tsaord
Posts: 1267
Joined: Thu Aug 04, 2005 2:46 pm

I Have A Question About Overbookings

Mon Aug 08, 2005 12:33 pm

i bought the season one dvd of "airline" today that features swa. there were a lot of shows that featured people being upset do to overbookings. the reason airlines overbook was made pretty clear to me in the show. but, if a flight is overbooked, in general, how do airlines decide who gets to go and who doesnt?
there are icons, then there are legends, then there is rick flair
 
tymnbalewne
Posts: 714
Joined: Mon Mar 21, 2005 3:06 am

RE: I Have A Question About Overbookings

Mon Aug 08, 2005 12:40 pm

In the USA, the Dep't of Transportation require that airlines (at least international carriers) have an order of offload included in the letter that is given to customers in the event customers have to be denied boarding.

It also details that airlines will look for volunteers first and if they're not enough "vols" then the order of offload will go into effect.

Remember...people who show up late aren't entitled to compensation. Who determines what's late? The airline! (...as long as it's posted somewhere where the customer had access, i.e. online, etc.)

C.
Dewmanair...begins with Dew
 
sunnyb
Posts: 231
Joined: Sun Aug 01, 2004 6:36 am

RE: I Have A Question About Overbookings

Mon Aug 08, 2005 12:41 pm

I guess it's upto the passengers. The airlines do offer some type of rewards or something to please the "overbooked" passengers.

If nobody wants to get off...then its a different story, perhaps.


Correct me if I'm wrong...
 
Checo77
Posts: 1263
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RE: I Have A Question About Overbookings

Mon Aug 08, 2005 12:43 pm

Airlines rely on that people will accept the compensation. Usually, the first to arrive to the gate are asked if they want the compensation and so on, until they get enought people to fill the plane and accomodate the compensated on other flights. Plus, there will always be people would take 300USD and fly later, thus paying his ticket. Plus, everybody will accept an upgrade.
I hope it helped,
regards,
Adam
Czech Boeing lover living in Lima
 
Bjones
Posts: 122
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RE: I Have A Question About Overbookings

Mon Aug 08, 2005 1:19 pm

Everything so far is pretty much correct. This is how it works for US domestic flights. There are some variations for domestic and other countries but for the most part the general principles remain.

Airlines must solicit for volunteers if they anticipate that they will be oversold (more passengers show up than seats available). Airlines offer some sort of compensation in exchange for taking a later flight to the volunteers. The compensation could be a free ticket or a voucher for a certain amount towards future travel. If they receive enough volunteers to accommodate everyone then everyone is happy and it ends here.

Only passengers that meet the checkin requirements for the flight are eligible for a seat or compensation in most cases this means checked in and in the boarding area thirty minutes before departure.

In the event that there are not enough seats for the eligible passengers even after volunteers have been solicited then they involuntarily deny passengers starting with the last person to checkin who did not receive a seat assignment at checkin. There is a provision to allow them to deviate from this order for a significant hardship such as someone attending a funeral or a medical emergency. Missing a business meeting does not meet this requirement. If you are involuntarily denied boarding then you are offered the choice between what they offered the volunteers or monetary compensation as defined by law based on the value of your ticket and how soon they can get you to your destination.

To minimize your chances of being denied boarding try to make sure you have a prereserved seat and then make sure you meet the checkin requirements. If you don't have a prereserved seat and especially if you asked for one and none were available show up early so that you aren't the last one on the list for a seat assignment and thus the first one to be involuntarily denied.
 
bullpitt
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RE: I Have A Question About Overbookings

Tue Aug 09, 2005 12:00 am

ok this is how it works in IB

1st It makes no difference if you have prebooked seats or not. Overbooking happens at the airport. If you don't turn up and all seats have been taken then the computer will give your seat to the next person to check in Unless what you have is not a seat reservation but an anticipated boarding pass. Then it will be held for you until the last minute.

2nd Unless by mistake a seat is given to more than one pap (and that's a different problem altogether) no one gets off loaded, you are just refused boarding and put on stand by until the last minute when the WL gets resolved at the gate or transfer desk.

3rd If you end up not flying, under EEC rules you are given compensation depending on several factors.
These are my principles but if you don't like them I have others
 
zephyr98
Posts: 81
Joined: Sun May 16, 2004 9:24 am

RE: I Have A Question About Overbookings

Tue Aug 09, 2005 6:26 am

All of the above is correct, but you would be surprised by the number of pax I would have, on a regular basis asking if the flight was overbooked at check in, and signing up on the Voluntary Bump list. Alot wanted it because they could get compensation, and rebooked on another airline, or some just wanted another fun day in Reno. I love my Volunteers....even when I am not overbooked !!!!   Alot of these people are Vol-junkies, and take their vacations courtesy of the airlines all the time...also airlines give meal vouchers and even hotels, if they are unable to get you out that day

[Edited 2005-08-08 23:30:16]
Some days it's just not worth chewing through the restraints...
 
ckfred
Posts: 4734
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RE: I Have A Question About Overbookings

Tue Aug 09, 2005 10:54 am

I've always understood that the involuntary bumping was a combination of time of check-in and fare paid. If an airline needs one seat after asking for volunteers, and the last passenger to check in timely is traveling full fare, he's not going to get bumped.

