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Old 23rd December 2013, 11:58   #31
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Default Re: Victim of ‘Overbooking’ on a Flight

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Originally Posted by alpha1 View Post

Can someone please elucidate how this practice is actually allowed to continue by law?
Why can't the airlines simply offer the tickets for only the no of seats it has ...
Like every other business does.
Its not just airlines, even hotels do this. Overselling is a common practice in the travel and lodging industry. Basically it is to ensure a maximum return on their investment. Airlines (and railways and even bus companies) overbook to attempt to fill seats left empty by passengers who don't show up for their flight or don't cancel their reservations prior to the flight's departure. Overbooking also creates booking opportunities for people who really want or need to be on a flight that is showing full but likely to depart with available seats.
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Old 23rd December 2013, 11:58   #32
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Default Re: Victim of ‘Overbooking’ on a Flight

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Nowadays with online check-in available up to 48h before departure, its best to do this and have a confirmed boarding pass. Once you are checked in then they cannot deny boarding. I've been flying for the last 25 years and this has never happened to me.
Another advantage of checking in online is that you get much better seats, which is a huge bonus especially when traveling long-haul.
With Jet Konnect & Jet Code share they do not even allow Web Checkin
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Old 23rd December 2013, 12:02   #33
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Default Re: Victim of ‘Overbooking’ on a Flight

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Originally Posted by m_upreti View Post
With Jet Konnect & Jet Code share they do not even allow Web Checkin
You mean on code-share flights between the two airlines? That's crazy, they're basically the same airline, why not allow web check in for flights operated by either airline?
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Old 23rd December 2013, 12:05   #34
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Default Re: Victim of ‘Overbooking’ on a Flight

Web checkin is fine if you dont have a lot of baggage. But if you have more than what is allowed for cabin storage you still have to report early to tag the bags so that it can go in the cargo section of the aircraft.
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Old 23rd December 2013, 12:14   #35
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Default Re: Victim of ‘Overbooking’ on a Flight

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Sometimes if you are overbooked in economy airlines can upgrade you to business class where there is a no show. It happened with me once. First time I got to travel business then.
Ohhhh... now i got to understand why me and my family got upgraded from Economy class to Business class on a Jet Airways flight!! Till today, i used to wonder why did they upgrade us to business class

My dad has traveled to almost 40 countries and has never faced this issue. Touchwood.
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Old 23rd December 2013, 14:43   #36
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Default Re: Victim of ‘Overbooking’ on a Flight

Allowed or not, this is simply unethical. If a passenger does a No-Show, just don't refund the ticket. Why inconvenience other passengers just because a few 'might' not show up?

IMO, a passenger, after booking the ticket way back should have priority in getting confirmed tickets. Later bookings can be confirmed based on seniority in bookings, just like the waiting list in the Railways as someone mentioned here a few posts back. It is not at all fair to deny a seat to someone who had planned his trip months ago and give the same seat to someone who booked his ticket a day before his flight.

A couple of months back , I saw this type of situation while on a trip abroad. I was traveling from Santorini (Greece) to Geneva via Athens on Aegean Airlines. This was an early morning flight and I had done the web check-in (through to Geneva) the previous evening itself. At Athens, while we were waiting to board the aircraft, the airline announced that they were looking for volunteers who could give up their ticket for this flight as the flight was overbooked.

I don't think anyone went forward to give up their ticket as the same announcement was done 4-5 times. The airline offered to put the volunteers on the next available flight to Geneva (which was in the evening) but made no mention of providing any accommodation till then.
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Old 23rd December 2013, 16:39   #37
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Default Re: Victim of ‘Overbooking’ on a Flight

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A consultant friend of mine tells me that all airline operators have models based on probability of such things happening and in the long run the losses they have to suffer on overbooking (in terms of paying compensation to the affected passangers) is not material over a larger time frame.
On a lighter note - I don't think airlines need any probablity models for refunds on account of overbooking, as the amount of compensation is so meagre.

