What's the Most KickBacks You've Gotten For Being Bumped

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by inpd, Nov 17, 2005.

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  1. inpd

    inpd Member

    Oct 29, 2005
    I probably have too much time on my hands ...

    I was once at LHR in 1998 and United had over-booked
    LHR to JFK. I was amazed to see they were offering
    people $1000 in vouchers for voluntarily bumping
    (i.e. due to over-booking giving up your seat for the
    next flight)

    I know that airlines don't like to talk about
    payments for bumpings but can:

    1) Someone explain to me how it works
    (voluntarily vs involuntarily)
    2) State what the typical payment they have received is

  2. Kiwi Flyer

    Kiwi Flyer Senior Member

    Sep 24, 2004
    What must be offered varies by market. What is offered also varies by airline/status/class booked/fare paid/how long of a delay and whether an overnight is forced/etc.

    Eg for EU airlines and also all flights (any airline) leaving from EU, there are rules for minimum compensation for voluntary and involuntary bumps, which varies by length. This excludes force majeur but AFAIK it hasnt yet been tested (fully) as to what an airline can and cant claim as force majeur.
  3. NM


    Aug 27, 2004
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    I have never been bumped from a flight. I have been bumped up a class on several occasions when the back cabin needed more space. And once I was almost bumped down a class by BA but got the last J seat when another pax failed to show at the gate.

    So no bump compensation for me.
  4. neil_gardner

    neil_gardner Intern

    Nov 26, 2004
    shanghai, PRC
    Was travelling with my dad many years ago in J on AA from JFK to MAN (I think it was 1994!)

    we were offered 40,000 Advantage points (good for a return economy transatlantic flight in those days), overnight accommodation in Manhattan and a seat on the plane the next day if we bumped voluntarily. Unfortunately, due to work commitments, he (and therefore I) couldn't take the offer.

    Someone else gladly took it though.
  5. inpd

    inpd Member

    Oct 29, 2005
    I've never been bumped before, but I'm interested
    in knowing what my rights are and if
    its better (in terms of compensation) to be voluntarily bumped or involuntarily bumped. I understand that each
    airline probably has its own proceedure, but any
    general rules would be interesting.

    In that Heathrow incident, people were literally
    pushing each other over to get to the desk
    to accept the compensation package. Interestingly,
    they announced it over the PA system and did
    not go and proposition individual passengers which
    seems to imply that there is no apparent order to
    bumping based on fare paid.
  6. NM


    Aug 27, 2004
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    An involuntary bump will generally reap more in terms of compensation. The rules for what is provided for invol bump is dependent on the location. Europe just introduced new rules recently (based on length of flight etc), and the USA has had specific compensation rules for some time.

    Most vol bump compensation is in terms of vouchers that can be spent with the airline for future travel. Once the bump becomes involuntary, they are generally required to pay compensation in cash, not vouchers or other "in kind" offers.

    Sometimes the value of the vouchers may exceed the cash compensation required for invol bump and that is done to avoid the need to report the invol bump to the ruling authorities who maintain statistics on such things. So an airline may offer a $500 voucher to make it a voluntary bump instead of paying $300 cash for an involuntary bump just in order to keep it out of the reported stats.

    Some people, particularly in the USA where overbooking is the norm, will book flights they know are popular and likely to be oversold and hope to make money from the bumps. They will book travel on busy holidays just to sit at the airport all day bumping from one flight to the next. not my idea of a travel day.
  7. clifford

    clifford Established Member

    Jul 6, 2004
    Canberra / London
    I was offered USD 700 a couple of years ago to be bumped on a UA LAX-ORD flight (I was going on to CDG). I declined because they couldn't guarantee C class on the later flight.

    Earlier this year I was at BKK checking in for a LH flight to FRA and noticed a sign saying that they would give 600 Euros to anyone willing to spend an extra night in Bangkok (at LH's expense). A tough call, but I had to be in Europe on time.

    This kind of thing happens all the time, but I've never had the opportunity to take the money.

  8. aus_flyer

    aus_flyer Established Member

    Feb 15, 2005
    I have never been bumped, but by the sound of it - hopefully I will sometime soon!

    I'm travelling around the world at the end of the year. Booked in DONE4. Hopefully I might be offered an attractive "bump"!
  9. thadocta

    thadocta Active Member

    Highly unlikely if travelling in D.

  10. dajop

    dajop Senior Member

    Jul 1, 2002
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    Here's a question - when was the last time anyone on this board was bumped (off not up) travelling domestically on QF? Never really heard of it happening, although with some of the loads often seen (ie not an empty seat) surely it must happen.
  11. Mal

    Mal Enthusiast

    Dec 25, 2004
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    I remember that Ansett used to offer them at times. Qantas has a much better load control system from what I've seen.

    Assume it would be rare. Never been offered one. Have been offered earlier flights (which I assume is a form of bump control), plus the occasional op-up.
  12. thadocta

    thadocta Active Member

    Likewise, I have been asked if I would rather go earlier (when on fares which cannot be changed, namely red E-deals, and so on) and have been gien a J boarding pass when on a K class fare. Funnily enough, the flights I were on were looking rather full.

    I think QF have it just about right domestically.

    Which gets me back to my old war horse, better to let people change upon check-in (regardless of fare rules) than let them sit around and have to find accommodation for people when an aircraft goes U/S and you have more bodies than seats for the last flight of the night. Particularly since a lot of us arriving early and unable to change will be drinking the bar at the QP dry before departure, whereas if we were allowed to go early we would be going straight home.

