When you have booked a flight and are heading forward to board it, the usual procedure will be inclusive of reaching the airport, completing the security check, and boarding the flight. Such a procedure will be seen in normal times. In other situations, after going through the security check, you may be prevented from boarding your flight as it may be overbooked. In this instance, an airline may sell more tickets than the total number of available seats. Since every passenger showed up, you may be unable to board it. So, why do airlines overbook seats at all and what can the bumped passengers do in this situation?
The overbooking caused by airlines is mainly done to maintain profits in case certain no-show passengers are observed. However, along with being in the best interest of the airlines, passengers can also benefit from overbooking.
Why Do Airlines Overbook Flights?
Traveling via flights is convenient. However, certain passengers can witness discomfort when flights have been overbooked. Being bumped despite paying for the reservation can cause an unlikely feeling. In such an instance, you will surely question the need for overbooking. One of the reasons why flights are oversold is that this is a good way of balancing profits in case a certain percentage of no-show passengers is observed.
It has been found that certain airlines practice the habit of overselling the flights on a routine basis. Doing so enables the airlines to recover the sum that is put into the cancellation of the seats. In addition, the loss incurred for the passengers who could not board the flights can also be recovered. Not leaving certain seats to remain empty prior to the departure and throughout the journey, airlines make wise use of it by overbooking the seats. So to say, the practice of overbooking them ensures that every seat in the flight is able to generate certain profits.
In certain instances, it has been seen that when overbooking is allowed, those people who are trying to make reservations at the last minute are able to get help. The additional seats available on the plane can be availed at a discounted sum. Even after providing the discount, the airlines are able to make up certain revenue which may have occurred as a loss in case these seats had not been utilized.
As has been observed, every seat in the flight may not be considered equal. The problem of overbooking the seats can frequently occur for business classes and coach classes. Thus, the passengers traveling in these classes are closer to getting bumped.
Knowing What can Happen in an Overbooked Plane
Some of you may be able to assume that when you are in an overbooked plane, certain passengers will have to be removed. The passengers that have to be removed are not randomly chosen by the flight officials. Rather, the passengers are asked for volunteering to switch to another flight, in case this seems fit and does not disrupt their convenience. Those who volunteer are provided with compensation. The compensation can be in the form of money, however, it may not necessarily be given in this form. At times, the volunteering passengers can be provided with a seat on another flight, as per the availability of the same. They can also be given accommodation in a hotel for compensating them. Certain companies can prefer giving returns tickets without charging any sum.
It should be noted that there can be situations in which a plane may have been overbooked and no passenger may be willing to volunteer for leaving his or her seat. In such situations, the airlines may be forced to involuntarily remove certain customers.
Finding out How it is Decided Which Passenger will Get Bumped
Involuntarily removing a passenger from boarding an overbooked flight can seem surprising. We can also understand that such an action, on the part of the airlines, may not generate positive opinions. However, we also believe that you should understand how the airlines decide which passenger will get bumped. The staff of the airport considers the cost of the booked ticket as well as the time at which the reservation was made. Based on this, certain passengers may be removed from a particular flight that has been oversold. However, the airlines can also employ any computer program for randomly picking passengers who may be involuntarily removed. Still, a piece of relaxing news will be that frequent and elderly passengers may not be initially selected.
Understanding the Rights of the Passengers When Flights are Overbooked
As you would now know, certain passengers may be forcibly or involuntarily removed when a certain plane has been overbooked. Such passengers will be susceptible to cash compensation. This will also take into concern the schedule of another substitute flight that has been arranged keeping in mind the destination of these bumped passengers.
When the passengers have voluntarily chosen to leave the overbooked seats, they may be able to make certain profits by claiming compensation. However, this will be accompanied by casual negotiation which may not be bound by industry regulations as to the amount that should be paid to you by the said airline.
Can Planes be Frequently Overbooked?
There may not be any particular statistics with respect to the number of times or how frequently planes can be overbooked. Depending upon certain situations, the tickets for a flight may be oversold. Also, in instances wherein the number of no-show passengers is high, the airline may decide to oversell its tickets so that the seats do not remain vacant in the journey and some money can get generated from them.
Considering All of these
For those of you who keep thinking why do airlines overbook planes and believe that this can make them susceptible to an unlikely experience, we hope that this blog helped in introducing some relief. Overbooking flights can seem like a problem, however, on the part of both the airline and the passengers, this problem can be made to work in their favor. We hope that this blog provided you with sufficient information to understand why flights get sold more than the availability of seats in them. Additionally, you would have understood what can happen in such an instance and what a passenger can do in case he or she gets bumped. Knowing the rights that should be made use of in such an instance will be recommended. This will ensure that even after overbooking has occurred, you can keep your experience positive and your journey smooth.