scalebuilder
Posts: 605
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Overselling Flights - Differences Between Airlines

Tue Dec 18, 2007 11:06 pm

I recently returned from a short hop to Europe, but to my dismay my final flight segment from ORD to IND was way oversold. The flight was operated by UA, and with an ERJ-170 (seating 70 or so), but the gate agent asked for 20 volunteers to wait for the next flight. That is north of 25% of total available seats for that flight.

Does this seem high to you? It does to me, and I am really surprised that UA would overbook a flight by that much. To hand out vouchers to everyone volunteering has to be costly, and there must be a point that is reached where it would be cheaper to simply tell the traveling public that the flight is sold out.

I experienced this on my outbound flight too, but this flight was only oversold by four seats.

Why is it always that I experience this inconvenience here in the US? I believe most people simply want to stick with their original travel plan. I do not believe that I have experienced this in Europe, and I travel there frequently. Are the rules different?
Go the extra mile......and avoid the traffic!!!
 
FLYB6JETS
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RE: Overselling Flights - Differences Between Airlines

Tue Dec 18, 2007 11:10 pm



Quoting Scalebuilder (Thread starter):
but the gate agent asked for 20 volunteers to wait for the next flight. That is north of 25% of total available seats for that flight

That is retardedly high. I have to agree that at a certain point, you might as well just a) upgrade the aircraft or b) tell people the flight is sold out. I am travelling home from EWR this Friday and my flight is oversold but last I heard it was only like 4 seats.
"If it ain't Boeing, I ain't going!"
 
roseflyer
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RE: Overselling Flights - Differences Between Airlines

Tue Dec 18, 2007 11:18 pm

20 seems unusually high. I'm wondering if they were asking for volunteers not only because of overbooking.

ORD-IND shouldn't have problems with weight restrictions. I can't imagine there being problems with Maximum Landing Weight on an E170, but there could have been something restricting the capacity.

Could the plane have been different from what was originally on the route?
If you have never designed an airplane part before, let the real designers do the work!
 
Someone83
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RE: Overselling Flights - Differences Between Airlines

Tue Dec 18, 2007 11:24 pm

It could also be heavily overbook due to a mistake. Remember back in 2000 when I was flying OSL-EWR with SAS and they due to computer issues had overbooked a 200 seat 767-300 with more than 30 passengers
 
uadc8contrail
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RE: Overselling Flights - Differences Between Airlines

Wed Dec 19, 2007 12:10 am

Scalebuilder,
as Someone83 noted, there could have been a glitch in apollo that allowed it to keep on selling seats after the cap was set, or i have been involved where we asked for 12 to volunteer one time to accomodate a group of kids going to socal and thier flight cncld, we put them on the next flightt and asked for 12 volunteers and got them, its only a inconvenience/hassle/problem what ever you want to call it if you are INVOL denied boarding, in your situatuion were you volunteering to give up your seat or are you just complaining???i have never met a disgruntled volunteer, but there is always a first.
bus driver.......move that bus:)
 
scalebuilder
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RE: Overselling Flights - Differences Between Airlines

Wed Dec 19, 2007 12:13 am



Quoting RoseFlyer (Reply 2):
Could the plane have been different from what was originally on the route?

It was for sure an ERJ-170, and beyond any doubt.
Go the extra mile......and avoid the traffic!!!
 
ilovepabst
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RE: Overselling Flights - Differences Between Airlines

Wed Dec 19, 2007 12:24 am



Quoting Scalebuilder (Thread starter):
I recently returned from a short hop to Europe, but to my dismay my final flight segment from ORD to IND was way oversold. The flight was operated by UA, and with an ERJ-170 (seating 70 or so), but the gate agent asked for 20 volunteers to wait for the next flight. That is north of 25% of total available seats for that flight.

Not enough info. Was this the equipment originally scheduled for this flight or was there an equipment downgrade? What about weather? Was there a take off or landing weight penalty because of local or enroute weather. Was there an alternate? Was there a MEL with the equipment that took a weight penalty?
 
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foxecho
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RE: Overselling Flights - Differences Between Airlines

Wed Dec 19, 2007 12:30 am

Happens all the time when Connection carriers downgrade from a 70 to a 50, those are ball busters.

Andrew
JFK/MEM/MCI
..uh, we'll need that to live......
 
scalebuilder
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RE: Overselling Flights - Differences Between Airlines

Wed Dec 19, 2007 12:45 am



Quoting Uadc8contrail (Reply 4):
its only a inconvenience/hassle/problem what ever you want to call it if you are INVOL denied boarding, in your situatuion were you volunteering to give up your seat or are you just complaining???

I volunteered because being the last flight segment of a lenghty journey with the next day off I had time to spare. So I am not really complaining about this particular flight at all. However, I feel that the overselling of flights is way too frequent, and especially here in the United States. I primarily experience this situation here, and it is not always so convenient to be comfortable having to make contingent plans on "the fly". Sometimes the prospect of being denied boarding, I naturally think about my business and if tomorrow's business will go as planned.