  13. serfty


    Nov 16, 2004
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    When flights are getting full, I have experienced at least four contingencies used by QF to avoid bumping. In no particular order:

    • •Get a bigger aircraft if available and move PAX onto it from other flights. Sounds simple but no always so easy. This year I was travelling to BNE from MEL on a Thursday when for some reason the flights that afternoon filled up. My 73H 'morphed' into a 333. Speaking to other PAX, some had been called and asked if they could move onto this one.
    • •Contact PAX and ask if they will/can go earlier/later. Happened to me late October when I knew a 333 had been substituted for the normal 332 MEL-PER. (I was travelling in J.. No way!)
    • •Try to move people when checking in, offering earlier flight if available. Typically when this happens Quick Check for your flight is disabled, and you get advised to see check-in staff. I copped this on Wednesday on the way to SYD, flights were full due to World Cup Qualifer.
    • •If space available in J, upgrade elite whY PAX to this cabin. This happend to me on Monday when a MEL-BNE flight was cancelled.
    Personally, as an elite I avoid changing, mainly because I then stand a good chance of losing my preferred seating style.
  14. Kiwi Flyer

    Kiwi Flyer Senior Member

    Sep 24, 2004
    I have seen earlier flights held back significantly so as to move pax across.
  15. Alan in CBR

    Alan in CBR Member

    Apr 2, 2004
    Canberra ACT
    I've never been bumped from a flight, but I'm a little worried that I'm about to find out what it's like.

    I'm flying AA from LAX to IAD (Washington DC) on the Sunday following Thanksgiving. Logged on yesterday trying to pick a seat, and there were none available at all. And I'm Platinum on AA. Everything was Xed out, with a note to get seat allocation at the airport.

    Things in my favour:
    - AA Plat
    - B class booking
    - Will be trying to get a boarding pass in CBR, virtually a day before the flight departs

    Thing not in my favour:
    - If I can't get a boarding pass in CBR (and that wouldn't surprise me since it would appear to be overbooked) then I will be trying to do so at LAX close to departure time. The airport will most likely be packed, so the queues could be really long.

    We shall see.
  16. NM


    Aug 27, 2004
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    I agree with thadocta about Qantas having their load management process pretty right. The most common reasons for having more pax than seats is if they have an unplanned equipment change (ie 73H becomes a 734) or another flight has been cancelled or significantly delayed and they need to move people around onto other flights.

    It is rarely a problem for passengers on the busy domestic flights like the monorail (MEL-SYD-BNE) since there are lots of flights and lots of voluntary movement of people between flights on the day of travel.

    International flights tend to be more often oversold and rely on some passengers cancelling or no-shows. Again Qantas seem to have this black art calculated better than some airlines, but with the unknown nature of no-shows it can be a problem on occasions. But in those cases, its the last people to check-in that are going to miss out, and I have not heard of Qantas asking for volunteers to miss the flight.

    In the USA, most airlines allow people to register for a waitlist for bumps when they check-in. And the waitlist is services based on elite FF status. So an AA Exec Plat requesting a vol bump gets preference over a Plat or Gold FF member. Seems strange that they work this way. I think the Qantas approach is to always allow elite FF members to fly and bump the last non-status passenger to check-in.
  17. acampbel

    acampbel Member

    Oct 31, 2005
    Never been bumped off, though I had an interesting experience coming back from Melbourne a few weeks back. My company has a policy that we should take the cheapest available fare, which I interpret as the cheapest Qantas fare (I'm paying for Qantas Club and I need the points for the bi-yearly family trips to blighty).

    This means I book as early as possible and on the cheapest fare type so that the fare is at least comparable to Virgin, and this particular return to Sydney was the sub-$100 Red-E deal. I had booked at 7:30pm to cover all contingencies and of course arrived early. As I was checking in at the Club desk I jovially enquired about taking the earlier flight. The guy looked at his screen and gave a wry grin, then he said "On that fare you can't change to an earlier flight, but the computer is inviting you to do just that!"

    I'd like to think that my Silver status played a part (it certainly helps when going standby) but expect that it was just a case of spare seats filtering down to the great unwashed. As has been posted before - Qantas seem to have nailed the fuzzy logic of passenger behaviour and successfully keep load factors very high without arbitrarily overbooking flights.


  18. JohnK

    JohnK Veteran Member

    Mar 22, 2005
    BNE, SYD and CNX
    Did that include a handy-shandy?

    sorry have to go my phone is ringing now :!:
  19. oz_mark

    oz_mark Enthusiast

    Jun 30, 2002
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    I've only had two instances where I have not flown on the flight I intended. Once Qantas rang me and asked if I could change flights claiming some aircraft substitution. So I changed.

    Another time I checked in at CBR for a QF flight, and ended up catching a Hazleton flight up to Sydney (QF paid for the ticket).

    Never really considered compensation, as they got me to where I had to get.
  20. markis10

    markis10 Veteran Member

    Nov 25, 2004
    BNE & SYD
    Foreward loading when in place is usually status independant, and typically happens when known weather or events are going to result in 100% + loads later in the day, such as evening flights out of Adelaide after the clipsal, or melbourne after the grand prix etc.

    Been getting a lot of bumps lately to J when on read e deal fares, reminds me of the early days of ansetts collapse when there were lines at the QF pub with gwing members filling in apps and I seemed to live in J regardless of the fare booked.

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