Overbooking flights is reaching unacceptable levels

Thousands of holiday-makers find themselves bumped off an over-booked flight.

airplane taking off

You’ve booked your flight online so you would expect that meant a confirmed seat on the plane. For most that would be true, yet thousands of holiday-makers find themselves bumped off an over-booked flight – especially at peak times such as Valentine’s or Easter.

That’s because on some flights as many as 150 tickets are sold for every 100 seats.

An EU report has warned that this practice is reaching unacceptable levels and BA admitted it overbooked almost half a million seats a year.

Officially known as “denied boarding” this has become standard practice. It is not illegal and airlines say they do it because statistically, some passengers will not show up. These “no-shows” tend to be business or first-class passengers with flexible tickets.

easyJet say that five per cent of their passengers don’t show up but that is no solace for those who have booked, paid for and turned up for their much anticipated holiday.

Some airlines will ask for volunteers others may just inform you that you won’t be flying.

Of course the airline will compensate you anything as follows: £217/€200 for a short haul flight, £347/€400 for longer flights within the EU and £521/€600 for long haul flights.

Unlike compensation for delayed or cancelled flights this compensation will be paid immediately.


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