Unfair Practices by Airlines: Overbooking Flights to Ensure Maximum Profits
Airlines often overbook flights in order to maximize revenue. The practice is widely used as airlines try to accommodate unexpected changes – weather, displacement and migration of passengers – while attaining maximum capacity. This article will examine why airlines overbook flights, compensations for denied boarding due to overbooking, and how you can avoid it.
Why Do Airlines Overbook Flights?
To accommodate last-minute changes, airlines often offer stand-by tickets with the aim of satisfying travelers’ needs efficiently. Airlines face a balance where they want to offer the most services to their passengers while still attempting to maximize profits. Overbooking flights serves this purpose. By overbooking a flight, airlines can have a guaranteed number of passengers that will fill the flight on the day of the departure. This helps to keep operating costs to a minimum, while still allowing the airline to offer more services to its passengers.
Compensation for Denied Boarding Due to Overbooking
Unfortunately, the practice of overbooking can have a significant negative impact on passengers. When a flight is overbooked, people may be denied boarding, left waiting for another flight or even having to book an alternative flight with a different carrier. To compensate passengers for denied boarding, the EU law states that airlines must compensate passengers for the denied boarding of a flight due to the airline’s overbooking or the cancellation of the flight. In the event that a passenger is denied boarding due to a flight being overbooked, they will be owed up to 600 euros in cash compensation. The amount of compensation depends on the length of the original flight and how much advance notice the airline was able to provide. Airlines may also offer vouchers that can be used for additional air travel with the same carrier, provided that the value of the voucher is higher than the cash compensation due.
How to Avoid Overbooking?
The best way to avoid being denied boarding due to overbooking is to book directly through the airline website. Purchasing directly from the airline gives you the added security of being the first person on the list of passengers. This will increase your chances of being checked in and boarding the flight. It is also good practice to arrive at the airport early, so that you are allowed to check in and board your flight on time. Additionally, travelers should familiarize themselves with the EU Regulation No 261/2004 which spells out the rights of air passengers for denied boarding, long delays, or cancellations. It is always good to know your rights before traveling, as this can give you a better understanding of your options if the situation arises.
Airlines overbook flights in order to maximize profits while also attempting to accommodate for last-minute changes. This practice can be highly disruptive to passengers, with many being denied boarding after the flight is full. To help protect passengers, the EU Regulation No 261/2004 states that airlines must compensate passengers for the denied boarding of a flight due to the airline’s overbooking or the cancellation of the flight. The best way to avoid overbooking is to book directly through the airline website and arrive early. Those who familiarize themselves with the EU Regulation No 261/2004 will also have a better understanding of their rights when traveling.
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