Maracucho85
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Volunteering In Overbooked Flights

Sun Sep 09, 2007 11:35 am

Hi all,

Not long ago I recalled reading a study that pointed out that the act of volunteering to give up a seat in an overbooked flight was seen as a discriminating act. The study alleges that, most likely, the people giving up the seats are the ones that "need" that credit, or as the study calls them, "financially restricted" people. Therefore, this process would then discriminate "poor" people.

What do you guys think about this? Personally, I dont see it as discriminating. I haven´t had many overbooked flights, but I´m always glad to accept one and travel for free some other time, of course, if I´m not in a hurry.

Regards from Venezuela,

Alberto
 
phlstudent
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RE: Volunteering In Overbooked Flights

Sun Sep 09, 2007 11:39 am

I don't know if I would say poor people, but the more flexible people. Regardless of how much money you have, if you have to be some place, you have to be there. When ever my plans are flexible i'm more than happy to get a voucher or flight credit, it all depends on why I'm traveling.
 
deltairlines
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RE: Volunteering In Overbooked Flights

Sun Sep 09, 2007 11:47 am

If I have some flexibility, I'll always volunteer. It's not based on need; if I don't need to be there in a hurry, I'll sacrifice a few hours of time for a $200 voucher, which I really don't mind.

Not to mention that it's really tough to be able to accurately gauge far in advance if a certain flight is going to end up in a situation where volunteers are needed. You can't really book a flight and then know that you'll be able to volunteer your seat.
 
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HA_DC9
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RE: Volunteering In Overbooked Flights

Sun Sep 09, 2007 11:50 am

Quoting PHLstudent (Reply 1):
Regardless of how much money you have, if you have to be some place, you have to be there. When ever my plans are flexible i'm more than happy to get a voucher or flight credit, it all depends on why I'm traveling.

 checkmark  Same goes for me as well. Sometimes on routes with a lot of frequencies during the day, I will volunteer to bump if they ask for volunteers and take a later flight and get a flight voucher. I'll try and use the voucher for the family for vacation time.
 
Maracucho85
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RE: Volunteering In Overbooked Flights

Sun Sep 09, 2007 12:13 pm

I have the same thoughts guys. Just found it strange to read that kind of conclusion on that publication. I had never seen it that way.

Of course, here in Venezuela there is not too many frequencies between destinations, therefore, there´s not much room for overbookings but for very busy seasons like summer or Xmas. Nonetheless, a travel voucher always comes handy to me  Silly

Regards from Venezuela,

Alberto
 
pnwtraveler
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RE: Volunteering In Overbooked Flights

Sun Sep 09, 2007 1:51 pm

I routinely used to book on flights I knew would be the most popular. For example the 9am departure from yyz to yvr. I did so specifically to heighten the chances of a full flight. I would book on a seat sale fare. Then I would check the loads on that flight periodically. The morning of the flight I would arrive early, check in early to ensure my seat selection or be aware of any equipment changes. Go into the AC Maple Leaf Lounge and have breakfast. I would check with the agent in the lounge to see how the checkin was coming. If the flight was oversold I would have them put a note on my file that I was a possible volunteer. As soon as the agent was at the gate I was there and would volunteer. By then they would know how many had checked in. Once it was pretty sure I would be successful I would say I would like to be upgraded on the next available flight. If they needed a number of seats the offers would start. Usually I would get the upgrade and occasionally the $200 to $300 voucher. I would go back to the lounge knowing I had a seat up front for seat sale price and relax or do business. I don't know if it has been plugged yet but I would also get J Class Aeroplan points for the flight. In other words full mileage credit plus the J class bonus. One of the senior gate agents actually started to recognize me and would just call me over and give me the new boarding passes. Also didn't hurt that I got to know some of the concierges during the testing and openning of the new terminal at yyz. They are all powerful  Smile
 
777ER
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RE: Volunteering In Overbooked Flights

Sun Sep 09, 2007 2:39 pm

When I was waiting to board UA82, a red eye from LAX-IAD in May, the B763 flight was overbooked. The UA agents, starting off offering free one way ticket, a night in LA and a business class seat to IAD the next day, with only a few offering to give up their seats. About 20 minutes later, the offer was increased with $500 and 500 bonus miles. By now if I had the phone number of the people, I was staying with, I would have offered my seat and phoned the people in michigan and informed them. I was also waiting for a flight from IAD-JFK on August 21st, and the E170 was over booked. The UA offering was one free one way ticket. I would have taken that also, if I was in New york for more then one day
 
osiris30
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RE: Volunteering In Overbooked Flights