It will be the last person to check in on a restricted ticket. That's why business flyers used to waltz up to the gate at the last minute. They wouldn't be involuntarily bumped.
 
tsaord
Posts: 1267
Joined: Thu Aug 04, 2005 2:46 pm

RE: I Have A Question About Overbookings

Tue Aug 09, 2005 1:07 pm

Quoting Ckfred (Reply 7):

i started to figure that out but wasnt sure while looking over flights on both swa and ua to ind from chicago. when i came to see the "seats are limited"part on swa lower fares.
there are icons, then there are legends, then there is rick flair
 
jetdeltamsy
Posts: 2688
Joined: Tue Nov 14, 2000 11:51 am

RE: I Have A Question About Overbookings

Tue Aug 09, 2005 1:40 pm

Quoting Tsaord (Thread starter):
in general, how do airlines decide who gets to go and who doesnt?

In general, it's first come, first serve. People are involuntarily denied boarding in the reverse order that they checked in...last one to check in is the first one bumped, and so on. There are some circumstances where this method is deviated from..like funerals, honeymoons, etc...

If you learn one thing from watching the Southwest TV show, it has to be that you NEED TO CHECK IN EARLY!
Tired of airline bankruptcies....EA/PA/TW and finally DL.
 
EurofleetLHR
Posts: 100
Joined: Thu Jun 02, 2005 9:47 pm

RE: I Have A Question About Overbookings

Tue Aug 09, 2005 7:34 pm

In general, my employer adopts the following procedure for Intercontinental flights:
If the flight is oversold in First or Biz, seats will be blocked off in the lower classes, so that these pax are only downgraded one class. If oversold in Economy, we will usually ask for volunteers to take a later flight if everyone turns up. These volunteers will keep the same seat assignment they got at check-in, and will only lose the seat if the flight fills up and we do not have enough seats for everyone. When there are no free seats left to allocate at check-in, the next customers to check-in will be asked to wait at a Customer Service desk until the flight closes for check-in (usually 45 mins prior to departure time). We then release all pre-assigned seats that were not claimed, and hopefully everbody gets on. If not, the volunteers give up their seats. If there are not enough volunteers, it is usually the customers who have paid the lowest fares that do not get on. They will be paid compensation, given hotel accomodation if required, and guaranteed seats on the next flight. A volunteer is allowed to do the same on the next flight if that is also oversold.
For European flights, anyone who does not get a seat at check-in is sent through to the gate, as the flight closes for check-in 30 mins before departure, offloads are dealt with there.
Compensation is paid out, the amount being calculated by the length of the delay the customer has in getting to their destination - but would not be paid to those who do not have confirmed reservations on an overbooked flight.
 
avek00
Posts: 3159
Joined: Mon Oct 25, 2004 5:56 am

RE: I Have A Question About Overbookings

Tue Aug 09, 2005 8:03 pm

Quoting Checo77 (Reply 3):
Plus, there will always be people would take 300USD and fly later, thus paying his ticket. Plus, everybody will accept an upgrade.

Not always true - airline frequently fail to find volunteers during holidays and major events because few pax are flexible in their plans during those times.

Quoting Bjones (Reply 4):
In the event that there are not enough seats for the eligible passengers even after volunteers have been solicited then they involuntarily deny passengers starting with the last person to checkin who did not receive a seat assignment at checkin.

The policy varies by airline - some carriers solely use check-in time, others use a combination of check-in time, fare paid, and frequent-flyer/Elite status.

Quoting Bullpitt (Reply 5):
1st It makes no difference if you have prebooked seats or not. Overbooking happens at the airport.

Overbooking can happen at any time prior to departure - OVERSALE situations take place only at the airport.
Live life to the fullest.
 
zephyr98
Posts: 81
Joined: Sun May 16, 2004 9:24 am

RE: I Have A Question About Overbookings

Fri Aug 12, 2005 3:24 am

AvekOO - In regards to overbooking only happening at the airport. 1 hour prior to a flight departure, our aircraft automatically drop down to "aircraft capacity only", oversold flights are usually oversold by reservations. Also there have been many times when we have an aircraft with seats, another airline will cancel a flight, and instead of calling our ticket counter to see how many seats they can have, they will call Reservations, and one of them will overbook our plane at the last minute using their override. At the airport, only someone with a Supervisor sign can overbook a flight or class of service. But once again, it is usually reservations that ends up overbooking us, and then we at the airport have to deal with getting volunteers. I work evenings, and many times our dayshift will have gotten volunteers from our oversold evening flights to take earlier flights, or had people come in early wanting an earlier flight, and taken care of our oversolds for us. Also most of the other airlines at our airport, like us, will call a Ticket Counter Supervisor to ask if (We/They) have any seats as a courtesy, and also to avoid overbooking one another.
Some days it's just not worth chewing through the restraints...