The amount of hassle that the passenger has to undergo because of denied boarding, not to speak of the monetary loss due to connecting flights, hotel and taxi bookings, up/down taxi fare departure airport etc. the airlines should be made to pay atleast five times the cost of the ticket.

Though the rules are there to compensate the passenger for denied boarding, it seems to be in favour of the airlines.

Last edited by fordday : 23rd December 2013 at 16:43. Reason: grammar
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Old 23rd December 2013, 17:29   #38
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Default Re: Victim of ‘Overbooking’ on a Flight

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IMO, a passenger, after booking the ticket way back should have priority in getting confirmed tickets. Later bookings can be confirmed based on seniority in bookings, just like the waiting list in the Railways as someone mentioned here a few posts back. It is not at all fair to deny a seat to someone who had planned his trip months ago and give the same seat to someone who booked his ticket a day before his flight.
Yes, I agree. There should be a way for the airlines to prioritize reserved tickets and I believe some airlines may be doing that. It depends on airline to airline and their policies which unfortunately is not very transparent to passengers. However, that is exactly what demarcates a good airline from a bad one.

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After going through all this, even I started wondering why cannot airlines just follow the procedure adopted by Indian Railways (waitlisting etc.) I am sure people must have tried that and it must not be financially viable OR financially less profitable?
Not true!! Even Indian Railways overbook tickets and it has been since ages. Ever heard of RAC == Reservation Against Cancellation?? It is the same concept. As per the IR rules, people with RAC are allowed to travel in the train. He/she will then be allotted a seat or berth if there is a last minute cancellation or if there is a no show. A person with RAC usually works with the TC to get a seat / berth failing which only the seat is allotted to him and he/she can travel with the person who already has confirmed ticket for that seat.
You can't imagine this type of arrangement in an aeroplane, can you??

Another point : Airlines do their best to ensure that all reserved passengers board on time. You would have noticed ground staff shouting through the airport asking for passengers who are yet to board. The reason is that, if a person fails to board and the airline cannot prove that the passenger was at fault, then airline will have to refund his/her ticket cost and maybe some penalty too.
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Old 23rd December 2013, 20:47   #39
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Default Re: Victim of ‘Overbooking’ on a Flight

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Originally Posted by addyhemmige View Post
Allowed or not, this is simply unethical. If a passenger does a No-Show, just don't refund the ticket. Why inconvenience other passengers just because a few 'might' not show up?
Many frequent fliers who fly on some one else's dime buy refundable fares which are almost twice as expensive than the regular fares but allows full refund in case of no-show or cancellation. Also large corporations have deals with airlines where the companies get a credit instead of refund for cancellation. To accommodate this, airlines have a statistical model to allow certain percentage of overbooking in almost every flight to compensate for the potential revenue loss by flying empty seats.
I actually love overbooking. I have taken compensation from airlines and flew the next available flight if my schedule allowed it many times. My best experience was probably to get a $500 compensation on a Memorial day flight which I had bought using my frequent flier miles. Overall the airlines paid me $500 - Tax ($20-30) to fly and I reached 1 hour later than my original schedule Paid for all the bad food they served over the years !!
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Old 24th December 2013, 11:34   #40
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Default Re: Victim of ‘Overbooking’ on a Flight

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I actually love overbooking. I have taken compensation from airlines and flew the next available flight if my schedule allowed it many times. My best experience was probably to get a $500 compensation on a Memorial day flight which I had bought using my frequent flier miles. Overall the airlines paid me $500 - Tax ($20-30) to fly and I reached 1 hour later than my original schedule Paid for all the bad food they served over the years !!
Wait till you experience these luxuries in India ...
As people have already mentioned - even if you are on a vacation, you simply cannot afford to lose the flight because the next one would be after 12 hours or 24 hours ...


