View Full Version : overbooked flights

14th May 2004, 11:39
Was on an overbooked BA flight LHR-DUS earlier this week they were offering 100 a person to take the next flight (2 hours later from memory). Could not take due to commitments otherwise would have nipped off for some salmon and champagne :(

Just made we wonder - anyone had any really juicy offers at any time?

14th May 2004, 13:50
Similar amounts offerred by BA and LH when I was working in Germany BUT they only offer them when they know that I have appointments at the other end and cannot accept! :{

On the days that I had spare time and oferred VDB (Voluntary Denied Boarding) ... I never got off loaded. [We need a 'smiley' for "Grumble. Grumble."]
"I tell you, we are here on Earth to fart around, and don't let anybody tell you any different." Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.

14th May 2004, 13:56
Overheard El-Al Passengers about two years ago being offered $1000 US each to take the next flight LHR-TLV which was the following morning, they were also offered overnight at a hotel in LHR and upgrade to first class. They still refused!

14th May 2004, 14:04
Nothing really juicy, but I remember seeing offers of a couple of hundred quid (the exact figure escapes me now) to be offloaded from LHR-MIA and similar flights from time to time, to fly the next day. Like PAXboy, inevitably this always happens only on occasions when you have to get there exactly when you're booked to.

I have much more often claimed the benefit of this sort of "helping out" by offering to go on an earlier flight that I've arrived in time for. If they need help, they'll happily move you to an earlier flight even on the cheapest non-changeable discount economy fares. But then it may be that my FF account has the notation "too expensive to allow him to hang around in our lounges" in it.

14th May 2004, 14:27
In 94 I was at O-hare waiting for our flight back to Manchester with American.

There was another flight going to MAN 2 hours later and American put out a tannoy announcment for volunteers to take the later flight in return for a $300 discount off their next American flight (with no strings attached). Not great I know but better than nothing.

I travel infrequently and thought I wouldn't take advantage of the offer so didn't volunteer.

Our take off time comes and goes and we are still sat at the gate. Turns out our captian failed to show up and we had to wait 2 hours for a replacement.

We pulled into our gate at MAN next to, you've guessed it, the later AA flight that had arrived a good while before us.

Oh wel.......

Just an other number
3rd Jun 2004, 08:49
Just before Easter my 15 year old son was due to fly LHR - HKG on Lufthansa via Germany. He was offered GBP 250 and overnight at the Hilton to fly 24 hours later. He accepted.
It seems this is common with LH on the HKG route; over the last year both my wife and daughter have separately been sounded out for compensation and a later flight by LH. But the offers for them both fell through.

3rd Jun 2004, 11:30
In the mid 90s my wife and I were returning from a few days in Amsterdam with KLM Cityhopper. We were in the departure area at Schipol awaiting our flight to Bristol (BRS) when a ground hostess came along asking for volunteers to be 'bumped' as the flight was overbooked.

We asked her what arrangements would be made for us if we agreed. She said that we would be paid 325 Dutch Guilders each (around 125 then), we could have a meal in the first class restaurant at Schipol, we would then be flown to Brussels with Sabena before being transferred onto another Sabena flight to BRS. We would arrive at BRS about three hours after we had been scheduled to with KLM.

We snapped her arm off and coud not understand why no-one else seemed interested.

She escorted us to the first class restaurant (the onlydownside was we only had about 3/4 hour there but the waiter, knowing who was paying, made sure we had the best of everything including a bottle of Moet et Chandon - which we could not finish unfortunately), and returned to count out a total of 650 Guilders in bank notes at the table - we had some odd looks from other patrons.

The arrangements went perfectly and we did arrive back at BRS just under three hours late with our bellies filled with some excellent refreshment and a total of 250 the richer.

3rd Jun 2004, 14:30
M.V. I agree, it's the only way to travel. Now if we could just get all the carriers to behave that way...:=

"I tell you, we are here on Earth to fart around, and don't let anybody tell you any different." Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.

3rd Jun 2004, 15:34
Used to happen quite often in the early '90s LHR-MAD, there was a large group of us working out there for months on end, but coming back every other weekend. Seemed like evey other flight they were offering a couple of hundred pounds for volunteers - like others above, we couldn't take it as we had to be there.

These days, it's our company's policy that we're not allowed to accept such offers 'for personal gain'. Mind you, the same is true of gifts - didn't stop me accepting the 3-foot long jade boat I got from a supplier as my leaving present from my time in China!

