Does Your Fare Class Affect Getting Bumped?

Sep 2nd, 2003, 04:01 AM
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Does Your Fare Class Affect Getting Bumped?

My 4 y.o. son and I are flying Frankfurt to Seattle on Friday on US Airways and are actually hoping to get bumped. We got a fantastic deal on our tickets though (I should always be so lucky) and we are in the lowest fare class (L). Does this make a difference when they have several volunteers? Also, we don't really need a hotel room for that night, so would that help? I've been watching the Galileo site for a bit and the economy class vacancies are fluctuating from 2 to 22 available seats.

Thanks in advance for your help!
sardog10 is offline  
Sep 2nd, 2003, 07:06 AM
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We have been happily bumped (on Delta) more times than I can count (sometimes bumped when the ticket was bought with "bump money"...) In my experience, the only thing that matters is being one of the first to volunteer-they keep a list going at the desk and take people in the order they volunteered. We ususally go up and check as soon as the agent opens up even if they haven't asked for any volunteers-it never hurts to try!!!
Good luck!!!
2sweets is offline  
Sep 2nd, 2003, 07:30 AM
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As 2sweets said, it may be a matter simply of volunteering. But it also may be a matter of who came forward first AND it may vary by airline. What Delta does domestically may not be the same thing US Airways does internationally. You might call US Air and see what they tell you.
cfc is offline  
Sep 2nd, 2003, 06:45 PM
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I second the suggestion that you get yourself on the volunteer list first. Your fare class may end up having no impact at all. (We've taken bumps while flying on award tickets and in other cases, in the lowest fare class.) When a gate agent is trying to come up with seats from an overbooked aircraft, yours is as good as anyone else's. While it's true that this process may vary by carrier. Still, I doubt if I would bother to call in about these procedures on a speculative basis, since your worst case scenario is simply that you will end up flying in the seats that you booked.
Flyboy is offline  
Sep 2nd, 2003, 06:51 PM
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Eeek! My kingdom for an edit function, but you get the idea: jump on the volunteer list early.

Something else that occasionally happens is the "operational upgrade", in which coach seats are oversold, but there are seats open in first class. When that happens, some people are going to be bumped up into upper class seats. In that case, FF status and possibly fare class will frequently play a role.
Flyboy is offline  
Sep 3rd, 2003, 04:42 AM
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I have never seen an oversold situation at the gate where the gate agent had time to even think about classes of service....They want to load the flight make sure all passengers are safely on board, and get the flight out as close to "on time" as possible....Making your preference known as soon as possible will alleviate some of the GA's stress and help them out...
BeachBoi is offline  
Sep 3rd, 2003, 05:50 AM
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Great information and thank-you all. I just spoke with US Airways to confirm my son's children's meal and they told me that both legs of the flight are completely booked. Yay! (in a warped sort of way) Does it do any good to tell the check-in agent we want to volunteer or should I just wait until we get to the gate? And what do they do with your luggage if it's already checked through?

Again, thanks so much!
sardog10 is offline  
Sep 3rd, 2003, 07:25 AM
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About baggage checked through, the gate agent will probably choose somebody else without checked baggage as a volunteer before choosing you.

Also someone not making a connection is more likely to be chosen, or alternatively you are "on your own" to make new connections, possibly standby only, if you volunteer on your first flight (no change fees, but also no free hotel at the next stop, though).

Sometimes the airline will choose people who are premier or elite or gold or 1K etc., this depends on the airline policy.

The reason is the same as above, to get the flight out quickly without the need to pull your bags or find a new connecting flight for you.

Travel tips:
ajaynejr is offline  
Sep 3rd, 2003, 03:43 PM
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In my experince with Delta, it doesn't do any good to tell the check in agent-they tell you to check with the gate agent. Again, try to do this as soon as possible when they open up.
We have been bumped after checking bags (they don't seem to care-it's only if you care). We had overnight stuff in a carry-on and just picked up our checked bags the next day when we arrived.
We also ask before volunteering what they are offering-I've never known Delta to offer free round trips like some of the others. It is usually a certain amount of dollars on a coupon voucher (200-600) and variable amounts for food and lodging if an overnight is required. We also ask up front, when would they be able to get us out if we do give up our seats. Once you have all the info, you can decide if it is worth it or not.
We have found the gate agents to be helpful with all these details and very thankful you are willing to help them out. We always find it amusing that they are thanking US as they are giving us money....
Good luck!!
2sweets is offline  
Sep 7th, 2003, 08:05 PM
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When you said, "I've been watching the Galileo site for a bit and the economy class vacancies are fluctuating from 2 to 22 available seats" - could you tell me how you get that info (i.e. what website) for other flights? Thanks.
BMcQuade is offline  
Sep 8th, 2003, 04:20 AM
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BMcQuade, I use the following site (thanks AAFrequentFlyer). It is in Japanese, but you can figure it out. (Keep in mind that "9" beside a fare class means "at least 9" available.

I have also seen people recommend the VirginFlyer site, it also gives you the option of using airlines other than Virgin...
babyblue78 is offline  
Oct 31st, 2003, 08:36 AM
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Unfortunately the above services have been stopped as of today(?). When I tried to check Galileo data this morning I just get the message "This service has been stopped"

Also see this thread on flyertalk:
Patty is offline  
Oct 31st, 2003, 08:43 AM
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I never realized that airlines must compensate you with CASH when you get's the story I just read the other day....
BeachBoi is offline  
Oct 31st, 2003, 09:51 AM
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Cash compansation is only mandatory when it's an involuntary bump. Usually it never gets to that point, because most of the time there are enough volunteers and the value of the voucher will go up to whatever it takes to get volunteers.

Occasionally I've been offered $200 cash or $400 voucher even when volunteering, and knowing that I will be flying in the future, the $400 voucher has more value to me, although the $200 cash would be more expensive to the airline.

But again folks, cash is mandatory ONLY when the airline bumps you involuntarily.
AAFrequentFlyer is offline  
Oct 31st, 2003, 01:02 PM
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I agree. I don't think I've ever even witnessed an involuntary bump and as for cash, well, a voucher for $$$ value against future tickets is just about the same thing to someone like me anyway.
Flyboy is offline  
Nov 1st, 2003, 07:51 AM
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Not that I have been on all that many International flights, but I have never seen anyone bumped on one.

Is it common?

One thing that can significantly increase your chances of getting a voluntary bump: being alone. More than once I have been down the list of volunteers, but they needed just one more person and everyone in front of me was looing to be bumped with a partner.

Keith is offline  
Nov 1st, 2003, 09:28 AM
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It does happen, but I do believe the airlines run a little tighter revenue yield mngt. on international flights, so it's not as common. It is great when it happens, because if you do have to wait till next day, besides the high value voucher, hotel and meal vouchers, you could usually get an op-up to the next class of service next day. I have seen vouchers as high as $1200.
The closest I ever came to an international bump was a short 1 hour flight from Nassau to Miami on Continental few years ago. My friend and I got one of those $98.00 R/T deals, and came home with a 2 $500 vouchers, although no upgrade since it was one of these little prop jobs. They did put us up at the Nassau Marriott with a dinner and breakfast voucher as well as taxi both ways. We got to gamble for an extra evening.
AAFrequentFlyer is offline  

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