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Originally Posted by sukhoi30 View Post
Not true!! Even Indian Railways overbook tickets and it has been since ages. Ever heard of RAC == Reservation Against Cancellation?? It is the same concept. As per the IR rules, people with RAC are allowed to travel in the train. He/she will then be allotted a seat or berth if there is a last minute cancellation or if there is a no show. A person with RAC usually works with the TC to get a seat / berth failing which only the seat is allotted to him and he/she can travel with the person who already has confirmed ticket for that seat.
I think you have ignored one important point: I would book a flight because I am short on time. And I want to reach a place by a stipulated time, pronto.

In the case of Railways - getting an RAC means that you are going to reach your destination.
I think the supporters of overbooking practice are missing this important point.
Besides, a booked reservation is a booked reservation in train. Never happens that you reach the train (even with RAC) and your are not allowed inside by the TTE ... ?

We book and reserve because we want to ENSURE that we reach our destination via the booked/reserved means by the time that is declared.

Last edited by alpha1 : 24th December 2013 at 11:41.
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Old 24th December 2013, 11:53   #41
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Default Re: Victim of ‘Overbooking’ on a Flight

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Originally Posted by sukhoi30 View Post
Not true!! Even Indian Railways overbook tickets and it has been since ages. Ever heard of RAC == Reservation Against Cancellation?? It is the same concept. As per the IR rules, people with RAC are allowed to travel in the train. He/she will then be allotted a seat or berth if there is a last minute cancellation or if there is a no show. A person with RAC usually works with the TC to get a seat / berth failing which only the seat is allotted to him and he/she can travel with the person who already has confirmed ticket for that seat.
You can't imagine this type of arrangement in an aeroplane, can you??
Yes, railways also over book tickets, but the system is more transparent than the Airlines. At least, the travelers know their reservation status in case of railways where as there is no such provision in the airlines. Also, a confirmed ticket guarantees a full berth to the traveler, however late he may turn up. IN case of airways, it is mostly 'first come, first serve'.

Also, RAC travelers do not share the berth with confirmed ticket holders. 2 RAC ticket holders share one single side lower berth. In case of last minute no shows by others(as after chart preparation, no cancellation is allowed, hence only no show can be the case) , they may get full berths.

On the contrast, the flyers may be in for some crude rude shock when they are denied boarding after having 'confirmed' tickets.

IMO, if overbooking has to be the norm, then at least there should be a system like railways status enquiry, where the passenger at least knows in advance if he gets a confirmed seat when he turns up to the airport.

Airlines can simply choose not to refund the no-shows. Why inconvenience other passengers?
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Old 24th December 2013, 22:28   #42
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Default Re: Victim of ‘Overbooking’ on a Flight

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Originally Posted by acurafan View Post
Many frequent fliers who fly on some one else's dime buy refundable fares which are almost twice as expensive than the regular fares but allows full refund in case of no-show or cancellation. Also large corporations have deals with airlines where the companies get a credit instead of refund for cancellation. To accommodate this, airlines have a statistical model to allow certain percentage of overbooking in almost every flight to compensate for the potential revenue loss by flying empty seats.
What the a leading LCC now offers the Corporates is called a Corporate Program wherein the firm signs up for a corporate account with the airline and has to deposit a certain amount of money with the airline and can use that money to buy its tickets for the following month or so. (like a prepaid account). What benefits you get is that you get the ticket reasonably cheaper, no charges for seat selection (LCCs do charge for seat selection now, a premium for window/aisle seats). Complimentary meal on board and no cancellation/rescheduling charges.

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I actually love overbooking. I have taken compensation from airlines and flew the next available flight if my schedule allowed it many times. My best experience was probably to get a $500 compensation on a Memorial day flight which I had bought using my frequent flier miles. Overall the airlines paid me $500 - Tax ($20-30) to fly and I reached 1 hour later than my original schedule Paid for all the bad food they served over the years !!
You are loving the concept of over-booking because you havent yet been on the receiving end of its ugly side. For an instance Bhavnagar has only 1 scheduled flight daily only to BOM, imagine you are denied boarding on that and you have to reach back to BOM within 4 hours, there is no other flight to anywhere from the airport and the next flight is the next day. By road it will take you 12 hours and you have to reach home within 4 hours at any costs ? Do you still love the concept overbooking ?

