Why Airlines Sell More Seats Than They Have

BRIGHT SIDE

Imagine that you’ve bought plane tickets, say, half a year before the flight. You count down the days before the trip, pack a suitcase, and take a taxi to the airport. There’s a traffic jam on the way, so you don’t get there early enough to be first at the check-in desk. And yet you’re on time, so you give your passport to the employee and… You hear that check-in is closed, and there are no free seats left on the plane.

Have you ever found yourself in an overbooking situation? It means that there are more passengers checked in for flight than seats on board the plane. It sounds crazy, but airlines usually sell more tickets than there are seats available on the plane on purpose. Having a ticket doesn’t necessarily guarantee that you’ll be able to fly to your destination. Here’s why it occurs, and what to do in case it happens to you.

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TIMESTAMPS:
Why on Earth would they sell more tickets than seats? 😠 1:04
How you can stand up for your rights 3:06
What you need to know about refunds in the US 3:34
… and in the EU 4:23
How to make the best of overbooking 5:21
What about charter flights? ✈️ 6:56

#airtravel #overbooking #brightside

SUMMARY:
– To make up for the inevitable lost passengers, a lot of airlines use overbooking. They sell more tickets than available seats just to be on a safe side, and ensure the seats will be filled somehow.
– The airline staff can try to find volunteers who’ll agree to wait for the next flight in exchange for different perks. But if there are none, the passengers who were the last to check in won’t be allowed to board.
– Sometimes overbooking happens because of uncontrollable major circumstances.
– The carriers shouldn’t get away with overbooking, and have a responsibility to their clients.
– In the US, if you wait for 2 hours or less, you’re entitled to 200% of your one-way fare to your final destination (maximum $675). If you wait 2-4 hours, you should get 400% of your one-way fare to your destination (maximum $1350) on domestic flights.
– In the EU, the compensation for shorter flights would be about $140 to $275, depending on the distance. For longer distances, the reimbursement would range from $220 to $445.
– You could also just claim the money for the ticket, or go back to the starting point of your trip if it’s a connecting flight.
– Choose the most popular destination in a hot season. If there are several flights a day, the airline will bump extra passengers from the earlier flights onto yours.
– Be the first to come to the check-in desk and ask the airline employee to put you on the list of volunteers to stay back in case of overbooking.
– If you fly often with an airline of a certain alliance, and have their silver or golden bonus card, you can also benefit from overbooking.
– Despite all these perks, overbooking is more often a problem than a benefit. All these rules work for regular flights, but not for charter ones.
-That’s why the best advice here is to be among the first passengers to the check-in desk.

Music by Epidemic Sound

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