LCCs & overbooking

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This topic contains 9 replies, has 8 voices, and was last updated by  capetonianm 23 Apr 2017
at 19:58

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  • icenspice

    On Monday I booked an easyJet flight from Lisbon to Luxembourg, departing 2 days later. Between the time of booking and Wednesday I tried to check in online several times…without success. Alarm bells started ringing.

    I arrived at the airport 3 hours before departure and made sure I was at a check-in desk ASAP (2 hours before departure) to be told that the flight was completely overbooked. However I was issued a boarding pass (Seq No. 2) and my rucksack was labelled ‘Standby’, and told to wait at the gate until everyone had boarded.

    Roll on 2 hours and it was with great relief that I was told I had the last seat and I walked out to the aircraft with the dispatcher. The guy sitting beside me at the gate had a BP with Seq No. 6 and was not so fortunate but he didn’t seem in the least worried.

    Even though easyJet (and Ryanair) flights often take off full, I was always under the impression that overbooking simply never happened.

    Has anyone been affected similarly flying a LCC and, if so, what compensation did you receive?


    You are not Jo Wood in disguise… 🙂

    She was on UTV news this morning about her flight home… perhaps she was seq 6…


    Last time I looked Lisbon was still capital of Portugal, so Jo Wood was most likely not seq 6:-)


    Another case where EZY overbooked happened earlier this month. It was flight from Luton to Catania.

    What made the incident even worse was the fact that EZY did not follow the correct rules for an overbooking situation. The two passengers were not informed of their rights under EU261.


    Here is easyJet’s overbooking policy (in plain English!):

    I wondered why I was asked if I required special assistance. There are times when I would quite happily volunteer to give up my seat, but not on this occasion. Fortunately, I had the good sense (for once) to get to the airport early.

    Not a good idea to book a last-minute flight when you know the route will be chock-a-block!


    In the case of LCC’s overbooking is sheer greed on their part. If you don’t fly you don’t get a refund, unlike some legacy fares where the ticket can be cancelled and either fully or partially refunded. In the case of the LCC this means the seat is effectively being sold twice. Once to the no show who will get no refund, and again to the passenger, most likely at a much higher fare. If they can resell your seat they should be obliged to refund you the ticket cost.


    Overbooking is a standard response to no-shows and there is specific compensation available, if LCCs do it just to fill every flight perhaps they should be studied by consumer protection authorities?
    Jetblue provides good service and a good profit and ensures all paying pax get a seat so its not rocket science!


    Jet Blue may say it does not overbook. But that doesn’t mean to say that passengers will not get bumped.

    Media reports say that many Jet Blue passengers were bumped over the past couple of years because of aircraft substitutions.


    In the case of LCC’s overbooking is sheer greed on their part. If you don’t fly you don’t get a refund,

    With some LCCs you can change to another flight. I can really only speak for EZY as I use them frequently, and they let you change up to 2 hours before departure, so the seat you’d paid for could go empty and the revenue would be transferred to another flight. So whilst the passenger doesn’t get a refund, the fare isn’t forfeit.

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