Certainly I can understand that flights should be allowed to be "slightly" oversold, and the situation could be managable too (everybody gets there on time and as scheduled at the end of the day). However this incident caught me by surprise, and even though the gate agents handled the situation very professionally, I can only sit here and wonder how far airlines will go before they say "enough is enough".

Maybe indeed it was a mistake. I hope so.
Go the extra mile......and avoid the traffic!!!
 
scalebuilder
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RE: Overselling Flights - Differences Between Airlines

Wed Dec 19, 2007 1:40 am



Quoting ILovePabst (Reply 6):
Not enough info.

Not enough info? I booked more than 2 weeks in advance, 25% of the passengers are stranded, and to my knowledge there was no equipment downgrade. The aircraft that showed up at the gate is the same as what is printed on my itinirary.

The weather could have been no factor at all on my return flight. It could have been elsewhere that night, but not at ORD. It could also have been so when my family was outbound and with accumulating snow falling the night before and in the morning before our flight. However, this flight was only overbooked by 4 "volunteers". Manageable, and no problem whatsoever. We all got there, and on time.
Go the extra mile......and avoid the traffic!!!
 
ilovepabst
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RE: Overselling Flights - Differences Between Airlines

Wed Dec 19, 2007 1:49 am



Quoting Scalebuilder (Reply 9):
It could also have been so when my family was outbound and with accumulating snow falling the night before and in the morning before our flight.

Please explain. Yes there was snow at IND or no there wasn't?
 
joeljack
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RE: Overselling Flights - Differences Between Airlines

Wed Dec 19, 2007 1:54 am

I flew IAD-ORD about a year ago on a UA 767 and it was overbooked by 70 people. I was actually on a later flight and was standing by on this flight and got on. They didn't even ask for volunteers, they just handed out vouchers to the last 70 or so people that checked in. It was interesting. I was really surprised that I got on this. I had an upgraded first class ticket and ended up with a coach middle seat. I think I got accommodated because I had a first class seat and this was the 2nd flight that I had stood by for.

To note, Ted was flying IAD-MDW at that time and they first asked for volunteers to take that flight instead. A whole slew of people did that.

As far as oversold, I see it all the time on United, Not uncommon to be crazy oversold. I've only seen it more than 30 though I think 3 times. Most the time between 1 and 6 or so.
 
uadc8contrail
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RE: Overselling Flights - Differences Between Airlines

Wed Dec 19, 2007 2:00 am

Joeljack,
in your situation, were you confirmed "F" on a 2 class 67?, i could easily see your flight over by 70 if it went from a 2 class 67 to a 3 class 67.
bus driver.......move that bus:)
 
uadc8contrail
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RE: Overselling Flights - Differences Between Airlines

Wed Dec 19, 2007 2:01 am

Joeljack,
in your situation, were you confirmed "F" on a 2 class 67?, i could easily see your flight over by 70 if it went from a 2 class 67 to a 3 class 67.
bus driver.......move that bus:)
 
Osprey88
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RE: Overselling Flights - Differences Between Airl

Wed Dec 19, 2007 2:03 am

I remember my US VCE-PHL flight, when I went to check in and they had a sign up asking for volunteers to take ~300/400 cash (IIRC) and hotel accommodation in Venice and be guaranteed a seat on the flight out the next day.

It was pretty funny in retrospect, because when I boarded, the flight had about ~15-20 seats empty. Apparently they oversold, and then went out the other direction, with so many people wanting to stay in VCE!  Big grin

This kind of thing ever happen to anyone else?
"Reading departure signs in some big airports reminds me of the places I've been"
 
scalebuilder
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RE: Overselling Flights - Differences Between Airlines

Wed Dec 19, 2007 2:16 am



Quoting ILovePabst (Reply 10):
Yes there was snow at IND or no there wasn't?

No. We definitely had snow on the ground, and potentially more "no shows" for the early morning flight as a result, so I think I can follow that particular logic with my limited knowledge.
Go the extra mile......and avoid the traffic!!!
 
ilovepabst
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RE: Overselling Flights - Differences Between Airlines

Wed Dec 19, 2007 2:27 am



Quoting Osprey88 (Reply 14):
It was pretty funny in retrospect, because when I boarded, the flight had about ~15-20 seats empty. Apparently they oversold, and then went out the other direction,

It sounds to me like you were weight restricted. It is entirely possible that they needed to solicit for volunteers because they were potentially overweight not oversold.

Quoting Scalebuilder (Reply 15):
No. We definitely had snow on the ground

Your instance might be very similar. If the weather in IND was marginal or forecast to go down there would be a need for an alternate and thus additional fuel. In addition it's possible that ORD weather (as well as ATC flow) might be forecast to go down after takeoff preventing a return to ORD and thus a secondary alternate. I don't know when you flew but midwest weather was poor last week. It's possible you could have had a distant secondary landing alternate and ultimately required even more fuel.
 
