Top 3 Tips to Avoid Being Bumped
Who would think that once you purchased an airline ticket, there would be a possibility of not actually being able to take that flight because the airline doesn’t have a seat for you? Before this week, did you even KNOW that airlines purposely overbook their flights? Have you ever had the experience of being bumped off a flight?
As a travel professional, there are times that we book flights for clients even though the seating chart shows no seats available. We do this, knowing a few pieces of information that might not be common knowledge.
We know airlines overbook flights, just like hotels overbook rooms and the reason is that there is a natural rate of attrition….or no-shows….and the airlines are gambling that it will work out that there will be enough seats for the people who do check in for a flight. The other fact is that the airlines don’t always show all available seats, at least not until 24 hours prior to the flight. Yup, they do hold seats available for late or gate check in, so often the seat chart you see isn’t completely accurate.
However, after this week’s MAJOR issue on an oversold flight, people are starting to get nervous about their flight reservations. So let’s talk about the 3 Top Tips to Avoid Being Bumped From Your Flight.**
- Get an advance seat assignment. Even if the airline only has a middle seat left to confirm, be sure you take it. Passengers with seat assignments are typically only bumped if they arrive late and their seat assignment is released.
- If you do not have an advance seat assignment, or you want to change your seat assignment, check-in online. Most airlines allow you to check-in online within 24 hours of departure. Seat assignments that were not available at the time of ticketing may be available, including unblocked frequent flyer seats and seat assignments of flyers upgraded to first class. Many airlines automatically upgrade premium flyers within 24-72 hours of departure; at which point their coach seat assignments may be released for pre-assignment.
- Get to the airport early. Some airlines reserve a portion of their seat assignment inventory for airport check-in. Also, make sure your name is placed on the “standby” seat assignment list. While your ticket may say “confirmed”, if you do not have a seat assignment, you will be treated by the airline as a “standby” customer. Seats that are held by no-show passengers or passengers that upgrade at check-in to first class are usually distributed to standby passengers in check-in order.
Flying isn’t as simple or convenient as it used to be, unfortunately. Booking your flights aren’t that simple either, but traveling is worth the inconvenience. Take a few precautions and know what your options are. For more information, CLICK HERE.
**3 Top Tips to Avoid Being Bumped From Your Flight were take from Travelsense.org.