The consequences of overbooking is a very rare occurrence as many have already stated it is a globally followed practice, the chances of all 110 people turning up is a very rare instance.

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Originally Posted by sukhoi30 View Post
Another point : Airlines do their best to ensure that all reserved passengers board on time. You would have noticed ground staff shouting through the airport asking for passengers who are yet to board. The reason is that, if a person fails to board and the airline cannot prove that the passenger was at fault, then airline will have to refund his/her ticket cost and maybe some penalty too.
That is not exactly the main reason for airlines to search for the passengers as the airline is NOT responsible if the passenger is not present at the gate at the mentioned Boarding Time, the check-in agent particularly highlights the Gate No. and Boarding Time on your Boarding Pass.

I recently saw this Ultimate Airports : Dubai series (Natgeo documentary) where I learnt that the reason that the staff searches for that person is if they cannot find him then they'll have to locate his checked-in baggage and deplane it because for security reasons no airline wants to fly with the luggage of a person not on board. And finding one particular bag amongst a thousand bags is time consuming and may cost them their take-off slot and in cases where the destination country follows Night Curfew* (like UK, Australia) it may mean to altogether cancel the flight which will cost the airline compensation to all the passengers.

* Night Curfew :"The night restrictions for Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted define a night period, 2300–0700 hours, and a night quota period, 2330–0600 hours. During the night period, the noisiest types of aircraft (classified as QC/4 QC/8 or QC/16) may not be scheduled to land or to take off (other than in the most exceptional circumstances). In addition, during the night quota period movements by most other types of aircraft (including the new QC/0.25 category) will be restricted by a movements limit and a noise quota, which are set for each season.)"
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Old 25th December 2013, 01:33   #43
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Default Re: Victim of ‘Overbooking’ on a Flight

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You are loving the concept of over-booking because you havent yet been on the receiving end of its ugly side. For an instance Bhavnagar has only 1 scheduled flight daily only to BOM, imagine you are denied boarding on that and you have to reach back to BOM within 4 hours, there is no other flight to anywhere from the airport and the next flight is the next day.
I fly more than 150K miles per year, the probability of me getting bumped is statistically higher. On the other hand having premium status helps me in picking my battle as airlines would not go out of away to bump me. I don't take chances in the smaller airports but volunteer mostly at the bigger airports where there are multiple choices to reroute.
If the travel is that critical one should arrive 2-3 hours before the scheduled departure. I don't think any one will be "bumped off" if they check in that early. It is definitely true when the airlines has an option between denying boarding between two passengers they will go by the fare code. The cheaper ticket will always get bumped but it happens when you are at the end of the queue not at the front.

Last edited by acurafan : 25th December 2013 at 01:39.
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Old 27th December 2013, 14:54   #44
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Default Re: Victim of ‘Overbooking’ on a Flight

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You mean on code-share flights between the two airlines? That's crazy, they're basically the same airline, why not allow web check in for flights operated by either airline?
It is some thing to do with the low fare flights operated by Jet Konnect
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Old 27th December 2013, 22:11   #45
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It is some thing to do with the low fare flights operated by Jet Konnect
Nope, not just 9W/S2... Ever since DGCA has allowed airlines to charge for extra features... Like charging for seat selection, decreasing maximum luggage load (from 20kg to 15kg) Air India used to allow 25 kgs, now 15kgs. Every airline except Air India now charges for seat selection extra charges for window and aisle seats. Even 9W being a FSC doesn't allow web checkin nor seat selection for free now..

LCCs are charging around 300/- for Window/aisle seats. Dunno how much 9W & S2 charge. Currently Air India is the only airline that allows seat selection at booking and also web check in 48 or 24 hours before departure...
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