Sun Sep 09, 2007 3:51 pm

I would often volunteer if the crew was able to reticket me on the next flight upfront. (transcon flights that is). I'd spend an hour or two extra on the ground and have a much more pleasent flight in the air. Often the gate crews were very happy to accomodate me when I would approach them with that offer (always done prior to boarding being called.. I would ask if the gate area was looking busy).
I don't care what you think of my opinion. It's my opinion, so have a nice day :)
 
dl767captain
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RE: Volunteering In Overbooked Flights

Mon Sep 10, 2007 3:49 am

I don't think it is about being poor, I'm not poor and I sometimes give up my seat when I don't need to be anywhere in a hurry and its part of a family or something that need to travel together, I do however think they should grant the person access to their lounge so they actually have somewhere to wait instead of just sitting in the terminal
 
bwaflyer
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RE: Volunteering In Overbooked Flights

Mon Sep 10, 2007 3:59 am

It always frustrates me that when I'm travelling in the US, every gate around me is calling for volunteers, but my flight boards as normal! I usually build plently of flexibility into my travel plans on holiday, and would be happy to volunteer. Word to the wise, if you positively have to be on that flight - make sure I'm on it - you'll never get bumped!!
 
blueflyer
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RE: Volunteering In Overbooked Flights

Mon Sep 10, 2007 4:31 am

This discrimination theory is just plain silly. I'm sure that any interest in a cash incentive is generally inversely proportional to personals income, but a lot of other factors do come into play as well, many of which not worth the incentive, however "poor" you may be. In fact, I would suspect that less well-off passengers travel with as much, if not more, of a purpose than any other. When flying for a personal reason, passengers with a higher disposable income can add some padding to their trip at either end (such as arrive two days before a wedding), whereas those for whom flying and traveling is a larger share of their income will likely not include any padding so as to minimize the disruption on their job and maximize their earnings. Most calls for volunteers come later in the day as the culminated effects of delays and cancellations lead to more passengers than there are seats on the last flight out and for those without padding in their travel plan, taking the cash incentive means missing a wedding, being late back to work or not catching the cruise they saved for so long.

When traveling for work, I think the business schedule will be the primary factor rather than the value of the incentive. I don't think that airlines will ever offer enough cash to make it worth one's while to be late for a business meeting or not show up back at the office on time, especially if one's boss finds out the delay was entirely optional.

It's been a while since I've had the opportunity to give up my seat in the back, but I've done so in the past for no other reason than preferring to spend a night at an airport hotel and get the first flight out in the morning rather than stay on a long-delayed flight arriving exhausted at my destination in the middle of the night... The cash and/or free ticket is just an extra bonus.

Giving a seat upfront on a TATL flight can be very lucrative though, and worth the hassle, again schedule permitting.
Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has no clothes.
 
fsnuffer
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RE: Volunteering In Overbooked Flights

Mon Sep 10, 2007 4:40 am

I would not consider myself poor but I am cheap and love a good "scam". I had a long term engagement in Washington DC when I was living on Long Island. The 5:09 P.M. commuter flight from IAD->ISP was always oversold. Over a period of 35 weeks, I would always book that flight knowing that I would finally wind up on the 7:09 P.M flight. Each time I volunteered I would get a $300 voucher. Over the 35 week, I would say I got bumped 80% of the time. It got to the point the gate agents knew me and I had a standing request to volunteer. It still didn't compare to my $1600 in vouchers I got in one day from AA but that is a story for another thread.
 
ikramerica
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RE: Volunteering In Overbooked Flights

Mon Sep 10, 2007 4:56 am

Where did you read about this "study"? What publication and what country does it come from?
Of all the things to worry about... the Wookie has no pants.
 
Maracucho85
Topic Author
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RE: Volunteering In Overbooked Flights

Mon Sep 10, 2007 4:58 am

Hi all!

It´s great to hear about all the insight and opinions you guys have regarding this topic.

Quoting BlueFlyer (Reply 10):
This discrimination theory is just plain silly. I'm sure that any interest in a cash incentive is generally inversely proportional to personals income, but a lot of other factors do come into play as well, many of which not worth the incentive, however "poor" you may be.

I completely agree with you. Although the elasticity concept may arise, a person with less income is limited to these other factors you mention, therefore we cannot conclude how exactly this incentives will affect their decision.

