around for the entire day. If I want to see the two extremes, IE, the abnormal parts, then I will watch Airline. So while I think your criticism is valid, I don't think A&E has an "agenda".

-IR