JIWNCO
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RE: Overselling Flights - Differences Between Airlines

Wed Dec 19, 2007 2:48 am

Fly B6... They never oversell!
 
44k
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RE: Overselling Flights - Differences Between Airlines

Wed Dec 19, 2007 2:49 am



Quoting Scalebuilder (Thread starter):
but the gate agent asked for 20 volunteers to wait for the next flight. That is north of 25% of total available seats for that flight.

That is abnormaly high. I can guartantee you that this was not a regular oversale. Equipment problems.weight restriction had to be at play. There is no airline that would oversell it by 25% voluntarily.

Quoting Joeljack (Reply 11):
I flew IAD-ORD about a year ago on a UA 767 and it was overbooked by 70 people

Once again, this is abnormal. Any airline would be insane to overbook it by that much, there must have been something else at play. I have seen an AA 777 OS by 34 in Y, but there were J and F seats available.

I'm not sure which airline is the worst, but WN and DL have the highest numbers of INVOL denied boarding.
 
access-air
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RE: Overselling Flights - Differences Between Airlines

Wed Dec 19, 2007 3:05 am

A few words.....

Overbooking is from the wonderful people in yeild management that intensely study booking trends, usually from the year before and based upon how many people allegedly no show for flights, they over book by that much.... However, overbooking from what I can tell is grossly an over used an UN-NECCESSARY practice as 90% of most airline tickets are NONREFUNDABLE and you now lose ALL your money if you no show!!!!! .Also, because ticket numbers are required to be in the reservation to show that tickets have been issued, I dont see how and or why ANY Airline thinks they have the right to overbook ANY flight....
If any of you know about how airline reservations work today....Airlines will AUTO cancel any airline reservation that is NOT ticketed!!!!!!! So therefore kiddies, this senssless practice of overbooking airline flights should be something an airline tries to stay as far away from doing as they can.
Unfortunately airlines are greedy for money and dont much care if you no show because they get to keep your money anyway.....
However, other that messing up many air travellers plans by stranding them, overbooking is horribly bad in that one way or another the airline ends up losing money by having to give out Denied Boarding Compensation vouchers (Basically free travel) or worse having to put people up in hotels. However, at least when someone no shows on an NON refundable ticket now the whole ticket becomes non refundable, period!!!!!
I dont know about all of you, but other that giving someone at the airlines a job to monitor all these flights, I really dont see where yeild management does an airline much good especially when they allow flights to be over booked...

Obviously, the author of this thread was angry about his "bump" or over booked flight...Just imagine this kind of thing all over the place every day...And we as travellers have just decided to accept this horrible practice as "part of the travel game." Its amazing that we keep on supporting this industry when this kind of stuff keeps getting worse every year....

Access-Air

p.s. Alleginat Air DOES NOT Ovebook their flights.....so wheres the monkey see monkey do behaviour reagarding this??? Shouldn't other airlines be copying this????
Remember, Wherever you go, there you are!!!!
 
joeljack
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RE: Overselling Flights - Differences Between Airlines

Wed Dec 19, 2007 3:17 am



Quoting Uadc8contrail (Reply 13):
Joeljack,
in your situation, were you confirmed "F" on a 2 class 67?, i could easily see your flight over by 70 if it went from a 2 class 67 to a 3 class 67.

I was confirmed first later in the day and was standing by to go earlier. The plane was a 3 class 767 that was oversold that I got on in coach. I don't know what it was originally scheduled to be a 2 or 3 class plane. Now they only have the 3 class. They also gave me a CR upgrade for taking the coach seat even though I was just standing by. I was extremely surprised and happy.
 
Osprey88
Posts: 268
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RE: Overselling Flights - Differences Between Airlines

Wed Dec 19, 2007 3:32 am



Quoting ILovePabst (Reply 16):
It sounds to me like you were weight restricted. It is entirely possible that they needed to solicit for volunteers because they were potentially overweight not oversold.

This is possible, depending on which type of engines US has on their 762ERs, but even so, the specs show that the takeoff run for a 762ER at MTOW at sea level could make if off VCE's 11,100 foot runway with most engine combinations.

Anyone know what type of engines US puts on their 762s?

Refer to pages 14-19 on the pdf:

http://www.boeing.com/commercial/airports/acaps/767sec3.pdf
"Reading departure signs in some big airports reminds me of the places I've been"
 
IADCA
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RE: Overselling Flights - Differences Between Airl

Wed Dec 19, 2007 3:37 am



Quoting Scalebuilder (Thread starter):
Does this seem high to you? It does to me, and I am really surprised that UA would overbook a flight by that much. To hand out vouchers to everyone volunteering has to be costly, and there must be a point that is reached where it would be cheaper to simply tell the traveling public that the flight is sold out.

If this was quite recently, I remember a thread a few days ago that dealt with UA cancelling 2 ORD-IND flights in one day due to WX, I believe. If two earlier flights were cancelled, that would lead to a massive number of people showing up for later flights.