Quoting Fsnuffer (Reply 11):
It still didn't compare to my $1600 in vouchers I got in one day from AA but that is a story for another thread.

Now that this has arisen, why don´t we share this kind of stories? What seat volunteering stories do you have?

Regards from Venezuela,

Alberto
 
Maracucho85
Topic Author
Posts: 32
Joined: Mon Aug 13, 2007 12:52 pm

RE: Volunteering In Overbooked Flights

Mon Sep 10, 2007 5:03 am

Quoting Ikramerica (Reply 12):
Where did you read about this "study"? What publication and what country does it come from?

I was trying to remember the exact source not long ago but I couldn't recall. I study economics, and it was 3 semesters ago when a professor of General Equilibrium handed us some papers that discussed about incentives and the way they affect our decisions.

I will try to look for it and let you know if I find it.

Regards from Venezuela,

Alberto
 
ncelhr
Posts: 252
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RE: Volunteering In Overbooked Flights

Mon Sep 10, 2007 5:24 am

In 2000 I used to fly twice a month between LHR & JFK. Volunteering to get bumped off flights, I ended up only paying for 2 tickets out of every 3 trips. Discrimination? I don't think so. I loved it.
 Big grin
 
ikramerica
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RE: Volunteering In Overbooked Flights

Mon Sep 10, 2007 5:38 am

Quoting Maracucho85 (Reply 14):
I was trying to remember the exact source not long ago but I couldn't recall. I study economics, and it was 3 semesters ago when a professor of General Equilibrium handed us some papers that discussed about incentives and the way they affect our decisions.

where are you studying? what country?
Of all the things to worry about... the Wookie has no pants.
 
RIXrat
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RE: Volunteering In Overbooked Flights

Mon Sep 10, 2007 5:40 am

I've had two calls for those who will get off the plane, enjoy $400 in cash, free hotel, free dinner, free breakfast and choice of flight to the destination, thereafter. Both times I took them, because I was in no hurry. One was from EWR and the other was from CPH.

Funny, these people had the cash in hand to give to me right there on the spot. However, it was a different story when I went to the SAS desk to retrieve my overnight pouch -- you know what I mean. I finally got that one also to look decent in the next morning.
 
Maracucho85
Topic Author
Posts: 32
Joined: Mon Aug 13, 2007 12:52 pm

RE: Volunteering In Overbooked Flights

Mon Sep 10, 2007 5:50 am

Quoting Ikramerica (Reply 16):
where are you studying? what country?

Im in my last year for my economics degree in Universidad Católica Andres Bello (UCAB) in Caracas, Venezuela

Regards from Venezuela,

Alberto
 
ptugarin
Posts: 214
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RE: Volunteering In Overbooked Flights

Mon Sep 10, 2007 5:59 am

One could argue that volunteering also discriminates against handicapped people; someone who's handicapped is not capable of earning their incentive because they are less likely going to sacrifice their comfort.

[Edited 2007-09-09 23:04:00]
 
jetdeltamsy
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RE: Volunteering In Overbooked Flights

Mon Sep 10, 2007 6:16 am

Quoting Maracucho85 (Thread starter):
What do you guys think about this? Personally, I dont see it as discriminating

I don't see how anything that you would volunteer for could be considered discriminatory.

Let's face it, there is no "good" way to determine who gets bumped if there aren't sufficient volunteers.

I don't have the answer, but i don't think the current system is discriminatory.
Tired of airline bankruptcies....EA/PA/TW and finally DL.
 
cjbmibe
Posts: 79
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RE: Volunteering In Overbooked Flights

Mon Sep 10, 2007 7:08 am

A few years ago I travelled a lot for School on Military fares, it was all paid for by our MOD. We had flexible tickets and usually the travel was during holiday periods so being 16 I didnt have anywhere to really be when returning home.

A few times BD offered me £50 cash, free flight voucher (return) and a seat on the next flight.

The one time I actually wanted to do it my parents said no like the protective overbearers they are. The school and MOD were happy enough for us to travel unaccompanied across the UK, as were my parents but on this occasion it was the last flight of the day I was booked on so BD were also offering transfer to an airport hotel and a free room plus expenses (ie food drink). Because of the overnighter my parents didnt want me to volunteer to offload.
It was easter and all flights were very busy. Heathrow was a mad - more than usual. Luckily I had my dads BD*S card to use business checkin - just pretended I didnt know any better lol. The fare got me into the lounges (YMIL)

I dont see how it discriminates - by comparison as a 16 year old I would have been the poorest person on the flight probably but thats not why I wanted to offload, I wanted to offload so I had more time to spot and my reason for travelling immediately probablly was not as important as someone elses.