3rd Jun 2004, 18:58
There was a time, untill the late nineties, when Mrs max and I had flown more times in biz than economy. Always seemed to be with United, to Chicago. We started to make a point of making sure we didn't need to be home on a certain date. Pretty generous too, airport hotel for the night and free meal, upgrade to biz the next day, plus vouchers off of the next united flight.
Yes I am now in their FF program !

The best one I have seen.
Overbooked flight to Chicago, on United, looking for one pax, so that counts me and Mrs max out. Guy sticks his hand up, they put him on a BA flight leaving after ours, Club World.
We get to chicago, who's taxiing in front of us, yep.:{

3rd Jun 2004, 20:31
A mate of mine was travelling LHR to SYD with BA. (Jan 2002 I think). Overbooked and there were several offers floating around.
1. 200 cash if they take the later flight. (arrive in SYD only 40 min later than original schedule)
2. 500 in vouchers if they take the later flight.
3. Equivalent return ticket to any where in the world on the BA network to be used at any time valid for 12 months if they take the next flight. That's the deal my mate took :D

3rd Jun 2004, 22:01
Was conversing on another web board (Globaliser will know which one !) with an American friend who took an overnight VDB from United a couple of weeks ago at Heathrow and got given overnight accommodation.

In the Heathrow Travel Inn :rolleyes:

Oh, United !!!

3rd Jun 2004, 23:34
"Oh, United !!!" indeed.

I read this story earlier this week (re UA919 LHR-IAD 30 May, quoted verbatim from a trip report):-We lifted off after rolling for 35 seconds. An elderly lady had entered the lav just prior to our turning onto the departure runway. The FA told her to stay inside for takeoff. After about ten minutes the old lady was ready to return to her seat but they would not let her. I guess it was weird and claustrophobic for her in the lav so she opened the door for the next fifteen minutes. She looked strange dressed in her nice suit sitting on the toilet.I found this so odd that I asked a UK-based cabin crew friend, who said that the takeoff should have been aborted.

How does that company survive? :confused:

Sorry, I've wandered OT now.

4th Jun 2004, 10:31
Globes ... "Wandered Off Topic"??? I think that getting up and dragging us into the lavatory with an old lady is hardly a mere 'wander'. Not to mention that I've only just had my breakfast. :ugh:

"I tell you, we are here on Earth to fart around, and don't let anybody tell you any different." Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.

4th Jun 2004, 11:02
I've got a good one:

8-9 years ago I was working for a big multi-national and was sent to California from London on a three month business trip.

Half-way through my stay they asked me if I wanted to return to London for a break of a week. That trip would have been in biz class as was the outward leg. Alternatively they said my g/friend could come over, but they'd pay cattle class only for her as she was not an employee of the company (but crucially had been previously).

On day of departure g/friend shows up at LHR - sorry Ma'am but flight is full. However, we see you have a corporate membership of BA Exec club so...you've been upgraded to Biz class (my gfriend 'forgot' to mention she was actually a student at that time).

On return trip she shows at SFO to be told, sorry Ma'am flight full, even in J/F class. But here's $600 dollars vouchers and a free cab back to the hotel. Day later gfriend returns to SFO and guess what...sorry Ma'am flight full, but... you're being upgraded to biz class..!

Later in the year gfriend exchanged voucher for buz class roundtrip LHR - Lisbon - MAD - LHR.

My boss at the time kept on reminding me at every opportunity what priviledge I had had of getting my gfriend to visit me for a free holidy, and what great expense they had incurred in paying for her flight.

I eventually told him the real story just before I left the Co., his face was green for quite sometime after...


4th Jun 2004, 13:03
Back in 91 or 92 my family was going from YVR (before they rebuild it) to HKG. Flying the then Canadian Airline, the flight was completely booked. There were no offers whatsoever to be bump and we were told we be check in for a seat at the gate. Basically, my older sister (who was a bit sized back then) had to bulldoze over other people just to make sure my family had the seats. Plus during the flight they refuse to take away your cup noodles unless you drink all the yucky soup (and the noodles aren't that good). After that we never flown any Canada airline for international trips.

7th Jun 2004, 16:17
I think in the States there are websites that list flights which are most likely to be overbooked and thus offer generous compensation for flying later - I gather some people use them as nice little earners!

I was offered 400 to stay in Delhi for another 24 hours, with accommodation and food paid for. But I had to get back on time. :(