See the first post in this thread: Why Does ORD Have To Be O'Horror? (by BR715-A1-30 Dec 16 2007 in Civil Aviation)?threadid=3752205&searchid=3752205&s=ORD-IND#ID3752205
 
ilovepabst
Posts: 35
Joined: Thu Dec 07, 2006 12:19 am

RE: Overselling Flights - Differences Between Airlines

Wed Dec 19, 2007 3:46 am



Quoting Osprey88 (Reply 21):
This is possible, depending on which type of engines US has on their 762ERs

Not necessarily anything to do with engines.

Quoting 44k (Reply 18):
That is abnormaly high. I can guartantee you that this was not a regular oversale. Equipment problems.weight restriction had to be at play

I would concur.A lot of other factors can cause a weight problem. MTOW can be dependent on field temp as well as any deferred MELs that might cause a performance hit. Additionally enroute weather, strong headwinds and destination weather can cause weight restrictions for holdover fuel and landing alternates.
 
SkyTeamTriStar
Posts: 245
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RE: Overselling Flights - Differences Between Airlines

Wed Dec 19, 2007 3:52 am

Overbooked Vs. Oversold terminology = big difference.

* Hub cities overbook huge amounts due to no-show/misconnects. no secret on that one.
*What about the flights full throughout the day?? People get rolled over to the next flight so at the end of day the plane is overbooked by 40 (u get the point).
*Historical data shows a lot of people no-showed on xyz flight and therefore overbooked one year to the day.

plus a zillion other reasons why UA, DL, WN....blah blah airlines overbook and it can become a nasty situation for the gate agent, too.

As mentioned above, Yield Mgmt would love to see every single flight go from an overbooked flight to now an oversold flight and still issud DBCs and still make money on the flight. That's their job. It's the Airport Customer Services' job at the gates to handle crowd control. Yea!

[Edited 2007-12-18 19:55:07]

[Edited 2007-12-18 20:00:37]
 
FreequentFlier
Posts: 575
Joined: Sun Feb 25, 2007 4:30 am

RE: Overselling Flights - Differences Between Airlines

Wed Dec 19, 2007 3:54 am



Quoting Access-Air (Reply 19):
A few words.....

Overbooking is from the wonderful people in yeild management that intensely study booking trends, usually from the year before and based upon how many people allegedly no show for flights, they over book by that much.... However, overbooking from what I can tell is grossly an over used an UN-NECCESSARY practice as 90% of most airline tickets are NONREFUNDABLE and you now lose ALL your money if you no show!!!!! .Also, because ticket numbers are required to be in the reservation to show that tickets have been issued, I dont see how and or why ANY Airline thinks they have the right to overbook ANY flight....
If any of you know about how airline reservations work today....Airlines will AUTO cancel any airline reservation that is NOT ticketed!!!!!!! So therefore kiddies, this senssless practice of overbooking airline flights should be something an airline tries to stay as far away from doing as they can.
Unfortunately airlines are greedy for money and dont much care if you no show because they get to keep your money anyway.....
However, other that messing up many air travellers plans by stranding them, overbooking is horribly bad in that one way or another the airline ends up losing money by having to give out Denied Boarding Compensation vouchers (Basically free travel) or worse having to put people up in hotels. However, at least when someone no shows on an NON refundable ticket now the whole ticket becomes non refundable, period!!!!!
I dont know about all of you, but other that giving someone at the airlines a job to monitor all these flights, I really dont see where yeild management does an airline much good especially when they allow flights to be over booked...

Obviously, the author of this thread was angry about his "bump" or over booked flight...Just imagine this kind of thing all over the place every day...And we as travellers have just decided to accept this horrible practice as "part of the travel game." Its amazing that we keep on supporting this industry when this kind of stuff keeps getting worse every year....

Access-Air

p.s. Alleginat Air DOES NOT Ovebook their flights.....so wheres the monkey see monkey do behaviour reagarding this??? Shouldn't other airlines be copying this????

Well I knew this was coming, so I'll repeat what I've always said: Contrary to popular opinion, overbooking is a PRO-CONSUMER strategy. Why? Simple really. Since airlines historically know that a certain percent of travelers will not show up for specific flights (whether it be due to misconnects, late to the airport, 3rd party consolidators unable to sell all their tickets, passengers who cancel refundable itineraries at the last minute), they can sell more seats than actually exist in reality. Doing so allows more tickets to be sold to more passengers on each plane and thus allows greater capacity in the overall market. What does greater capacity (even if its artificial and not actual) do for the consumer? As anyone who has consulted a basic economics textbook knows, increased supply leads to reduced prices.

Are there drawbacks to overbooking? Sure. But in the vast majority of instances, it leads to VOLUNTARY denied boardings. INvoluntary denied boarding are extremely rare (less than half of 1 percent) and still result in compensation being given to the passenger. As is many times the case, the people who would try to ban overbooking would provoke major UN-intended consequences for the very people they're trying to help, ie airline passengers as a whole.