I have to agree its all down to your flexability, not your personal wealth. A free ride is still a free ride.
How can I soar like an Eagle when I have to work with these turkeys?
 
a3xx900
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RE: Volunteering In Overbooked Flights

Mon Sep 10, 2007 7:25 am

I was booked on a LH flight from MUC to TXL and return one day, as me and a friend wanted to spend some days in Berlin. The whole trip cost us about 150 EUR each, including flight and hotel costs. At the gate the agent called out for two volunteers to take a later flight (1 hour later, to be exact) and get a reward of 300 EUR each. Sure thing I was the first one to be at her desk even before she finished her speech and even before my friend realized what was going on  Wink

Hell, who would have been so stupid not to take that opportunity, given our circumstances. And yes, being a student, I was financially restricted at that time. But I'd do it any day - IF I'm flexible.
Why is 10 afraid of 7? Because 7 8 9.
 
pnwtraveler
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RE: Volunteering In Overbooked Flights

Mon Sep 10, 2007 7:32 am

I mentioned to someone who used to work with me about the volunteering thread here. He reminded me of the time when he was flying with me to Vancouver and we volunteered. We did the usual upgrade from a seat sale fare to a J class seat and each got $150 in vouchers. We went to the lounge to relax and have a drink. Not too much later I was paged to the desk in the lounge along with my employee. It seems there was a problem with the oxygen over our seats on the 767 we were to fly on and all the other seats were booked. We would have to standbye for the flight and see what seats were availiable. I mentioned very nicely that we had already volunteered and the upgraded seats were part of the deal. She looked further down in the notes and indeed saw the record of that. So I said we would wait for the following flight if necessary (only an hour later) if she would get us J class on that flight and put a note in our file to upgrade us on the return leg if possible. The flights to YVR were almost every hour so we only had a total of a two hour wait. Two scotches with cheese and snacks in the lounge made that go very fast. Plus the third flight was on a A340 with the nicer international version of J class rather than the domestic one on the second 767 flight. We enjoyed our flight to YVR very much. When we checked in for the return leg in YVR we were automatically upgraded and had another great flight. When you know the rules, the ways around them, and treat the gate agents very well the rewards usually happen. The odd box of chocolates for the holidays and other things for regular staff you see make a world of difference.
 
fsnuffer
Posts: 174
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RE: Volunteering In Overbooked Flights

Mon Sep 10, 2007 8:49 am

Quoting Maracucho85 (Reply 13):
Quoting Fsnuffer (Reply 11):
It still didn't compare to my $1600 in vouchers I got in one day from AA but that is a story for another thread.

Now that this has arisen, why don´t we share this kind of stories? What seat volunteering stories do you have?

I'll give you the summary. This was the best voucher day I ever had. I was gold with AA at the time and did most of my scamming at the Admirals club:

8am LGA->ORD. I volunteered at $300 but they had to bid it up to $500 so that is what I got. My new routing was LGA->ORD->MCO at 9:35am in first class.

Get to ORD at 11am for a 12pm connection to ORD. Ask if oversold, answer yes get $400 voucher.

Now on the 3pm flight, still 1st class. Go to USO, rent a cot for $3 and take a nap for three hours.

Guess what, the 3pm flight is oversold and I get another $300, head back to USO for another nap.

7pm flight oversold, get $400 bucks, could not sleep so I drank at the bar.

I finally had to go out on the 10:30pm flight, was angling for another voucher plus a hotel but no luck. Still I was in first class so I did get to relax on the flight down.

That was my best day of voucher scamming.
 
PlymSpotter
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RE: Volunteering In Overbooked Flights

Mon Sep 10, 2007 9:02 am

For me it's pretty spot on, I do frequently volunteer to bump from a flight because I'm a student and, although I travel a lot, them more money I have then the more I can travel! I've bumped several times at AMS, not only to a get a good bit of £$€, but also a free night in the city at a 4/5 star hotel Big grin

Never going to turn that down Wink


Dan Smile
...love is just a camouflage for what resembles rage again...
 
nycaviator
Posts: 55
Joined: Sun May 27, 2007 5:19 am

RE: Volunteering In Overbooked Flights

Mon Sep 10, 2007 9:19 am

Nothing beats a free trip!!
Or even an upgrade to first class
Flying is like having eyes on the top of the world.
 
