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Does U.S. Airways overbook flights?

ValHam

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I am going with U.S. Airways to Cancun in a few weeks - I shall be travelling at a busy time - during the Christmas break - does U.S. Air overbook often? I am going from Seattle to Charlotte and Charlotte to Cancun. Thanks
 

Dave M

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Yes. All airlines overbook, just as hotels, rental car companies and many other travel vendors do. If they didn't, they would not be able to survive. They would wind up with far too many empty seats. In deciding how much to overbook, they rely on their past experience to be able to predict approximately how many people will cancel or simply not show up for a particular flight.

However, you needn't worry. Airlines must ask for volunteers to take later flights before involuntarily bumping anyone. Airlines typically offer a free ticket or $$ to volunteers and rarely have trouble getting enough volunteers to take a fight to their destinations a few hours later than planned.

Just be sure you get assigned seats when you make your reservations and plan get to the airport early enough so that you can comfortably get through that unexpected traffic jam, get through the longer than anticipated check-in line and get through that longer than normal security line in time to board timely.
 

philemer

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discodan said:
Not all, JetBlue doesn’t overbook or do the bump!
DAN
Do you have some 'insider' information to back up that claim? :)

Phil
 

Dori

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We flew from Buffalo to Charlotte to Las Vegas on USair just last month, In Charlotte, we asked if they needed volunteers (there were 4 of us travelling), and sure enough, they needed all four of our seats! We only had to wait an extra hour in the airport for the next flight. Now we are travelling from Buffalo to California in April, courtesy of USair!

Love those bumps!

Dori
 

Dave M

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That's true. I forgot. JetBlue makes a big deal about not overbooking. I don't know why, because no one really has to worry about being involuntarily bumped. Because of the mandatory (under federal rules) voluntary bump program, it almost never happens that someone with a confirmed reservation will be forced to skip a flight that takes off.
 

Avery

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Beware that when USAirways offers you a free ticket to give up your seat, the value of the ticket is extremely limited; it is treated as a FF ticket, you can only book seats on flights where there are FF seats available. I have 4 "free" tickets, haven't been able to use them for anything. I am going to try to book 330 days ahead the next time to see if I can get seats. Others on the forum have advised that volunteers insist on dollar value vouchers instead of the "free" tickets... I will definitely do that next time...
 

Dori

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We did have some difficulty in finding flights that were suitable . For some of the dates we provided, they could get us there but not home again. Or they could get only 2 of the 4 passengers on flights. One flight schedule they were able to come up with had us sitting in Philadelphia for 8 hours waiting for a connecting flight!

Spence suggested that we call customer service and that's what I did. The rep was able to help us out, putting all four of us on the same flights, on dates that were, if not great, at least acceptable.

The process was very time-consuming and frustrating, but worth it in the end.

Dori
 

Spence

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Avery said:
Others on the forum have advised that volunteers insist on dollar value vouchers instead of the "free" tickets... I will definitely do that next time...
Customer Service will exchange them for you for $200 vouchers.
 

riverside

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The last time we flew they couldn't get anyone willing to give up their seats. They upped their offer to TWO free tickets each, hotel, meals and first class seats the next day. We finally decided to take them up on their offer and got off the plane. Within 3 minutes they decided they didn't need us and put us back on the plane but not in our original seats. We didn't even get to sit together. Their comment was "you gave up your seats". We had gotten free tickets the year before and had no trouble using them to fly to St. Martin in March. However, I got up in the middle of the night 330 days in advance to book. Just be aware that they may be difficult to use if you can't plan ahead or fly during a busy time.
 
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