Hmm, sounds exactly like the kind of thing the idiots in Washington, who know absolutely nothing about the industry, will take up and in turn f*ck up. But let there be no mistake about it, they'll still be allowed to overbook themselves. After all, they make the laws for themselves and they follow them as they see fit.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...le/2007/10/29/AR2007102902123.html
 
PiedmontINT
Posts: 220
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RE: Overselling Flights - Differences Between Airl

Wed Dec 19, 2007 4:18 am



Quoting Scalebuilder (Thread starter):
I do not believe that I have experienced this in Europe, and I travel there frequently. Are the rules different?

The compensation for denied boarding in most European countries is much higher than the US:

Quoting source: EU Summary of Legislation:
In the event of flight cancellation or denied boarding, the passengers concerned have the right to:

* reimbursement of the cost of the ticket within seven days or a return flight to the first point of departure or re-routing to their final destination;
* care (refreshments, meals, hotel accommodation, transport between the airport and place of accommodation, two free telephone calls, telex or fax messages, or e-mails);
* compensation totalling:

- EUR 250 for all flights of 1500 kilometres or less;

- EUR 400 for all intra-Community flights of more than 1500 kilometres, and for all other flights between 1500 and 3500 kilometres;

- EUR 600 for all other flights.

Southwest would go out of business if they had to shell out 600 Euros a pop!  duck 

But compared to American carriers, if you get denied boarding, you get to live like a king! I know that if you are bumped on any domestic flight on US its only $200 and up to $600 if you are going TATL. With the current exchange rate, you get nearly double in Europe even if bumped from a shorter segment.
 
ANother
Posts: 1833
Joined: Thu Nov 03, 2005 2:47 am

RE: Overselling Flights - Differences Between Airl

Wed Dec 19, 2007 6:01 pm



Quoting Osprey88 (Reply 14):
It was pretty funny in retrospect, because when I boarded, the flight had about ~15-20 seats empty. Apparently they oversold, and then went out the other direction, with so many people wanting to stay in VCE!

It is not unusual for an airline to look for volunteers and find that they hadn't needed any. They then quietly thank the passenger, and tell them they can travel as booked.

Quoting Access-Air (Reply 19):
However, overbooking from what I can tell is grossly an over used an UN-NECCESSARY practice as 90% of most airline tickets are NONREFUNDABLE and you now lose ALL your money if you no show!!!!!

All flights have the potential for no-shows: misconnections (who are accommodated on other flights), passengers caught in traffic, security, check-in queues and (forgive me for suggesting it) duplicate bookings made by their travel agent who has forgotten to cancel one or the other. In the point-to-point (or LCC) model the airline gets their money even if the passenger is not on board. In the network airline model, this isn't the case. For misconnections the flight coupon gets lifted on the subsequent flight, same where the passenger may have been at fault, but the airline puts them on a later flight. The network airlines aren't trying to sell a seat twice, they are trying to sell it.

We also only hear about passengers that are ask to volunteer, even though the actual number is a fraction of 1%. However we never hear about the much larger number of passengers who benefit from being able to book a flight that is already sold-out. Think about it. If over-sales were banned, the network airlines would still have no-shows, who would have to be accommodated on other flights, but would be forced to depart with empty seats. This makes no economic sense, and even less from an environmental point of view.

For a business traveller (or anyone in a must-go situation) which do you think they would prefer - being able to book that prime Monday morning departure, or to be told "We are sorry, but although we expect a number on no-shows on the flight you want, we can't sell you a seat. Why don't you come out to the airport and stand-by for the flight." If it's a must-go passenger he would not stand-by, but go out the evening before incurring additional costs (personal and company). With the airlines allowed to overbook they can confirm the passenger and in the vast majority of cases, get it right. Everyone's happy. In those rare cases they get it wrong they look for volunteers and usually find those who would be more than happy to take the next flight, or route via another hub. Everyone's still happy.

Also airlines, if overbooking was banned, would likely be a lot less accommodating for passengers caught in the queues, or in traffic, etc. They would insist on getting their money for the empty seat that went out. Service levels have declined enough - we don't want them to get worse.

Quoting PiedmontINT (Reply 26):
Southwest would go out of business if they had to shell out 600 Euros a pop!

Don't think WN has any flights more than 3500km - more likely eur250 a pop. Would also depend on their overbooking profile,
 
scalebuilder
Posts: 605
Joined: Thu Nov 24, 2005 10:32 pm

RE: Overselling Flights - Differences Between Airlines

Wed Dec 19, 2007 11:44 pm



Quoting Access-Air (Reply 19):
Obviously, the author of this thread was angry about his "bump" or over booked flight

I did not get so angry about this particular flight because this time I had the ability to wait....it is more the recurring practice and the utter abuse of it like you state. Whenever I travel domestically, this happens way too often. The free vouchers have long outlived their usefulness in my life, so maybe I won't be so accommodating anylonger. I always try to be when I can, and by all means this is always welcomed and appreciated.