Yflyer
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RE: Volunteering In Overbooked Flights

Mon Sep 10, 2007 9:28 am

Since this topic has come up, I've got a question about volunteering to take a later flight. Most of the times I've been on overbooked flights have been times I was flying to a hub where I was connecting to another flight. I never volunteered because I wasn't sure if they would rebook my connecting flight as well, or if they only wanted people whose final destination was IAH in this case. So could I have gotten a voucher? For that matter as I recall the next leg would have been the last flight of the day; could I have gotten a hotel voucher out of them as well?
 
PlymSpotter
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RE: Volunteering In Overbooked Flights

Mon Sep 10, 2007 9:43 am

Quoting Yflyer (Reply 27):
I never volunteered because I wasn't sure if they would rebook my connecting flight as well, or if they only wanted people whose final destination was IAH in this case.

It has always been my experience that you cannot 'bump' if you have a connecting flight, although this has proven for some interesting situations when everybody onboard is connecting and deciding then exactly who should be bumped off to the next day.


Dan Smile
...love is just a camouflage for what resembles rage again...
 
pnwtraveler
Posts: 1064
Joined: Wed Jun 13, 2007 2:12 am

RE: Volunteering In Overbooked Flights

Mon Sep 10, 2007 10:14 am

Yeah if you are connecting you become much less attractive for bumping. You start to create havoc all over the system. I have only ever been successful at bumping on a cross country flight that is direct. I also have never tried to take advantage of the hotel room because often business is involved. As long as I am in control of my schedule I can usually swing a few hours difference. From the west coast to the east coast or central, to get the overnight at a hotel you have to gamble on being stuck on a red eye if you don't get bumped.
 
ikramerica
Posts: 13730
Joined: Mon May 23, 2005 9:33 am

RE: Volunteering In Overbooked Flights

Mon Sep 10, 2007 11:17 am

Quoting Maracucho85 (Reply 18):
Im in my last year for my economics degree in Universidad Católica Andres Bello (UCAB) in Caracas, Venezuela

the reason I ask is it sounds more like socialist propaganda than any factual study.

purely anecdotal observance in my life points to the reality that people who take advantage of this are usually wealthy and travel savvy, and not poor nor put upon, so the idea that some economics professor would claim otherwise raised my "bullshit antenna."

most of the econ courses I took in the USA were socialist leaning, and it was quite funny to read some of the crap that teachers tried to pass off of economic theory in order to push their agenda.
Of all the things to worry about... the Wookie has no pants.
 
IADCRJ
Posts: 328
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RE: Volunteering In Overbooked Flights

Mon Sep 10, 2007 12:02 pm

Quoting DeltAirlines (Reply 2):
If I have some flexibility, I'll always volunteer. It's not based on need; if I don't need to be there in a hurry, I'll sacrifice a few hours of time for a $200 voucher, which I really don't mind.

The only time I ever had such an oppurtunity do such was on Christmas eve of 2005, on DL in ATL for a flight to PHL. When I first arrived in the gate area, i heard the volunteer anouncement and was informed that in addition to the $200.00 vourcher, that we would be gurarenteed a seat on the next flight to PHL. I immediately sprinted to the gate counter to volunteer myself and eventually used that voucher to go to and from PIT from DEN last Thanksgiving.
 
upperdeckfan
Posts: 511
Joined: Fri Jun 08, 2007 1:59 am

RE: Volunteering In Overbooked Flights

Mon Sep 10, 2007 11:58 pm

Quoting Pnwtraveler (Reply 5):
I don't know if it has been plugged yet but I would also get J Class Aeroplan points for the flight. In other words full mileage credit plus the J class bonus

Do you mean you get the same miles as people paying J-fare? that's really great!!!

All the times I've been upgraded, never been awarded full mileage but just the miles based on the original Y-fare I did pay.
744,742,741,772,773,762,732,735,738,752,727,717,DC10,DC9,M82,M87,319,320,321,343,346,L1011,CRJ2,CRJ9,E190,ATR42,DSH8,
 
pnwtraveler
Posts: 1064
Joined: Wed Jun 13, 2007 2:12 am

RE: Volunteering In Overbooked Flights

Tue Sep 11, 2007 1:13 am

Yes the same mileage as a J class paying passenger not just full mileage. I can't remember offhand but I believe it is 1.25 or 1.5 x the miles flown once the minimum has been exceeded. I haven't done it in a year so not sure if it still happening.

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