Best method to AVOID bumping ??

Old Aug 4th, 2003, 08:18 PM
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Best method to AVOID bumping ??

well, I'm booked on a UAL flight from LAX to Orlando in a couple weeks ... and UAL's website did not allow me to select a seat on the outbound flight. I'm guessing that means the flight is overbooked.

Are there any sure fire methods to AVOID being bumped?? Is the best method to just show up early , and be in line as soon as the gate opens ??

On my last UAL flight to the UK, I was also overbooked and they finally placed me in business class (yay!), but I should not plan on my luck holding out...

TIA.
tom_h is offline  
Old Aug 5th, 2003, 04:09 AM
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Yes, check in as early as possible. I always check in two hours ahead of the flight departure time and have never been bumped. Once they've checked you in and you have a boarding pass, they can only give you a good offer to bump you, IMHO.
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Old Aug 5th, 2003, 04:38 AM
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tom h,
This was discussed few days ago on another thread. I will copy and paste here my reply to "USAir seating assignment-help" thread. I believe it's the same case here:

"Every airline holds a certain % of seats for airport assignment only. This has nothing to do with the flight being oversold, it has a lot to do with easing any possible problems with seat assignment at the airport, such as handicapped, big families, parents with infants, un-accompanied minors, etc..etc..
Just imagine if all the seats were open for assignment now and if you are like me and many others, we would pick seats that at this time seem to have empties next to them. Come fly day, what the TA and GA at the airport would have is bunch of single seats all over the plane, which would necessitate moving people around, thus making many pax very unhappy. With this system in place at least most if not all of the above possibilities are avoided.
I would not worry too much, and have a great trip!!!"

If you want, please let us know the day and time of the flight, and either I or somebody else here will look up the load for your flight. That's the ONLY real way to know what's going on. You can't depend on the airlines seat selection site.
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Old Aug 5th, 2003, 04:53 AM
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I suppose that if you pay full fare that they won't bump you!

The post from AAFrequentFlyer implies, then, that your flight is not necessarily overbooked.
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Old Aug 5th, 2003, 05:13 AM
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>The post from AAFrequentFlyer implies, then, that your flight is not necessarily overbooked.


But there is a good chance it is.

I have only had twice when I couldn't reserve a seat, and both of those flights were overbooked.

Keith
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Old Aug 5th, 2003, 05:40 AM
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The single most important thing to remember is that with a ticketed reservation,you are confirmed on that flight.No airline will guarantee you a pre reserved seat.This month, flights from anywhere to anywhere are packed.Just get there early.Assume your flight is overbooked.Be prepared.Act accordingly.And.....have fun!
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Old Aug 5th, 2003, 06:44 AM
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First things first:
1)You will get a boarding pass at the check-in counter/self check-in kiosk regardless if the flight is oversold or not.
2)Since at most US airports, if not all by now, you need a boarding pass to get through security, you will not know what's going on till you get to the gate.
3)Holding a boarding pass does not guarantee anybody actual seat.
4)There are a bunch of full fare/fully refundable tickets sold for every flight. Many of the holders of these tickets may/may not show up till 30 minutes before the flight, so ONLY the gate agent will make the final decision if bumping is necessary, not the ticket agent. You could volunteer for a bump with the TA, but all that does is put you on a list.
5)Once the GA decides, s/he will ask for volunteers. In about 90% of the time I've seen this happen, there were people fighting to get bumped to get the voucher/free ticket. So again, in most cases, if you want to be on that plane, you probaly will.
6)Only after all of this, there is a slight chance it may actually be you. Your chances decrease if you are travelling with a family/group/couple.
Singles are usually the first to get involuntary bumps. And yes, the fare one pays may be a factor, but again, you're not the only one with that fare.
7)Seat assignment on any US airline web site is not a reliable tool. Just as I explained earlier that they keep seats, the airlines also give the top tier status holders a guarantee of a seat+1 on ANY flight overbooked or not, if that person is willing to pay full fare for the 2 tickets. That guarantee, if used by somebody will bump off somebody else at the last minute if the plane is full. So never, ever look at the seat assignments as a guarantee for anything.
8)The rules for most airlines is 1 hour for domestic/2 hours for international. Obviously you also have to take into an account the time needed to get through security, etc... On an oversold flight, you should check-in no later than 1 hour before, and be at the gate no later than 30 minutes, if you want to be on that flight. Checking in 3-4-5 hours before will not do anything for you if the above scenario happens. If you are the person that will get an involuntary bump, checking in 3 hours before will do absolutely nothing, nada, zilch....

On that note, I still stand by my suggestion to check the loads for your flight, and in most cases don't worry too much. If bumping is necessary, there are usually enough volunteers.
Have a great trip!!!
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Old Aug 5th, 2003, 07:30 AM
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So, let me ask a quick question here... (I am the one who posted the US Airways seating assignment thread)

Once getting my boarding pass from the TA, I will then clear security. Do I need to then check in with the gate agent? In the past I have just shown up at the gate approx. 1/2hr before boarding, I have never checked in with the GA....

Be gentle with me please! I have flown several times, but all my past flights have been "No problem!" I just am not very familiar with these things.....
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Old Aug 5th, 2003, 07:35 AM
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Hi babyblue,

No, you do not have to check-in with the GA unless your boarding pass has no seat assignment. If you do have a seat, just sit quietly and wait for boarding to start.
Have a great trip!
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Old Aug 5th, 2003, 07:54 AM
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Thanks!
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Old Aug 5th, 2003, 08:08 AM
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babyblue....hi!...as I remember, you are flying to Jamaica...when you check in at the ticket counter,which you cannot bypass on an international flight out of Charlotte and most US airports,you will be given a boarding pass...you have to show the TA your passport/proof of citizenship....after verifiying it,he/she will for sure give you a seat assignment if by then you dont already have one.....voila!
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Old Aug 5th, 2003, 08:16 AM
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I wouldn't worry about it. As mentioned already, the majority of the time they get enough volunteers so that they don't have to involuntarily bump anyone. You'd be surprised how many people regularly volunteer to be bumped in order to earn free travel. As long as you're checked-in and at the gate area by their cut off time, you should be OK.
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Old Aug 9th, 2003, 07:29 PM
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Thx for the advice, AAFrequentFlyer.

How exactly does one look up the "load" for a given flight? Is there actually a public web site for this? Or does one need a "secret decoder ring" to somehow get the info?

by the way, the flight is United 272 on Aug 17, LAX -> MCO.
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Old Aug 10th, 2003, 04:34 AM
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Tom, you need not only the decoder ring but you'll have to learn the secret handshake and password, too.

It looks like there is still considerable availability on your flight. Here is a site with several tools you can use to check on seat availability in various classes:

http://www.flyaow.com/classavailability.htm

Rather than get into a lengthy explaination, I would suggest that you just play around with it and you'll quickly see how it works. Keep in mind that "9" means that there are at least nine seats in a given fare class; there could be more.
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