This particular practice must be much more prevalent here in the US compared to i.e. Europe where I flew several segments, on flights that were packed, but there was absolutely no asking for any volunteers to wait for a later flight. I suspect that this is not practiced or abused there like it is here.

Surely yield management, booking trends and profitability are all important, but now US airlines have decided that their timing of my departure and arrival is simply way more important than what I had in mind as their customer. Time is money for passengers too, I rely on my airline to conduct my business, survive and make a living just like them and their employees.

Quoting PiedmontINT (Reply 26):
The compensation for denied boarding in most European countries is much higher than the US:

We should have a similar practice here, or start to evolve towards it.
Go the extra mile......and avoid the traffic!!!
 
avek00
Posts: 3157
Joined: Mon Oct 25, 2004 5:56 am

RE: Overselling Flights - Differences Between Airlines

Thu Dec 20, 2007 2:37 am



Quoting Access-Air (Reply 19):
If any of you know about how airline reservations work today....Airlines will AUTO cancel any airline reservation that is NOT ticketed!!!!!!! So therefore kiddies, this senssless practice of overbooking airline flights should be something an airline tries to stay as far away from doing as they can.
Unfortunately airlines are greedy for money and dont much care if you no show because they get to keep your money anyway.....
However, other that messing up many air travellers plans by stranding them, overbooking is horribly bad in that one way or another the airline ends up losing money by having to give out Denied Boarding Compensation vouchers (Basically free travel) or worse having to put people up in hotels. However, at least when someone no shows on an NON refundable ticket now the whole ticket becomes non refundable, period!!!!!
I dont know about all of you, but other that giving someone at the airlines a job to monitor all these flights, I really dont see where yeild management does an airline much good especially when they allow flights to be over booked...

With all due respect, some of us DO know how airline reservations work today, and some of your assertions are misleading:

1. Even though most airline tickets sold are nonrefundable, most are indeed changeable -- even on short notice -- upon payment of a change fee.

2. Overbooking is rarely a money losing proposition for an airline. For starters, an airline invariably comes out ahead economically if it bumps a discount-fare flyer for a short-notice high-fare traveler. Further, the form in which "compensation" is paid out matters as well. Most travelers, due to ignorance or poor judgement, take vouchers instead of the cash/check payments they're entitled to for involuntary denied boardings. And in most any industry, vouchers/coupons have an EXTREMELY high breakage rate -- on the order of 90% or more. Thus, the vouchers do not pose much of an issue because the vast majority never get used.
Live life to the fullest.
 
scalebuilder
Posts: 605
Joined: Thu Nov 24, 2005 10:32 pm

RE: Overselling Flights - Differences Between Airlines

Thu Dec 20, 2007 2:42 am



Quoting ANother (Reply 27):
Also airlines, if overbooking was banned, would likely be a lot less accommodating for passengers caught in the queues, or in traffic, etc. They would insist on getting their money for the empty seat that went out. Service levels have declined enough - we don't want them to get worse.

I am by no means suggesting that overbooking should be banned. I just happen to travel frequently for business (and leisure too), and I generally want to rely on the airline that carry me. It has almost become rare to sit at a gate in the US for a domestic flight, and ready to board, without having the question posed if you can volunteer for the next flight. In most cases, passengers showing up seem to be allowed to fly as scheduled (I do not know everybody's fate or story). So not so much an argument about that from me since I do not know. I just hear the question announced from the PA system repeatedly.

I just happened to run into a situation where a flight was way oversold by more than 25%, and then the question becomes: is this policy among airlines getting worse, or part of a trend that is getting out of hand? Surely I can understand that delays or cancellations due to any nature may occur, and due to factors beyond the control of the airline or even honest errors. Then it should be forgivable, but not in a systematic or recurring way as unpredictable events out of nature are normaly rare. If that should not be the case, it is likely that the airline's practice that is at fault.

There was no bad weather at ORD that night, no cancellations to my knowledge either, so the question that comes to mind is wheather UA has made overselling (or overbooking) even a more deliberate part of their policy with the hope to cash in a few extra $$s just on speculation.

Quoting ANother (Reply 27):
Think about it. If over-sales were banned, the network airlines would still have no-shows, who would have to be accommodated on other flights, but would be forced to depart with empty seats. This makes no economic sense, and even less from an environmental point of view.

It should not be banned. But overbooking a flight by 25% or so should. I really do wish we had better guidelines as to what could be permitted in the US domestic travel market.
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avek00
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RE: Overselling Flights - Differences Between Airlines

Thu Dec 20, 2007 3:16 am



Quoting Scalebuilder (Reply 30):
But overbooking a flight by 25% or so should.

Such a high degree of overbooking is relatively rare, and generally exists only in markets with unusually high no-show factors, such as business markets with a high proportion of flexible fares sold.
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ualcsr
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RE: Overselling Flights - Differences Between Airlines

Thu Dec 20, 2007 5:03 am

Although I've never worked in yield management, I was a UA primary gate agent for some time and handled many overbooked flights. For one thing, it depends on the market and the season. We routinely oversold MIA-Brasil flights (777/767) in Y class by 50 or 60 pax and still, at times, left with empty seats. Same with C Class--oversold by 10-12 seats and sometimes were able to accommodate NRSAs because of no-shows. If, however, we would've done the same thing with SCL or CCS during the holidays, we'd be doomed because everyone showed up. And don't know if it's still UA's policy, but when I was there, we never overbooked first class, ever.

At least for me, taking volunteers was never a problem and passengers were more than happy to give up their seats for a later flight and promised compensation. While yield management cannot predict actual passenger count with 100% accuracy, I think overbooking is actually healthy for the industry and for airlines, as some posters have already mentioned.
 
PiedmontINT
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RE: Overselling Flights - Differences Between Airl

Thu Dec 20, 2007 5:36 am



Quoting ANother (Reply 27):
Don't think WN has any flights more than 3500km - more likely eur250 a pop

Actually, according to Great Circle, LAS-PHL clocks in at 3503 km = 2174 mi which would put it over the the 3500 km mark....

Even still, EUR250 isnt exactly peanuts these days..
 
OH-LGA
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RE: Overselling Flights - Differences Between Airl

Thu Dec 20, 2007 5:54 am

Often what happens that I've seen is when a codeshare flight is loaded incorrectly by a codeshare partner.

When SFO-YEG started, one day we were massively oversold on the flight, partially because of adverse weather conditions. Our availability on the true flight was zeroed out all day. But for some reason the booking totals continued to rise where we were overbooked by about 20 or so. This wasn't figured out and corrected until later, but agents were booking on the Air Canada codeshare, which had loaded the inventory levels into their system as an E190/A319/737-sized aircraft, so although it displayed CR7 in the availability display under the AC codeshare display, requests for seats would come back as HK and process directly into the airport check-in system, bypassing the sold-out true inventory on the UA display.

We managed okay, but it was a hairy flight.

[Edited 2007-12-19 21:54:59]
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georgebush
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RE: Overselling Flights - Differences Between Airlines

Thu Dec 20, 2007 6:05 am

I know that flights can be overbook due to irregular ops. If an earlier flight cancels they can overbook the later flights to accommodate displaced passengers. This is a practice used by gate agents who are lazy and can't be botherd telling the people they have to wait for tomorrow. They simply overbook the next flight (force sell) and then its someone else's problem.

During the heavy DEN storms last winter, I saw MANY flights in and out of Denver that were overbook by 100 passengers. Its not that uncommon.

But at least with UA you get a free return domestic ticket when you volunteer, AA only gives you $200 off but they will boost that number up when no one takes the bait. I think AA (especially American Eagle) are overbook a lot more than United.
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44k
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RE: Overselling Flights - Differences Between Airlines

Thu Dec 20, 2007 7:38 am



Quoting Georgebush (Reply 35):
This is a practice used by gate agents who are lazy and can't be botherd telling the people they have to wait for tomorrow.

How are they lazy, you obviously have never worked a gate? If yield management will let you oversell, you got a problem solved. Usually it all works out due to the number of no-shows/misconx. Also, I have oversold many flight that I had to work later, so this is complete BS about being lazy. If a person is telling you "I have to get there today!", you would oversell too, it gets them out of your face and makes them, and you happy.

Quoting Georgebush (Reply 35):
think AA (especially American Eagle) are overbook a lot more than United.

Is this your opinion or do you have stats to back this up? I work for AA, and Eagle max over-sales are rarely over 1-2, very rarely 4. If anything, Eagle is the least oversold (although they are plagued with weight restrictions). AA isnt bad either, the most OS I have seen is 34 and that is far less that 60-70 that other carriers are mentioned here. Actually, I have seen government stats which rank AA as one the least with denied/voluntary denied boarding. WN and DL were the highest.
 
georgebush
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RE: Overselling Flights - Differences Between Airl

Thu Dec 20, 2007 11:35 am



Quoting 44k (Reply 36):
How are they lazy, you obviously have never worked a gate? If yield management will let you oversell, you got a problem solved. Usually it all works out due to the number of no-shows/misconx.

Its lazyness because you know the flight is bound to be oversold and you do it anyways, thats laziness. I will admit to it as I have done it. I have worked gate numerous times, and usually I am rebooking flights out of other hubs, but that doesn't make any difference.

Quoting 44k (Reply 36):
Also, I have oversold many flight that I had to work later, so this is complete BS about being lazy.

Thats the key tho... You have to overbook the flights that you are NOT going to be working, unless you don't mind issuing vouchers and finding volunteers.

Quoting 44k (Reply 36):
Eagle is the least oversold (although they are plagued with weight restrictions).

Thats what I meant weight restrictions. Regardless of the matter they are still oversold, and they offer crap for voluntary denied boarding. I know they are supposedly working to resolve the overweight problems, but its not fixed yet, and thats crap in my opinion. If thats the case, the flights deserve to be oversold and pax compensated.

Quoting 44k (Reply 36):
If a person is telling you "I have to get there today!", you would oversell too, it gets them out of your face and makes them, and you happy.

Doubt it. When I pax actually yells at me, I am less inclined to rebook them for the same day (especially if it involves ringing the day of departure desk.) I can usually persuade the person working there who can physically overbook a flight, but I won't even bother if the pax is rude.
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bluewhale18210
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RE: Overselling Flights - Differences Between Airlines

Thu Dec 20, 2007 11:42 am



Quoting Access-Air (Reply 19):
....Airlines will AUTO cancel any airline reservation that is NOT ticketed!!!!!!!

Only up to a certain time.

Quoting Access-Air (Reply 19):
And we as travellers have just decided to accept this horrible practice as "part of the travel game."

You don't have to. Just pay 20% more for the seats airlines not able to fill without oversales.

Since airlines don't sell standby tickets to the general publick (at least not in US), without oversales most of the noshows will actually be noshows and seats will not be used at all. Bad for airlines, bad for passengers, both the ones not able to fly and the ones who do and will have to pay extra for the not-sold seats, and bad for the environment because under-utilized aircraft.
Airlines know what they are doing. The ones who don't will go out fast. It's a Darwinian process. OB is a necessary evil and on rare occations that it backfires Gate Agents always find someone willing to take the free ticket/money/voucher for a few hours of his precious time. I know in most cases I would.
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timeair
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RE: Overselling Flights - Differences Between Airlines

Thu Dec 20, 2007 3:55 pm



Quoting Scalebuilder (Reply 8):
However, I feel that the overselling of flights is way too frequent, and especially here in the United States. I primarily experience this situation here, and it is not always so convenient to be comfortable having to make contingent plans on "the fly".

Overselling is a direct result of passengers who make reservations and don't honor them by "no-showing". This is taken into consideration by the carrier and varies on every single route pairing/aircraft type and time of day, not to mention the time of year (most airlines do not oversell at xmas)
You can't get there from here.
 
EXAAUADL
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RE: Overselling Flights - Differences Between Airlines

Thu Dec 20, 2007 4:06 pm

possible a last minute equipment down grade
 
WJ
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RE: Overselling Flights - Differences Between Airlines

Thu Dec 20, 2007 9:52 pm

For the main topic, it is also possible that early cancellations led to high overbooking. No airline goes to that high of a no-show factor on a consistant basis.

Quoting Access-Air (Reply 19):
I dont know about all of you, but other that giving someone at the airlines a job to monitor all these flights, I really dont see where yeild management does an airline much good especially when they allow flights to be over booked...

It's pretty surprising that such a long time member of airliners would have such an angry post over something so trivial, its something one would expect from a first time poster. Were you beaten by a yield analyst when you were young?

Overbooking is a common practice on most airlines and is no different than any analyst position in any other industry. People no show and you want to fill seats, whats so difficult to understand? This is not to mention that a growing number of people use the overbooked holiday travel season to stock up on free tickets and vouchers for the whole year by simply volunteering and rolling from flight to flight collecting the vouchers.

Merry Christmas to all
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scalebuilder
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RE: Overselling Flights - Differences Between Airlines

Fri Dec 21, 2007 1:17 am



Quoting Scalebuilder (Reply 28):
I did not get so angry about this particular flight because this time I had the ability to wait



Quoting Wj (Reply 41):
It's pretty surprising that such a long time member of airliners would have such an angry post over something so trivial, its something one would expect from a first time poster. Were you beaten by a yield analyst when you were young?

I am starting out by quoting myself.

I wasn't really that angry at all, but can you understand that someone who relies on airtravel regularily, and who depends on reliable and timely airtravel to make a living, support a family, and pay the bills could get frustrated by constantly being hit up with waiting for the next flight? To me right now, it's like a beggar constantly pushing a basket to my face asking for money. I do not want the vouchers (I rarely am able to use them in any regard). I just want to get there as planned in the first place. If I paid for my ticket, and in full, is that really too much to ask for in return?

Here we have a short flight segment with an ERJ-170 parked at the gate, and the gate agent has the gutts to ask for 20 volunteers? This time I did simply have to say something. There is nothing comfortable about the prospect of not making your flight. It could be a missed meeting, a missed deal, or a death in the family for that matter. Who knows? To call this trivial is actually insulting to me, the company that I work for, and it could be to someone's family as well. We pay the airline we chose to get us there and on time. In your mind, should sending a passenger an itinirary simply be meaningless? Should the call to confirm your flight in advance be just as meaningless?

Quoting Wj (Reply 41):
This is not to mention that a growing number of people use the overbooked holiday travel season to stock up on free tickets and vouchers for the whole year by simply volunteering and rolling from flight to flight collecting the vouchers.

Has it occurred to you that there are people in this world with other intentions in how they use their time but to get a free travel voucher by manipulation? Even though I hope so, it certainly does not seem like it.
Go the extra mile......and avoid the traffic!!!

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